Libretto Reborn!

Well, finally I've got ReBirth running on my Libretto 70CT. The downside is that it has to run with a CD-ROM, but there's a way around that.

I think the Libretto is now going to be a useful part of my mobile studio now, which I'm glad about as I won't have to sell it!

Letter published in Computer Music

I wrote a letter to Computer Music magazine a few weeks back and they've published it!

The letter is all about handheld music, and specifically Bhajis Loops. Whilst it didn't get letter of the month it is the next one on the letters page entitled "Polyphonic Pockets" and even has a photo of a Zire 72 running Bhajis (taken from the Chocopoolp site I imagine).

The editor says at the end of the letter that they're going to run a feature on handheld music in the future. I plan to contact him about it to offer help / links etc.

If I get any more information about a feature I'll share that too.

iTMS-DJ?



This is an interesting idea, although the actual site doesn't seem to allow a download as yet. Again, a cool idea if it could at some point be ported to iPod?

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Capers: Anyone interested in taking the code further?

The next step with the capers project is to find someone to take on the code and take it further. Any takers out there?

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Akai MPC-500: Why go there?


I've read a few articles about the MPC500. It does sound interesting, and the hacked OS from JJ sounds interesting as well, but I have to ask myself, why would I spend £500 for a unit that only acts as a music device. £500 could buy me a new TX or LifeDrive, or both for that matter.

A friend of mine has pointed out to me that devices that are built specifically for music applications are often faster and sound better. I think that might be true to a point, but somewhere along the line you have to say what's more important? A device that's really good at music and lots of other stuff too, or one that is designed just for music?

I know where my money is.

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Run PC apps on a Palm?


Does this mean that I could run Rebirth on my Palm T3 alongside Bhajis Loops? Who know, we'll have to wait and see what pans out with the beta version if it appears.

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Capers: Code to be released SOON!!!

I've just got an email from the developer of the code for capers. He says he is planning on releasing all the source for hedgehog / eggtimer /capers libs sometime soon.

As soon as I know more I'll post on this again.

StyleTap up to 0.9.160

StyleTap has just been updated. They plan to go to a full version 1 release in October.

- discover Bluetooth serial ports on WM5
- receive OBEX object via Bluetooth on WM5
- new StyleTap APIs: StpSetFastScreenMode, StpSetSipScreenPosition
- implemented DmSyncDatabase and DmSync to flush one or all databases to permanent memory.
- Warning! Frequent calls or use with large databases may impact performance.
- numerous serial IO improvements, including serial link support and port mapping tools
- fix installation problem on non-English devices
- allow StyleTap to run on new Palm Treo and Symbol devices
- fixes and optimizations for
ZipCad
Bike or Die
RPNCalc
Commander's Organizer
Toysoft

Akai MPC500 UK price £549


I think that it is still too much for me though.

What's up next on Palm Sounds?

Currently I'm planning to write about the following on Palm Sounds over the next week / two:

Mobile Studio:
- Current software I have running in my mobile studio and why
- Software I plan to buy and run in the next month
- Software I'd like to test out (e.g. capers applets)
- Software I'm waiting for (e.g. MixPad)

- Current Hardware
- Planned next purchases and why
- Other possible devices for my mobile studio

So, that's coming up soon.

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Music thing: MPC-500: Now official, with unexpected price

Music thing: MPC-500: Now official, with unexpected price

Not sure I'd pay that much for it!

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pdPod


Is this the answer to being able to use the iPod to make music? Looks like it goes a long way indeed...

Meapsoft

Interesting piece of software. Thanks to fluxivity for posting a comment about it. As it runs in a Java virtual machine, I wonder if it could be ported to run in the websphere micro environment that can run on a palm?

Capers: applets and demos - Feedback please

burrito.prc
HEDGEHOG.ZIP
meedy.zip
EGGTIMER.ZIP

If anyone downloads these, can they tell me how they get on with them and on what device they get used on.

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Capers: applets and demos now available.

burrito.prc
HEDGEHOG.ZIP
meedy.zip
EGGTIMER.ZIP

As promised, here are the capers applets and demos I have at present. I think that there might be another file, but I'll have to check that out in the next few days. Enjoy these, and leave feedback if you can.

