Quanta by Audio Damage

Quanta is a hybrid Granular analog/granular synth for your DAW. There is also an iOS version available which was not reviewed.

There are so many plugins and synths from Audio Damage that just makes them unique in the market where very few companies are able to make a difference. They are in the top leading companies when it comes to my choice of favored effects plugins. Audio Damage did send a review copy with no strings attached.

Installation

After purchase, you can install this Synth for your DAW. Windows 8.1 or newer and for MAC 10.9 Mavericks or newer is required and a 64-bit DAW.

Sound

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Quanta chops audio samples into very small component grains. Quanta is a 10-voice granular synthesizer. It has two multi-mode filters and a cross-platform preset mechanism, and can load AIFF, WAV, Ogg, FLAC, and MP3 format samples. 

There are endless possibilities to make music with Quanta. You can start with the presets or experiment yourself, the straightforward GUI supports you to create new vibes and tones.

You will break and have fun in breaking the dropped in sounds into grains and shape the grains until you’re happy while getting new timbre and color and produce a new complex sound that would be hard to design elsewhere.

User interface & Usability

The UI is in the style of Audio Damage, and that UI Style is known to be easy to use. Samples are dragged and dropped from your DAW, or you file system. Overall the User Experience is beautifully minimalistic and most important intuitive. The UI can be resized as needed and fitting your screen resolution.

Quanta Granular Synth by Audio Damage FLFO

Quanta’s signal stream is tolerably simplistic. Quanta loads an individual sample from which the grain-synthesis engine called granulator which generates grains.

The signals from the granulator, an oscillator, and a noise source are joined collectively and send into a pair of filters, and the output of the filters travels through a gain stage. The oscillator and/or noise source can also be fed into the granulator, and the filters can be arranged in series or in parallel. Sound complicated but the results are great.

Quanta Granular Synth by Audio Damage Sample SCreen

Quanta is fully MPE (MIDI Polyphonic Expression) capable, and owners of MPE controllers such as the Linnstrument, Haken Continuum, Roli Seaboard, and Rise, and Madrona Labs Soundplane can utilize their full expression range. I have the Roli Seaboard, I have been looking for a completely granular synth that supports my ROLI.

The included presets are a high starting point and also help you to discover the potential of the synth fully.

Quanta Granular Synth by Audio Damage Presets

Quanta FEATURES

  • Multi-Format Sample Loader
    Quanta can load AIFF, WAV, Broadcast WAV, FLAC, MP3, and Ogg in any sample rate, bit depth, and channel configuration. 
  • Grain Engine
    Up to 100 simultaneous grains per voice, of up to 1 second long, with control over grain rate, pitch, direction, shape, length, panning, source position, and level.
  • Sidecar Oscillator
    Continuously variable wave shape, with pulse width modulation, and independent control over pitch (separate from grain engine.) Can be injected directly into grain engine. 
  • Noise Source
    Noise source features a “color” control that affects tonal characteristics of the noise. Can be injected directly into grain engine. 
  • Dual Multi-Mode Filters
    Filters can be used in serial or parallel modes, and include lowpass, highpass, bandpass, and notch in 2-pole and 4-pole configurations. 
  • Flexible Envelope Generator (FEG) x 4
    The four FEGs are arbitrary function generators, with up to 99 steps, curve and step level control, arbitrary loop points, and host tempo sync. 
  • Flexible Low-Frequency Oscillator (FLFO) x 2
    The pair of FLFOs utilize four controls (phase, shape, skew, and warp) to access a virtually limitless palette of waveforms, and feature host tempo sync and retrigger. 
  • Sample And Hold
    The S&H mod source can sample noise (random) or any of the other mod sources, at either a user-defined rate or a musical division.
  • Modulation Matrix
    Every mod and MIDI source can be easily and simply assigned to any destination using the quick-access bi-polar modulation matrix. Touch a destination on the UI and the matrix automatically scrolls to the correct row. 
  • Tuning Tables And Global Tuning Offset
    Re-tune Quanta to new intonations and temperaments using the open-source and easy-to-use TUN file format. A global tuning offset (default to A=440) allows you to easily retune the entire synth to match a different A frequency without using a tuning table. 
  • MPE (MIDI Polyphonic Expression) 
    Quanta understands both “legacy” MIDI and MPE. Use your Linnstrument, Roli Seaboard, Haken Continuum, or Madrona Labs Soundplane (among others) to directly access per-note pressure, pitch bend, and modulation. 
  • Per-Instance Settings
    Quanta utilizes a per-instance customization method: set MPE mode, aftertouch smoothing, pitch bend range override, tuning table, and global tuning offset for each instance in your DAW. 
  • Factory Presets
    Quanta comes with a substantial collection of factory content, including Designer Presets from Marcus Fisher, Joseph Fraioli, Chris Carter, and Richard Devine.
  • Cross-Platform Preset Format
    Quanta utilizes an XML-based preset manager, and stores the sample within the preset for easy asset management. Work between multiple systems without troubles, make a preset on your desktop machine and paste it to the iOS version with Handoff, easily share your creations with your friends, or make a preset bundle to sell, no asset management required. 
  • Fully Resizable Hi-Dpi/Retina GUI
    Quanta’s vector-based GUI is resolution-agnostic and displays the same on every system and resolution. Easily resize the UI (per instance) to match your visual needs, from postage stamp to poster-sized. 

Rating:  Five out of five stars

Quanta chops the sounds and reshapes them into fantastic, unusual sound supported by novel modulators. The Synth is excellent if you look for new sounds and vibes that can only be created by a granular synthesizer. This synth loops and plays back the grains resulting in very artistic performances. 

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