Grain Science

Advanced granular synthesis for iOS

Created for musicians, soundscape artists and SFX designers looking to go beyond our Sylo Synthesiser, Grain Science is built on similar principles of granular synthesis, but is vastly more powerful. With its versatile synthesis engine, you can create everything from crunchy basslines to spooky soundscapes.

Download on the App Store

Effects and More

Once the grain units are blended together, and the ADSR envelope applied, the output is sent through an FX chain. Fully flexible, you can pick up to 4 effect units from the collection provided (including resonant high- & low-pass filters, digital echo, tube resonance, phaser, wave-shaper and a bunch of different distortion types) and connect them up in any order.

Of course, their properties can be controlled by the programmable dials. And as well as the FX units, there are other ways to influence your sound. Glissando/glide between notes, apply panning (including auto-pan, of course, because panning is another programmable dial), reverb, and our Supercharger turns Grain Science into a monophonic supersaw-style synth (but with any audio you like, not just sawtooth waves).

Control Mapper & MIDI

We’ve arranged Grain Science to make it easy to find and adjust the settings you need — but we also realise that you don’t want to go hunting around in control panels when you’re in the middle of a performance. We have a solution for you!

Once you’ve finished designing your instruments, you can slide across to the Performance Panels. These offer up to four XY Pads, or 16(!) pitch/mod wheels, as well as a shortcut to the instrument list for quick access.

The Control Mapper lets you connect these controls to the synthesis and FX parameters, so that everything you need during a performance can be at your fingertips on one screen, no scrolling required. Simply tap the parameter (eg “Grain Unit 1 Speed” or “Supercharger Gain”) then pick the pad or wheel from the list.

You can also connect them to external MIDI controllers, via our Core MIDI support, and with tap and twist learning — tap the parameter, twist the dial on your MIDI controller, and the connection is made.

Of course, you can play notes through MIDI too! And MIDI velocity, normally set to control the loudness of your instruments, can be added to or replaced in the Control Mapper: use velocity to control the synthesis parameters you choose. No MIDI keyboard? Switch to the Ribbon Controller to control velocity on the touch-screen by sliding your fingers along the control ribbons.

Note: iPhone and iPod touch don’t support the iPad Camera Connection Kit (which also allows you to connect USB MIDI devices to an iPad), but you can also connect MIDI devices using Wi-Fi or adaptors such as IK Multimedia’s iRig MIDI.

Arpeggiator Unit

Grain Science features an advanced arpeggiation unit. In Chord Mode it performs as a classic synth arpeggiator, rapidly switching between the notes you play, in the order of your choice. Of course, you can set the BPM and either retrigger the notes (as though each one were played on the keyboard) or simply change the pitch while the note continues.

In Step Mode it becomes a 32-step sequencer, centred around the note(s) you play: control the pitch, velocity, sustain/glide and other parameters for each step in the sequence and create bass riffs, complex morphing sequences and much more.

Tools & Sharing

It’s important to play nicely with others, which is why Grain Science offers full AudioCopy/AudioPaste support, Dropbox integration, Core MIDI, Virtual MIDI, background audio, Audiobus, and sharing by email or Twitter.

You can record your performances to get a pristine digital copy of your audio output, which you can then access via iTunes, send to other apps, upload privately to Dropbox, or share via your public Dropbox folder.

Feeling collaborative? Instruments can be shared via email or Dropbox and Twitter too. Other Grain Science users can just tap to import your instrument and begin playing (or playing around with) it.

The “raw material” sounds that you feed into the grain units can also be imported and exported via Dropbox, AudioCopy/AudioPaste and iTunes, so you can integrate Grain Science into your workflow, whether that’s other apps on your iOS device, or on your desktop computer. Our Hokusai Audio Editor makes the perfect companion to Grain Science, to tweak your source material to perfection before you get granular on it.