Recollections of PalmSounds: Matt from NanoStudio

I’ve known Matt for some time now and I still remember when NanoStudio came out. I think we were all blown away by that. Here’s how Matt remembers PalmSounds:

“In 2009 I gave up my day job and decided to try and make an audio app for this thing which hadn’t around long called an iPhone, which was like this amazing miniature pocket computer that also did phone calls. Shortly after starting development I discovered Palm Sounds, which not only was a blog about music making software but a blog about music making software on mobile devices. This seemed so niche that I recall being surprised that it even existed, until I remembered you can find any old weirdos on the internet if you look hard enough. It was still fairly early days for iOS – no MIDI connectivity and iPad was (is) just a silly word, but there was at least the iPod Touch which didn’t pester you or its own battery with the annoying phone call bit. I learnt from Ashley’s site that you couldn’t be considered a true pioneer of musical road-warrioring unless your weapon of choice back in the day was Bhajis Loops running on a late model Palm OS device. I felt suitably humbled at being so late to the party.

Times moved on, and with the scene changing rapidly I think it was around 2012 that Ashley publicly announced he was going to close down Palm Sounds. I had every sympathy. I’d had my own first experience of running a forum for the last couple of years, and although it was fun most of the time, it could also take its toll. It can take a lot of time and energy and Ashley was doing this alongside his day job and family just for the fun of it, which was no mean feat. Impressively, Ashley then had a rethink about what he really wanted, went back on his announcement, re-invented the format and here we are today – respect!

I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting up with Ashley a couple of times. Turns out he’s a nice bloke with a genuine interest, who’d have thought! Congratulations on 10 years fella!”

Thanks Matt! NanoStudio is still the go to app of choice for many of us on iOS. Long may it remain that way!

Seeing Deerful play live, and some thoughts on mobile music performace


And in this performance an PO as well. In fact, in this show by Deerful, everything was battery powered, and I have to say that it worked beautifully.

You might remember Deerful from a video I posted a little while ago:

I’m a big fan of her work and so it was great to see her live for the first time at the Shacklewell Arms last Friday. It was an excellent performance. Deerful synth based pop is delicate, subtle and crafted with care. But just because it’s synth pop doesn’t mean it’s disposable, on the contrary her music is full of meaning and her lyrics are well worth several listens.

But apart from being battery powered you might be wondering why she’s getting a mention on PalmSounds, well that’s a good question and an easy answer too. Deerful is making music with a lot of mobile devices and apps too. In fact, her latest release (iTunes link) has been made with an OP-1 and NanoStudio on an iPad Mini. Moon Maps is one of the tracks on this release and I have to say that I’ve played it quite a few times now. I keep coming back.

But that’s not the only release from Deerful that I’ve enjoyed. City Bells (iTunes link) is also excellent and is probably one of the only songs I know of that has the word ‘Michaelmas’ in it, and yes, it rhymes too. If that wasn’t enough then Emma (Deerful) is also a part of School of Noise too, and if you don’t know what that is then click the link and find out, you won’t be sorry.

But playing with an all battery powered rig has it’s challenges too. Before the gig Emma talked to me about the challenges it creates and how a constant reliance on batteries can make one somewhat nervous. I can understand that having done it myself.


But none of this had any impact on her performance, which was wonderful. Polished and yet emotional. Even though this little rig was small enough to fit on this tiny table it gave a big sound and all very complimentary too. Throughout the gig there wasn’t one song I didn’t enjoy.

But there was one song that really stood out for me for a couple of reasons.


Emma introduced this song by assuring everyone in the audience that she wasn’t going to play it on a pocket calculator. Of course it was a Teenage Engineering PO (a robot I think). And the track was amazing. Really amazing. I hope that she releases it in the not too distant future. It was awesome to see someone perform with a PO device, and do it so competently as well, but to see and here this track and vocal were amazing. I can’t stress it enough.

So if you get a chance to see Emma (Deerful) then I’d strongly suggest that you take the opportunity. You won’t be sorry at all.

Video: Sample editing in NanoStudio

NanoStudio might be fairly old, but I know that a lot of people really rely on it a lot, and it is still one of the best apps around in a lot of people’s opinions. So this is a very handy video.

NanoStudio on the app store:

14 apps I love: 3 -Nanostudio

Let’s face it, NanoStudio was huge wasn’t it. I think it changed a lot of people’s attitudes towards music on iOS and it made a massive impact when it landed. I still think it is a really amazing music making app, and I know that it still has a very loyal community behind it. If I had a criticism it would be that it hasn’t kept pace with how iOS and mobile music has changed in recent times. It isn’t a huge criticism, and it is more than outweighed by just how good and rock solid it is.

NanoStudio on the app store:

188 NanoStudio Eden Synth Patches & 9 TRG Banks for Free

You can find them via iOS Musician.

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: