Multi/Scatterer Sounds and Quantization

Im wondering if anyone can provide an example of how to use a Multi Sound or Scatterer Sound with quantization? Im wanting to fire off constant random musical one shots based on a set tempo and quantization and then automate or randomize the probability. Think of it as a coarse granular music generator. It seems like when looping either of these types of playlists (Multi or Scatterer), they will not honor the Quantization/Tempo settings in the lower panel. The “Interval Between Sounds” parameter is close to what I want, but again, its not being quantized to my tempo.


I’m not entirely clear on what behaviour you’re seeing and how it differs from what you expect, but there are a number of common misunderstandings and misconceptions about quantization that might be responsible; Hopefully one of them will help you.

  • Tempo only affects when a sound module starts playing when triggered, and a module is triggered only when the cursor enters its transition region. If the loop region around your sound module keeps the timeline cursor on the trigger region at all times, it will never enter the trigger region more than once, and so will only trigger the module once. (Note that a sound module with a looped playlist only triggers once, but its behaviour when triggered is to play many sounds in succession. If you want it to be triggered repeatedly, you must cause the cursor to re-enter its trigger region repeatedly.)
  • Tempo is a property of the event timeline, which is to say, the points to which a sound module quantizes are based on the bars displayed on the timeline. If your trigger region does not overlap any of the specific beats and bars which it quantizes to, it will not play at all. (For example, if your sound module is quantized to every fourth bar it will start to play on bars 1,5, 9, and so on. If its trigger region runs from bars two to four, it will therefore never play.)
  • Tempo quantization only functions if at least one tempo marker is present to define the length of beats and bars used by the event. This tempo marker must be located to the left of the trigger region whose module is quantized. Note that if there are multiple tempo markers on the timeline, only the most recent (the closest on the left) is used to determine bar and beat positions.

Ah ok, I assumed that if I started a multisound or scatterer sound looping that it would continually trigger sounds based on the tempo and quantization. I now see that I have to make the sound loop for 1 beat so that I get a new trigger on every loop. I can then set quantization and automate the probability in order to drop notes as needed.


Oddly, Ive also noticed that if the audio region (MultiSound) and Loop region are exactly the same length, the sound will not be retriggered on every loop (the multisound region needs to be shorter then the loop region to retrigger)

@JesseLyon That’s right. As I said above, a module is triggered when the cursor enters the module - and in order to enter the module, it has to be outside of the module first. If the loop region overlaps perfectly with the trigger region, the cursor never actually leaves the trigger region, and so never re-enters it.


Hey Jesse, GMTA. :slight_smile: I was thinking to ask the exact same question because I have similar needs. Thank you.

In particular, I assumed similar things to you because “Delay & Quantization” for first event trigger can be quantized, so I was naturally thinking, “Why not Interval Between Sounds”, right?

Anyway, thanks for providing such a comprehensive explanation, Joseph.

I hope future people looking for the same thing will come across this knowledge.

Thanks for the explanation Joseph, makes sense!

Cheers Arcus, nice to hear Im not alone :slight_smile:


Hi, just in case someone arrives here looking for the same answers than me, I’ve just found a workaround for this feature.

BPM is just a measure of time, so you can translate your song’s BMP into time intervals and assign them to a Scatterer Instrument as Spawn interval.

Trigger this Scatterer Instrument on grid and it just works.


PD.- I suggest for future versions a “Spawn Interval” based on beat quantization for the Scatterer Instruments. Thanks :wink:

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Quantization of spawn interval is supported in FMOD Studio version 2.01.02 and all later versions.