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

 


MIDI day on Palm Sounds : MixPad from MiniMusic

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.

And another

SG20

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.

MIDI Modules

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…

http://life-electronic.net/blog/?p=109#respond

BeatPad 1.1 Review

BeatPad was one of the first pieces of musical software I purchased for the palm platform. I used it on my first palm, a IIIx which I personally upgraded to 8mb, but that’s another story. At the time, I thought it was totally amazing, which in fact it is still, it has just got better and better. In many ways it hasn’t changed very much, but from a different perspective it has changed vastly.

Essentially BeatPad is a simple sequencer for the palm. It has a single monophonic music sequence and a drum pattern editor. It arranges patterns into four banks, A through D, and each bank has 8 patterns in it.

In version 1.1 you can tell the app to move from one pattern to the next, but you can’t give it specific instructions like “A1 four times, then A2 etc”. I’m sure that this sort of thing will come in a later version. For now you can tell it to play the patterns in order, and that’s fine. You can copy patterns too.

Within each pattern you can adjust parameters for each note in the pattern, such as velocity, duration, pitch etc, and you can choose instruments for your tracks too.

It isn’t going to make you a pop star, but it is good fun with a very interesting interface, and combined with SoundPad it is a powerful combination.

http://www.minimusic.com/beatpad.html

Making music in very small packages

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.

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