Somewhere at the border of granular synthesis, 3D immersion, and game engines, the Fracture Space team have built a compelling looking new instrument.

But before any screenshot or feature list, artist Sarah Badr aka FRKTL has made a teaser audiovisual that’s likely to get you onboard. (You won’t look like this using the software – those are her visuals. Whether you sound like this is up to you, of course.)

Getting everyone’s attention with something called “2.0.3 beta” feels like the software equivalent of the first time the original Star Wars film credits rolled right from “Episode IV.” But they’ve been hard at work at Project Fracture – they’ve done an overhaul of the internal engine, added fixes and such, and crucially allows you external MIDI control.

For many, the ability to try this at your desktop computer with MIDI gear plugged in is what will move it out of the oddball toy territory and into something you might really use.

It’s also the right time to take notice, as they say next up is version 3, with a ground-up rewrite that will integrate different output options, assist in composition, and do a “bottom-up refactoring” of the engine. (Oh, yeah – been there.)

It’s all just US$12 on Itch, the indie game-focused platform, built in Unity for macOS and Windows.

And there are impressive features already:

  • 3D sound objects with various parameters
  • Virtual acoustic positioning
  • Stochastic composition – think generative music making with probability distributions
  • Sequencer
  • 3D effects
  • Audio sample playback, which gets fragmented into those objects
  • Real-time, physics-based control
  • MIDI integration / control

Here’s a demo from last year of using MIDI control of objects – in this case, via Clips in Ableton Live, though other software or hardware could work.

And granular synthesis. Because birds. And then metabirds. Metabird event horizon.

Particle granulation sounds beautiful – a nice combo of granular synthesis and physics. (I’m curious if libpd is the sound engine here just because it does have a Unity wrapper; I’ll ask.)
It works like this. Somehow.

Plus a quick start, which is my favorite kind of start.

That comes with this disclaimer – “The Video is recorded in low resolution and does not reflect the actual sound quality of FS.” Yeah, I struggle with my video capture sometimes, too.

Let’s check this software out ourselves, then: