Not palm but an interesting use of gaming



I’ve been thinking for a while about getting a Nintendo DS or a DS Lite. I have no real passion for games and gaming, but I’ve been amused and intrigued by the idead of electroplankton.

I like the concepts employed in making music through unusual and non-traditional interfaces, and I think it sounds like an interesting idea for children as well.

Is it worth getting? I’m not sure, It is a lot of cash to shell out on a new piece of hardware and software just to play for a while. I think it would be wonderful if someone wrote something similar for the PalmOS.

A bhajis loops wishlist


I thought I’d put together a list of the things I’d love to see in Bhajis Loops. Stuff I think would be wonderful if it made it into a new version. I know that there’s little or no chance of that as development has mostly finished. Even so, it is worth stating these ideas.

– Audio support : I’d love to have support for maybe one or two audio channels alongside the sampled instruments. I’d even considere upgrading to a LifeDrive to support audio

  • Synth plugins : Having the ability to use FM synthesis plugins to create instruments
  • Pre-Fade send
  • More effect plugins
  • A desktop tool (for Mac OSX) for creating effect plugins and synth plugins (ambitious I know, but then it is a wishlist)

When I started writing this I thought I had loads of stuff and ideas, but what do you know, only a few. Anyway if you have other ideas then please comment them in.

Collaborative Music and the PDA

Musical collaboration is an area that always interests me. I like the idea that people can collaborate over the internet by sending files back and forth and sharing ideas. I’ve done this myself, and it is interesting.

I like the idea of the “Snowball” in Griff where people would add to a track and build it up. The collaboration site for Bhajis Loops has had a bit of interest, but not too much, which is a shame.

Some time ago there was talk of the ability to use bluetooth in Bhajis loops as a way of keeping two devices in sync. I’ve had this thought in my head for a while, and on some levels it seems like a fun way to collaborate, but I think there are other ways that would be even more interesting.

I have this idea in my head that you could be sitting on the bus one day going to work and as usual you’ve got your headphones on working on your next bhajis masterpiece. All of a sudden you get an alert that tells you someone is trying to collaborate with you on your tune, and do you want to let them?

You don’t know who it is on the bus, but it doesn’t matter. For the next thirty minutes you work together then stop and you both have the tune on your palms.

I know it is a bit of a pipe dream, and unrealistic as there is just not the Bhajis user base for something like that to happen, but it is a fun idea nevertheless.

Category: Mobile Studio

This is where you’ll find all my posts on the mobile studio idea:

Libretto Using the Libretto in the mobile studio

Computer Music Feature on mobile music making Some initial comment on the feature in Computer Music

Portable Speakers About having speakers you can carry with you

Mobile Studio Current state of my mobile studio, in Sept 2006.

Devices Different devices you can use for mobile music making

QY70, hmm I want one of these too now!

Ok, Tom from music thing makes a good suggestion. The Yamaha QY70. Nice machine.

But both this and the Roland are less powerful than Bhajis Loops. Why would I go for either one? Not sure, but I do fancy having a play.

OSX Sample Packer for Bhajis Loops

This is the coolest utility for Bhajis so far. Now you can edit and compile your own sample packs for Bhajis right in OSX. The sample packer has a fantastic GUI and options to optimise samples.

Another fantastic utility from Olivier.

MIDI day on Palm Sounds : Roland PMA-5

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.

MIDI day on Palm Sounds : NotePad 1.4

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.

MIDI day on Palm Sounds : Music Studio 1.0

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!

Features include:

  • 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

MIDI day on Palm Sounds : ittyMIDI

I had a brief play with ittyMIDI a long time ago when I had a Sony clie. The nice thing about the clie was that it had an on board midi chip so you instant access to GM sounds. The down side was that Sony had not implemented the Palm Sound API and so you needed a third party hack to run things like Bhajis Loops.

Anyway, this is what the ittyMIDI site has to say about the software.

ittyMIDI Player converts your Palm OSĀ® compatible hand held into a full featured MIDI player and will transform the way you practice or perform. To see for yourself, download the free demo today. ittyMIDI Player works on many Palm OS devices. Please check the compatibility list to see whether your model applies.

Most handhelds require an external synthesizer to generate polyphonic MIDI, although a few models have built-in synthesizers. Again, please see the compatibility list for details.

  • Sony Internal Synthesizer Support
  • BeatPlus Support
  • Palm OS 5 Support
  • Color Support
  • MIDI OUT to External Synth
  • MIDI THRU from External Controller
  • Works with Swivel SG20 and Tsunamidi synths
  • Works with Handiclip
  • Count In Option
  • Disable Alarms Option
  • Practice Loops
  • Program (instrument) Mapping
  • Channel Mapping
  • GM to non-GM Mapping

 


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