ranDRUM video



Here's a little video showing my Sound Toy app ranDRUM. Try it out if you haven't already. It is available at PalmGear.

MMPlayer for Palm OS updated


PalmInfocenter has news that the player app MMPlayer has been updated.

Features include:

- Plays DivX, AVI, Matroska, 3GP, mpeg-1 and mpeg-2 video plus Ogg, mp3, Shoutcast, Podcast and MIDI audio.
- Many zoom modes and rotation can be used to stretch the video to available screen size. For example, use 3/2x zoom plus rotation to view a 320x240 video on a T3 in fullscreen landscape mode.
- Hi-fi audio is supported on all supported Palms, including Clies (NX, NZ, TG).
- EMail attachments. HTTP streaming.

iPhone MIDI control


Another CDM find, this time MIDI control using the iPhone.

iPhone VJ !


CDM have this on an iPhone VJ native app using an open protocol for mobile devices called Mrmr. Looks interesting.

Still no TuneStudio

Will it be a 2007 product at all? Belkin did include it in their Christmas products PDF but the page for it still says "coming soon". So whatever happened to a summer release?



Or could it be that Belkin are not only upgrading it for the iPod classic but also for the iPod Touch and working on software that will make it even more useful? Just speculation at this stage of course.

Korg Pandora PXR4


Another great looking device from Korg. No longer in production but still available on eBay every now and then. I never owned one but my guess is that it wouldn't be disimilar from the Zoom pocket multi-tracks. All of these use smartmedia for recording.

Circuit bending photos available

Worth taking a look at GetLoFi.

Mobile Application development

Thanks to Mark for this comment on application development:

"The obvious first choice -- SuperCollider

Though, recently, I've had a lot of fun playing with the various music libraries for Processing."


I should really have qualified my earlier post by saying that what I'm really after is a language for making palm or windows mobile applications, and ideally on board development at that.

At the moment using iziBasic and vizibasic is great, but there are limitations. I can't write anything that will really manipulate sounds, and that's what I'd like to do.

I'm not sure if mobile processing is what I need, but maybe I should look into it again.

ElectroMungo: Circuit Bent VL-1 Video

Thanks to ElectroMungo for this comment and video link.

"I also bent one some month ago, mine will not be for sale on ebay, it's a unique piece. Video example on:

Mungolator Video

ElectroMungo"

Revisit: Microbe


I can remember first using Microbe and being totally amazed that you could get a PDA to make music like that. It was really like having a Roland TR606 and a couple of TB303’s in your hand all at once and without having to use lots of cables to get them all working.



I've been playing with it quite a bit over the last few weeks and I've found it really useful as a very quick musical notepad. One thing that makes it really easy to get going with is that there is almost no time taken to load a song or start one as all the drum sounds are already there, and the synths can be tweaked right away. I think that kind of immediate ability to make music makes it an excellent app for when you have only a few minutes and don't want to select instruments or samples.


Add to that the fact that you can go further and add in effects and an export to Bhajis Loops make it a really versatile application.

D-Pod 1.2 is available for download

D-Pod version 1.2 is now available for download from Palmgear if you are interested in it.

It has a few new features in it to make it more fun and easier to use. It will remember what you were doing from the last time you used it now, so it isn't as annoying as before. Also it has 4 patterns A-D that you can use and loop together if you wish.


Please remember it is only a toy app and not really serious at all. The timing isn't great, and one day I might do something about it, but not now.


Also, here's a little video showing what it does now. I hope you enjoy it.

What is the best programming language for music?

For w while now I've been using iziBasic and viziBasic for making the Sound Toys series of applications. They are fun, and the language is easy to work with, but really I want to go further and do more around actual sound processing. So, what's the best langauge / set of tools for the job?

Weird: McHandheld?


McDonald's handheld music making toys. Strange or what? You decide...

QY10 Demo Song



Just a quick little video of the QY10's demo song. I tried connecting it into my SG20 module today but with no results whatsoever!

Palm Sounds not taking part in the Circuit bending challenge

Sadly, having visited 11 shops in search of a suitable device for circuit bending today, I have drawn a blank! So, sadly won't be taking part in the challenge.

Fairly annoyed about that.

Whatever happened to ....

I was wondering about some projects that people have been in touch about over this year, and how they were progressing (or not) as the case may be. The first one I thought of was the synth being powered by Egg / Hedgehog. So I visted the soldering ironcam, and saw ....


Nice to know it is still on the move, you know how long these things take.

pD POD
I was also wondering about theologiae who was working on pD Pod. I haven't heard how that's going for a while now.

TrakAx
Is still due to come out. I'm hoping to see it next week, but you know how these things go.

PaceMaker DJ
I visited their site recently, and they are still in testing. They're going to bring out an app for PC and Mac as well, but I think it would be great for a handheld too.

DScratch and Protein
This seems to be moving along well. I hope that the other modules see the light of day too and not just the DScratch module.

TuneStudio
Well it is now coming up to a year since this was originally announced and I am beginning to think it is vapourware. I am sure that Belkin are working to get it to work with iPod Classic or something, but the release has not hit summer for sure.

iPhone Audio
Brian Whitman was working on audio on the iPhone before the 3rd party SDK was announced. I wonder if he will develop anything for it once the SDK arrives?

Bhajis Garden Synth Project
This never came to anything sadly as the code was never released.

Saguaro
The site still says "Coming in 2007", but there isn't much of it left now. I know it won't bring a lot to mobile music, but it would make the UI on a palm look much better.

Screens Environment
Who knows, silent for a while again.

If you know of updates, or other projects that I should follow, please let me know.

Fantastic 8 bit bundle on eBay


This is a real must see for anyone wanting to get a head start in 8-bit music making and multimedia.

Circuit bent Yamaha QY10

Thanks to Concretedog for this comment:

"But have you seen the AMAZING circuit ent qy10 on burnkit2600?"

There's some interesting stuff on the QY10 on burnkit. Really worth a look in, and an interesting site all in all.

Mbox 2 Micro


I guess that this story is sort of mobile music related. I really like the idea of this little device. The smallest addition to the Mbox line up, it allows users to edit, sequence, and mix sessions created on Pro Tools|HD®, Pro Tools LE®, and Pro Tools M-Powered™ systems on the go, as well as compose music with virtual instruments and loops.


The Micro is about the size of a USB drive (although not the tape variety from yesterday), Mbox 2 Micro offers high-quality 24-bit / 48 kHz sound, a 1/8-inch stereo output for headphone or speaker monitoring (no audio inputs*), and a convenient volume wheel, providing the freedom of true editing, sequencing, and mixing mobility. Mbox 2 Micro lets you work wherever inspiration takes you.


It is an interesting idea I think, and tempting. It'd be great if it would work plugged into a handheld device.

I guess it begs the question of what you could do to create a hardware device that would give a handheld some real digital music power?

Apple releases Leopard

Apple unveils OSX 10.5 today. What will this mean for mobile music? Well, not too much I suspect. However, the forthcoming iPhone / iPod Touch SDK may be a Leopard only SDK, and of course 10.5 may pave the way for something like an Apple UMPC, a Mac Nano? Who knows.

Location poll

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the location poll, that's really useful information.

Yamaha QY10


I bought myself a Yamaha QY10 off eBay for less than £30 and was quite pleased with that. Once I'd got it I switched it on to see what it sounded like, and I am quite impressed with the quality of the sound for a device that hasn't been made since the 1990's

There's some interesting stuff on wikipedia about the QY10:
"Released by Yamaha in 1990, the QY10 was the first device offering the facilities of a music workstation in a portable package. In response to its design, the music technology press coined the term "walkstation", a pun on the words "walkman" and "workstation". The QY10 sold well, indicating that there was a market for these devices, so Yamaha followed it up in 1992 with the more powerful QY20 and QY22. Subsequently, both Yamaha (most Yamaha QY sequencers) and Roland (the Roland PMA-5) have produced walkstations, although neither officially use the term for their products."

I'm planning to connect it to my SG20 and use it with my TRGPro using miniMusic software. I'll let you know how it goes.

McDonalds getting in on handheld music !!!!


That's a strange looking toy I thought. Then I heard it being used to play a little tune (twinkle twinkle little star) and I was completely bemused....


There's nothing new in musical toys, but these are strangely like the miJam stuff that I think I posted on ages ago.


What a strange idea!!!

OT but fun! A new kind of mix tape


Future Music has this story of a new use for cassette tape bodies. Long gone are the days when I had any reason to carry a cassette tape with me, but that could all be changing with Make a mixa. It is a great idea for making a USB stick a lot more fun and interesting!

Circuit bending challenge this weekend


The circuit bending challenge is this weekend, the 28th of October.

I'm hoping to take part myself, but ideally I won't some sort of micro-toy / handheld toy to work with, so I am going scouting in a few days. I also hope to cover any really interesting or more handheld bends too.

Will you give it a go? Sounds like an ideal opportunity to me. Read more at CDM.

Another DS music game


This time a game about helping you to learn music. More at DS Fan Boy.

MeTeoR updated to v 1.07: Details


The latest update to MeTeoR the multi-track editor for Windows Mobile is described as a "major update", so I thought it was worth a bit more digging.

What's new in this release?

- remove dc offset
- time stretch
- Sync Audio Threads

Here's the update description from PocketGear classic:

"MeTeoR is a digital multi-track recorder designed specifically for the Pocket PC. The program features up to 12 tracks of high quality audio, a built in mixer and multi-effects processor. MeTeoR is ideally suited for creating musical compositions, and also a great tool for journalists and business people who need to splice and piece together voice notes, narration or dictation. Compositions once mixed can be exported to standard file formats for use on your desktop PC. MeTeoR includes a fully featured sound editor allowing recordings to be trimmed or spliced together. You can apply various effects to your recordings either directly, as part of the recording process or in real time during playback. Editor features include cut, copy, paste, fade in/out. clear, reverse, gain, normalize, remove dc offset, time stretch and apply effect. Effects include digital delay, chorus, reverb, phaser, tremolo, graphic equalizer, filter factory, pitch shifter, tone boost and noise gate. The Mixer and effects are fully automated using definable controller tracks. An integrated metronome with count-in helps you record your masterpiece, and If 12 tracks isn't enough there is a full stereo mixdown facility."

Your interface:

Thanks to Martyn for this interface idea:


The top section contains the main transport controlls, the bar number, tempo and volume.
Below that are 4 tabs that contain 4 identical synths, the only difference is the highlight colour.
Below the tabs is a section representing the 16 steps of a bar and an indication of whether the step contains any note. The arrows can be used to step forward or back. The small arrow shows the current step. Each step can contain up to four notes.
Notes can be entered using the keyboard along the bottom. The bar above can be used to move up and down the keyboard.
The four slide controls above the keyboard are attack, decay, sustain and release. The other four slide controls are filter, resonance, delay and distort (possibly)
In the center is a pattern selector. A pattern contains all 16 steps.
When record is enabled, all pattern changes and changes to the slide controls are recorded.
The arrows to the left are used to import or export track, possibly containing other settings.


It looks like a really interesting interface. Any takers to make it a reality?

BeatPhone interface - WOW!

The BeatPhone interface looks fantastic.


I hope it keeps going after the iPhone / iPod Touch SDK gets published.


Even a great looking splash screen.

MeTeoR updated to v 1.07

MeTeoR is now up to version 1.0.7 with a new sync audio threads option.

TrakAx Mobile coming soon

I'm really looking forward to getting my hands on this application. The TrakAx site has some new video on how the app works. Worth checking out.

Recent Comments ...

Thanks to the people who have commented over the last few days. Here are some messages back:

About the Akai Trackman
I've got one, it's actually pretty handy. It's an awesome practice tool (Ben A)

Thanks Ben, if you could send any pictures, that would be great.

About D-Pod: Sound Toy app
How about a "loop pattern" option? Thanks for the neat app.

I actually have been adding a few more things to this over the weekend. I see if I can add a loop too.

About Griff
i've never heard much about Griff...do you think it is comparable with Bhajis Loops? (drew)

That is a good question. I've only just started getting back into it, so I shall look at writing something that compares the two.

D-Pod 1.1


A bit sooner than I expected I've got this working and uploaded to PalmGear, so if you are interested go ahead and grab a copy. As always, it is freeware, and I think it is an improvement on version 1.0.



There's a little help / about type screen in there too, and just so you know what's going on, here's an explanation of the new buttons.

Enjoy! More Sound Toys soon I hope!

