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Best Granular VSTs?


Active Member
Why would I demo, if I own it? Even on the Soundmorph website, there is an error in the download links, so I couldn't even reinstall it if I wanted to.
Also, the world of Mac is much different than the world of Windows.
I'm glad you're able to get it to work.
It does not on my system.


I'm a huge fan of granular, I've done some side by side testing of a few granular synths and effects and I'm sorry to say I do not recommend Quanta, it has a somewhat "bit reduced" lo fi quality to it that takes a way from its sonic capabilities. if you like lo-fi, you can alway bitreduce your sample or add a lofi effect after in the chain

my favorite granular synth has been Pigments, they really give you a lot of options, even allowing you to FM the grains, and other unique controls
mangle is good too, but don't ever expect support or updates
Rapid is another favorite, it doesn't have quite as good of a grain engine as pigments, but rapid allows you to stack significantly more voices, and has much better factory content

I'm a huge fan of granular effects as well, just picked up mgranularmb, so I can't say much on it
but Portal is incredible, portal has opened up new sound design dimensions for me
as well Silo is worth digging into, it is a bit different than portal, but also has allowed me to explore new sonic territories

I'm planning on exploring more granular tools myself, and these aren't the only ones I've used, just my favorites from my collection


Huh. I find it odd I haven't sung the praises of Padshop 2 here yet. If you use Cubase, that's the only one you need.

Other than that, Ribs is very free.
I'd love to try padshop, I've heard great things about it

I was not really a fan of ribs, it may be free, but every time I've used it I found it entirely too cumbersome for the sounds it was capable of. I'll give it one more shot though


Senior Member
Check out some of the patches Simon Stockhausen did for Padshop. Fantastic synth. I am reminded now to actually play with it more.



New Member
Since evey other Granular thing has already been championed... I like "Granite" by New Sonic Arts. The UI is deceptively simple. Actually, each knob in the interface can be modulated using internal recorded automation. Its very quick to get interesting weird granular sounds.

The FX are limited, but that's why I like to combine it with...

(Build your own multi-effects)
This has granular delay options, many different reverbs, distortions, comb filters, flangers, envelopes, sequencers, LFOs, whatever you need. Since its fully modular, you can add as many things as you want all modulating as many controls of any/every effect you want. It ]costs a few hundred bucks but if you join Plugin Alliance there are sales several times a year where it's less than $50.


Huh. I find it odd I haven't sung the praises of Padshop 2 here yet. If you use Cubase, that's the only one you need.

Other than that, Ribs is very free.
Agree. Also, HALion 6 and Falcon 2 are pretty good. If you own either of them, I'd learn to use them. Can save you a lot of money buying other "pre-packaged" synths.

Komplete also has some Granular Stuff in it. Maybe REAKTOR can do that, as well?


I wanted to follow up on this thread, I've finally got my hands on Falcon
and I have to say it really surpasses Pigments in granular capabilities
full range, lots of control

it is objectively a better "grain" engine

that said, pigments still has some features that are exceptional
the round robin samples and window shape are really good in pigments
FM on the grain engine is still really unique and powerful

I found out Krotos concept has FM for the grain engine as well, I'll have to compare its granular against everything also

but by far when it comes to just grain, Falcon kills it

I'm thinking I'll do a full technical comparison soon, I need to get my website up and running for this sort of stuff

Wally Garten

Senior Member
does it have to be software?
Not to hijack too much, but do you have a granular hardware synth you like?

I have the Bastl Microgranny, which is a cool granular sampler, albeit leaning more toward noise and glitch. Curious about what else is out there, though.

Jeremy Morgan

Active Member
I'm curious too. Seems like the best granular fx on the market, but quite expensive for a one trick pony like Movement.

In a similar vein there's Remnant:

It's currently on sale for $29 at Plugin Boutique.

Remnant is hard to get into to find whether it's worth using. I have Output and I open that every single time over Remnant, I just don't even use it because Portal is overall more powerful, user friendly more obvious. I'm sure if I only had remnant I would use it.

I also treat portal as a 'granular effect' and less as a vst instrument ...for me it's always complimenting what's underneath vs sound designing from scratch.


well portal IS an effect and not an instrument, so that makes sense

microgranny is cool, I had one at one point, pretty damn lofi though
I'd put it in a category I like to call "buffer loopers" I don't quite count those as "granular" personally, they technically are. But to me I'd consider something granular when it spits out multiple grain voices, seeing as they are both "technically" granular, I'd like to call these types "cloud" granulars (or maybe array granular?)

the types of sounds you'd make with each are pretty different, that typical swarm grain cloud sound is only really possible with cloud granulars. and buffer style is more glitch oriented

for example-
Buffer granulars: Palindrome

any sampler with a loop mode

Cloud/array granulars: Pigments


Senior Member
Although not a dedicated plugin but rather a Kontakt library, my personal choice is "Granulate 2" by Fracture Sounds:

It has a ton of options and it also comes with quite a library of included sounds and presets, so good that I didn't feel the need so far for loading custom samples.

Speaking of Kontakt, there is also "Granularis" by Sound Aesthetic Sampling that you can get for free at Loot Audio:

AFAIK, the latter doesn't include any samples and both require a full version of Kontakt 5 or 6.


Oh yeah -- that's another great one!

Apparently I am just on the glitchy end of things. ;)

But I'm interested in your distinction between buffer and cloud granular. Might have to check out something like Pigments.
yeah, I feel the need to make the distinction because a lot of people I think assume all granular is "cloud" style.

it's kinda like multitap delay vs standard delay, they are both delays, but you can't do multitap with all delays

I make the distinction of "buffer" granular because it's not the assumed "typical" granular style

also another aspect of buffer granulars is they don't have window shapes and instead just loop within the window, with the grain rate being tied to the window size. Where a cloud granular, even though it can recreate buffer style, will often have a window size that can be independent of the grain rate

so they kind of end up being 2 different types of tools


I like FL's Granulizer, Omnisphere and if I am feeling like living life on the edge, Quanta (I say this because it's prone to crashing). I don't mind the Live device in M4L but I do not use Live anymore.
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