I was wondering what it would have been like to have a whole replacement OS for a PDA that was purely music based.

The intended goal of Capers was to create a “replacement music operating system” for the Palm, in effect generating a handheld music platform rather than a group of applications.

Capers used a common clock for all its “applets,” and the user could page through them at will while a sequence played. There could be multiple instances of each applet; for example, three arpeggios, two sequences, and four controller LFOs could be used at once. Each applet’s output (called a “Pattern”) could be sequenced to create a song out of a group of “patterns.” This sequence could sync in or out to a MIDI clock to talk to other sequencers such as Native Instrument’s Reaktor, Akai’s MPC series, Ross Bencina’s Audiomulch, or even another Palm OS device running Capers. Now that would be amazing.

I can just imagine that. Running sync’d palms would be fantastic! I think it would be worth buying a few old Palm III’s just to get them all working at the same time together.

SpinPad and my SG20 Module

I still like the demo of SpinPad, and even though it was released back in 2002 I think it is worth playing with. I’ve been using it with my Swivel Systems SG20 MIDI module attached to a TRG Pro.

The demo of SpinPad was developed to access the serial port on pre-OS5 devices so it works directly with the module and sounds fantastic. I do hope that this app gets released soon, as I’d love to see it in the flesh.

Baby Hedgehog

I’ve been playing with this app for the last few days. It is difficult to use for a couple of reasons. Firstly, there is no documentation for the app at all, and no web site for desperado anymore, and secondly, the app is almost entirely icon driven and very difficult to make sense of.

It really is a whole trial and error exercise, which is on the one hand enjoyable, and on the other hand quite infuriating.

And another thing, you can only run Baby Hedgehog on a pre=OS5 Palm device, so I’m running it on my TRG Pro (which is wonderful), powering a Swivel Systems SG20 MIDI module, which clips onto the bottom of the device connecting via the serial port.

More OS4 and TRG Pro experiments

I have to say that my newly acquired TRG Pro Is a lot of fun. Of course it is slow, but then it only has a 33khz processor compared to the 300, 400, and 500 of my Treo, T3, and Axim respectively.

Still, there’s quite a bit of software that can only be run on an OS pre-dating Palm’s OS5. Stuff like Burrito and Egg etc, and that’s what I’ve been playing with as well as BeatPad, AxisPad, NotePad, and MixPad from MiniMusic.

The nice thing about BeatPad, AxisPad, NotePad, and MixPad from MiniMusic is that they all work on both pre and post OS5 palms. I especially like using these apps with the SG20 module as they allow you to access all sorts of sounds in the module, and the quality is excellent.

It is odd though using a PDA that only has 8mb (which was a lot when it was first made), with such a slow processor and yet getting good results out of it.

I hope to have some pictures soon to post of the TRG Pro and SG20 module.


I’ve been meaning to get this project finished for ages, and I did it over my holidays last week.

Here’s what I’ve written on YouTube:

“A short film about travelling with music. The music was made with a PDA using Microbe and Bhajis Loops software for Palm and the video was shot with a Palm Treo 650 and also a Sony Clie NX73V”

The video was edited on a Mac, mainly because there’s no way to do that on a PDA (yet).

Anyway, I hope you like it. Please leave me some comments if you have time.

Back from holidays

Sorry about the lack of posting for the last week, I’ve been on holiday and have actually spent some time making music rather than just writing about it. In fact, it has been really good to just make some music and relax.

Anyway, I’ve got lots of new things to talk about and ideas to write up, all coming soon.

What are we waiting for?

I thought I’d write a post on what was coming up / stuff that I / we are waiting for. I’ve split it into hardware and software to make it more interesting. So here goes:


– The Pacemaker portable DJ device, coming soon I hope
– TuneStudio: iPod mixing desk launching in the US this summer
– Tenori-on: UK launch in September


– Dimitry’s GBA / DS emulator for Palm
– SpinPad from miniMusic (it has been a long time in the waiting)
– MixPad updates from miniMusic
– AxisPad updates from miniMusic (record and export!)
– BeatPad update from miniMusic (new soft synth?)
– NotePad update from miniMusic (export to wav?)
– MixPad Pro from miniMusic
– Real applications for the iPhone?
– Intermorphic: Maybe something in the Mobile space?
– An update from MilkyTracker maybe?
4Pockets updates? Maybe to Pocket StompBox or MeTeoR

Long shots:
– I’d like to see something turn up from the screens environment project

From Palm Sounds:

– New Sound Toys? (Should be another few in the offing)
– More videos
– The Basics series

So, all in all, quite a lot to look forward to in the rest of 2007.

fire Start er: LSDJ MIDI Converter

It doesn’t look like they are in production anymore, but a really handy device for linking LSDJ and Nanoloop

8 bit collective

A great site for all things 8 bit. Really worth taking a look if you’re into chiptunes.

Psytexx 2 update

Psyexx II has been updated. Here’s what’s new:

. . .. .: :: :: [ version 2 alpha 0.5 ] [ 13 aug 2007 ] :: :: :. .. .. . .

# Optimized MakeFile – one for the Linux and PalmOS.
# Added simple piano keyboard.
# Changed virtual keyboard; now it more minimalistic.
# Improved real-time keyboard playing.
# Removed multichannel arpeggio :).
# Press CTRL + S for save BACKUP.XM.
# Background images not supported temporary (it’s for speed testing).
# Added XI-instruments saving.
# Added volume, panning, finetune and relative note controls for instruments.
# Added new effect I0x – sample play mode: 0 – normal; 1 – back direction; 2 – pause.
# Added new effect I1x – reduce sampling freq on a current channel.
# Added new effect I2x – reduce number of bits on a current channel.
# Fixed auto-vibrato.

I’ve never really tried this app, I’d appreciate it if anyone else has experience of it.

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