By Chris Carlson
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Borderlands Granular is a new musical instrument for the iPad.
Explore, touch, and transform sound with this new interface for granular synthesis, a technique that involves the superposition of small fragments of sound, or grains, to create complex, evolving timbres and textures.
Borderlands Granular emphasizes gestural interaction over knobs and sliders. Create, drag, and throw pulsing collections of grains over a landscape of audio files, or use the built-in accelerometer to sculpt sound with gravity. Record and share performances on the web.
More information including demo videos and examples is available at www.borderlands-granular.com
Follow Borderlands Granular on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BorderlandsiPad
Very cool app
I messed around with this app a long time before deciding to write a review. Let me first say that I love it. The interface, the controls are fantastic. I can stay occupied for hours. Many thanks to the developers for a cool app that generates cool sounds.
That said, I agree with previous reviewers on one key point: importing samples needs to happen in the app. That's the one thing that keeps me from using it more. I have to go build a playlist first. That's time I would rather spend actually using the app. For that reason alone I give Borderlands 4 instead of 5 stars. Implementing a better method to import samples would earn this app the full 5 stars in my opinion.
The other things requested I could take or leave, but that's just me. Simple effects might be a nice addition, but I think this app is nearly perfect as is. There is already a nice amount of control that isn't overwhelming to new users. I think adding too much would needlessly overcomplicate the app and create a learning curve that might push new users away.
Is it worth it?
That's the question to ask here. First of all, let me get this out of the way: is app is FREAKIN COOL. Being able to fluidly control the placement of .wav files and steal snippets out of them, twisting and contorting them into truly unique and abstract entities . . . Yeah, I'm in love. But, the app and I are still in the early dating phase, and I'm anxious to see what new developments come out of this burgeoning courtship. For instance, does it play well with others (audio copy / paste)? Does it have to be the center of attention, or can it share (background audio)? So, not ready for a diamond ring, but I'm TRULY excited to see what this developer brings out. (only one guy, really? Best solo effort in music creation I've seen since Nanostudio). Rock on y'all! And to anyone on the fence over whether this is worth the 4 bits? Ooh yeah. And it's worth getting in early to support the dev and help bring about further updates that could make this the game changer it knows it can be.
A very promising instrument
First of all I advise everyone with an older device to simply forget aout the record feature - it hard crashes your device..for example my gen 1 iPad after the app eats enough ram. You might get around 200 seconds of audio before you lock up..given that ou didn't take too long to set up too many grain areas.
Ok so, this app is awesome. I do want copy pasting of grain areas or control of multiple areas' parameters at once..oh and manually entering numbers will be a lot easier than fighting the sliders. Why? Well having a bunch of identical settings can let you sync up the rhythm tempos and that is simply divine. Slowly move a grain area over your samples and you can make melodies.
Saving area setups is also needed. Sometimes you can make something so divine only to crash and feel empty inside.
Again..if you are really getting into it...just record the audio out of your device because you will get more things done.
Looking forward to using this in my releases.