Litte GP tracker




Sometimes I think I shouldn't look out for these kind of things. You start to find out about stuff, and then what happens? You're gonna want to buy one.

Well, that's what I'm starting to think here. There's an active community of users for this device, and Little GP tracker seems to be in constant development.

It is certainly something I'm going to keep an eye on.

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Devices for mobile music making

I was thinking about this earlier. At present my experience of mobile music making is restricted to a limited number of devices or device types. Let me explain:

Device I own / or have owned:

- Various Palm OS devices
- Various PocketPC / Windows Mobile devices
- MadPlayer (weird device that generate music via algorithm)
- Laptops in general

Devices I am aware of / would like to own:

- Nintendo DS
- GameBoy
- PSP

Of course, what is left is the stuff I don't know about, and of course that I can't comment on.

I did have a little sniff around for any interesting apps running on Symbian, but I could find almost nothing.

I'd be really interested to know of other platforms or devices that are useful for mobile music making.

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DS Lite: Band Brothers

Another interesting music game rather than app. Looks like this is already interactively set up. I'd imagine that this would be good fun to use with children.

Tempting. Again!

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DS Lite: Axe

Another simple music application for the DS, but again, another reason to get one?

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DS Lite: Drum Machine


Yet another reason to have a look at the DS as a viable platform. Ok, only a drum machine at the moment, but some possibilities of getting a softsynth too?

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DS Lite: NitroTracker

This little application seems to get more and more tempting as time goes by. There's also a hint of collaborative tracking via wifi to come in the future.

Of course, I've no idea who I'd collaborate with, but, nevertheless, very cool stuff.

Rebirth on my Libretto

An excellent suggestion was commented on my previous libretto post. I've downloaded the iso image, but having lots of trouble getting the disk image into something that works.

I think I'll have to do some more research to see how to sort this out.

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StyleTap on onetonnemusic

One Tonne Music have a good post today on StyleTap which reminded me that I should mention that their site has been updated recently. It looks much better than before, and has a good deal more content. There's also now more options for downloading as they've added a standalone installation app for Mac and Linux which I found really useful.

Having said that StyleTap is still a beta product, and I wonder what more they will add to it to before it finally goes live?

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Loading up the Libretto


Late last night I started loading up some of the software I've found. The most useful I've found so far are:

- Goldwave: A bit like a very early version of Audacity
- Octomed Studio: Tracker Application
- Cubase Audio Lite
- CreateFX

I think I'd like to keep searching for more apps as the ones I've added so far haven't taken up much space at all. My current plan for the Libretto is to use it as a sort of hub between my handheld devices (Palm T3, Jornada and Zoom PS04). So that I can move files from each of the handheld devices using the Libretto.

The other main use for the libretto will be sound editing and manipulation. That's where goldwave comes in.

I'll need to do lots more testing, but so far I am quite enthusiastic that the Libretto will form a useful part of my mobile studio.

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Milkytracker for PocketPC

I loaded up Milkytracker on my Jornada 568. So far it works like a dream! I also noticed that there's a version for Windows 95, so I may well try that on my little Libretto 70CT.

Mobile Music Technology: Receiver

This is an interesting online magazine and has a good article by Tim Cole. Worth a look.

Mobile Music Technology Workshop 2007

I posted on this before, but I've now been contacted by someone involved in the 2006 workshop. It made my day today. The workshop next year is in Amsterdam I'm told, and I think I'll do my best to attend it. More on this soon.

Palm OS4 Music

Here's a collection of links to posts about Palm OS4 Music.

Harmonic Square

Piezo Power

OS4

Capers

Harmony Central

I've been searching for Windows 95 software for my little Libretto 70CT. I've found that Harmony Central is quite a good resource for finding software. Check the link.

Libretto 70CT


For a few years I've had this little device. It is not much bigger than a video cassette. It has a 1.5 gb hard drive, and 32mb of RAM. It only runs Windows 95, and won't run anything higher, and it has no USB.

So, what should I do with it? This is the question that constantly vexes me. I could sell it on eBay, but I'd be lucky to get more that £40 for it. I could give it away, but no one wants something this limited. I couldn't dump it, that's just wrong.

So, my remaining option is to use it. But how? I don't really want to go through the pain of installing another OS on it. I'd like to find some decent Windows 95 software to run on it and make it useful.

