Spacecraft – A Granular Synthesis App For iOS

Spacecraft was specifically created for iOS, with developer Mark Watt describing its ability to turn any sound into an easily playable musical instrument.

Two parallel granular engines allow users to customize grain frequency/length, sample position LFO and stereo reverb/filter settings. An innovative grain pitch sequencer and compatibility with MIDI/MPE systems expand performance possibilities further still.


SpaceCraft is a granular synth that transforms any sound into playable musical instruments through Granular Synthesis technology. You can use recordings of your voice or ambient noise or its high quality built-in samples to produce textures, soundscapes and arpeggiated rhythms using this instrument.

Mark Watt (Delta-V Audio), also an ESA Engineer who worked on LISA Pathfinder mission, designed this app to allow users to quickly enter sound design without engaging in time-consuming configuration of parameters and mappings. Instead, its focused interface encourages creative exploration while offering 15 colour themes for an engaging audiovisual experience.

Already popular on iOS, this AUv3 plugin for Linux, Mac & Windows was developed in partnership with Tracktion Corporation’s ‘Tracktion Presents’ initiative in order to bring independent developers’ products to a broader market. Featuring two parallel granular engines providing frequency/length control as well as sample position LFO, stereo reverb/filter and pitch/ring modulation pitch ring modulation; its innovative grain sequencer grid and MIDI/MPE compatibility unlock even deeper levels of performance and expression than before!

Sound Design

Spacecraft’s user-friendly interface enables a creative, intuitive workflow. Users can get straight to sound design without spending hours navigating complex configurations; all components presented on a single page make Spacecraft feel like an instrument they will naturally take to.

Spacecraft stands out from other granular synths by featuring an innovative stereo phase control (currently desktop only), which provides impressive stereo separation from mono samples. This works using the Hass effect which delays each grain separately by delaying one channel at a time.

Though seemingly simple-looking, this plugin boasts plenty of features that will impress producers. The granular engine offers root note detection and MIDI note-to-grain alignment – key features in making sure a sound fits with its key – as well as a grain pitch sequencer and unique “grain ring modulation” post-modulation function which alters individual grain pitches post-modulation for added otherworldliness or glitchy texture to the soundscape.


Spacecraft has proven immensely popular since its iOS launch a year ago and now feature as a desktop plugin in Tracktion under their ‘Tracktion Presents’ initiative. Since then, Mark has continued to improve the app with frequent free updates, including adding an impressive stereo separation feature using Hass effect (which may otherwise sound terrible when applied incorrectly to regular sample playback). This version also brings an impressive stereo separation feature based on this effect – adding features to create powerful stereo separation sounds with each sample played back in turn!

SC stands out in an otherwise standard field of grain synthesis apps by virtue of its intuitive ‘opinionated design,’ which aims to allow users to intuitively explore granular synthesis without complex configurations. 16 note polyphony provides expressive pads and melodies while modulation of grain position over sample (via slide) allows expression of timbre. An innovative grain pitch sequencer, MIDI/MPE support and IAA & AUv3 audio bus support also add depths of performance – not to mention IAA/AUv3 audio bus support as well as Ableton Link to keep everything running in sync!


Spacecraft’s granular engine was developed with creative flow in mind. The interface is intended to inspire curiosity without overwhelming users with complex configurations and parameters; this approach is known as “opinionated design”, providing users with an intuitive experience so they can explore their control set without fear.

Create textures, soundscapes and arpeggiated rhythms from either your own sounds or from high quality built in audio samples. Quickly turn everyday noises into new instruments with Granular Synthesis technology.

The unique granular engine features an arpeggiated note/grain sequencer grid, sample layering, and over 24 scales to offer endless melodic possibilities. All controls are conveniently housed on one page for an intuitive experience while MIDI/MPE support facilitates connections with external devices.

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