Ok, this is sort of off topic, but I’ll explain why I’m posting it and hopefully it will make sense. I’ve been a fan of Thomas Dolby for a while. Yesterday he posted on his blog that he had turned 50 I couldn’t believe it.
Last year I went to see him live at the ICA in London. It was an amazing gig, not only because it was a great live show, but also because it was the 50th anniversary of the launch of Sputnik and he celebrated in a typically unique way. The first half of the show was a film with live music and voice overs about public reaction to sputnik’s launch. It was performed by Dolby and his friends the Radio Science Orchestra, which featured an amazing theremin player (see picture below).
So here’s the first link to mobile music making. Lots of apps these days are theremin type apps or XY based controllers which we wouldn’t have if it weren’t for the theremin itself. Hearing it live was awesome.
The second link is that Dolby has been involved in a lot of mobile music technology. Reading about him on wikipedia he was involved in the RMF format and CEO of Beatnik that licensed ringtone technology to Nokia!
So, in many ways he’s been around in mobile music for some time.
So, Mr Dolby, if you happen to read this then happy birthday. Why not make a track on your next release hand held only!
Noise IO was originally due out in August, then September, and here we are in mid-October. People on the forum are constantly asking where it is and how much.
You can actually buy a t-shirt with the Noise IO logo on it (nice logo by the way), but not the app as yet.
Let’s hope it gets here really soon.
Apparently a comment has been left on the Apple app store that if you leave Srutibox on for a long time the iphone can get quite hot.
It appears that this is to do with the work that the CPU on the device is doing to calculate the tones for the apps.
Dmitry has confirmed that he is stopping his Palm development in this forum thread on 1src.
However, he has mentioned that he is writing his own OS called DGOS which will be 100% palm compatible. Sound very interesting indeed.
I had some time on the train this morning to check out a few new apps and new versions of apps, so I thought I’d combine them all into one post.
This is a little keyboard app that I mentioned yesterday. It has about five sounds, all of which are crisp and clear. The keyboard works well, although there is only one octave and no way of scrolling up or down octaves. I think it is a good start for this app and I hope it gets developed. It would be good to see more sounds and the ability to move up the keyboard initially. I’d hope perhaps for some form of recording as well later on.
This drum machine app has had some pattern bank features added to it. These work well moving from one pattern to the next at the end of the preceding pattern. Some form of chaining would be good in the next release.
This is a very simple drum pad app. It has had some new sound banks added to it, and they sound very good. Yo be honest, I really like this little app, the interface is nice and it is just fine for punching out some drum beats during an idle moment. I think it would be nice to see a record function, or some way to pass a set of beats out to bedrum.
This is an accelerometer based synth app which has had some new wave forms added. I have to admit that I had very little time to play with this app today, and it is quite difficult to do it justice on a busy train as really you need to move your arm around to work it. Gestural music can seem a little strange in public. However, from what I could tell it sounded good. I’ll give it some more attention soon.
GameSalad, the people developing a ‘non-programming’ environment for developing iphone game apps have closed their alpha programme. It’ll be interesting to see how this develops and I’ll be keeping an eye on their blog.
Various sources have had news about the iStylophone app from The Very Cool Software Company. It appears that the app should be released at the beginning of December for $5.95, which is cheaper than the real thing (although you need an iPhone first of course).
Also, the Very Cool Software Company says this about their forthcoming app:
The app is being developed entirely in conjunction with Brian Jarvis (the inventor of the Stylophone) and his son Ben Jarvis of Dübreq, it is indeed a faithful reproduction of the original with some cool bonus features (3 tones, bass, mid and treble and 3 different skins to match and a very special ‘Record’ function),
Finally, the Very Cool Software Company also plan to launch other music apps, but as yet no details.
I think that this application has to get an award for the strangest name I’ve seen so far for either a music application or an iPhone app (please let me know if you disagree).
According to the developer’s site this is what the app is all about:
Sick of not having anyone to jam or practice with on popular Jazz Standards? Sick of those play-a-long CDs that you have to pan to the left or right? Wish you had more control to cut the bass OR drums OR piano OR lead?
Jam will change the way you practice your music. Play-a-long with real musicians – controlling how loud each musician is, or whether they are playing at all.
There are four different tracks. If you don’t want the piano, simply turn it off. If you only want the drums, no problem! If the lead is too loud, you can turn it down or off without affecting the volume of the other instruments. You can change everything live, while the track plays, without ever worrying about them staying in sync!
These are REAL recorded musicians. No computer-generated backings which don’t help your feel. It is so useful if you are a musician but even non-musicians can enjoy live mixing jazz tracks.
Interesting idea, and I think I can say that no one’s done something like this before.