Palm OS4 Music: Harmonic Square



I can remember this from a long time ago, playing about with it on my palm IIIx. It was quite fun as I recall. Sadly the link to download this is broken, but I am sure I have it on a disc somewhere. I'll have to dig it out to add it to my OS4 collection.

Anyway, here's the blurb:

The Harmonic Square is a revolutionary new musical instrument conceived by theoretical physicist and inventor Nick Charlton. It has a set of 25 keys arranged in a square, each one playing a harmonic of a particular base note. This arrangement enables the player to produce a far richer selection of harmonics of a given note than an ordinary keyboard.

The Harmonic Square is more like a 2-dimensional keyboard. Keys are one of two colours. The dark keys correspond to notes that already exist on a keyboard. The light keys correspond to new harmonics that cannot be produced on an ordinary instrument.

Palm OS4 Music: Piezo Power


I remember this app from when I started playing around with palm pilots and music software. It was a lot of fun, especially if you synchronised with another PDA and made a piezo duet.

I couldn't get it to work under OS5, but with my older clie it works fine.

I plan to post on all the older OS4 software eventually, one app at a time, and, if possible with screen shots too.

I think it is worth keeping these older apps as they were the forerunners of the new music applications we're seeing today.

Z4 Music: Mini Review


Whilst this is a good little app for mucking about with sequencing, the issue I have with it is just that. It is a good app for mucking about with. I can see it being fun if you are not big into music, or just want to play around. However, if you are more serious about handheld music making this won't get you far.

BoomChic mini review


I've played with BoomChic for a bit now, and it is fun although really a very limited music application. Of course, being freeware means that you can't complain really.

It is fun though to play with and if that's what you're after then that's fine.

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Sound Synthesis Revisited: Porting the Drum Machine to the .NET Compact Framework

Now, I don't pretend to understand this, but here's a useful article about how to code your own drum machine application for a PocketPC. I guess it is only useful if you can do that sort of thing, but maybe YOU can.

Anyway, I think more people should write handheld music applications, that would be a good thing.

AxisPad 1.0

MORE ABOUT AXISPAD: Here's the Press Release . . .



AxisPad uses the full touch sensitive screen to control sounds, changing their pitch, volume or other characteristics. A built-in software synthesizer creates a wide range of instrument sounds, or some handheld computers can also be connected to MIDI hardware (like keyboards, samplers, or tone modules) which AxisPad can also control, altering the sound of that instrument while you play.



The new user interface makes it very easy to change the range of pitches or volumes being controlled. It is also simple to edit the guide-lines on the screen helping you mark pitches you want to return to, or mark volume levels to help you shape the dynamics of your performance over time. AxisPad also gives you full control over the colors of each instrument so you can make each visually distinct.



"We've been wanting to make this product for a while," says Chad Mealey, chief developer at miniMusic. "We've been adding our Krikit Audio Engine to other applications for the past year or so, but AxisPad is our first product to allow 'pitch bends' where you can slowly slide between two notes in a scale. The advantage of using the same sound engine is that you can design your own sounds with our SoundPad application, and then perform with them in AxisPad!"

AxisPad is a re-imagination of an older shareware application named Theremini, written by Pete Moss. Named after the Theremin, a musical instrument heard in such films as The Day The Earth Stood Still, Ed Wood, Mars Attacks! and Forbidden Planet, Theremini has not been updated in several years and so is not compatible with many modern handheld features.

Pricing, Availability, and Distribution
AxisPad is available now for $19.95 from the miniMusic website. For a limited time AxisPad will be included free with orders of the miniMusic Handheld Music Suite or the Pro Music Suite, each available for $69.95 on-line and from select retail outlets. A free demo of AxisPad is currently available for download from the miniMusic web-site at www.miniMusic.com.

About miniMusic
Based in San Francisco since 1999, miniMusic creates handheld computer software for music composition, education, performance, and entertainment so that musical ideas can be explored anywhere and anytime, giving individuals the freedom of musical expression on their own terms. Shipping applications include NotePad, BeatPad, SoundPad, EarTrain and BugBand. Upcoming products will tackle MIDI sequencing, multi-track editing and innovative new musical interfaces.

I really like this application. Maybe you can guess that.



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AxisPad 1.0 from MiniMusic


Wonderful!

A new application from MiniMusic. I haven't had time to play with this as yet, but I've bought it, and at only $19.95 I'd hav to say that I think that it is excellent value.

I shall post again when I've had a good play with it.

Palm Sound and Vision



This is a piece of video that I took on my Treo 650. The music was made with a Tungsten T3 using Bhajis Loops. The two were brought together using iMovie on my Mac, but all the source material was handheld only.

Although not likely to be a first, I thought it was an interesting experiment.

Mobile Studio: Palm OS4

Some time ago I posted quite a bit about the older Capers applets and demos. This made me think about lots of old apps I used to use which won't run under Palm OS5. Sad really. I decided to get myself an old Clie series device.

Why clie? Simple, the older clies (some of them anyway) have a built in MIDI chip and hence don't need a module like the Swivel Systems SG20. If you're interested there's a good list of which ones have the chip at the MiniMusic site under the hardware section.

Anyway, I've got one now. A clie T425. Very nice it is too. It took a bit of getting used to a monochrome screen again, but even so I am impressed. The sound is fine, and even with only 8mb (7mb available) on board it is still quite useable. The device itself is very slim indeed. The only drawback is it doesn't have a headphone jack, so anything I use it for I will need to record with a mic.

After this initial disappointment I decided that this was a good thing as I could actually record one palm with another, which would be quite interesting.

So what am I using it for then? Well, here's a list of what music app I've put on it so far:

AxisPad (current minimusic preview)
BeatPlay
Burrito
Egg-Demo
Hedgehog
Luna
Meedy
Piezo Power
SpinPad
Theremini
ThumbMusic
Tractor
Beat Key
Botzam MIDI Player
ittyMIDI Player
Almond
Bugband
DaCapo
EarTrain
FretBoard
GTrainer
GuiPar
McChords
Mozart
PocketBeat
Transpose
Tuneit
BeatPad
composer
ittyMIDI Drummer
Handi Drum
MelodyPad
MusicInHand
MusicStudio
MusicTracker
NotePad
Pocket Piano
pQuencer
RhythmPro

Quite a list, and I'm still going back over old CD-ROMs where I kept apps to see if there's anything else. You never know, I might find one or two bits more.

Once I've had more time to play with some of these I'll post proper reviews on some of them.

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

AxisPad Preview from MiniMusic


I've been meaning to post on the latest addition to the minimusic range, but I wanted to be able to add a few extras to this post before I wrote about it.

I've enjoyed playing with the preview application. The interface is fantastic, but then nothing less than you'd expect from minimusic. It is a real fun app to work with and the full version is due out this month!

Here's what the minimusic site says about it:

AxisPad is a music instrument on your handheld computer. You can use the full touch sensitive screen to create sound gestures. Each axis (up/down, left/right) can be assigned to change different parameters of the sound. The preview lets you control pitch and volume to create sounds similar to a Theremin. Push the up control on your phone or handheld to change the settings, down to hide the settings, or use the left/right controls to change instruments.

The full AxisPad will offer additional controls, customizable guide-lines, support for MIDI output and sound cards on some handhelds, and support for older handhelds that cannot run our software synthesizer. AxisPad is our update of the Theremini/Theremidi application by Pete Moss.

The November 8th Preview 2 greatly improves performance on most handhelds, eliminating the "click" sound while changing the volume of a sound. It also adds support for basic sound on older handhelds (Palm OS 3 or 4, which cannot run our Krikit Audio Engine). We've also remapped the screen to adjust volume based on the we we perceive loudness rather than the linear amplitude changes in Preview 1.

The free preview only saves one patch. The full application will include several additional features and support a wider variety of hardware.

The current preview requires a handheld running Palm OS 3.0 or greater. Some features require the Palm OS 5 Streaming Sound Libraries. Usually, any OS 5 handheld with a headphone jack qualifies (with the exception of a few Sony Clie models).

AxisPad produces sounds reminiscent of a Theremin as heard in such films as The Day The Earth Stood Still, The Thing (From Another World), Ed Wood, Mars Attacks!, and Forbidden Planet. But AxisPad can do so much more. The full application will let you save multiple configurations, set custom colored guides, and on some handheld models AxisPad will send control changes to MIDI hardware like samplers, synthesizers and tone modules.

The free AxisPad preview can also be found at the miniMusic website and the full version will be available in November for $19.95.

I wanted to be able to show what AxisPad was like, so I enlisted the help of my children to make a little video about it. Here's our AxisPad duet.



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Another Pocket PC Drum Machine


I found another PocketPC Drum Machine. This one has a bit of a twist. Here's the product's details:

Drum Kit Ace is a brilliant music & memory game and also an easy to program drum machine!

In the two game modes Memory Master and Rhythm Master use your touch screen stylus to hit the drums and follow the computers lead. Practice drumming in Freestyle mode, complete with metronome to help improve your timing.

The Drum Machine enables you to create up to 99 drum tracks. The interface is simple and intuitive. If you play an instrument (e.g. guitar, bass, keyboard) then why not create a drum track to play along to...for fun, for practice, for real.

Features:
Stylish Photo Realistic VGA Graphics
Excellent Animation
Portrait and Landscape View supported on ALL devices
Multi-Language Support (English, French, German, Italian, Spanish)
Memory Master
Rhythm Master
Freestyle
Drum Machine

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BugBand 1.2 Released


I've posted on the previous version of BugBand which I thought was already good, this new version takes it much further. I love how innovative this app is in helping to teach notation using many different instruments now.

Adding the Krikit audio engine is also a big step forward. Krikit provides rich sound synthesis and is a big improvement for BugBand. It will be nice to see this in EarTrain as well when it comes along.

Here's what the miniMusic site has to say about BugBand:

BugBand helps you practice sight reading, letter names of notes, piano, guitar, violin and brass instruments. With a practice level for the complete beginner and ten levels of difficulty, BugBand can help anyone improve their sight reading skills. Great for teaching kids the basics of music, helping students get through music classes at school, or anyone learn to play an instrument. Lots of bugs! Lots of fun!

The new 1.2 version adds: Two new instruments (Violin and Trombone), software synthesis for rich audio and a new "boring mode" so you can play with normal note heads as you would see in real printed music instead of the colorful bugs. Our Krikit Audio Engine (or Krikit Synth) can create rich sound on most modern handheld computers (like the Zire 31, 71, 72, Tungsten T, T2, T3, T5, TX, C, E, E2, Treo 600, 650, 700p, Lifedrive, Tapwave Zodiac, Sony Clie UX40, UX50 or TJ35, and others). Oh, and there is a new golden butterfly!

Z4 Music


Another drum machine / sequencer for PocketPC. I have been aware of this one for a while, but haven't tried it as yet.

BoomChick


I found this by chance, it is a little drum machine for PocketPC. I haven't tried it out as yet, but it looks fun.

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