Gogledd Orllewin
playdate granular

Granular is an experimental 'grain sampler' for Playdate that plays subsamples from a recorded parent sample, it's inspired by the old Reaktor 'Travelizer' instrument. Granular includes various modifiable parameters and effects to change the sound which produces beautiful glitchy ambience that can be used on its own or as a background for other instruments.

You really need headphones or to connect to a speaker - this will not sound good through the Playdate's tiny built-in speaker.

You don't have rigid control over the playback, most options not related to effects/filters increase or decrease the probability of something happening, either a change in playback rate, or how regular the samples are triggered, it's all fairly random.

Generally 'A' selects and navigates, 'B' closes and pops the stack back to the previous location, everything should be intuitive with a little exploration. Granular operates on probabilities; when you select 'jump' or 'rev.' (reverse) or other parameters you're telling the underlying engine to allow the possibility of that happening each cycle.

Sample tracks, one with the built-in Organelle M recording, and the other sampling a piano:

First Run/Home

After downloading the zip from Itch and side-loading onto your Playdate you're met with an introduction screen where you can either start playing with the built-in demo files or record your own sample. Once you've recorded a sample on subsequent runs Granular will jump straight to the live playback screen.

Live Playback View

The five horizontal bars show the current subsample position and size within the parent sample/recording. There are five buttons across the bottom of the screen which launch the filter and effects screens for each channel/subsample. The top of the screen has four options:

Playback and Filters

The first effects screen controls some playback parameters of the selected subsample:


The second subsample screen lets you customise the subsample sound, be careful with these, there's no clipping or limiter, I've not done any damage to anything yet but I'm not ruling out the possibility:


The 'global' menu allows you to set a base playback rate, the default is 0.5 which plays samples at 1/2 speed/pitch (the octaves are listed as 1 to 4 following the Midi convention: 4 being the original rate, 3 is half speed/pitch, 2 is 1/4, and 1 is 1/8 which is really too low for most recordings).

The Global menu also has a delay effect for the main channel and a 'tempo' setting, the lower the tempo the less chance one of the five subsamples has of triggering, when set to 0 the remaining operations will complete which can be used to gently finish playback.

Source (private): github.com/orllewin/playdate_granular