MiniMusic Treo 680 problem fixed

The minimusic site reports that they’ve fixed the issue with Treo 680 devices. Now they can move on to releasing some excellent new applications for this year!

AxisPad 1.0 from MiniMusic


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.

BugBand 1.2 Released

I’ve posted on the previous version of BugBand which I thought was already good, this new version takes it much further. I love how innovative this app is in helping to teach notation using many different instruments now.

Adding the Krikit audio engine is also a big step forward. Krikit provides rich sound synthesis and is a big improvement for BugBand. It will be nice to see this in EarTrain as well when it comes along.

Here’s what the miniMusic site has to say about BugBand:

BugBand helps you practice sight reading, letter names of notes, piano, guitar, violin and brass instruments. With a practice level for the complete beginner and ten levels of difficulty, BugBand can help anyone improve their sight reading skills. Great for teaching kids the basics of music, helping students get through music classes at school, or anyone learn to play an instrument. Lots of bugs! Lots of fun!

The new 1.2 version adds: Two new instruments (Violin and Trombone), software synthesis for rich audio and a new “boring mode” so you can play with normal note heads as you would see in real printed music instead of the colorful bugs. Our Krikit Audio Engine (or Krikit Synth) can create rich sound on most modern handheld computers (like the Zire 31, 71, 72, Tungsten T, T2, T3, T5, TX, C, E, E2, Treo 600, 650, 700p, Lifedrive, Tapwave Zodiac, Sony Clie UX40, UX50 or TJ35, and others). Oh, and there is a new golden butterfly!

Music thing: Whistler – the music program for non-musicians

Music thing: Whistler – the music program for non-musicians

I voted for this app as I think it is a really worthwhile development. However, I think the real niche for this would be on a PDA.

Minimusic have had this in RnD for ages. I don’t know if the hardware would support it, but I can’t think why not.

For me it would be almost a pinnacle for mobile music making. To be able to get a device to pick a hummed or whistled tune on the fly and then drag it in to another piece of software to manipulate or develop it. Cool.

SpinPad: Interfaces to make you think

I’m looking forward to spinpad from MiniMusic. I like the idea of a completely different interface for making music. I hope it will make me think differently. I hope SpinPad will have a MIDI export facility when it is released.

A Four-Track for the PalmOS?

I love the idea of a 4-track (or more) on a palm. The idea is brilliant.

So, could SynthPad (or WavePad) from miniMusic be just such a thing? Well, I do hope so. I don’t expect it will be around soon, but I live in hope that it does come about.

MiniMusic are fairly good at delivering what they say they will (although perhaps a bit late), and so I take comfort that it won’t be just vapourware.

But what will it mean? Will it work in the same way as a traditional multi-track? Who knows. Would you even want it to, as the quality of mics on palm devices can’t be the best in the world.

So what will it be good for? The short answer is I don’t know, but one thing is almost certain. Whatever it does it will be interesting and useful.

I for one am looking forward to it.

SoundPad thoughts …

I hoping for a new version of SoundPad soon. Here’s what I’d like:

  • Square wave
  • Sawtooth
  • Copy and paste of sounds between bank
  • Lock sound
  • Lock bank
  • Export sound as wav (not hopeful for this one)

If I get one or two I’ll be pleased.

NotePad 1.4 Treo keys

I found this in a pile of papers today and realised that I haven’t used these keyboard shortcuts at all since I helped with the testing on NotePad 1.4. At the time I thought they’d be really useful and helpful, but now I don’t even think about them. Not that I am saying that it is a bad app. Quite the opposite. Nor am I saying they’re not useful, they may well be to others.

It is just interesting to me that some part of an app that you think will really work for you becomes forgotten in a very short space of time indeed.

I dream of . . .

This is the R&D page from miniMusic. It has been there for a while, but every now and then I visit to see if there’s any change. I love these ideas, I think they are fantastic and inspired. It would be wonderful to see them on a palm device. Who knows, one day.

Anyway, visit the site, here’s what it says anyway…

Whistle & Hum

What would be the easiest way to keep track of your musical ideas, the quicklest way to jot down a tune that springs into your head? Whistle it! Hum it! and have that translated into a score where you can noodle around with it. Maybe you hummed it out of tune? Well, just select it and transpose on your PDA and start working on the harmony. The ‘whislte & hum’ technology is based on an optimized, quick and dirty (and small) realization of pitch recognition and quantizing. By next year, as the hardware becomes available, you could be whistling your voice leading homework, or humming the trumpet’s solo in the 83rd measure of that overture you’re writing for the new Spielberg film.


IMP stands for Improvistational Music Program, and is quite a little devil. This software uses various neural network simulations to invent music as it goes along. Using parameters that you assign, and seed material, IMP will begin exploring the musical landscape that you’ve placed it in. This can simply replace your walkman, or can be a tool to create variations and random material for you to use in composition. Set IMP to compose to a file so that you can drop the passages you like into the miniMusic NotePad and begin building your score.

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