« PPG WaveGenerator gets Virtual MIDI In | App News | OSCNotation »

Borderlands Granular Released!

The long awaited Borderlands Granular has finally been approved by Apple! This is a neat new take on sample-based granular fun, with an interface designed for the iPad that is quite similar to the popular TC-11 synth. Thanks to reader Pablof79 for the heads-up!

iTunes Description:

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.

NOTE: Borderlands Granular is designed for iPad 2 and 3. It will run on the iPad 1, but with slower performance due to the heavy requirements of the audio processing.

Buy Borderlands Granular on iTunes: $3.99

Presently importing your own samples is limited to iTunes file-sharing. That is a bit of a bummer, but at least you can get them in there somehow! Exporting is also limited to SoundCloud and iTunes. Hopefully future updates will add to those options!

There is a nice interactive tutorial built into the app, along with this video to help give you an idea of how it works.

Reader Comments 20

downloaded and have been playing since morning :-)
Pretty neat interface and lot of potential ....All the touch interaction just flow naturally and its a joy to use. There is a big bug ( not sure if its only for me on my ipad2) where if you switch to app and make this a background app , the app resets and you loose everything you were doing and are presented back with the default startup page. I did close all the other apps and tried this multiple times and everytime I background this and bring it back up , it resets.

Other than that : ACP support for samples and recording is a must and so is background mode ...I was itching to have the ambient mix running which I play animoog or some piano along with it but since there is no background mode , ...no can do.

I am sure all these are easy to add and we shall see them shortly.
But what an awesome instrument and interface...

October 17, 2012  | person_outline Pat

got it, looks great but I can't say for certain until I can play with my own sounds. following the instructions to do this, the app crashes on launch on my iPad 3. I'm sure it'll be ironed out, but maybe you can reach out to the dev and see what's the story, Tim? :)

October 17, 2012  | person_outline gatearray

Waviary came to mind when I heard this, I was disappointed with that app and at the same time I've been waiting for ages for this one to come.
I'm still trying to understand its value. What exactly do you use this for, if not for some Brian Eno-esque music generating stuff?

If just for fun, Node Beat at least has rhythm :D

my 2c

October 17, 2012  | person_outline pablof79

I just wanted to chime back in, as I figured out what the problem was...

To add sounds to Borderlands, you need to make a playlist in the music player titled "Borderlands” and then those sounds will load when you re-launch the app. I did this, but the app kept crashing on the splash screen. I realized that I had added tracks that were not downloaded yet, because I use iTunes Match and my entire library always shows as available, so the issue was on my end, nothing with the app itself.

Once I donaloded the tracks in question, everything worked great! Except , I don't see Borderlands showing up in the list of apps for iTunes file sharing on my computer.

October 17, 2012  | person_outline gatearray

gatearray, what do you mean "downloaded"? I have never used (the piece of shit) iTunes, and am afraid I don't speak "apple". Borderlands is crashing for me also. I got a playlist onto itunes (using MediaMonkey - at least it wont start deleting stuff like iTunes), and now in iTunes I see the playlist, and can play the tunes, but it still crashes Borderlands. Any advice? Thanks!

October 17, 2012  | person_outline mojofunk

Why does everyone initially release their apps without MIDI and/or Audio copy/paste? Most of the time, they get around to it anyways. Why don't they just wait another week and release a more-complete app? And you can't sample from the built-in mic? What-the-hell.

October 17, 2012  | person_outline Chris

When you say you got the playlist into "iTunes", do you mean the iPad music player app? Borderlands looks at the music on your iPad in this playlist to load the files on start up. In other words, you should see and be able to play these tracks right from the music app on the iPad. Then Borderlands will check for said playlist on launch and load the audio files.

Not familiar with MediaMonkey, but iTunes hasn't ever deleted files on me and always works fine on my Mac.

When I said downloaded, I meant that "iTunes Match" keeps my entire music library available in the cloud for streaming and downloading. Apps that look to the music player (like dJay, etc.) always sees the songs but unless I have actually downloaded them to my device, they're not available to apps that could utilize them. Once I actually downloaded the files to my iPad, all was well.

October 17, 2012  | person_outline gatearray

Thanks for clarifying, gatearray.

Yes, I have had some awful experiences with iTunes! I guess I never really grokked the "sync" concept - I'd really rather just manage my files directly thanks. I have tried apples softs, and told it I'd like to be in charge but it has still managed to destroy my data several times in the past. I'm steering clear!

That said, yes - I do have the files and playlist usable in the apple Music app, but they're crashing Borderlands. This nifty app is seemingly only half baked. I hope the dev gets it sorted, but I get the feeling that app development isn't really his priority - he seems more a performance artist in general. Let's hope he can come to grips with the ios environment.

