iPhone what? There’s big stuff happening in homebrew music development for Nintendo DS and PSP.
NitroTracker 0.4 (Now)
First up, on the uber-popular Nintendo DS, NitroTracker 0.4 adds some big features. Creator Tobias Weyand writes:
I wanted to tell you that I just released NitroTracker v0.4 with lots of new features and improvements, the coolest ones being sample looping and stylus-drawable volume envelopes. You can basically just record a sound, make it loop, draw an envelope, and there you have your instant instrument.
Sample looping is interesting, too – you can loop forward or, as in many video samplers, ping-pong style (back and forth). The envelopes are a nice fit for the stylus, as well.
Other features: multi-samples for instruments, and channel mute/solo.
Why you want it: Intuitive, tracker-style sequencing with a stylus, live sampling, MIDI integration, now with real sampling and envelope features
PSPSeq 3 (Soon)
I also got an advance look at the next version of PSPSeq when creator Ethan Bordeaux stopped by the CDM/Make/Etsy Handmade Music night I put together. I’ve got video from that event I’ll be editing and posting soon. But before I get into features, I should say this: Ethan wants PSPSeq to be so good, you’ll buy a PSP to get it. Why a PSP? Because the extra CPU power Sony built into the device makes it a formidable handheld synth. And because it’s different. And because it runs PSPSeq.
Ethan’s in bug-stomping mode, so you can’t have PSPSeq just yet. But the upcoming build includes new randomization and interpolation features, more powerful copy and paste, shortcuts, and workflow improvements. (It’s funny – it sounds like we’re talking about a DAW.) I was particularly impressed by the randomization stuff in person. It really turns PSPSeq into a powerful composition environment. Ethan, whose day job is DSP programming, has also included some unusual features like “rotational synthesis” – I’ll let him explain it in the video, once I get that up.
So, CDM readers, would you be interested enough to get a CDM group buy of PSPs, pre-installed with homebrew-ready firmware?
Come on. Humans have two hands. One hand can be on the DS while the other is on the PSP.
Why you want it: Powerful arrangement features, real synthesis that sounds great, all-in-one power
PSP Rhythm 8.0 (Now)
From comments, I actually missed another big announcement. (Too much going on! Thanks, Louie!)
The popular PSP drum machine/sequencer PSP Rhythm got a new optimized audio engine, yet another interface upgrade (there seems to be one in each version), and an ADSR synth mode. For some reason, I’m not particularly drawn to PSP Rhythm musically – it lacks some of the exotic charm of PSPSeq – but it’s still very much worthy of your attention if you’ve got a PSP, and proof that the DS doesn’t have a monopoly on mobile music.
It’s even got a pro-style music trailer.