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Looking for strange PocketPC software

I started thinking about whether there are interesting applications out there for PocketPC in the same way as there are unusual home brew apps out there for Palm lurking around.

I've been searching for about 30 minutes and haven't come up with much except a drumming game which wasn't too interesting. Perhaps there's nothing? Perhaps it is really lost? I don't know.

If you know of anything out there worth a mention for the PocketPC / Windows mobile platform, let me know.

Zune Phone or iPhone?


A Zune phone? The engadget article has more info.

Personally I'd rather the iPhone myself if such a thing ever comes to pass, and I say that with many caveats too. I'd be hard pushed to move away from my Treo 650.

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Capers: Making the applets and demos available.

Thanks to fluxivity for comments. I really glad you like the blog. Please spread the word.

In terms of getting hold of these applets, you can't download them anymore as the site has gone. However, google holds cached versions if you search for stuff like "hedgehog capers". I am going to try and make the files available somewhere, I just need to work out where to host them. I don't think there should be any issues about making them available as they were freely downloadable before. I will make sure I post a location as soon as I've got it sorted.

BTW I have also contacted the original developer about the source for capers but so far have had no response. If I do get a response I will post on it.

Discovering Zune...



An excellent article about Zune. I especially like the idea that it will be in some way "discovering" music. I don't know why but I find that an appealling concept.

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More iPod news

Interesting uses of iPods here. I like the direction that this is going in.

Griffin Technology creator of all things iPod, today debuted three new products at the Apple Expo show in Paris; the iTalk Pro, the iKaraoke and the TuneCenter.

The iTalk Pro plugs into your iPod's dock connector to double up as a recording studio be it for making podcasts or recording music.

The new accessory features two built-in microphones to sample in stereo at 44.1kHz and can accommodate a stereo 1/8" (3.5mm) input jack for your external mic if you want. iTalk Pro will let you record in either 16-bit stereo or 8-bit mono and promises one-touch recording.

iKaraoke is a high-quality compact microphone that plugs into your iPod and at the flick of a switch, existing vocals fade into the background, leaving instruments and backing vocals intact, allowing you to step up and be the star.

iKaraoke also includes features to enhance your performance including three levels of reverb to blend vocals and accompaniment so you sound best. iKaraoke can also send the music, and your vocals, to your FM stereo wirelessly or by direct connection.

Finally the company has announced the TuneCenter, an iPod Media Center that gives the user the ability to convert their iPod into a Home Entertainment Center allowing users to watch videos, listen to your iPod music library or check out photos via your TV screen and speakers - all controllable by a simple remote.

All should be available in the UK shortly.

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Music thing: This is not the MPC-500 (but one is on the way)

Music thing: This is not the MPC-500 (but one is on the way)
Now there's an interesting device...

ChordLab


In my last post I mentioned ChordLab. The more I look at it the more I think that it might be quite useful. Here's what the developer says about it.

The essential tool for song-writers and musicians in general assists with all chord spelling tasks. Features a built-in Circle of Fifths and chord finder for when you know the pitches, but not the chord. Many times chord spelling becomes an essential task, be it to communicate what you are playing to others or simply when writing it down. To complicate matters music theory is often complex and correctly spelling a chord that may have sharps AND flats, double flats or double sharps is not always easy. That is where ChordLab can be of great assistance as a sort of chord calculator.
In addition ChordLab can also show you how to finger given chords on the piano or guitar. It features all the standard voicings commonly used in Jazz, Rock, Pop, and elsewhere. This helps to write fitting music for an instrument one might not be too familiar with.

Another essential tool found in ChordLab is the Circle of Fifths which is implemented interactively and can be used to show parallel minor/major key signatures.

The most important tool for many, however, will probably be the Chord Finder. This tool allows one to just enter a bunch of notes and find out what chord exactly these might represent. Many guitar players often play fingering combinations without being aware of the kind of chord these notes might represent. Notes can be entered just by pitch and without having to have the correct name.