I'd love this to be a part of my constantly evolving mobile studio. But, as of now, I'm not sure how to make that happen.

If you're reading this and have any thoughts on it, please do let me know.

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My Jornada 568

I was going to sell my old HP Jornada 568, but after much soul searching I've decided that I am going to keep it. I've fitted a new battery to it (which was so much easier than the T3 battery), and I plan to load up a big bunch of new software very soon. I plan to add:

- StyleTap (PalmOS environment for PocketPC)
- Bhajis Loops (running inside StyleTap)
- Microbe (running inside StyleTap)
- SSEYO MiniMixa (which I really want to try out again and see if I can get it to work)
- MilkyTracker (see previous post)

It is already running:

- Griff (including all synths etc)
- Syntrax
- PocketJam
- Phoenix Studio

That's the plan. Once done I aim to make it part of my mobile studio again. We'll see how I get on with it.

Bhajis Scales and the .tun format

Whilst I was on holiday I started to play with these scales downloaded from the Bhajis Garden site. What an eye opener. I really enjoyed finding new scales, it completely changes how you think about forming music.

If you are a Bhajis user and you haven't played with these as yet, you really should try it out.

Invent Music

I just happened upon this blog. It looks so interesting. I have to subscribe to the feed. I think that the idea of building musical instruments is fantastic. What a great idea.

... whilst away on holiday ...

I started to think about what a handheld device would look like if it were designed specifically for making music. I ended up being quite taken by this idea and so I started making some drawings and sketches of what it would look like, and how it would function.

Don't get too excited, it isn't that wild, but I hope to be posting some of the pictures and descriptions of function in the next week or so.

Who knows what will happen.

Milkytracker

Wow, a new tracker for PocketPC. Or that is new to me anyway. I've just downloaded it. I'm looking forward to something new on the PocketPC.

Nitrotracker for DS

Well, here's another reason for getting a Nintendo DS. Between this and Elecktroplankton I think I'm going to have to buy one of these things sooner or later.

One Tonne Music

Here's a nice post from One Tonne Music about the Palm Sounds blog. Thanks guys, appreciate it.

SpinPad: Interfaces to make you think



I'm looking forward to spinpad from MiniMusic. I like the idea of a completely different interface for making music. I hope it will make me think differently. I hope SpinPad will have a MIDI export facility when it is released.

A Four-Track for the PalmOS?


I love the idea of a 4-track (or more) on a palm. The idea is brilliant.

So, could SynthPad (or WavePad) from miniMusic be just such a thing? Well, I do hope so. I don't expect it will be around soon, but I live in hope that it does come about.

MiniMusic are fairly good at delivering what they say they will (although perhaps a bit late), and so I take comfort that it won't be just vapourware.

But what will it mean? Will it work in the same way as a traditional multi-track? Who knows. Would you even want it to, as the quality of mics on palm devices can't be the best in the world.

So what will it be good for? The short answer is I don't know, but one thing is almost certain. Whatever it does it will be interesting and useful.

I for one am looking forward to it.

SoundPad thoughts ...



I hoping for a new version of SoundPad soon. Here's what I'd like:

- Square wave
- Sawtooth
- Copy and paste of sounds between banks
- Lock sound
- Lock bank
- Export sound as wav (not hopeful for this one)

If I get one or two I'll be pleased.

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Category: Capers

Here I'll try to keep all the posts about Capers and related projects. So far we have:

Capers and the mobile studio (Palm OS4 project)

Capers Apps

Taking the Capers code further?

Capers applets and demos now available

Capers background information

As more capers stuff gets added I'll try and remember to put it in here as well.

Audacity on Palm OS?

In case you wanted to see the forum where I've posted this question there's a link in the title of this post. I'll wait a few days then maybe try another way of contacting the developers.

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Can Audacity be ported to PalmOS?

I've posted a thread on the Audacity forum just now asking whether the app can be ported to Palm OS on the basis that it is being ported to work on the Trinity Audio Group new product which runs on an Arm processor. As and when I get a response I'll post back.

Music thing: Portable, Linux-powered all-in-one recording box

Music thing: Portable, Linux-powered all-in-one recording box

This is an interesting piece of hardware. Not from the point of view of the hardware itself, but from the perspective of the software that is being ported to run on it.

According to the article in Linuxdevices.com Audacity is being ported to run on an Arm processor for this device.

