Capers

I remember seeing info about Capers way back when I started to look into making music on a Palm device. I thought it was just the coolest idea. A whole replacement OS for the palm that was only about music. What happened to it? I don't know. I expect like a lot of really cool ideas it got lost along the way.

All I could find on Capers was the following:

Capers runs on the PalmOS and all compatible devices (Palm Pilots, IBM Workpads, Handspring Visors) are able to use it. The intended goal of Capers is to create a "replacement music operating system" for the Palm, in effect generating a handheld music platform rather than a group of applications.

Capers uses a common clock for all its "applets," and the user can page through them at will while a sequence plays. There can be multiple instances of each applet; for example, three arpeggios, two sequences, and four controller LFOs can be used at once. Each applet's output (called a "Pattern") can be sequenced to create a song of a group of "patterns." This sequence can sync in or out to MIDI clock to talk to other sequencers such as Native Instrument's Reaktor, Akai's MPC series, Ross Bencina's Audiomulch, or even another Palm OS device running Capers!

Availability:
Capers is in alpha testing and we will be offering it with the dsperado hardware shortly. (You don't need the dsperado hardware, however, it works just as well with standard MIDI equipment.) To tide you over, we are offering demo and beta versions of three of the core Capers applets (whose full versions will also be available separately if you don't need all of Capers.) These versions do not contain all of the functionality inherent in the full release versions, and may contain bugs. We hope you enjoy them, and please get in touch with any feature suggestions or problem reports.

API - Programming:
We also offer Capers as object code for developers who wish to create MIDI-enabled applets. Simply link the Capers object into your code and you can have access to a stable high-resolution timing clock, a MIDI input state machine for controllers, notes and Sysex data, and F8 Sync in and out. You can develop for the Capers master sequencer or create your own standalone applications.

Capers Applets and Downloadable Demos:
Eggtimer {Demo} is a pattern-based MIDI-syncable arpeggiator with a two-dimensional control matrix for instrument parameters.

Baby Hedgehog {Beta} is a pattern sequencer that also sequences 16 MIDI controller values. The beta version stores 12 patterns and allows for various math-based functions for random pattern generation.
Tractor Pull {Demo} is a MIDI controller LFO and control bank for controlling instrument and software parameters.

Coming soon:

Blueberry - MIDI Patch / Sysex Librarian and Sound Randomizer
Cardinal - dsperado Hardware Front End / Librarian
Carpetbomb - Xenakis emulation

There's not much else, but what there is you can find by searching for Capers Dsperado.

It would be wonderful if it could be brought back to life, but I doubt that will happen. Anyway, good to remember it if nothing else.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice blog, shame these guys didn't give up the code.