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Deeper with DS-10: Using a Nintendo DS Cartridge from Korg, Surprising Live Electronic Music

Music making, child’s play. Photo (CC-BY-SA) Attila Malarik. You might not expect a handheld game console, the gadget kids use to play Pokemon, to prove much worth as a musical instrument. But even in the age of readily-available computer plug-ins and iPhone apps, the DS holds its own. In the hands of two sets of artists, we find music that stands alone, independent of the gimmick of the device on which it was made. For these artists, the limitations of a fold-up touchscreen – entirely independent of doubling as a phone, or a computer, or a Facebook-browsing engine, or a …

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kaossilator2

Korg’s Kaossilator 2, Mini Kaoss 2: Handheld Sonic Fun That’s Not an iPhone

Photo: Marsha Vdovin for CDM. Remember when electronic sound gear hid in hulking, rack-sized cases? Korg’s Kaossilator series had already begun shrinking the desktop KAOSS Pad gear, but even the first-generation Kaossilator wouldn’t fit in your pocket, given its square shape and corners. (Well, unless you were wearing overalls.) The Kaossilator 2 and Mini Kaoss Pad 2, on the other hand, are scaled perfectly to your hand and would tuck neatly into a pocket in your pants or bag. And while I know some readers were hoping for a new Pro addition to the KAOSS line, these little bundles of …

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Handheld Studio: Song Recorded with Just an iPhone 4S, Sonoma FourTrack; Here’s How

One of the smallest measures of time in the world is now the time that elapses between when Apple ships a new mobile product and someone has uploaded a video / album / feature film with it. It’s rather amazing. Somewhere, other tech vendors are … crying. But that said, I think the video above is a wonderful thing. Perhaps the mobile smartphone is this generation’s new PortaStudio – something so readily accessible and portable that there’s really no excuse not to record a musical event when it happens. And however you do that I think is healthy. So, in …

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iPhone 4S Video Exhibits Advantages of Stabilization, Depth of Field

This video is making the rounds, but I only recently saw it, so you may be new to it, too. Benjamin Dowie shoots some beautiful footage on the new iPhone 4S. And forget the novelty for a second: this works because of some specific engineering decisions in how the camera on Apple’s phone works. Got an iPhone 4S yesterday and got up this morning to go for a surf. No surf, so thought I’d shoot some stuff to see what the new camera is like on the 4S. Got home, looked at the footage, and couldn’t believe it came out …

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Game Meets Album: Behind the Music and Design of the iPad Indie Blockbuster Swords & Sworcery

Jim Guthrie was a rockstar long before the iPad was. Paired with pixel-intense artist Craig D. Adams (aka Superbrothers) and the co-design and coding effort of a crack team of video game “wizards” at the indie studio capy, he’s made a soundtrack that’s destined to be a gaming classic. But if you don’t want to play it, you can still listen to it. And if you’re playing it, you may find that it feels as though you’re listening to it, and gazing into its artwork. From the moment you tap to launch it, Swords & Sworcery plunges you into a …

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An All-Android Hip-hop Album, and the Tools Used to Create It

Now airport lounge layover-ready and musical – the Android platform. A hip-hop release that used these handheld tools exclusively is a good window into what’s out there. Photo (CC-BY) Laihiuyeung Ryanne. From an eBay-purchased Atari ST to your phone, you really can make electronic music however you like, wherever you like. Generally, I’ve therefore been skeptical of gimmicks like all-iPad albums, particularly as it seems fairly obvious that such things should be possible. On the other hand, albums produced entirely with less-obvious, less-popular options may lead to more unexpected solutions. And they can both prove my ultimate thesis: you should …

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Nanoloop Comes to Android, with its Lovely, Minimal Music Idea-Making Interface

I think the first time I really understood handheld music making was when I first tried Nanoloop on Game Boy. While the more-popular LSDJ tracker is powerful, Nanoloop’s interface was unlike anything I’d seen before: aggressively minimal, it embodies in its interface design the feeling of a blank sheet of paper. Adding an idea feels like composition, like genuinely exploring open-ended possibilities and discovering what melodies may result. Now, Nanoloop – already on iOS – is available for Android, too. It remains simple stuff, the sense of what a music maker looks like when designed for your hand rather than …

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Free Handheld VJ: pikilipita’s SUPER PIKIX comes to Caanoo Mobile Game Console

There’s a special kind of genius that makes you transform any game system into a live visual tool. Whatever that force is, it’s strong with pikilipita. He’s build VJ software for the Nintendo Game Boy Advance and Game Park GP2X as well as the PlayStation 2, all released free. Now, he adopts the Korean game console Caanoo for a new title, Super Pikix. Here, we get a first look and talk to its talented creator. Tap the analog controls (ah, tactile feedback) or touch the screen, and video clips respond with slick effects. The interface is stunningly elegant, with minimal …

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Free Handheld VJ: pikilipita's SUPER PIKIX comes to Caanoo Mobile Game Console

There’s a special kind of genius that makes you transform any game system into a live visual tool. Whatever that force is, it’s strong with pikilipita. He’s build VJ software for the Nintendo Game Boy Advance and Game Park GP2X as well as the PlayStation 2, all released free. Now, he adopts the Korean game console Caanoo for a new title, Super Pikix. Here, we get a first look and talk to its talented creator. Tap the analog controls (ah, tactile feedback) or touch the screen, and video clips respond with slick effects. The interface is stunningly elegant, with minimal …

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FL Studio is Coming to Fruity Mobiles iPhone, iPad – Well, Sort Of

Image-Line has long promised it’d never make a version of its popular FL Studio – aka Fruity Loops – for Mac desktops. Blame the Windows-centered development tools in which this cult-hit all-in-one production studio is built. But it has found its way to a fruit-themed platform of a different sort, with FL Studio Mobile for iPhone, iPad, and iPod. Leaked specs and early screenshots have surfaced (apparently unintentionally). That means anything said here could change as the app is developed. (Thanks to readers who tipped us off, though it seems I-L didn’t intend to make this public!) The app looks …

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