Having been involved in the beta test I can say that I think the app is in great shape and really worth a look.
Read the press release:
MINIMUSIC MAKES MOBILE MIDI MUSIC MIXER!
MixPad plays and remixes MIDI files on any Palm handheld or phone.
San Francisco, Calif., March 19th, 2007 – The new MixPad application from miniMusic plays standard MIDI files on any Palm Powered handheld or phone and can remix the songs as they play. Songs can be played on most modern devices using miniMusic’s Krikit Audio Engine for rich polyphonic audio. Some handhelds can be connected to external music hardware like synthesizers, samplers or tone modules and MixPad can control those. Handheld computers with dedicated sound cards are also supported, including models from Sony, Tapwave and Handspring. The mixing board inside the software can adjust the volume and panning of individual instruments while a song plays, or solo or mute tracks.
Although MIDI files are not usually used for passive listening, they remain a primary tool for music studios and live performances; they provide backing tracks, control instruments remotely and quickly configure music hardware. MixPad lets professional musicians carry all of these tracks and settings in their pockets at all times. Also, music students can rehearse pieces by muting out a part they want to play themselves, or soloing a part they want to listen to more carefully. MixPad is a powerful tool for performers, DJs, songwriters and music hobbyists.
“This has been a major missing piece in our journey to bring desktop music tools to handheld computers,” says Chad Mealey, chief developer at miniMusic. “Musicians ask all the time if they can put their whole MIDI library on a Palm or use the Palm to play backing tracks in live performances. With the release of MixPad the answer is finally ‘yes you can’.”
MIDI files are an industry standard format for music that predates MP3. Containing no actual recorded sound, MIDI files instead contain detailed instructions for performing the music (details like how hard a piano key is struck, or the subtle bending of a guitar string). Although MIDI files cannot include vocals, the instrumental songs are MUCH smaller than MP3s and much more flexible. MixPad’s ability to change levels or panning of individual instruments would be impossible with a standard MP3 file. A MIDI file is easily 1000th the size of an MP3! Due to their small size they are still used widely on the internet, in computer games, and for ring tones.
This first version of MixPad only plays and mixes MIDI files and requires a handheld or phone running Palm OS version 3.5 or higher (Palm OS 5.0 or higher is needed to use the Krikit Audio Engine). A Pro version of MixPad will be offered later this Spring adding recording and editing capabilities — a complete portable MIDI studio. Since MixPad uses the Krikit Synth, you can use sounds designed with miniMusic’s SoundPad to play songs in MixPad.
Pricing, Availability, and Distribution
MixPad is available now for $29.95 US. However an introductory sale at miniMusic.com brings the price down to only $19.95 US. MixPad is also included in the miniMusic Pro Suite, bundled with the NotePad, BeatPad, AxisPad, and SoundPad applications; the suite retails for $89.95 US. A free demo of MixPad is currently available for download from the miniMusic web-site at http://www.miniMusic.com.
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, MixPad, AxisPad, EarTrain and BugBand. Upcoming products will tackle multi-track editing and innovative new musical interfaces.