Art is Open Source and FakePress just released Zones, a simple harmonic granular synthesizer for the iPhone.

Create relaxing soundscapes and ephemeral melodies by creating grains with your fingers. Grains interact with each other establishing a musical force field. Best heard in headphones.

You can download for free Zones here at the Apple Store.

Technical details

Zones uses the technique called granular synthesis to create the sounds you can hear and interact with while using the application.

In granular sythesis very small and short synthesized sounds (called grains) are used interactively to be combined multiple times, thus forming sound textures that can turn out to be very complex.

In zones, short realtime synthesized notes are used to generate the sounds.

Touching the screen once in an empty spot creates the grains. Moving them around by dragging them makes grains interact. When grains interact, the parameters in their musical algorithms change: the closer two grains are, the bigger and more intense the change.

Grains also interact automatically with each other, by trying to create balanced distributions on the screen. This automatic, generative, search for equilibrium is possibly the most important factor creating the harmonic sounds in zones.

You will see the grains move by themselves, in response to their surroundings, trying to collaborate with each other in the creation of that which might be seen as a musical ecosystem, or force field.

You can download Zone’s source code here at this link.

Licensing & source code

Zones is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License and the full sourcecode is available.

Please respect the license if you happen to use the software and/or the source code.

Concept & realisation

Salvatore Iaconesi

Zones, iPhone granular synthesis at your fingertips
Zones - Logo
Zones - Logo