csGrain Brings Csound Power To The iPad

CSGrain CSound

Boulanger Labs has introduced csGrain – the first in a new line of Csound-based audio tools for the iPad.

csGrain is a real-time audio processing and recording tool that lets you create new sounds and new musical textures by transforming your voice, your instrument, or your favorite songs from your iTunes library.

Under the hood is a stereo granular sound processor and 10 additional professional audio effects – all realized through a Csound orchestra that is simultaneously: rendering, processing, sampling, resampling, synthesizing, resynthesizing, playing, reversing, delaying, triggering, gating, compressing, limiting, chorusing, flanging, echoing, filtering, pitch-shifting, harmonizing, granulizing, and recording.

The developer notes that csGrain can do combine any of these effects, in any combination, in realtime & with the sound quality of CSOUND – “the world’s premier software synthesizer and signal processor.”

Here’s a preview of csGrain in action:

With csGrain you can:

  • Remix your iTunes library
  • Process, record and save audio
  • Manipulate audio with SyncGrain, a real-time granular synthesizer
  • Connect a MIDI controller and turn csGrain into a live performance tool
  • Create ever-evolving soundscapes with the Randomize Settings feature
  • Choose from ten built-in effects, including:
  • pitch shift, ring mod, chorus, flanger, delay, reverb and more
  • Export your audio via Dropbox, AudioCopy, or Email

csGrain is $9.99 in the App Store. If you’ve tried csGrain, let us know what you think of it!

10 thoughts on “csGrain Brings Csound Power To The iPad

  1. Would love to see more videos of this in action. Anybody know how the “musical textures” are and what kind of “real time ” processing is supported ?
    Can we pipe in audio/guitar and apply effects ?

    1. Yeah, I was pretty excited about this app until I saw that the original iPad is not supported. Hopefully they optimize the code at some point so it will run. Leaving out the iPad 1 is limiting a huge amount of their potential customers.

  2. I like how this app and their planned full-featured Csound for iPad app is pushing Csound into the future. It has nothing to do with them being available for iPad, but the real-time processing and MIDI control capabilities are finally being exploited.

  3. “Yeah, I was pretty excited about this app until I saw that the original iPad is not supported. Hopefully they optimize the code at some point so it will run. Leaving out the iPad 1 is limiting a huge amount of their potential customers.”

    Well, actually, I’m sorry to say that there’re many, many more iPad 2 and 3rd gen iPad users than there will are original iPad users.

    iPad 1: about 15 million sold
    iPad 2: about 35 million sold and counting
    iPad 3: about 5 million sold and counting

    If you are serious about making music on the iPad, it’s time to upgrade. 🙂

    1. >iPad 1: about 15 million sold

      (assuming your numbers are correct…) So 15 million users isn’t worth selling into? That’s a completely stupid approach based on old models of expected forced hardware upgrades that don’t apply anymore. 15 million users is a potential ton of cash. Even if your company ignores them you can be sure that your competition doesn’t. I’m already running EVERYTHING but this app. Everything… including other grain synthesis apps. I expect they did some kind of wrapper or translation on this rather than running clean, optimized code, which would make it’s performance low enough to not run on an iPad 1.

      >If you are serious about making music on the iPad, it’s time to upgrade.

      What a bozo thing to say! LOL I’m already making great music on my iPad, and this one app isn’t worth an upgrade. I also made great music on my first digital recording system, a Pro Tools 3 rig back in the early 90s. The iPad 1 has far more processing power than that rig did. Was I somehow also not serious back then? Were the thousands of albums recorded on that same hardware around the world also “not serious” enough for you? Stop chasing the upgrade pony… you always loose, and just end up being a viral shill for some happy marketing team.

      1. “I expect they did some kind of wrapper or translation on this rather than running clean, optimized code,”

        It’s basically a Csound .csd text file running on a ported Csound iOS engine. So, yeah, it’s a bit slower I imagine. But, I think using Csound in this fashion was one of the stated design goals of the app. Not the most pragmatic decision perhaps, but pretty cool imo.

        I agree about being careful about the Apple upgrade treadmill. But, I do think that the 3 is enough of an improvement on the 1 (I have both) to justify the purchase for me. It’s a personal assessment, though.

  4. Bought this last night and proceeded to record a five-minute guitar jam session with just the built-in iPad mic. Loved it! Uploaded to Dropbox and was listening to my jam all-day at work this morning. I plan to use this app primarily as a funky tape recorder.

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