iOS MARS is currently closed. Please read this for more information.

Borderlands Granular review…and a few details on Version 2

When I first saw the demo video for Borderlands Granular in 2012, my jaw hit the floor. My first thought was "THIS is what making music on an iPad should be". The sounds were just right, and the app seemed to unlock the potential of the iPad's interface.

But...there was just that one thing.

As noted by many of the App Store reviews for Borderlands Granular, the method of getting sounds in and out of the app using the iTunes Sharing method is a bit cumbersome. As Apple has updated our devices to be almost completely wireless, users have been asking for a better way to import sounds into Borderlands Granular.

So, let me get right to the reason why everyone is probably reading this post. I've been in contact with Chris Carlson recently, and he is working on the updates. And you will like these updates.

The two big updates: Audiobus will be implemented, with Borderlands Granular to be used in the input slot. And Chris is working on a better import functionality, with possible Audioshare and/or Dropbox compatibility, so you can open your clips directly into Borderlands Granular.

There are many other exciting updates either in the works or already completed. The ability to optionally delete sounds after throwing them offscreen to free up memory, and resonant filters on each grain cloud (lowpass, bandpass, highpass, boost/cut options), with the option to enable per-grain randomization of the filter parameters. Also, the ability to save and load "scenes" - collections of sounds and clouds, and the ability to quickly duplicate clouds.

photo (5)

Borderlands Granular's interface screen - so pretty

In case you are new to Borderlands Granular, it is a grain-based synth for your sounds. Granular synthesis involves taking your sounds, and splitting them into smaller pieces. These pieces are called "grains". You can then manipulate these grains in many different ways, to really create something truly unique. How this is done by dropping in "grain clouds", which is where you will manipulate your parameters. You can add up to 32 grains per cloud, adjust pitch, LFO, and volume, to name a few.

As I'm really into making "other-worldly sounds", Borderlands Granular is great for experimenting with sonic landscapes. Below is a track from the developer himself, which really displays the possibilities.

Borderlands Granular ranks right up there with TC-11 and Gestrument, in terms of apps that are excellent at capturing the potential for the iPad. There are no knobs, sliders, or piano keyboards. By using finger gestures (or even the iPad's acclerometer), you can create soundscapes that simply aren't possible with other apps.

As I've said earlier, I've been in touch with Chris Carlson over the last few weeks, and he *is* working on the updates. There are no definite timelines just yet on the updates, but I believe our patience will be rewarded. And there are some other great features that Chris has mentioned that he is looking at implementing after Version 2 is completed. Hang in there, everybody. Once updated, Borderlands Granular is going to be a fantastic full-featured app that will definitely be a centerpiece in my tracks.

If you are thinking about buying Borderlands Granular, please consider clicking through our App Store link below. Thanks!

Borderlands Granular (AppStore Link) Borderlands Granular
Developer: Christopher Carlson
Rated: 4+5
Price: $16.99 Download

Post Navigation