2007

2006 was a good year all in all, here's to next year, and best wishes for 2007.

Electroplankton



Yesterday I played with Electoplankton for the first time. Absolutely awesom. I really loved it. It is as much a toy as a new way of relaxing. I have to enjoyed it.

I haven't as yet played with all of it, but I'm sure I will.

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miJam Mixer




I have to admit that I know very little about being a DJ, but devices like these intrigue me. I'd actually like to see something like this software wise for a palm or pocket PC. I doubt there will be though.

Anyway, it is an interesting idea.

Here's what amazon says about it....

- The mi Jam Mixer will have you mixing like a DJ in no time and is so portable you can take it anywhere.
- The Mixer functions with any digital music device, such as iPod and MP3 player.
- Each mi Jam Mixer features two scratch discs which work in both directions with a variety of effects.
- Also included in the Mixer are two programmed rhythm selection buttons, digital voice, techno effects, tempo and volume controls.
- Just like all other mi Jam products the Mixer works either as a standalone Mixer or can accompany your favorite music, so plug it into your music device and jam away
- You can even add the mi Jam Stage Mic to add vocals for the complete DJ experience.



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EarMan from RoGame










RoGame have brought a number of music related products to the Palm Platform, all of which are tools or utilities for musicians rather than being music creating applications. However, they add to the pool of software, and that's a good thing.

This latest offering is another learning tool designed to help you to to learn intervals. I am all for music education software, and I shall give this a go, although it does remind me a bit of EarTrain from minimusic, although that application is a bit more aimed at children.

Anyway, good to see someone still developing music applications for the palm platform.

This is what the blub says on PalmGear....

One of the most important skills for musicians of any kind is the ability to correctly identify intervals by ear. Ear training is therefore a substantial building block of any kind of music education. Typically practicing this skill happens during class or with a private tutor and takes some time. EarMan is a tool that can enhance proficiency in ear training and can aid greatly in the process of advancing in this difficult subject.
The program offers a way for “spot learning” where specific interval sets can be practiced in specific ranges. This can be used to focus on weaknesses. Every session is graded in once completed. In addition EarMan offers a complete curriculum that trains the user step by step from correctly identifying simple intervals in limited groups to the full range including compound intervals.

EarMan uses RoGame’s sound library and includes a Grand Piano library for playback on devices with Palm OS 5.0 and higher. Intervals a shown in grand staff notation to aid the learning process. Interval sets include complementary intervals. The interface for the application has been designed to be free from distractions so that one can fully concentrate on the sound.

Trinity










I posted on this device ages ago, but went back to have a look again. There's a sizeable number of apps now running on it. It made me wonder if when ALP is released for Palm devices, if these kind of apps will be able to run on it? ALP is of course LINUX based, so it makes sense to me, but then what do I know.

Anyway, at $1000 each, I don't think I'll be buying on.

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Emulation and Music Software

I noticed someone the other day selling a Palm Zire 72 on eBay. It was unusual as it was billed as an auction for musicians only, and that attracted my attention. The seller had various music applications loaded up on this Palm, namely, SoundPad, Bhajis Loops etc. However, in addition to this GBulator was running and supporting Nanoloop and apps by 8 Cylinder.

Now ages ago I had toyed with the idea of emulating an Atari ST to run old music software, but I gave up as I found it just too difficult to get running. Obviously this particular ebay seller has managed to get these GBA apps running ok, which makes me think I should try again.

The ST emulator is CaSTaway, and perhaps it is time to get some of those old Atari music apps running again on my T3?

MP3 Encoder for Palm


















Well, just when you think you won't be seeing anything new this year, something completely new and unexpected comes along. Who would have thought there would be an MP3 encoder for the Palm platform. Priced at only $12 you can't really go wrong.

Mp3Enc is from newborngames, who make WaveEditPro (and the enterprise version) which in my opinion is probably the best audio editor software for the Palm platform.

Here's what the site says about it...

Mp3Enc is the first ever Mp3 encoder for the Palm platform!

Now you can record sound, compress into Mp3 on your SD card, and plug the same SD card into your external player!

Writes Mp3's in a variety of bitrates from 64 to 320

Supports batch jobs: Select many files at once and leave the encoder running!

ARM code enhanced for the best possible speed

Mobile Music in 2007...

After my post yesterday about 2006 I thought I'd write something about 2007 and what I'm hoping for.

