Sonicware is back with another quirky standalone synthesizer in its fairly crowded Liven line. The Liven Texture Lab was in Berlin and features a near-identical layout to some of the other Liven products, with that iconic case and button configuration, but that’s where the similarities end.
At its heart, Texture Lab is a granular synthesizer, which is when a waveform is sliced and sliced (and sliced) into extremely small pieces, which are called grains. The engine manipulates these grains in various ways to create unique tones. It’s somewhat rare to find standalone granular synthesizers, as the process is CPU-intensive and better suited to software, so Sonicware’s newest entry is entering a rather sparse marketplace.
Granular synthesis allows for extremely unique and out-there tones, and the Texture Lab goes a step further by adding four-voice polyphony, a two-octave keyboard and a 128-step sequencer that records notes and minute changes in granular processing parameters. While not a the Texture Lab includes a sampling engine with space for 32 samples of up to six seconds each, recording mono at 16/32kHz. The device can also sample internally and all of these samples can be chopped up for making more granular soundscapes.
Finally, this device is a robust effects processor, with a granular-based shimmer reverb, an envelope generator, filters, tremolo, a stereo width engine and more. Not only can these effects be applied to your various granular creations, but you can connect any external piece of hardware and run it through the same effects.
This is truly a standalone piece of hardware, with a built-in battery for on-the-go use and an integrated speaker. Sonicware continues its tradition of attractive pricing, as the Texture Lab will cost just $240 when it launches in June.