Sound Toys: ranDRUM

Well, about time. Here’s my the first couple of my Sound Toys applications. This one is called ranDRUM. It is a simple little random drum sequence generator.

It is a really simple application as I promised. Along the bottom of the app are a series of buttons. The first is the play button, the next one is the generate button, which generates a random sequence, the third button is the volume control which has three settings. The next two buttons control how long the sequence is i.e. beats in the pattern, and the next one controls how many loops the pattern will play for. There, I told you it was simple didn’t I!

Please be aware that this app has been tested on a couple of Treo 650’s, but nothing else as yet.

Anyway, feel free to download ranDRUM and do whatever you want with it, it is freeware.

Please let me know what you think of it, if you like it, if you have problems with it etc. Enjoy…

C64 Emulation

I’d heard about these apps ages ago, but not easy to get a Commodore 64 in your pocket, right? Still, using an emulator it is possible, albeit difficult. I found an emulator for Windows Mobile, and have got the apps running, but the biggest problem is that these were designed for running on a much larger screen.

Still, one step at a time.

Email Palm Sounds

Recently I’ve been getting emails from people asking for advice and information, so I thought I’d let you know that if you want to contact Palm sounds for help, advice, or to let me know about your stories or live dates, or whatever else really, you can email at palm dot sounds at mac dot com, feel free to get in touch.

Chiptunes Workshop

I didn’t find out about this workshop until just now, but it looks like it would have been really interesting.

iPod game: Musika

A strange new game for iPod users somewhere between visualiser and game. The reviews aren’t so good though!

The Basics: A General Overview

Palm Sounds is all about handheld music. But, for people who know nothing about the subject it may be quite confusing to work out where to start with software and hardware and make decision about what to buy and where from.

So, that’s why I decided to write this series on the basics of handheld music.

PDA’s have had the ability to make music since the late 90’s, and have been progressing ever since. At the time of writing the sorts of things you can achieve musically with a PDA spans a wide range, including:

– Notation
– Sampling
– Synthesis
– Sequencing
– Drum Programming
– Multi-tracking

and I’m aiming to cover those subjects in this series.

So, why make music using a PDA? Well, in many ways you could say that about any form of technology, but PDAs give you the ability to jot down ideas and make music wherever you are, without having to take bulky equipment with you everywhere.

Many of the music applications commonly found on desktop and laptop computers now have relatives in the handheld world, and slowly the range and diversity of applications is increasing.

However, it is a niche area to say the least, so don’t expect the big software names to be playing ball any time soon. At the moment, most development is done by individuals who are keen to explore the field, or small software houses. At best products last a few years and see some development, at worst, companies go to the wall altogether, like Tao Group who took their miniMIXA application with them.

Anyway, hopefully this won’t have put you off too much. It is a lot of fun to be able to make music wherever your ideas arrive, on the train, the beach, or even in the toilet.

I hope that the rest of this series will be useful to you. To start with it is worth having a little bit of a history lesson:

1997: We had apps like 4 Octave Piano, and PocketSynth, both good apps for making beeps.
1998: Pocket Piano, simple sequencer and lots of fun.
1999: MiniMusic get’s going with MiniPiano and MiniGrid, eventual precursors to NotePad 1.4. We also get Theremini.
2000: BeatPad sequencer released by Minimusic.
2001: MelodyPad allows a conduit based MIDI export. ittyMIDI player comes out allowing playback of MIDI files. MiniMIDI appears allowing a palm to control external MIDI devices.
2002: RhythmPro drum machine appears.
2003: PocketDJ flash based music app for Clie PDAs. MusicStudio polyphonic app, again working well with Clies with built in MIDI chips and external MIDI modules. Wave Edit Pro (not strictly a music app, but excellent for sound editing). MusicPal, more sequencing and MIDI. TuneSketcher, simple sequencing / editing. Microbe released, synths and a drum machine all in one application, and then, Bhajis Loops begins giving sequencing, sampling, sound editing and synthesis and eventually export to .wav files!
2004: Palm Drum Kit Studio, nice drum app but no recording.
2005: SoundPad FM Synth app, a major leap forward for Palm Music creating a suite of applications that will all work together (SoundPad, NotePad, and BeatPad). Virtual Piano launches.
2006: ? Not much really this year, at least not in the way of new applications.
2007: Well, just read this blog.

MyStrands: More than just a player

Here’s an interesting kind of music player, a little more interactive than your average…

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