Compiling Borderlands granular synthesiser to run on Mac OS X

Borderlands iPad

image courtesy

A slight diversion from the task at hand. But I hope if anyone else who tries to install Borderlands on OS X  finds this short article useful. If you haven’t had a play with this amazing granular synthesiser on the iPad yet, download it from the app store straight away!

Chris Carlson has produced one brilliant app which is perfect for iPad. He has also made his source code available on his website for free. For the brave this means you can also run it on Mac, Linux, Unix & Windows if you compile it yourself. I fancied trying it out on my Mac. I have never compiled an application before and come at this as someone with good technical knowledge. I could not find any straight forward instructions for the relative novice like me, so I thought  would share my experience in getting it running. Chris has included a readme file which includes some good instructions, but before you can follow them you have to follow the following steps if you do not have Xcode installed or the command line tools for Xcode.

How to install Borderlands on the Mac (also Linux and Unix)

  1. Download the source code for Borderlands here:
  2. You will also need the Libsndfile which is a C library for reading and writing files containing sampled sound. Download the source code for libsndfile here:
  3. You will have to compile both the files before you can install them which involves a little bit of terminal. Before you can do that you need to download the Apple Developer Tools command line tools. You used to be able to download these as a separate package, but now you need to download Xcode first. Download Xcode (approx 1.2 gbs) from the app store here:
  4. After you have installed Xcode you need to open it up and then go into the preferences. In the preferences click the tab that says downloads, then click to install command line tools

    xcode prefs

    Preferences pane in Xcode

  5. Once the command line tools have downloaded and installed (approx. 120 mb) you now can install Borderlands.
  6. Go to where you have downloaded both files and unzip them
  7. Open Terminal
  8. In Terminal type:
    • cd <drag the libsndfile folder into the terminal window and press enter>
  9. Type the following:
    1. ./configure
    2. make
    3. sudo make install
  10. Type your password when requested and wait – this will install the sound libraries required
  11. Next type
    • cd <drag the borderlands folder into the terminal window and press enter>
  12. To install Borderlands type the following:
    • make
  13. Once it has compiled copy your audio files into the loops folder which is in the Borderlands folder. These will open when Borderlands does.
  14. To run Borderlands, ensure that you have the source folder open for Borderlands in Terminal and type:
    • ./Borderlands
  15. All being well Borderlands will open!

The main advantage of running it on your computer of course is the fact you have access to a substantial amount more RAM than when using it on the iPad and personally I find it easier to open samples and waveforms. It is a long and convoluted method – but worth it. The user interface is not as easy as when you are using it on the iPad but the results are the same. A list of key commands can be found on Chris Carlson’s website here:

If you get stuck feel free to leave a question below.

Borderlands Mac

Borderlands running on Mac OS X – Chris Carlson’s website – Borderlands source file downloads – libsndfile download (essential to install before you can run the app) – Borderlands iPad App

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