Yamaha SU10


I’d love to have one of these, but in many ways I’ve been thinking that something like this would be a great application for a PDA. A simple sample trigger, maybe with assignable hard buttons, and then something that approximates to the ribbon on the SU10.

I think it would work live very well indeed.

The Basics: Notation

Notation applications are few and far between on all platforms:

Palm OS
For Palm devices there is the wonderful NotePad from miniMusic. With four ways to see your songs on screen, it’s easy to enter music and edit your ideas. Tools include chords, key signatures, time signatures, tied notes, triplets, inversion, retrograde, MIDI export, and full cut/copy/paste editing.

As a user of NotePad for many years now I can safely say that it is almost certainly the best notation tool available for a PDA.

Windows Mobile / Pocket PC
On this platform I know of only one application that has not been updated for a very long time indeed. MidNote was developed when Microsoft’s mobile OS was Pocket PC and hasn’t been updated. It does have a number of useful features though:

– Enter music with fully graphical editor
– Each piece can have up to 10 separate tracks.
– Six octave tonal range (or 15 with tricks 🙂
– Musical edit functions like transpose and mirror
– Full drum support
– Standard MIDI import and export
– Polyphonic play through integrated MIDI player (GSPlayer, Mimidi or PocketAMP)

Happy Christmas from from Palm Sounds


A very Happy Christmas from Palm Sounds.

Double click on the image above to see the animation.

Thanks to all the people who wrote with news or questions, or just for encouragement.

Apple UMPC? (via AppleInsider)

AppleInsider Exclusive: Apple to adopt Intel’s ultra-mobile PC platform.

Here’s an interesting article from AppleInsider on Apple taking Intel’s new ultra mobile chip. Worth a read.

Chimera Synthesis bC16 (via Livepa)

Livepa has this story on a new synth the size of a CD! It looks fantastic. Here’s what the Chimera Synthesis site says about it.

“Chimera Synthesis is rolling out it’s first product! The bC16 miniature patch synthesizer wraps up a fully featured VCO, LFO, 24dB VCF, VCA, ADSR envelope generator, noise source, ring modulator and headphone amplifier all in a crisp, white, round, CNC machined acrylic housing the same diameter as compact disc. Powered from two 9V batteries the bC16 can be used on it’s own, with a MIDI-CV converter (not supplied, see the forth coming SM16), attached to other bC16’s and so on. Being a patch synthesizer almost infinitely expands the range and control of sounds created, bC16’s can be intergrated with other pieces of equipment, used to process signals, and even used to generate and/or respond to control signals from other synthesizers/audio kit.”

Being such a tiny synth, it would seem only appropriate to run it off a tiny sequencer, like a PDA!

Pacemaker community and competition

I got another email, this time from Pacemaker.net. They’re launching their own community site and have made available their beta software for Mac and Windows. They’re also launching a commpetition:

“All beta testers that publish mixes before February will automatically enter the contest to win a Pacemaker for free. We’re reserving ten Pacemakers for those of you guys that we think deserve them. More about the contest shortly.”

Well worth entering for the chance to win a Pacemaker for free.

PlanetGriff sends Seasons Greetings


I am guessing that a number of you got an email from PlanetGriff sending seasons greetings. Very nice too.

The also have a list of all their plug-ins available, and apparently pSyn is their No. 1 download of the month.

I think it would be even better if they made some new ones for Griff, that’d be a great Christmas present!

iPod Hack’s review of Phase


iPodHacks have a brief review of the iPod game Phase, and seem to like it lots. But them, it is quite good fun so why not.

ScaleMaster 1.0


RoGame have added a new application to their suite of music theory and learning applications. Here’s what their site says about ScaleMaster:

ScaleMaster is designed to help in several key areas concerning scales. It lists over 100 scale types in all keys and shows them in music notation. There are four different clefs available (treble, bass, alto and tenor). Additionally scale degrees are shown qualified by the interval to the root. To help visualization there are four virtual instruments (bass, guitar, mandolin and piano). These virtual instruments feature overlays that can show scale degrees or position of a note in the current scale and can be shifted to all available positions. Any scale can be sounded out using RoGame’s Sound Libraries (Palm OS 5.0 and higher only) or the built-in synthesizer.

Designed for the beginning musician as well as the professional, ScaleMaster is an excellent tool towards advancement in theory and scales in particular, making it easy to look up a scale in seconds, getting a taste of the flavor of a particular scale by listening to it, or finding out how to play it on one’s instrument.

What do you want for Christmas?

Well it is that time of year again. With only a few days to go what are you wishing for? I’ve had several emails this Christmas about different “gift” ideas, so I though I’d share some of them, and a few of my own suggestions too:

1. Kaosillator – Only £119 and it does look very cool indeed.

2. Casio VL-1 – You can still get these on eBay for around £30

3. TrakAx Mobile – One of the best applications of the year in my opinion, and very reasonably priced.

4. Yamaha MU15 – A bit more difficult to come by, but a great little tone module

5. Yamaha SU10 – Quite hard to get hold of, but very collectable.

6. Roland PMA 5 – Again, hard to find, but (apparently) very good indeed.

7. MiniMusic Pro Suite – The collection of applications from miniMusic (a must have as far as I’m concerned.

8. Boss MICRO-BR – The iPod sized 4 track.

9. A Stylophone – I never had one, but you have to admit that they have some real history behind them.

I’m guessing that I won’t find all (or indeed one) of these in my Christmas stocking, but I can hope can’t I?

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