Now, if the chaps at Audacity can do that for this Arm processor, then why not one in a Palm device?

I think it is worth asking the question and seeing if there's a way that they could use Audacity on a standard Palm.

Why do it? Well, Audacity is a fairly good multitrack recorded with plug in facilities. If you could run that on your palm then the sky's the limit.

I've been after a palm based multitrack for years. I think I'm going to have to contact them and ask the question. I'll post back as and when I get a response.

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NotePad 1.4 Treo keys



I found this in a pile of papers today and realised that I haven't used these keyboard shortcuts at all since I helped with the testing on NotePad 1.4. At the time I thought they'd be really useful and helpful, but now I don't even think about them. Not that I am saying that it is a bad app. Quite the opposite. Nor am I saying they're not useful, they may well be to others.

It is just interesting to me that some part of an app that you think will really work for you becomes forgotten in a very short space of time indeed.

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More Bhajis dreaming

I keep coming back to the thought of a desktop tool that would allow you the ability to write effect plug ins for Bhajis Loops. That kind of a tool would give you the ability to create new plug ins and maybe even amend / adapt other people's plug ins.

I'm sure that this is an idea that'll never get off the ground.

A useful set of resources for making music on older Palm

Click on the title of this post to link to the page to find a useful site (although no longer maintained) for links to older music apps for the palm platform. Mainly these apps would be useful for a pre-OS5 palm.

Here's a little sample of what's on the page:

"Current music programs on the PalmPilot are quite limited in that they generally don't handle chords, they don't allow for time signature or key signature changes, and they export via MIDI. These mean that preliminary entry can be done on the PalmPilot but serious editing must be done on a desktop PC.

I would like to suggest that textual music notations offer a solution. The PalmPilot is quite capable of editing text and, if a suitable textual notation is used, full music entry and typesetting can be done entirely on the PalmPilot.

This page contains a wealth of links, some discussion of the issues and options relating to music entry on the PalmPilot, and some original PalmPilot software."

As you can see it is a bit out of date, but handy if you've got an old palm sitting about and wanted to make some beeps with it.

Enjoy.

Yet more on the iPod idea

The title link above will take you to a new site I've set up on this subject. Let's see what happens.

More on the iPod Studio idea

I've been discussing with the writer of evolving trends the possibility of getting a project like this off the ground. If enough people are interested I'm sure that there a developer or two might get interested.

Anyway, more as this develops.

Madmixer

Madwaves made the madplayer (now discontinued). Now they're making a software version called madmixer.

And, you ask?

Well, the hardware version (madplayer) wasn't that bad at all. In fact it was quite handy to use if you were short of a little musical inspiration. It generated music using algorithms in different styles.

That's what the "madmixer" application will do too. However, they're porting it to Java so it may run on a Treo. If it does I may well try out a copy and see if it is worthwhile.

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Palm Music in Education

Although an old article about the use of Palms in music education, it is still interesting.

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iPod thoughts again

In m previous post about the possibility of an iPod version of Garageband the blog I was posting on referenced a site called Rockbox. I've been having a bit of a look around there. Interesting stuff. I like the idea of replacing the firmware in an iPod and replacing it with something new.

I especially like the fact that they are developing apps to run in their firmware. Very cool. Maybe they will make a mini studio app?

Take a look anyway.

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iPod Music Studio

Not quite there really, but moving in the right direction I think.

I dream of . . .

This is the R&D page from miniMusic. It has been there for a while, but every now and then I visit to see if there's any change. I love these ideas, I think they are fantastic and inspired. It would be wonderful to see them on a palm device. Who knows, one day.

Anyway, visit the site, here's what it says anyway...

Whistle & Hum

What would be the easiest way to keep track of your musical ideas, the quicklest way to jot down a tune that springs into your head? Whistle it! Hum it! and have that translated into a score where you can noodle around with it. Maybe you hummed it out of tune? Well, just select it and transpose on your PDA and start working on the harmony. The 'whislte & hum' technology is based on an optimized, quick and dirty (and small) realization of pitch recognition and quantizing. By next year, as the hardware becomes available, you could be whistling your voice leading homework, or humming the trumpet's solo in the 83rd measure of that overture you're writing for the new Spielberg film.

