Here’s some more information on the current MixPad beta. So far I think the app shows real promise. It needs some of the functions to be switched on, but it works well in terms of what is expected in the beta so far. So, here’s to MixPad and its impending release in March.

Here’s the details.

MixPad Beta Test 2
MixPad has now had many of the issues solved with the Krikit Synth and is going into a new round of testing.The beta is due to expire at the end of March.

When you lauch MixPad it will open in the library with a listing of all MIDI files on the memory card. The beta only opens the first card it finds. In the top right corner are icons for the memory card, and the internal RAM. You can drag a MIDI file onto the RAM icon to copy the file into RAM. You can tap on the RAM icon to show MIDI files in the internal RAM. You can drag a MIDI file onto the trash to delete it. Tap on the MIDI file name to open it.

When you open a song, the notes are drawn as lines. In the tabs at the bottom you can see the velocity values for each note under the “vel.” tab, and pitch bends under the “ctrl.” tab. The Info, slider and piano tabs are not functional yet. You can zoom in and out with the icons on the right side, or you can scroll through the song (up/down, left/right scroll bars).
The play and stop buttons can be found at the top of the screen, or you can also use the application buttons (hardware buttons found on either side of the directional controls).

The “mix” tab will take you to the mixing board. This can be used to change channel volumes and panning in “Serial Port” or “Sound Card” playback modes, but the channel controls are not yet functional for playback with the Krikit Synth. The master volume control on the right side will affect Krikit Synth playback.

Choose “Close Song” from the Options menu to return to the file listings. Choose “Preferences” to change playback mode (SerialPort, SoundCard, KrikitSynth) or serial baud rate. Playback using “Basic Sound” is not yet supported.

Choose “Preferences” from the Options menu and “Play To: Krikit Synth” to play the song using our software synthesizer. With Krikit you can get rich polyphonic sound without any additional hardware. This requires an OS 5 handheld like a Tungsten, Zire 31, 71, or 72, or a Treo 600, 650, or 680, Tapwave Zodiac, or some Sony Clies.
Choose “Krikit Settings” to change the polyphony (or the sound bank if you own SoundPad). The other settings are not yet supported. If your handheld has a CPU faster than 200mhz, it should be able to run the maximum 32 oscillators. Slower handhelds (like Tungsten T or Zire 71) may need to be set as low as 16 oscillators. Most instrument sounds use more than one oscillator, so this number does not equate directly to note polyphony.

Krikit playback only supports NoteOn, NoteOff, Program Change and Tempo events. Pitch bends, channel volume and other control changes are not yet implemented, but they will simply be ignored if present in your MIDI file and should not cause an error. SerialPort or SoundCard playback support more control changes and other events.

Choose “Preferences” from the Options menu and “Play To: Sound Card” to play the song using the sound card built into some hadhelds. Sound Card playback should be available on these Sony Clies: T415, T425, T615c, T625c, T655, T665, T675c, NR70, NR70v, NX60, NX70, NX73, NX80, NZ90, TG50.

Choose “Preferences” from the Options menu and “Play To: Serial Port” to play the song using external MIDI hardware connected with a serial interface. This is especially easy to set up on older handhelds (Tungsten T or earlier models like the m125, 130, 500, 505, 515, etc.). Some newer models can be used for serial over MIDI but can only send data at the PC-2 baud rate (38,400 bps) which can be set in the preferences window. Your serial MIDI interface or serial “host” port on you MIDI hardware will need to be set to match (Mac or PC-2.

So you can see that whilst there are bits missing from the current beta it has got a lot of the final functionality available. Let’s see how things develop over the next few months.


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