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)

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?


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