Beads Confusions (Happy User)

Hello! I was a little surprised to find that it is not encouraged to post all conversation about one module under a single topic here, so I’m creating my own new post for my few questions about Beads.

  1. What is Time doing when in wavetable synth mode? Is it morphing through the wavetables? Is the “center” of the morph somehow determined by the position of the Feedback knob? Should I be looking at the Plaits manual for details on these waveforms?

  2. I assume that Feedback is disabled from use when in wavetable synth mode, since it uses that knob, is that right?

  3. In Delay Mode, when I have Density CW, not fully, but close to fully, I get these awesome delay pulses that trigger in stereo with randomized panning. :blush: It appears that the Probability at this point isn’t quite 100% because it occasionally skips a trigger. Then when I go to fully CW (100% probability I presume), I lose the stereo panning. Is this expected behavior? I would prefer if it were still randomized stereo panning at fully CW. :grin:

That’s all for now, thanks!

  1. TIME does the same thing as in the regular mode – it selects from which position in the buffer the grains will be played. The buffer is a wavetable – so you are effectively scanning through all the waveforms contained in the wavetable.
  2. The feedback knob selects a wavetable. It couldn’t do anything else, because the buffer being played is read-only.
  3. I’m not sure what you are describing here. In delay mode, there is no notion of probability! You were probably half-way between division ratios, giving this feeling of rhythmic randomization.

For 1: understood!

For 3: Ok, got it, it’s randomness, not probability. Perhaps what was happening is that with the knob at about 4:00, the randomization is more uniform, and there occasionally is cancellation of two grains? Also, can you please explain why the random stereo panning stops between approximately 4:00 and 5:00?

Since you’re mentioning randomization, grains and panning, are you sure you’re describing something happening in delay mode?

Um, well, SIZE was set to infinity, but I was using the internal wavetable, so I guess it technically wasn’t in delay mode? What happens when Size = infinity and the internal wavetable is being used? I guess it’s not a delay since feedback is disabled. Anyway, thanks for helping try to explain that (I’m sure you can imagine the functionality can be a little confusing).

So with

The internal wavetable
Size = infinity
Density at 4:00
A steady trigger patched to SEED
Shape fully CCW

I was getting nice randomized stereo panning, but it sounded like it was skipping “notes” (grains) every once in a while; I was assuming I would get consistent grains at a regular interval. I guess that’s my first question, why was it “skipping notes” sometimes? My second question is: when I rotated the Density knob from 4:00 to 5:00, I didn’t get any “dropped notes”, but the randomized stereo panning was gone and the two-channel output was mono.

Ahhh, I understand now!

So let’s answer everything step by step:

  • When the internal wavetables are granularized, there is no delay mode (what could it even mean to play a wavetable with a delay?). Setting SIZE fully CW will only generate long grains, nothing special anymore about that position.

  • You are using an external trigger source, so DENSITY behaves as a division / probability control. 12 o’clock: no grain. Turning CW, from 12 o’clock to 7 o’clock increases the division ratio from 1/16 (15 triggers out of 16 skipped) to 1/1 (no trigger skipped). Turning CCW, from 12 o’clock to 5 o’clock increases the probability from 0% (all triggers skipped) to 100% (no trigger skipped).

  • The last thing is the panning. This is explained by this sentence of the manual:

If one of the grains’ parameters is randomized, or if the grains are generated at a random rate, their pan position will also be randomized.

That’s what is happening here: by turning DENSITY fully CW, you’ve set the probability to 100%, and you’ve disabled all sources of randomness in the grain generation process - consequently, the grains are no longer randomly panned.