From the beginning … PalmSounds on video, back in 2008: Something live …

“This is a first test to see how a performance might work using a numer of PDAs / handheld devices simultaneously. This test uses a TRG Pro (with an SG20 MIDI module attached), a Nintendo DS running Electroplankton, and a Treo 650 using AxisPad.”

“This was a little experiment in PDA performance. The main music is running in Bhajis Loops on a T3. The treo is using AxisPad, the TRG Pro is running ThereMIDI, and the other gear is a Yamaha MU15 and a Kaoss MINI.”

“Here’s another video featuring a T3 running Bhajis Loops in live mode, a Treo 650 running AxisPad, a TRG Pro running Theremini, and a Yamaha MU15 running off the TRG Pro. The whole thing is through a Kaoss Pad mini.”

“Another video from my last session of mucking around. This time more abstract and formless.”

“Some excerpts from my live show earlier this year. I’ve finally got around to editing them into something that can be watched.”

A nice collection of me trying out live things and then ending up with an actual live thing using PDAs and stuff. It was fun to do, but things really have moved on from there.

From the beginning … PalmSounds on video, back in 2007: Two OS’s together?

“I had thought about doing this a while ago. This is a short video showing AxisPad (using sounds from SoundPad) being played through Pocket StompBox (a multi-effects processor) into a pair of portable speakers. Made me think of Dr Who soundtracks from the 70’s!”

Now I’m getting into the whole Windows Mobile thing and running StompBox on the Dell Axim.

 

AxisPad: A real PDA instrument

Of all the applications I’ve looked at for PDAs I have to say that I think that AxisPad is the only true instrument.

If you think about it all the others are sequencers of one form or another, that allow you to take sounds or create sounds for use somewhere else, or in another application, but AxisPad is an instrument in itself. It is the only handheld music application that you actually play.

Now, that in itself makes it very unique, but it also makes me wonder what are the attributes of a PDA (or smartphone) instrument application. So, what makes a PDA music applcation an instrument?

Here’s my first stab at a list of those attributes:

  • It has to be playable, like a real instrument
  • To play it well will take time
  • It must have an interface that copes with expression in some form
  • It must be more than just recording or sequencing

For me AxisPad is the start of a new form of music application for handheld devices that is more than just making music on the go or arranging new tracks. It is about giving mobile musicians the ability to find new forms of expression in mobile music.

According to the miniMusic development calendar the next step for AxisPad will be the ability to record and export. I am really looking forward to having the ability to record performances and then export them to enhance and manipulate them, I think that opens up some interesting possibilities.

What’s next for AxisPad?

According to the miniMusic development calendar we can expect record and export functions to be added. So you can make your own AxisPad performances and then export them out, but it what format? Out to NotePad, MIDI? .WAV? Who knows as yet, either way it will be a great new extension to AxisPad, an already excellent music application.

AxisPad 1.0

MORE ABOUT AXISPAD: Here’s the Press Release . . .

AxisPad uses the full touch sensitive screen to control sounds, changing their pitch, volume or other characteristics. A built-in software synthesizer creates a wide range of instrument sounds, or some handheld computers can also be connected to MIDI hardware (like keyboards, samplers, or tone modules) which AxisPad can also control, altering the sound of that instrument while you play.

The new user interface makes it very easy to change the range of pitches or volumes being controlled. It is also simple to edit the guide-lines on the screen helping you mark pitches you want to return to, or mark volume levels to help you shape the dynamics of your performance over time. AxisPad also gives you full control over the colors of each instrument so you can make each visually distinct.

“We’ve been wanting to make this product for a while,” says Chad Mealey, chief developer at miniMusic. “We’ve been adding our Krikit Audio Engine to other applications for the past year or so, but AxisPad is our first product to allow ‘pitch bends’ where you can slowly slide between two notes in a scale. The advantage of using the same sound engine is that you can design your own sounds with our SoundPad application, and then perform with them in AxisPad!”

AxisPad is a re-imagination of an older shareware application named Theremini, written by Pete Moss. Named after the Theremin, a musical instrument heard in such films as The Day The Earth Stood Still, Ed Wood, Mars Attacks! and Forbidden Planet, Theremini has not been updated in several years and so is not compatible with many modern handheld features.

Pricing, Availability, and Distribution
AxisPad is available now for $19.95 from the miniMusic website. For a limited time AxisPad will be included free with orders of the miniMusic Handheld Music Suite or the Pro Music Suite, each available for $69.95 on-line and from select retail outlets. A free demo of AxisPad is currently available for download from the miniMusic web-site at http://www.miniMusic.com.

About miniMusic
Based in San Francisco since 1999, miniMusic creates handheld computer software for music composition, education, performance, and entertainment so that musical ideas can be explored anywhere and anytime, giving individuals the freedom of musical expression on their own terms. Shipping applications include NotePad, BeatPad, SoundPad, EarTrain and BugBand. Upcoming products will tackle MIDI sequencing, multi-track editing and innovative new musical interfaces.

I really like this application. Maybe you can guess that.

AxisPad 1.0 from MiniMusic

Wonderful!

A new application from MiniMusic. I haven’t had time to play with this as yet, but I’ve bought it, and at only $19.95 I’d hav to say that I think that it is excellent value.

I shall post again when I’ve had a good play with it.

AxisPad Preview from MiniMusic


I’ve been meaning to post on the latest addition to the minimusic range, but I wanted to be able to add a few extras to this post before I wrote about it.

I’ve enjoyed playing with the preview application. The interface is fantastic, but then nothing less than you’d expect from minimusic. It is a real fun app to work with and the full version is due out this month!

Here’s what the minimusic site says about it:

AxisPad is a music instrument on your handheld computer. You can use the full touch sensitive screen to create sound gestures. Each axis (up/down, left/right) can be assigned to change different parameters of the sound. The preview lets you control pitch and volume to create sounds similar to a Theremin. Push the up control on your phone or handheld to change the settings, down to hide the settings, or use the left/right controls to change instruments.

The full AxisPad will offer additional controls, customizable guide-lines, support for MIDI output and sound cards on some handhelds, and support for older handhelds that cannot run our software synthesizer. AxisPad is our update of the Theremini/Theremidi application by Pete Moss.

The November 8th Preview 2 greatly improves performance on most handhelds, eliminating the “click” sound while changing the volume of a sound. It also adds support for basic sound on older handhelds (Palm OS 3 or 4, which cannot run our Krikit Audio Engine). We’ve also remapped the screen to adjust volume based on the we we perceive loudness rather than the linear amplitude changes in Preview 1.

The free preview only saves one patch. The full application will include several additional features and support a wider variety of hardware.

The current preview requires a handheld running Palm OS 3.0 or greater. Some features require the Palm OS 5 Streaming Sound Libraries. Usually, any OS 5 handheld with a headphone jack qualifies (with the exception of a few Sony Clie models).

AxisPad produces sounds reminiscent of a Theremin as heard in such films as The Day The Earth Stood Still, The Thing (From Another World), Ed Wood, Mars Attacks!, and Forbidden Planet. But AxisPad can do so much more. The full application will let you save multiple configurations, set custom colored guides, and on some handheld models AxisPad will send control changes to MIDI hardware like samplers, synthesizers and tone modules.

The free AxisPad preview can also be found at the miniMusic website and the full version will be available in November for $19.95.

I wanted to be able to show what AxisPad was like, so I enlisted the help of my children to make a little video about it. Here’s our AxisPad duet.

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