The Sample Engine in Pigments is like a powerful hardware sampler with sophisticated editing tools.
Then, it goes beyond that to provide a granular synthesis mode.
Yes, it has six slots into which you can load different samples for subsequent mapping.
The Sample Engine has a built-in browser in which you can choose among many different categories of samples, including a folder of 90 new samples in Pigments 3.
Yes, the sample browser has an “Imported” folder for that.
Samples can be 16-bit or 24-bit, 44.1 - 192kHz, in WAV or AIFF format.
Their duration is limited only by the amount of RAM in your computer.
Samples can play one-shot or loop continuously. You can drag markers to adjust overall sample trim points and loop points,
and even whether the sample continues to loop during the release phase of the VCA envelope.
Which sample plays at a given moment is governed by six mapping modes:
- Single: Whichever slot is currently selected.
- Key Map: Automatically assigns samples to different keyboard ranges, based on the number of occupied sample slots.
- Key/Velo Map: Adds an adjustable velocity cross-point to the keymap.
- Sample Pick: Uses a knob that can be a modulation destination.
- Round Robin: Plays through slots 1-6 in order with each subsequent MIDI note-on.
Round robin mapping is often used with similar but distinct samples to avoid a robotic “machine gun” effect on sounds with pronounced transients, such as a drum or picked acoustic guitar.
Granular synthesis chops up a sampled wave into small time-slices, called grains, then plays those slices back in a non-linear order.
You can control the size, pitch, and envelope shape of the grains, as well as the density of the grain field and various aspects of the playback behavior.
This can create otherworldly, swarm-like sounds that are completely different from the original waveform.
The unison options are the same, but Unison is just one of four tone-sculpting modes in a section we call the Shaper.
The other three are:
- Resonator: Six bandpass filters in parallel. Adds harmonic resonance to the sound.
- BitCrush: Reduces the sampling rate and/or bit depth for popular lo-fi effects.
- Modulation: Works together with the Modulator oscillator (see below) to perform FM and ring modulation.
This is an onboard modulation oscillator that provides an FM source via the Modulation section described above.
There are a variety of waveform and noise options. Turning the volume up lets you use it as an extra audio-range oscillator or noise source,
and it can do this and FM at the same time.
They are like the other engines. You can freely balance the engine’s output between Filters 1 and 2.