October 17, 2012  | person_outline mojofunk

I downloaded this immediately and started playing - it's great fun and has great potential, but getting sounds in (via itunes/playlist) and getting sounds out (soundcloud only) is a pain in the bum. I have imported and exported some things but for this to become any part of my workflow audio copy/paste is going to be essential. It is a shame because it is pretty cool when playing about with it but I imagine the reception from the app buying community will be poor because of these limitations.
Looks like you can get your recordings out with iFunbox, which saves a whole load of faffing about, but obviously requires a computer..

October 17, 2012  | person_outline pantsofdeath

Hey Tim...l usually try to give a little bit back by using your affiliate links for apps I'm gonna buy....but this one is directing me to Garageband. Got that one already thanks! ;)

October 17, 2012  | person_outline Spookyzoo

obviously the number one request is about workflow and importing your own sounds and audio copy/paste in the app, but has there been any response to these concerns from the developer?
if so did they say when they would address the issues?

October 18, 2012  | person_outline starving moogist

Ack, thanks I have to make new app links manually and was rushing to get this up!

Just FYI to everyone, the developer has a site where he is addressing concerns and is aware of the sample management issues. https://groups.google.com/forum/m/#!forum/borderlands-granular Looks like it will show up in a future release. I was really excited for this to come out, and bought it immediately, but the loading of any more than 4 of my own samples through the convoluted iTunes sharing is crashing the app for me. I can reload less samples, or smaller samples, and it will run fine, but that makes this a very limited app for now. Looks like an issue with the RAM on loading: https://groups.google.com/forum/m/#!topic/borderlands-granular/CXJWHm99mp8.

Playing with the preset content is a beautiful and inspiring experience, but I don't see myself playing with it any more until the file management issues are solved. I don't want to tether to my computer every time I want to load a new 3 sample set (!) to play with, so unless the price will be going up on future updates, not sure I'd rush to purchase right now other than as support for further development.

October 18, 2012  | person_outline LibrarianRob

Hey starving, there is an official forum at borderlands-granular.com

Some people have already suggested and Chris thanked for the suggestions.


October 18, 2012  | person_outline pablof79

Looks impressive... reminds me of all the junk I used to have to program in Pd back a few years ago to do something similar. This is a really amazing interface. The waveforms are almost not graceful-looking enough for the rest of it.

October 18, 2012  | person_outline Kevin McCoy

The developer posted the following on synthtopia ....

" better sample I/O and set loading/saving have been and will continue to be HUGE priorities for V2 (along with gesture recording, etc.) i can’t promise that these features will appear overnight, as i am the sole developer, it is my first app (so i am learning as i go), and i am only able to work on this in my spare time, but i’ll do my best to keep the momentum going."

October 18, 2012  | person_outline Bianca


Have you tried making a "Borderlands" playlist in the music player and adding/deleting files to it as you wish right from the iPad? There's no need to use iTunes file sharing with this method, you just need to have the songs/samples on your iPad to begin with.

Also, borderlands doesn't even appear in iTunes file sharing for me! The method described above is how I've been able to rock my own sounds, ad it has worked pretty well. Didn't know about the 4 song max, though, good to know! :)

October 18, 2012  | person_outline gatearray

@gatearray: Okay, now I feel dumb. That's a great suggestion! I wasn't using file sharing, just making the playlist on my computer and repeatedly syncing. This should save me some effort for sure. There isn't a limit of 4, but for me that's all I can seem to get on my app before it crashes. The developer recommended decreasing the sample size in Audacity to get more samples and sample time, so I'll give that' a shit next. Thanks for the tip.

October 19, 2012  | person_outline LibrarianRob

This . . . Is crazy cool. I have next to no idea what I'm doing with this (although I still know I'm longing for audio copy and backgrounding), but Daaaang am I having fun not knowing what I'm doing. Still can't believe this was programmed by just one dude. In any case, this is yet another amazing app that I don't think could be duplicated through traditional hardware methods . . . It's so nice seeing apps that are genuinely inventive and break out of the assumption that music creation should be limited to emulating pre-existing hardware.

Not that I'm complaining about having an entire MS-20, Filtatron, Kaossilator, and Electribe on a slab that fits on my lap.

October 19, 2012  | person_outline cXeGG

Lol smug bastards releasing an unfinished product to cash in on the video game Borderlands and it's accompanied apps on the AppStore Top 100 list.

And where is all the info in the apps description? Nr of presets? What the f is it? How do you use it? Do i need mushrooms to understand and enjoy this one? Is it iOS friendly (audio copy paste, midi etc)?

October 19, 2012  | person_outline ChrisG

  Post a New Comment

Anonymous comments are closed for old articles. If you'd like to comment please Register.


Do not use HTML in your comments. Tags: [b] Bold Text [/b] [i] Italic Text [/i]
Links will be generated if you include http:// or https:// at the beginning of a URL.

Contact | Privacy Policy | Developer Services | Advertise
discchord.com is a service of Gnubesoft