Traveling With Electronics : Going Granular With SpaceCraft 

granular synthesis : a method by which samples are broken

into tiny grains and then recombined to create new sounds 



There are two classic iOS music apps that are each worth the cost of the latest iPad and can still run on an iPad 2. I am talking about SAMPLR & THUMBJAM. What has made them endure through the flood of iOS innovation is a combination of simplicity and amazing depth that's all wrapped up in an intuitively expressive multi-touch GUI.

First time developer Mark Watt recently released a Granular Synthesizer app called SPACECRAFT and it just might have what it takes to hang with these iOS big dogs.

Now there is no shortage of Granular Synth options for iOS with : BORDERLANDS : iDENSITY : TARDIGRAIN : QUANTA : but there's something about SPACECRAFT that intrigued me enough to begin an e-mail & Skype dialog with Mr. Watt and it's been his openness and passion to expand on the possibilities for real-time use,

"But what I do want is to have  something that is really unique that allows a degree of creative expression that is unique. I want to blur the lines between the instrument and effect paradigm".....Mark Watt

that has led us into a collaboration on an advanced set of features in SPACECRAFT specifically for users interested in the Art of Live-Sampling.....so let's take a look.


DELTA-V AUDIO (Mark's site with lots of spacecraft video) : ANR REVIEW :  


SPACECRAFT can be used stand-alone, as an IAA effect or as an AUv3 effect

the multi-touch interface has a great balance of focus, function & playful expression

you are able to record up to 120 seconds in each of the 2 performance screens

each screen comes pre-loaded with a superbly crafted sample file to get you started

Built-in audio samples that load each time you start SpaceCraft are a combination of:

  • Various Kontakt instruments
  • Reaktor user library, Form, Prism
  • Some of my own Reaktor Blocks ensembles 
  • (all of the synths in the second half of blue are from these ensemble patches)
  • Twisted tools: Scapes, S-Layer
  • Serum
  • Re-cycled output of previous incarnations of SpaceCraft

Tracks are mastered via iZotope Ozone.....Mark Watt


you can get lost for hours in the blue sample file 

Here is a real-time composition using the built-in blue sample file : iPad mini2

AUM - Spacecraft - Thumbjam - Infinite - Beathawk & Quantiloop : MPK mini

 In the beginning Spacecraft is providing shading & color but comes up front at 3:08


I'm beta testing a set of advanced features to facilitate an optional live-sampling mode 

 Mark suggests it will look like this

side panel input options for live-sampling mode

gesture recorder

midi implementation

seamless sample over-write*

double tap zoom (in/out)* 


I've made a teaser video demonstrating the first two* features to be implemented

 as more features come on-line I'll post updates, also check www.deltavaudio.com 


here's how I've integrated spacecraft into my live-sampling performance rig 


Spacecraft is played on screen while the MPK mini plays everything else in the background 


iPad mini2 - AUM : Quantiloop : Thumbjam : Infinite : Beathawk : Spacecraft

for the recording below I used an iCA4+ : MPK mini : iPad mini2 : iPad2 - Samplr 




I'm going to leave you this month with a recent concert recording featuring Farrell Lowe (guitar/electronics-left) & Ron Miles (cornet-center). I am (on the right) playing the rig described above and live-sampling Ron's cornet using Spacecraft & Samplr.


until next month then.....safe travels.....dino