UE5 MetaSound Grain Delay and Procedural Study
The MetaSound that I will be talking about is in this video.
In short, my goal for this was to try out some newer 5.1 quality of life improvements for MetaSound and the grain delay node.
What is MetaSound? A DAW?
This link says it best.
“A DAW and a game audio engine serve totally different needs and have opposed technical constraints and use cases. A game audio engine is about building audio experiences with interactivity and runtime procedural generation as the core focus. “
MetaSound is Unreal’s new audio plugin in UE5 aiming to elevate functionality usually required by sound designers for games.
Important Resources I used to get things going.
Here are 2 videos that will be really helpful in understanding what is going on here.
This Study’s MetaSound is free to download and tinker with below!
Key things this MetaSound above can do.
- Uses an alterable scale to determine the chord choices
- Uses bool arrays to determine the beat
- Generates a Lead, Kick, Snare, Hi Hat, and Pad Chords
- Routes everything through multiple FX such as filtering and Grain delay.
You can try this MetaSound out for yourself by downloading from gumroad!
Quick Grain Delay Notes
The grain delay is a bit of a wild node. The biggest hurdle is giving it some audio and a trigger.
I ended up taking this pulse and delaying it further to offset when it decides to spawn grains.
This gave me a wild ethereal type reverb effect. For the audio going in, I needed to tune that a bit more.
I am filtering and compressing the audio in order to reduce artifacts that can happen when a sound gets a bit too loud inside of the grain delay. Some whacky things can happen.
I also realized quickly that transients from a kick, hi-hat, or snare weren’t going to work well for the kind of effect I was going for. It sounded jarring, so I made sure that the only audio going into the grain delay was the pad and the lead instruments.
The entire Grain delay setup looks like this (Again you can download this metasound above if you wanna poke around in it more)
I know this might seem overwhelming, but a lot of what I was doing was straight up experimenting, so I encourage you to try something out yourself and tinker with the MetaSound on your own!