Why Mr NightRadio and WarmPlace is where the boundaries of mobile music are being pushed back

I started thinking about this piece when I saw the video above and realised that actually the boundaries of mobile music were being quite firmly pushed back by the work that Mr NightRadio is doing. The Quantum DJ is clear proof of just that. It’s a unique device and in fact one that I’ve been waiting for this year.

Just the fact Alex is making hardware as well as maintaining his already excellent software is impressive, but when you actually look at what Alex has done in software and hardware you start to realise that this is where the boundaries really are. Let’s talk about why.

We’ll start with SunVox. I remember when SunVox first started. I remember using it on my Palm OS Treo 650, then on a Dell Axim running Windows Mobile OS. Of course it came to iOS and Android, and it runs on desktop platforms too. SunVox keeps moving forward and even now is in beta again.

It has to be said that there are very few modular apps that can say that they run on so many platforms, and SunVox just gets better and better. I’d like to say that there are only a handful, but I’m not sure that there are even that many.

But SunVox is just the start. There’s all of Alex’s other apps to consider, for example, PixiTracker (+ the 1 bit version), PixelWave, SpectrumGen, SoundFields, and Nature Oscillator. Those are the ones that I’m not going to talk about (but they’re all worth checking out actually).

But there are a couple of apps that do require a little more attention. PhonoPaper and Virtual ANS. Both of these are just incredible apps. Unique and brilliant and capable of taking your sound to completely new places. I used Virtual ANS to complete a track called “Probably get the tube” which I wrote for the Cities and Memories project “The Next Station”. I used it to sonify old pictures of Regents Park Underground Station, and it did an awesome job.

These apps are amazing and, as I said before, they’re pushing the boundaries of the world of mobile music. Which brings me to this video, of SunVox and PixiScope.

PixiScope is a library for the PixiLang language, which itself was used to produce PixiTracker. How awesome is that?

So what am I getting at? This little multi-platform ecosystem is really going places in a very quiet and unassuming way, and that’s amazing in itself. If you’re not aware of what Mr NightRadio is up to, then now is the right time to acquaint yourself.


SunVox is spinning up even more goodness in the latest beta

SunVox has been a constant feature of the mobile music world for a very long time now. I first used it on a Palm OS device back in the pre-iPhone world. Of course it came to iOS and Android too and continues to go from strength to strength. The current Beta will eventually end up in iOS and Android once the version is out of beta.

Here’s what’s new:

v1.9.2 BETA2 (23 oct 2016):

  • Sampler: new option “Stop recording on project stop”;
  • Analog Generator: new waveform “Drawn with spline interpolation”;
  • MultiCtl: new controller “OUT offset”;
  • new module Velocity2Ctl: converts the velocity parameter of the incoming notes to
  • the controller values (in some another connected module);
  • new keyboard shortcut: CTRL + 4 – unmute all modules;
  • new version of SunVox library for developers;
  • bugs fixed.

v1.9.2 BETA1 (10 oct 2016):

  • Windows (7 and higher): multitouch support;
  • Linux (x86_64 only): multitouch support;
  • Linux: arm64 architecture support (tested on PINE64 64-bit Single Board Computer);
  • Linux: screen rotation support;
  • new module Pitch2Ctl: converts the incoming notes to the controller values (in some another connected module);
  • new project parameter – “Time grid” (number of lines per grid cell);
  • add option “nowin” to the sunvox_config.ini if you want to launch SunVox without the window (pure console mode without UI);
  • Main SunVox Menu: new function “Merge project” (load project over the current);
  • Timeline: target pointer (like in the Module View) has been added; use it to choose where to place the new pattern(s);
  • Timeline: now the file is used for the pattern copy-buffer; so you can paste even after the SunVox restart;
  • Analog Generator: new options “Retain phase” (don’t reset the phase) and “Random phase”;
  • Analog Generator: new options “Filter frequency = note frequency” and “Velocity-dependent filter resonance”; see the analog_gen4 and analog_gen5 examples;
  • MultiSynth: new button “Set” (set exact values of the curve);
  • Vibrato: new controller “Exponential amplitude”;
  • Kicker: sine waveform has been added;
  • LFO: random (noise) waveform has been added;
  • Loop: new controller “Mode” (normal/ping-pong loop playback); see the loop2 example;
  • MetaModule: optimized interface + default user controller names;
    improved MIDI Import and Export: channel/program/bank/controller support; new timing algorithm;
  • ability to switch between the text fields using the TAB/SHIFT+TAB keys;
  • new oscilloscope mode (module visualizer) – XY (X = left channel; Y = right channel);
  • now all notes are visible on the musical keyboard: expand it up to see the full range;
  • Module View (Routing): new function “Find” (find a module by name);
  • Pattern Editor: improved hints;
  • Pattern Editor: click on some event (note or some other command) and the corresponding module will be highlighted;
  • Pattern Properties: new buttons “Shrink /2” and “Expand *2” has been added;
  • Preferences -> Main: new option “Make project backup before the first overwrite”;
  • Preferences -> Timeline: new option “Show line numbers from …”;
  • Preferences -> Timeline: new option “Grid cell size”;
  • Preferences -> Interface: new option “Double click time” (in ms);
  • Preferences -> Interface -> Scale: new parameter “Font scale”;
  • new keyboard shortcut: CTRL + 1 – toggle mute (module);
  • new keyboard shortcut: CTRL + 2 – toggle solo (module);
  • new keyboard shortcut: CTRL + 3 – toggle bypass (module);
  • new keyboard shortcut: CTRL + F – find a module;
  • new instruments and effects;
  • new simple project examples: analog_gen4, analog_gen5, dubstep, loop2, pitch2ctl ***;
  • new song examples: Quantum Countdown, PalmSounds10;
  • bugs fixed.

Palm Sounds 10 (SunVox + Oscilloscope)

This is awesome, a fantastic video from Alex to celebrate PalmSounds 10th birthday this month!

Thanks Alex, I really appreciate it! Sunvox is amazing!

Video description:

“For PalmSounds’ 10th birthday!
Made in SunVox: http://warmplace.ru/soft/sunvox”

Video published by Alexander Zolotov.

If you don’t already know Sunvox then you should really do yourself a favour and check it out.

Sunvox on the app store:

Video: SunVox: How to Make a Dubstep Bass

Video description:

“Used modules: FM, Filter, WaveShaper, Flanger, Reverb, Distrotion.”

Video published by Alexander Zolotov.

SunVox on the app store:

Video: SunVox as an FX unit

Video description:

“How to use SunVox on iOS as an effects unit within AudioBus, IAA and also within Cubasis and Tonestack as examples. Sound generating apps were Fugue Machine and Laplace.

The main thing with using SunVox as an effects unit is to ensure you open it first. You then add the “Input” module, connect it to whatever you like which leads to the Output module.

If you do that first you can then add SunVox as an effect to other apps, or as an effect in AudioBus or IAA.”

Video published by Mathias Hellquist.

Video: SunVox on PocketC.H.I.P.

SunVox on PocketC.H.I.P. from Next Thing Co. on Vimeo.

Oh yeah! You may or may not remember this device which was on Kickstarter some time ago. It’s due to deliver in a couple of months, but we’ll see about that.

Anyway, the video above shows the PocketC.H.I.P running SunVox! How awesome is that! I’m really looking forward to getting mine now!

Video: SunVox + Oscilloscope: Silence Artifacts (by NightRadio)

Video description:

“Made in SunVox: http://warmplace.ru/soft/sunvox
Oscilloscope: OML-3M (in XY mode).”

Video published by Alexander Zolotov.

SunVox on the app store: