Spacecraft Granular Synth

Mark Watt works by day as a Spacecraft Guidance, Navigation and Control Systems Engineer on European Space Agency missions like LISA Pathfinder; but by night he’s created one of the most intuitively creative music applications ever: Spacecraft Granular Synth.

Now available as a desktop VST, this instrument features MIDI/MPE support and live sampling for further depth of expression and performance. Two parallel granular engines offer grain frequency/length control as well as sample position LFO control as well as stereo reverb & filter effects with an innovative grain pitch sequencer feature.


Spacecraft is a mobile granular synthesizer developed by Mark Watt for iOS (iPhone & iPad standalone, AUv3 & IAA) and desktop use (Mac & Windows VST & AU). Bringing its creative potential to mobile music making, Spacecraft seeks to unleash the creative potential of granular synthesis for music making on the move.

It offers two parallel granular engines equipped with pitch/ring modulation, sample position LFO, stereo reverb and filter capabilities as well as an arpeggiated note/grain sequencer grid across 24 scales to produce an array of sounds that range from organic rhythmic effects through lush sample layering and classical granular textures.

Launching multiple instances at once results in their immediate termination and will cause their uselessness to crash.

MIDI / MPE support

Spacecraft, the popular iOS app, is now available as a desktop plugin that offers instantaneous gratification and inspiring creative flow. Equipped with two parallel granular engines that offer grain frequency/length control, sample position LFO control, stereo reverb/filter modulation pitch modulation pitch sequencer capabilities open up new sonic possibilities.

It can also receive MIDI MPE (MIDI Polyphonic Expression) messages that offer more expressive play than regular MIDI notes, using channels other than note on/off values for transmission; among them is channel pressure communication via CC74 messages.

Omnisphere and Trillian both support MPE (note-per-channel), with LinnStrument owner Mark Harris even designing a Reaktor 6 block to process this notation per channel (nPTC). Volt is another powerful multitimbral synth with MPE support in its oscillators and filters as well as featuring an innovative granular sequencer grid for creating arpeggiated rhythmic sequences; though its price may be relatively higher compared to many VST / AU plug-ins, Volt offers more features.

Sound quality

Spacecraft was developed by Mark Watt from Delta-V Audio and released through Tracktion’s ‘Tracktion Presents’ program as an innovative granular synth. With its futuristic control panel interface that makes using it both attractive and fun, Spacecraft provides users with a granular synth solution they will instantly fall in love with.

It provides support for both MIDI and MPE input, and 16 note polyphony to create expressive pads or singing melodies. Furthermore, its granular engine turns your sample into easily manipulatable short bursts of sound called grains that you can manipulate length, frequency and repeat to craft unique sounds.

As well as using the main performance window, there’s also a second smaller one that allows you to play around with specific regions of a sample and tweak it more intimately. Finally, recording your performance via the rec button saves it as a.WAV file on your device.

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