Palm Applications: MiniMusic

One the things I'm most looking forward to in 2007 is new applications from minimusic. If you look at their development calendar you'll see what they've got planned for next year, and it looks really appealing.

1st off there's MixPad an application for mixing MIDI files. MixPad is the next application that they plan to release, and, like the others so far it will use the Krikit sound engine. Once MixPad arrives you'll be able to create sounds in SoundPad use them in NotePad or BeatPad and then export them to MIDI to mix them in MixPad. The suite of apps will really take on a new dimension I think with the addition of MixPad.

Next I hope that there will be a new version of NotePad. In version 1.5 I'm hoping for the ability to export a song file as a .wav file onto memory card. Things will become very interesting if that comes about. In theory you'll be able to create a .wav file in NotePad export it, and import it into Bhajis Loops. That would in effect give you the ability to have sounds created in SoundPad used in Bhajis Loops. Now that would be interesting. Or indeed, if you made percussion sounds in SoundPad you could use them (as .wavs) in Microbe and then export from Microbe to Bhajis Loops. I do like the thought of being about to move sounds and files around between all these apps, and I think that is really on the horizon now.










After NotePad I'm waiting for SpinPad. I have played with the demo of SpinPad for ages, since the day it was actually released in fact, and I find it so interesting. It is a completely unique interface for making music. I don't know where they got the idea from, but it is great. Again, if this uses the Krikit sound engine and has the ability to export to MIDI so you can then pick up your work in MixPad, that is going to be amazing. MiniMusic will have done an amazing job.

Of course it doesn't end there... I'd also like to see updates to SoundPad to include other wave forms, and features like locking banks of sounds. I'd like to see updates to AxisPad to allow recording of performances.










Finally, I'm holding my breath for WavePad the Palm OS multi-track digital audio editor. I don't know how it will work, but the idea is a really exciting one.

Palm Applications: ChocoPoolp

I would love to see some new developments of Bhajis Loops or Microbe, but I doubt that this will happen in 2007 which is a shame although understandable. There was some discussion of a mini synth application on the Bhajis Garden forum, but nothing has happened as yet.

Pocket PC Applications: SSEYO

I hope that SSEYO will continue to develop their miniMIXA application, and possibly even port it to the Palm platform? Again, apps like Griff and Syntrax don't seem to be being actively updated, so miniMixa is sort of the only thing left. It would be nice to see more developers joining in.

Hardware:

It is difficult to say what will happen hardware-wise in 2007? Will Apple bring in a smartphone or newton update? Will it have a micro version of Garageband that you can use?

Mixing / DJ'ing

There seem to be more applications on mobile phones that allow you to do things like remix tracks and make ringtones from mp3 files and the like, maybe we'll see more of this kind of application come to the surface? Who knows, it could be interesting.

Other stuff:

In 2007 I'd like to get along to the Mobile Music Workshop. The one in 2006 was in Brighton and I'd wished I'd gone along.

... so, lots to look forward to, lots to comment on, lots to enjoy making music with. Here's to 2007.

Thoughts on Mobile Music Making in 2006

I thought I'd jot down some thoughts about the state of mobile music making, and also about the blog and where I see things going. As the year comes to a close I think it is worthwhile looking at what good stuff came about and what is coming up.

2006: A Good year for mobile music making?

Well, in some ways yes and in some ways no. Bhajis Loops is no longer being developed, and that is sad, but understandable. But this year we've seen a new version of NotePad from MiniMusic which has been an excellent move forward for notation on the palm.








We've also had a new version of BeatPad which again has extended the use of the the little palm sequencer.






These two applications have tied into the miniMusic SoundPad application for sound design. The three of them together form the basis of the minimusic pro-suite, and I think that it really does feel like a suite of apps now.








Add to this the latest application from miniMusic, AxisPad only delivered in November this year, and you have a really rounded suite of music applications.



Of course, minmusic aren't going to stop their, if you look at their development calendar you'll see what they've got planned for next year, and it looks really appealing.

But it is a such a shame that there are so few developers of palm music software. Perhaps we'll see a few more in 2007?

2006 was a good year for PocketPC music. We saw miniMIXA open up in a big way. We saw PocketPC's become able to use Palm software, and in particular Bhajis Loops by the use of the new StyleTap Palm emulator.

So, on the whole not bad. And maybe more things to come in 2007, who knows? I think that should be for another post.