The Granular Convolver

A brief introduction to the instrument specially designed for the 20th anniversary edition of the Red Bull Music Academy

All You Need to Know about the Granular Convolver

In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Red Bull Music Academy in Berlin, myself, Maximilian Rest of E-RM and Christoph Hohnerlein collaborated to create a unique musical device that we named the Granular Convolver. While it’s not uncommon to see these two words separately, they are never placed together. A completely new way of interacting with sounds, this instrument brings together two experimental concepts opening up a world of endless musical possibilities.

The device allows you to record sounds and slice them into small fragments referred to as grains. Once a sound is recorded, you can convolve the grains with any live input you care to send into the device. Essentially folding two signals, the instrument works to breed completely new sounds. With 20 recording slots and the ability to change the size of the grain and the point at which the recording starts from, the sonic combinations are endless.

Each Academy participant received a Granular Convolver before the start of their session and was tasked with filling it with sounds from their surroundings. Upon arrival, the participants have the opportunity to combine these sounds with each other, bringing together their individual stories and memories as they create new ones throughout the duration of their stay in Berlin. Using the familiar to create something new, this device makes the abstract a sonic reality.

Maximilian Rest flashing firmware on the assembled units Carys Huws
L-R: Christoph Hohnerlein, Maximilian Rest and Tatsuya Takahashi Carys Huws
Workbench at E-RM Carys Huws
Final testing, using a synth created for Ryoji Ikeda’s A[For 100 Cars] as sine wave source Carys Huws
Each unit is laser engraved with the name of the recipient Carys Huws

By Tatsuya Takahashi on September 12, 2018

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