IMP

IMP stands for Improvistational Music Program, and is quite a little devil. This software uses various neural network simulations to invent music as it goes along. Using parameters that you assign, and seed material, IMP will begin exploring the musical landscape that you've placed it in. This can simply replace your walkman, or can be a tool to create variations and random material for you to use in composition. Set IMP to compose to a file so that you can drop the passages you like into the miniMusic NotePad and begin building your score.


No iPod Music Studio (as yet)

After my last post I thought there might be an anouncement at the WWDC, but sadly nothing at all iPod related. Although someone at work pointed out that the last iPod announcements were around October time.

Perhaps there'll be something then? Who knows. It would be a fantastic idea.

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The iPod as portable music studio

This blog post is about an excellent idea about the future of the iPod. I think it would be brilliant if the next generation of iPod could be used with a cut down version of Garageband. It is an idea that I've had knocking around my head for ages.

Anyway, have a look at this blog, there's lots of good comments on it too.

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PocketBeat



I like the look of PocketBeat. it has a nice feel to it and I like the idea. But I never play live enough for it to be worth buying. I like the idea of a palm based drum machine, but again, I don't need another one as I already have three that'll do the job.

Having said all of that I like the functionality of PocketBeat, I can imagine it in action and it being really useful. I just wish I had a use for it.

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Not palm but an interesting use of gaming



I've been thinking for a while about getting a Nintendo DS or a DS Lite. I have no real passion for games and gaming, but I've been amused and intrigued by the idead of electroplankton.

I like the concepts employed in making music through unusual and non-traditional interfaces, and I think it sounds like an interesting idea for children as well.

Is it worth getting? I'm not sure, It is a lot of cash to shell out on a new piece of hardware and software just to play for a while. I think it would be wonderful if someone wrote something similar for the PalmOS.

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A bhajis loops wishlist


I thought I'd put together a list of the things I'd love to see in Bhajis Loops. Stuff I think would be wonderful if it made it into a new version. I know that there's little or no chance of that as development has mostly finished. Even so, it is worth stating these ideas.

- Audio support : I'd love to have support for maybe one or two audio channels alongside the sampled instruments. I'd even considere upgrading to a LifeDrive to support audio

- Synth plugins : Having the ability to use FM synthesis plugins to create instruments

- Pre-Fade send

- More effect plugins

- A desktop tool (for Mac OSX) for creating effect plugins and synth plugins (ambitious I know, but then it is a wishlist)

When I started writing this I thought I had loads of stuff and ideas, but what do you know, only a few. Anyway if you have other ideas then please comment them in.

Collaborative Music and the PDA

Musical collaboration is an area that always interests me. I like the idea that people can collaborate over the internet by sending files back and forth and sharing ideas. I've done this myself, and it is interesting.

I like the idea of the "Snowball" in Griff where people would add to a track and build it up. The collaboration site for Bhajis Loops has had a bit of interest, but not too much, which is a shame.

Some time ago there was talk of the ability to use bluetooth in Bhajis loops as a way of keeping two devices in sync. I've had this thought in my head for a while, and on some levels it seems like a fun way to collaborate, but I think there are other ways that would be even more interesting.

I have this idea in my head that you could be sitting on the bus one day going to work and as usual you've got your headphones on working on your next bhajis masterpiece. All of a sudden you get an alert that tells you someone is trying to collaborate with you on your tune, and do you want to let them?

You don't know who it is on the bus, but it doesn't matter. For the next thirty minutes you work together then stop and you both have the tune on your palms.

I know it is a bit of a pipe dream, and unrealistic as there is just not the Bhajis user base for something like that to happen, but it is a fun idea nevertheless.

Category: Mobile Studio

This is where you'll find all my posts on the mobile studio idea:

Libretto Using the Libretto in the mobile studio

Computer Music Feature on mobile music making Some initial comment on the feature in Computer Music

Portable Speakers About having speakers you can carry with you

Mobile Studio Current state of my mobile studio, in Sept 2006.

Devices Different devices you can use for mobile music making

QY70, hmm I want one of these too now!



Ok, Tom from music thing makes a good suggestion. The Yamaha QY70. Nice machine.

But both this and the Roland are less powerful than Bhajis Loops. Why would I go for either one? Not sure, but I do fancy having a play.

OSX Sample Packer for Bhajis Loops

This is the coolest utility for Bhajis so far. Now you can edit and compile your own sample packs for Bhajis right in OSX. The sample packer has a fantastic GUI and options to optimise samples.

Another fantastic utility from Olivier.