0 comments on “ScaleMaster 1.0”

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.

0 comments on “What do you want for Christmas?”

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?

0 comments on “The Basics: Synthesis”

The Basics: Synthesis

I’ve always been a lover of synths since I was a teenager and bought my first mono synth of a friend. Synthesis on PDAs is difficult as the devices themselves don’t have anything like the processing power of desktop or laptop computers, and depending on the kind of device and operating system you choose, there are big differences in terms of what you can achieve.

Windows Mobile
Windows mobile music applications actually do very well when it comes to synthesis, and there are a number of different applications to choose from. One of my favourites is AudioBox from 4Pockets. This application has a number of different synths available to it, and works in many ways like a mini studio application giving you synths, sampling, sequencing etc. In terms of the synthesis options avilable they are very good indeed. AudioBox offers an an analogue synth and dedicated string pad synth amongst it’s capabilities.

Griff is also an excellent contender for synthesis on the go, and boasts an array of synth plug-ins which are worth looking at such as pSyn, or Goldfish. If you want to know more about Griff, I have written a whole post on it here.

Other useful applications for synthesis are Phoenix Studio and of course, Syntrax, which has some truly amazing synthesis capabilities, although I have never really got to grips with it.

Palm OS
Synthesis options are far fewer on the Palm operating system. Microbe is a great starter application for Palm and includes two monosynths. SoundPad from miniMusic is a dedicated synth application, but in order to use the sounds from it you need at least one of the other applications from miniMusic such as BeatPad or NotePad.

Of course, Bhajis Loops has a range of synthesis options within it, but of course you always start with a sample as the basis for your sounds.

As far as other platforms are concerned, Syntrax is available for Symbian Series 60 and UIQ devices.

As time goes on I’m sure we’ll see synth applications for the iPhone / iPod Touch platform coming out too, but so far there’s not much available. In early 2008 the SDK for native applications for this platform will be released, so let’s and see what happens.

Hopefully this gives you a brief overview of what’s available, if you find anything that I haven’t covered, please let me know.

0 comments on “iPhone Synth Alpha”

iPhone Synth Alpha


Here’s the beginnings of the kind of application I”d like to see on the iPhone. The app uses the iPhone’s accelerometer to control the filter’s cutoff and resonance. It’ll be interesting to see how it develops. iPhone Synth is currently in alpha. There’s an interesting video of it at the future music blog.

0 comments on “TrakAx Competition”

TrakAx Competition


TrakAx are running a competition:

“Simply create a Holiday-Themed Mix using trakAxPC or trakAxMobile and send you final mix into us and we, the trakAx team, will judge the entries. The winner will receive US$100 worth of trakPacks to use with trakAxPC or trakAxMobile. Runners-Up will received US$75 and US$50 worth of trakPacks.

The trakAx team are looking for unique and creative mixes, capturing you and your family and friends, celebrating the Holidays. Be it office parties, drinks with friends, opening presents with family, New Year’s parties or even stock footage, simply capture the happy times, mix them up and send them into the trakAx team.”

I might give it a go, knows. Anyone else up for it? It’ll be interesting to see what kind of stuff gets put together using the mobile version.

0 comments on “Another iPhone / iPod Touch music app”

Another iPhone / iPod Touch music app

This time a Chord Library from the same people that brought a web app tuner a few weeks ago.

0 comments on “TuneStudio turns up on Amazon.com”

TuneStudio turns up on Amazon.com

Althought the actual Belkin site still says “coming soon”, Amazon have the TuneStudio listed as available in 3 to 5 weeks for $299.

0 comments on “HTC Shift coming in early 2008”

HTC Shift coming in early 2008


Running Vista Business edition with 1gb of RAM and a 40gb hard drive it is an interesting device. UMPCs haven’t really taken off as far as I can see so far, but now that you can get a great deal of computing power into not much more than a PDA sized package will the UMPC start to take the space previously occupied by the PDA?

0 comments on “Another screens environment update”

Another screens environment update

Seems he is really making progress as this is the third update this week, and there is now a mention of a Palm OS port.

0 comments on “Mobile Music Workshop 2008”

Mobile Music Workshop 2008

I got the email about next year’s workshop today, so here it is:

5TH INTERNATIONAL MOBILE MUSIC WORKSHOP 2008
13-15 May 2008, Vienna, Austria
Call for Submissions: Deadline 10 February 2008
http://www.mobilemusicworkshop.org

The Mobile Music Workshop 2008 is the 5th in a series of annual international gatherings that explore the creative, critical and commercial potential of mobile music. They are inspired by the ever-changing social, geographic, ecological, emotional context of using mobile technology for creative ends. We are looking for new ideas and ground-breaking projects on sound in mobile contexts. What new forms of interaction with music and audio lie ahead as locative media, ubiquitous networks, and music access merge into new forms of experiences that shape the everyday? Can they change the way we think about our mobile devices and about walking through the city?