Reader locations

I've put up a little survey / poll on where people are. The reason I'm interested in knowing is to work out how many people might come to a London / South London event if I could arrange something like that. I'm thinking along the lines of one of the CDM events.

UPDATE:

Sorry, I left out Europe! How could I forget!!!!

2nd UPDATE:

I had to take the poll down to add in other locations, so please accept my apologies if you'd already voted. Please vote again and I hope I haven't missed anyone off this time!

Last 2 Griff Plugins


This was one of the only Griff plugins that I didn't have, so I didn't have. So today I decided that I'd buy it along with the mdaFilter plugin too.

The Griff site says this:

"A recreation of the Classic Leslie speaker effect, mdaLeslie will add warmth and movement to any instrument. It is particularily effective when used with the mdaOrgan."


The Griff site says this:

"mdaFilter is a 12dB/oct filter operating in either LowPass, BandPass or HighPass mode."

I'm just starting to get into Griff again. Using it on my old Jornada had become a chore, but on my Axim it is much easier to work with. Once I've had some time to play with these I'll write a short review.

Mobile Application Directory update

The Mobile Application Directory has been updated with a new section on iPhone software. Mainly in anticipation of next February and beyond, but also containing the BeatPhone app. I've also added the DScratch application to the DS section.

Asus Eee PC: Pricing on Brighthand


Brighthand has an article on the pricing of the Asus Eee PC in the US. We'll have to see what the UK pricing works out as.

D-Pod 1.1



I was working on another app and got sidetracked and started working on a little update of D-Pod to make it a bit more fun and usable. It should be all finished in a few days!

DS Protein Suite !

CDM has this post today on the DS Scratch app.



Taking a look at the site, you can see that there's lots more than the scratch app coming. A whole suite of audio modules for the DS!!!

" The idea is to get several "modules" running together and that you can manipulate at the same time to create live sound."

The scratch app is alpha is available for download now.

4Pockets in best software finalists 2007

Congratulations to 4Pockets for getting their apps into the 2007 Smartphone and Pocket PC Magazine Best Software Awards.

Of the Finalists two are audio applications:

Virtual Recorder
Pocket RTA Pro

Well done to all at 4Pockets.

iPod Touch / iPhone Apps

The big news today is of course the announcement from Apple that they will release an SDK for developers in Feb 2008. This is great news and hopefully means that we will see this develop as a major platform for mobile music.

Here's what they said:

"Third Party Applications on the iPhone
Let me just say it: We want native third party applications on the iPhone, and we plan to have an SDK in developers’ hands in February. We are excited about creating a vibrant third party developer community around the iPhone and enabling hundreds of new applications for our users. With our revolutionary multi-touch interface, powerful hardware and advanced software architecture, we believe we have created the best mobile platform ever for developers.

It will take until February to release an SDK because we’re trying to do two diametrically opposed things at once—provide an advanced and open platform to developers while at the same time protect iPhone users from viruses, malware, privacy attacks, etc. This is no easy task. Some claim that viruses and malware are not a problem on mobile phones—this is simply not true. There have been serious viruses on other mobile phones already, including some that silently spread from phone to phone over the cell network. As our phones become more powerful, these malicious programs will become more dangerous. And since the iPhone is the most advanced phone ever, it will be a highly visible target.

Some companies are already taking action. Nokia, for example, is not allowing any applications to be loaded onto some of their newest phones unless they have a digital signature that can be traced back to a known developer. While this makes such a phone less than “totally open,” we believe it is a step in the right direction. We are working on an advanced system which will offer developers broad access to natively program the iPhone’s amazing software platform while at the same time protecting users from malicious programs.

We think a few months of patience now will be rewarded by many years of great third party applications running on safe and reliable iPhones.

Steve

P.S.: The SDK will also allow developers to create applications for iPod touch. [Oct 17, 2007]"

Jam Sessions response

Thanks to kenyob for this comment:

"Is there any Palm Pilot Compatible version of this game? The whole interface is there with the touch screen and direction button on the bottom. Someone needs to make a version for all the Treo's and Palm TX's out there quickly."

Sadly the short answer is no, Jam Sessions won't run on the Palm platform. However, there is a developer looking to create a DS emulator for the Palm platform, I've no idea when (or if) it will arrive, but that's the only real hope there is.