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Mozart 3.0


I got an email telling me that Mozart had been updated. Ages ago I bought this program as part of their bundle, but I have to admit that I hardly ever used it. The new design looks good, but again I wonder if I would use it.

Their other app Chord Lab looks like it would come in handy though. Perhaps I'll do a post on that.

Anyway, here's what they say about the new version of Mozart 3.0,

Mozart 3.0 adds a multitude of new features. The application has been completely redesigned and addresses many requests. Most importantly the application now uses a new kind of sound library that offers very realistic sounding instruments. The use of these libraries will over time also become a part of Almond and ChordLab. A new addition is the use of key signatures and ranges. Sessions can now be replayed and instrument interfaces have been redesigned and are more spacious than
before. A bass instrument has been added and the instruments bass, piano and guitar can hilite notes and locations of the key being used. Music Bundle and Music Bundle Pro have been updated as well to include this new version of Mozart.

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New iPods but . . .

I was interested to know about the new iPods. Now they have games, which means that there is going to be application software, which means the possibility of other kinds of apps for the iPod.

However, the bad news is now Mac Nano as yet. Never mind.

New miniMixa forum

Tao has opened a new forum for miniMixa. Click the title of the post.

Found: Capers Demos and Applet betas

I thought I had these somewhere, but couldn't be sure. Now I have them. This is what I've found:

- Hedgehog
- Egg timer
- Meedy
- Burrito
- Tractor

My recollection is that they don't work on an OS5 palm. However, my plan is to try and run them on StyleTap and see how that works out.

Rebirth on my Libretto

Well, I've found a friend who is going to burn me a CD with Rebirth. Once I've got it I'll give it a go on the Libretto and then decide if it is worth taking forward, or I might have to sell it.

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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.

streaming online WEBCASTs: Cybersonica Festival

streaming online WEBCASTs: Cybersonica Festival
I wish I had been at CyberSonic this year. I will make an effort to be there in 2007.

Good info on what went on.

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Bluetooth MIDI control

As one does I was thinking about this little application and how cool it is. I was wondering if you could use more than one palm at a time to control the MIDI server? I must try it out soon, it sounds like a fun thing to do.

Music thing: �5,000 grants for one-off electronic music live shows

Music thing: �5,000 grants for one-off electronic music live shows
I picked this up at Music thing, and it made me think, wouldn't it be great to have a Palm based live event? I've no idea how you'd do it or where or who would be in it, in fact I just think it is a lovely idea.

Palm and MIDI?


Could these cables be used to connect a palm to a MIDI device? I found these on a post at Create Digital Music I know that the T series aren't supposed to work with MIDI, but could they? I'd love to know.

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Libretto 70CT in danger

Well, after thinking that my old Libretto could maybe be a nice addition to my mobile studio it starts to look less and less likely. I am still have trouble with getting Rebirth downloaded (but I have a plan), Renoise is not going to work at all, and without those two I will start to wonder why I am keeping the device.

I think I'll keep trying for a little while, but if I can't get any decent software to work on it, it will have to go.

Mobile Studio : Current state


Here's a shot of my current mobile studio. A Palm T3 and the Zoom PS04. That's it. Nothing more, not yet that is. The idea being that over the next few weeks / months I will be adding other devices, but only within the bounds of being able to take everything with me in my gear bag.

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Symbian Tracker ! ! !

Well, as I was hunting around for trackers that run on Windows 95 I found this tracker for the Symbian platform. Cool. I had no idea there was software for music making for that platform.

Renoise on the Libretto

I downloaded the latest version but it doesn't work on Windows 95, so I've contacted the developer for a version that does work on Windows 95.

Unused elements in Bhajis Loops




One of the issues I always have with any piece of software is that there are always loads of functions and capabilities that I never use or even think I will ever need to use.

Well, with Bhajis Loops there are bits and pieces that I often think I will never use. But as time goes on I find myself experimenting more and more.

Having said all of that, I can't imagine myself ever using the "live" mode in Bhajis Loops. Why? Well, largely because I never play live, and without that outlet I can't imagine how you'd want to use that kind of functionality. Having said that whenever I start to play with software I often find that you can do things that you weren't perhaps meant to by using a function for a purpose other than the one it was intended for.

