Could these cables be used to connect a palm to a MIDI device? I found these on a post at Create Digital Music I know that the T series aren’t supposed to work with MIDI, but could they? I’d love to know.
Ok, this isn’t really a MIDI software review for the palm OS. However, someone asked me this evening if I was interested in buying one of these so I did a little research. Very interesting indeed. I might have to say yes and have a play.
I’d never heard of this device before, but I have to say I am very interested indeed.
Of course, you can’t leave out NotePad 1.4 from any MIDI applications list. Especially as you can export to MIDI. I like the ability to export to MIDI from NotePad and import into Bhajis Loops.
Here’s more detail on 1.4:
The chaps over at MiniMusic are cooking up another update to their excellent NotePad application. The new version includes:
- Scrolling Playback – Music will now scroll with playback.
- Page View – tap on new page icon or write/type the letter “z” to “zoom out” to a page view showing twenty measures of the song. The current measure is highlighted. Tap on a measure to zoom in on that bar (see lower screen shot to the left).
- Tempo Changes – Use the Change menu to set tempo changes anywhere in a song. Select a note and choose “Tempo Change” to change the tempo when that note is played. Select the same note and use the “Clear Change” menu item to remove a temo change (a change to 122bpm is shown in the top screenshot to the left).
- Instrument Change – Use the Change menu to set instrument changes anywhere in a song. Select a note and choose “Instrument Change” to change the instrument that will be used for this note and all following notes in this voice. Select the same note and use the “Clear Change” menu item to remove a temo change (a change to “Reed Organ” is shown in voice 4 in the top screenshot to the left).
- Keyboard support – Consult the graphic below to see the functions you can access from the keyboard or by using Graffiti hand writing. You can now exit the song, add rests, or change duration tools from the keyboard or Graffiti.
- Follow note entry – Song will scroll to keep up with notes being entered on the piano, entered using graffiti or entered on a keyboard (like the on Treo).
- Card Launch – NotePad can now be installed on a memory card (like an SD card in most current models). Both NotePad and its database (mMusicDB.pdb) should be installed into the “/Palm/Launcher” directory on the card (this is the default for all applications).
- Grid Screen Fix – No longer fills measures with rests; only adds needed rests as you draw.
- Song Scroll Bar – Quickly navigate to any measure in the song (shown in both screen shots to the left).
- Directional Pad – Use the left/right controls on your handheld/phone to scroll through a song (up/down still transposes notes).
- Select Color – On handhelds/phones with color screens, selected notes will be colored red (shown in top screenshot to the left, first three notes in voice 1 are selected).
- Library Scroll Bar – Quickly find a song anywhere in the category.
Should be fantastic when it is done, and hopefully that’ll be soon.
I was quite excited when this came out and I bought it too, but I have to say it was a bit of a let down. It arrived in July 2003 and there doesn’t seem to have been an update since.
In effect it was a simple sequencer using GM sounds where available. I used it on my Sony Clie NX73V, which was fine as it had a GM chip in it already.
Here’s the blurb anyway. Sorry, no screen shots.
Music Studio is a unique polyphonic music composer that allows you to create beautiful melodies for your Alarms, Mobile phone ringtones, and Midi files for your PC.
With enhanced sound (Sony Clies), Music Studio utilises the 100s of instruments and multitrack features to create awesome original compositions on your device. These can be imported to your PC or even beamed to your Nokia/Siemens mobile phone.
Devices without enhanced sound can still enjoy the rich features and great graphics of this Music composer, listening to their polyphonic creations through their mobile phones or PC!
Music Studio has a great special introductory price of $12.95!
- Create & edit polyphonic melodies!
- Compose upto 8 different tracks per melody!
- Over 100 instruments to utilise!
- Save & manage alarms on your alarm database!
- Import melodies as Midis to your PC!
- Beam melodies as ringtones to your mobile!
- Convert each track to standard RTTTL format!
- Great graphics
- Easy to use, for beginners, amateurs and professionals
I can’t wait for this product to come out. It really interests me, especially the pro-version. I love the idea that I will be able to play and remix MIDI tracks on my palm.
That is not to say that there aren’t already MIDI player apps available, there are. But none that allow you the control that MixPad offers.
You can use Bhajis Loops to import MIDI files that’s true, and it works very well with them, but I look forward to the simplicity of an application built for working with MIDI on the Palm OS, and also that can integrate with the other minimusic applications.
Here’s what MiniMusic say about it:
MixPad is a full featured MIDI file player/recorder/editor. It will let you take any raw MIDI file with you on your Palm and play on any connected MIDI hardware. MixPad differs from any other Palm MIDI file applications with powerful graphic support for simple viewing and quick editing.
Ideal for real performance situations, MixPad uses the Palm hardware buttons for playback control, allows you to lock songs to prevent unintended changes, and gives you a powerful real-time mixer interface to control channel volumes, panning, and solos and mutes for every track during playback. The main display gives smooth scrolling of all MIDI data (including velocities and controller data in the lower window) and full zooming functionality. We are also building in a full range piano controller to play along with the current file or to add a new track to an existing file, and some slider controllers as well that can be assigned to any MIDI controller value (pitch bend, volume, vibrato, etc.).
Here’s a nice screen shot.
The SG20 was the very first module I got. It fitten onto the base of my palm IIIx and was slightly smaller than a packet of cigarettes. It was a GM module that had a midi in/out box that you could attach to it, although I never used this.
The quality of the sounds was excellent, and I always enjoyed using it, but as with all these things you get to a point where you say, actually it is too big / cumbersome / too many bits of kit to lug about, and that’s what happened. In a way I wish I’d kept it, but I know I wouldn’t use it at all.
When I started with music on PDAs I had to use a MIDI modules for anything like decent sounds. One of my favourite modules was for the Visor PDA which had proprietory modules called springboards. The module was about the size of a book of matches, it had 128 midi sounds on board, and a headphone jack. It powered itself from the visor PDA. Nice.
The sound wasn’t bad at all really. The module responded to MiniMusic NotePad and BeatPad software.
The visor was a cool device and the modules were fun too. Shame they didn’t stick around.
More on modules soon…
NotePad 1.4 is finally released. Excellent! Really worth checking out. What will they do next???
Years ago I had a palm iiix (my first palm PDA). I really loved that device. When I found out that there were possibilities to make music with a device that small, I was astounded. My first departure into handheld music was buying MiniMusic software and an SG20 module for my palm IIIx.
Wow, that was fantastic. A full MIDI sequencer in the palm on my hand. For some time I thought that was the best that there could be.