If anything develops on the DS emulator I will post on it.

CDM on UMPCs

I've been interested in the UMPC idea for ages and saw this post on CDM today. I like the concept of the UMPC, but I think it is just the start really.

I think if you can get a UMPC with XP or vista on it, then why not a dual boot UMPC of ultra mobile mac? How about a MacNano?
I know, I think I've gone on about this before, but I think it is an idea that's worth pursuing.

Anyway, here are some videos care of the UMPC portal and the post off CDM.



Festival of Mobile film

I got an email about this festival and I thought I might submit something. I checked with the organisers and it is open to international entrants.

Handango free app friday?

I found this by accident. Handango are doing a free app friday promotion at the moment. I don't know how long it will last or what you'll get, but you never know.

Apple OSX 10.5 Leopard: 26.10.07

Apple announce their next OS, officially released on the 26th. Maybe there'll be something for iPhone / iPod Touch in it somewhere?

Styletap announces Symbian version in Alpha

Great news for Symbian users. StyleTap have announced that they are developing a version of their platform for Symbian. Read all about it here.

Another useful TrakAx video


I can't wait for this app to come out.

Apple Sub-Notebook rumours again

This article on AppleInsider suggests that such a device might become a reality by March. I know these rumours have been around before, but it would be great to see a UMPC like product from Apple with a multi-touch screen too!

YOUR interFACE HERE!

Ok, this isn't really a competition, more kind of a way of discovering new ideas for palm music interfaces and maybe even inspiring a developer or two to take them forward.



Here's a blank 160 x 160 palm screen. You can download this image and put whatever you want in it in terms of controls and what not. Then write a enough to explain what it all does, and send it back to palm dot sounds at mac dot com and I'll post up your creations.

PDA Instrument (update)

Thanks to dScott for this excellent comment on the PDA instrument post:

"I've been thinking about similar things for a while, and there are 2 main challenges: the 1st is how to communicate among disparate devices, the 2nd is to design a simple interface that can work across platforms and yet provide adequate control.

So, would you go with 'classic' PDAs, or the 'latest' PDAs and/or smartphones? If 'old 'school', then a device akin to a multiport MIDI router would be the ticket; if we're up-to-date, WiFi is probably the answer.

The interface is the instrument; this one has 2 areas of interest. First, what resources do you contribute to the "co-op"; 2nd, some manner of choice and control for contributed sounds.

Choose your control method:
Live - each sound from the coop (excluding your own) is assigned to a key. If someone offers a timing reference (click or MP3 loop), that's nice, but not essential.

Program - You list the coop down the left side of screen (A-Z for a player, 0-9 for a contributed sound = A6 is whatever player "A" contributed as #6), then use a text list beside each resource to determine its loop. It might look like this (assuming I'm on a smartphone with 5 lines down and 12 chars across)

A6: X-XX--XX
B2: -XXX-XXX
C4: X-----X-
C7: --------
F3: -X-X-X--

Of course, adequate bandwith might let us combine methods.

Upon receiving signals, each phone plays their contribution as directed by the coop.

Worth a try, or does this exist?"


I think that these are great ideas, and to answer your question, I don't know of anything like this at the moment. Anyone else?

CDM: Circuit circuit bending resources

A good set of circuit bending references including videos from CDM in the run up to the circuit bending challenge at the end of the month.

Google Operating System?

Brighthand has this story about the long rumoured Google phone actually being a mobile OS to counter Windows Mobile. It sounds plausible, and if they make it truly open source as is claimed in this article, perhaps it will be a decent offering for music applications?

Xeep turns up on PDA 247

I was interested to see that PDA247 were wondering why Xeep was developed. Well the answer is, why not?

iPhone BeatBox


At last, someone is doing something interesting with the iPhone. Another excellent find from CDM. This looks like it could develop and go somewhere interesting.

Check out the BeatPhone site.

What makes this interesting though is this comment on the site:

"BeatPhone is the first beatbox application for the iPhone. Aiming to be a “studio in your pocket”, it is still in an early stage of development. Are you ready to take your little studio in your pocket ?"

Let's hope it keeps going.

The Circuit Bending Challenge


Will you give it a go? I sounds like an ideal opportunity to me. Read more at CDM.

