Borderlands Granular updated – v.2.0 hits the App Store 30 months after the original release

Download from iTunes App Storeborderlands granular icon 2If you are a bit of an iOS music app addict then you might well have been aware of the ‘coming soon…’ status of Borderlands Granular as developer Chris Carlson has been sharing some information about the upcoming release via various social media outlets and on the app’s website.

Anyway, Borderlands Granular v.2.0 has hit the App Store today and will, I suspect, be something that iOS synth-heads and sound designers will find very interesting and quite possibly difficult to resist, whether you were familiar with v.1.0 of the app – originally released back in October 2012 apparently and not updated since – or not (I wasn’t; my bad I guess).

Borderlands Granular - an interesting take on granular synthesis for the iPad.

Borderlands Granular – an interesting take on granular synthesis for the iPad.

On a practical level, the app is for iOS7.0 or later, runs on iPad only and is a 15MB download. It is currently priced at UK$£7.99. What’s perhaps more interesting is the fascinating looking user interface – as can be seen in the videos embedded below – that demonstrates how this is very much a music/sound tool that is designed with the touchscreen very much in mind.

As the app’s name suggests, this is a granular synthesis-based engine so it uses underlying audio samples (some are included but you can also load your own) and then re-samples small ‘grains’ (parts) of these to form the basis of a new sound. What seems really attractive about Borderlands Granular is just how you manipulate the synth engine’s parameters using the touch screen. Whether you use your iPad for music or for sound design (the apps produces some brilliant evolving soundscapes that would work well in a music-to-picture context), this looks like it might well have lots to offer.

Borderlands Granular sound engine allows you to combine multiple grains to built your sound.

Borderlands Granular sound engine allows you to combine multiple grains to build your sound.

The app includes Audiobus and Audioshare support. It also allows real-time audio input recording and granulation. Gestures made to adjust the sound parameters can also be recorded to create sound automation. Accelerometer support for adjusting sounds is also included.

Anyway, Borderlands Granular does look – and sound – very interesting indeed. Check out the videos below and feel free to take the plunge…  but as soon as I’ve had a chance to properly explore the app, I’ll post a full review.

Borderlands Granular

Borderlands Granular from Christopher Carlson on Vimeo.

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    1. Richard Nevill says:

      Auto complete at work here? Para 4 – ‘to firth the basis of a new sound’ ?

    2. Chris Catalano says:

      This update is a landmark, a breakthrough for mobile musicians. It was frustrating before to have all of that potential locked up in an awkward file import setup. Now, the sky seems to be the limit with this for those who love to work with sound and ambient, unrestricted forms of composition. Just amazing!

      • Hi Chris… thanks for this. I’m still exploring the app but it is a pretty cool environment to experiment with… Hope I can do it justice when I come to write up the review. best wishes, John

        • Think you’ve got the wrong Chris, @John :P Thanks for the detailed overview and kind remarks!!!!
          So happy to hear that folks are enjoying the app!

          @Chris Catalano – thanks so much – incredibly kind of you to say!!!

    3. Seeing a demo of the first version of Borderlands on my desktop in 2012 was the tipping point for me to buy an iPad .
      This is the future I thought :)
      Although I loved it I found I moved on to apps that talked with each other ,with this update its back in the fold . If you like ambient or drone you need this.I feel there are other sounds that come with slighter deeper exploration.
      I find the interface so elegant that you might just enjoy loading wav files in and moving things around as a diverting way to pass some time even if soundscapes aren’t your thing.

    4. Just got this the other day, I had no idea what I was missing. It is a lot of fun to play with. I write mostly rock and metal, but this is just a crazy musically instrument. A lot of good times ahead to be had.

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