The emerging field of Mobile Music sits at the intersection of ubiquitous computing, portable audio technology and New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME). It goes beyond today’s personal music players to include creative practices of mobile music making, sharing and mixing. The mobile setting challenges existing notions of interfaces and interaction, stretching music to new creative limits. The workshop has been at the forefront of this innovative area since 2004. Past editions of the event have taken place in Amsterdam, Brighton, Vancouver and Göteborg in collaboration with the Viktoria Institute, STEIM, Waag Society, Futuresonic, NIME and others.

The 2008 edition of the workshop will be held in Vienna, one of the hotspots in the European for laptop, glitch, and electronic music. Hosted by the University of Applied Arts, it will feature three evenings of performances and installations, an exhibition in the heart of the city, invited speakers, paper presentations, posters and demo sessions as well as hands-on tutorials. Besides the workshop proceedings, we will publish a catalogue that will gather key contributions from the last 5 years. We invite artists, designers, academic researchers, hackers, industry professionals and practitioners from all areas, including music, technology development, new media, sound-art, music distribution, cultural/media studies and locative media and more to present and discuss projects, prototypes, applications, devices, performances, installations, theoretical and historical considerations.

IMPORTANT DEADLINES

Submission deadline: 10 February 2008
Notification of acceptance: 14 March 2008
Submission deadline for final papers: 14 April 2008
Registration deadline: 14 April 2008

PARTICIPATE

Please upload your submission in any of the three following categories at http://ocs.waag.org/. Submissions will be peer-reviewed by a committee of international specialists in the field.

Papers

We invite submissions of workshop papers presenting new projects, approaches or reflections exploring the topic of mobile music. Potential submissions could include but are not limited to mobile music systems or enabling technologies, interface design, legal issues, user studies, ethnographic fieldwork, social implications, art pieces and other areas relevant to mobile music. Accepted paper authors will be given a time slot during the workshop for presentation and discussion of their work. They are encouraged to bring a demo of their work if possible.

Format: 4 pages in ACM SIG publications format (for templates, see http://www.acm.org/sigs/pubs/proceed/template.html). More artistic submissions are free to pay less attention to the academic or technical detail of the format, and to include more media instead.

Posters and Demos

We also invite the contribution of posters and demos that document work-in-progress projects or ideas in similar areas of mobile music technology as the papers. There will be a poster and demo presentation session where attendees will be able to discuss work with the authors. The most robust of the demos will be offered the opportunity to exhibit to the general public during the open sessions (although this is not mandatory). Posters will be on display for the duration of the conference.

Format: 2 pages in ACM SIG publications format (for templates, see http://www.acm.org/sigs/pubs/proceed/template.html). More artistic submissions are free to pay less attention to the academic or technical detail of the format, and to include more media instead.

Installations and Performances

We invite mobile art installations and performances in the genres of mobile music and locative audio. There will be an exhibition space in central Vienna, and the possibility to show work in the city. There will also be a series of evening performances/concerts/parties.

Format: Please follow loosely the ACM SIG publications format (for templates, see http://www.acm.org/sigs/pubs/proceed/template.html) without too much academic or technical detail and include more media instead. Please indicate if your project would be suitable for indoor or outdoor, installation or performance.

REGISTRATION & FEE

The workshop will have both closed sessions for registered participants and sessions open to the general public. The number of participants for the closed sessions of the workshop is limited to 50 places. Accepted submitters are given priority, other participants are accepted on a first-come first-served basis. Registered participants will have automatic access to all sessions of the workshops.

Registrations fees for the closed sessions of the workshop have yet to be confirmed. However this will be in the region of 75 € at full rate and 45€ for concessions.

Deadline for Registration: 14th April 2007.

ORGANISERS&INFORMATION

The 2008 edition is hosted and co-organised by the University of Applied Arts, Vienna, Austria (Nicolaj Kirisits). The Steering Committee is formed by Lalya Gaye (Dånk! Collective and IT-University of Göteborg, Sweden), Atau Tanaka (Culture Lab Newcastle, UK), Frauke Behrendt (University of Sussex, UK), Kristina Andersen (STEIM, The Netherlands).

Contact: info@mobilemusicworkshop.org
More information: http://www.mobilemusicworkshop.org