DS Fanboy: Gameboys don't grow on trees


I read this at DS Fanboy.A really interesting idea for an interactive installation. Worth a read.

iPhone web apps directory

Many sites covered the rumours yesterday of Apple doing something with iPhone and iPod Touch apps. The rumour spectrum went from the release of an official SDK at one end to the publication of a web directory at the other.

Sadly what we ended up with was the web directory.

I think it is a shame that Apple hasn't made more of this platform. Still, let's hope that they open it up at some point.

Tascam Pocket Studio 5


In my teens I was a Fostex X-15 user, and only got rid of it when it decided to give up on me. Years later when I was slowly getting myself back into making music I decided that I needed another 4-track.

Since my days of the X-15 a lot had changed, and I stumbled upon the Tascam PS5. It was just what I was after, a 4-track but much much more. The PS5 also had an on board GM module that you could use for drums and bass and rhythm. It was fantastic, and no bigger than a video cassette.


I bought my PS5 off eBay, and sold it there too. One thing that really sold me on it was this article from Sound on Sound. It is really detailed and tells you all you need to know.

I know that by today's standards the PS5 is huge. I think you could probably get four Boss Micro-BRs into its casing, but it was a real find back then in 2002 and still a worthwhile machine today.

A PDA based Instrument

With the launch of Tenori-on I’ve been thinking more about more about what makes a handheld instrument. Part of this is thinking about how you would play live with handhelds and portable devices.

I was interested / encouraged by the Electroplankton quartet and I'm sure we might see Tenori-on groups appearing over the next months, but with ordinary handhelds I'm not sure it is as easy, although I could be wrong.

With the Tenori-on there is something inherently visual to the device that makes it watchable and a performance instrument. PDAs or handhelds don't have that ability, they lack any kind of performance dimension to them, which is a shame.

So what kind of interface would make a generic PDA into a performance instrument? I've been thinking about that question for a while now, and I don't have a definitive answer, but I think that there must be a way to give the lowly generic PDA an interface for performance and collaboration. Something really startling.

I'm sure someone will dream it up one day. I just hope that someone out there makes it work.

CDM: MIDI Meets Mobile Linux Gaming: GP2X Portable Does MIDI Out

I saw this at CDM today.

"Description:

This is Little GP Tracker [LGPT] running on a Gamepark Holdings Gp2x handheld, outputting midi using a custom serial to midi interface designed & coded by FirestARTer, board & assembly by IDMCLASSICS.NET.

In this clip, LGPT is driving a Clavia Nord Micromodular [3 seperate mono patterns into a polyphonic patch] and has an Alesis HR-16 drum machine slaved via Midi Sync."


Support Palm Sounds on Palmgear

I've mentioned a few times about Sound Toys applications being on Palmgear. Well, if anyone wanted to write a little review on any of them, that would be great.

They're all here on Palmgear, and while I think of it, there are more on the way. Hopefully before the end of the year too.

Screens: another update

Quite a lot from screens this month. I'm still hoping to hear something that I understand, and also that I can get to grips with tfor making music. One day maybe.

Jam Sessions competition



Ubisoft are running a Jam Sessions competition! here's the detail:

"Win a chance to perform on the YOUTUBE HOMEPAGE and FUSE TV!

Jam Sessions is the groundbreaking music experience that transforms your Nintendo DS™ Lite system into a portable guitar, promoting singing, playing and songwriting while offering the perfect companion for social gatherings, commuting to work/school, or just relaxing at home.

Now Ubisoft and GameStop are going to give you a chance to show off your talent and earn a chance to perform on the YOUTUBE HOMEPAGE and FUSE TV!

All you have to do is record a video performance of an original song and upload it to YouTube's Jam Sessions contest page. You must be playing the Jam Sessions game on the Nintendo DS, and your song must include lyrics and vocals. Only two people will be flown to New York City, NY from the winning video entry.

All entries must be submitted by October 23rd, where they will be voted on by YouTube users. Contest winners will be announced on November 6, 2007"


It sounds like fun. Post a link if you enter.

Another Modified VL-1 on eBay


Another modified VL-1 has turned up on eBay. It looks really nice I have to say.


Enjoy the photos.


I wonder what it'll end up going for then?