I think I have to spend some more time playing with Bhajis Loops rather than being serious. I don't have as much fun being serious, so I'm going to do more just playing. Let's see where it gets me?

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Sonify

This is a good site for general industry news on mobile music and I guess if you're a developer too.

Another interesting blog

I stumbled over this blog. Worth looking at, but for certain it is quite detailed and high tech. Still I like to dip into these things every now and then.

Are there Bhajis Loopers in London?

I wonder? Could there be a bunch of Bhajis Loopers in London?

Audacity on Palm OS - Not going to happen

Well, at least I got an answer. Doesn't look like it will happen on the Palm OS. There are reasons why it can work on Linux. This is what I got back from the Audacity team.

"The processor isn't important, what matters is having the right
libraries available to run audacity. This is easy for the Trinity device
because it runs Linux, and we can use wxGTK to build audacity, which
depends on the wxwidgets application toolkit:
http://www.wxwidgets.org/

This isn't available for PalmOS currently, so this would need to become
available for running audacity on PalmOS to be viable. You would also
need a machine with enough disc space to do anything useful - 500MB of
free hard drive space is a bare minimum, and significant CPU power do do
processing of audio."

Thanks for responding. I appreciate it if a little disappointed. Never mind.

iPod Music Studio - Sort of but not quite...

You have to click through to this article about an idea for the next generation of Mac. The Mac Nano. Fantastic. Almost sounds like it should happen as a logical next step.

Softick Audio Gateway

Although I like being without wires I still can't find a real need for this software with my current set up, not to mention the power drain from using bluetooth and something CPU hungry like Bhajis Loops.

Still, it is a good app and I always like to see wireless technologies used on the PalmOS.

PSP Rhythm 6.0

Homebrew music making for the PSP seems to be in good hands. I found out about this update in the current issue of Computer Music (104). If I had a PSP I'd download it for sure.

Letter in Computer Music

I wrote a brief letter to computer music abou mobile music and the communities that exist. They tell me they're going to print it in the next issue.

I like computer music. I don't often buy magazines but out of all that I do take a look at, computer music is the one I buy more often than not. It often has useful features and articles and has a good online presence too.

Mobile Studio

One idea that has been knocking around in the back of my mind for ages is about having a "studio" if you like that is completely mobile. The first thing I need to do of course is define what I mean by this. Of course, there are many devices that claim to be a "mobile studio", but you would need more than a single device I think.

At the core of the idea would be:

- The ability to create music on the go with minimal restriction
- The ability to record live sounds / vocals
- The ability to mix synthesised sounds and live sounds
- At least basic multitrack facilities

There probably needs to be more, and I'll add to this as I think about it more.

iPod Music Studio - Still moving forward

After a bit of a break I've just updated this site and given some more thought to where it should be going. Please visit and add comments.

Audacity on Palm OS - Not giving up...

Well, I am still chasing up this idea with the team at Audacity. I figure that if they can make it work on an ARM processor in Linux, then why not on my T3?

I think it is worth following up.

If anything happens I'll keep you posted.

Projects: Update

Here's a quick update on the projects I am pushing forward for Palm Sounds:

- Audacity on the Palm OS
- iPod Music Studio
- Designs for a new handheld music device

I really must get on with these.

Rhythms of the World drum patterns

Well, in my search for drum patterns I've ordered a couple of books that I thought might help. I don't know if they're going to be use, but it is a start.

Here's the first one:



and the second:

Tonal Scales and Rhythms of the World

I posted on tonal scales before as I find it a fascinating subject, but not one that I am familiar with at all. At some point I will do some reading on the subject.

On a similar, but different note I was reading a really interesting article in Songlines magazine about rhythms of the world. In fact it was called "50 Rhythms of the world". Apart from being quite interesting in itself it coincided with looking at these different tonal scales.

It set me thinking about setting up a bunch of patterns in the Bhajis Loops pattern library for all of these different rhythms. Of course it will take some time to get all of this done, but I think it will be worth it.

My main issue is where to find out more information on these patterns?