Granular synthesis is a powerful type of synthesis that fragments pieces of audio into very small bits called “grains.” Since each grain can have its own duration, amplitude and envelope, they can create a layered ‘soundscape’ of overlapping tones. The composer Innas Xenakis first conceptualized Granular synthesis in the 1970s.

Omnisphere contains a fully implemented set of granular controls. Soundsources and DSP-Wavetables turned into grains can be manipulated by altering their pitch, duration, envelope, and position in the stereo field. Up to eight voices of granularity are available per Layer.

Granular Synthesis is a useful technique for creating a wide variety of evolving sounds (using Grain and Pitch Controls), time-stretching effects (using Speed mode), “freezing” effects (using Position mode), or edgy, gritty, glitchy effects (using Intensity).

The Granular controls are located in the Oscillator Zoom Granular page. The controls in this page are enhanced with a dynamic Granular Display, a waveform model that represents how the grains are manipulated in the STEAM engine.


This turns Granular ON and OFF and it is useful for comparing the granulated sound with the original.


The Granular Display is a dynamic waveform model that represents how the grains are manipulated in the STEAM engine. It provides visual feedback of the Granular parameters and can be very useful during the sound design process.

NOTE: Granular Synthesis can require a great deal of processing power.


Omnisphere 2.0 uses a new granular algorithm which allows for wider sonic results. The LEGACY button activates the granular algorithm used in Omnisphere 1.x, in which the grains were larger and the results were often slower-moving and dreamier-sounding. Patches created in version 1.x will automatically load with the LEGACY button engaged to ensure backwards compatibility. Turn the LEGACY button to ON if you wish to program Patches with this algorithm.

NOTE: The WILD mode will not work in LEGACY mode.

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