Retro Mobile Music: What Vintage Palm and Windows Mobile Did, How to Use Them Today

Newer, faster, thinner … better? One technology follows another in dizzying cycles. But how is it that something that was once an amazing engineering marvel ceases to be so? If it really works as a musical instrument, how could it be less of a musical instrument than it was before? Palm Sounds’ Ashley Elsdon was talking about music making in the palm of your hand before anyone had ever seen an iPhone. So I had to smile when I saw him connecting an old Palm to our MeeBlip synth. It wasn’t just a novelty – the synth was ticking along …

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Tokyo Blip: A Chip Music Interlude for Blip Festival

How do you prefer to compose? Pen and manuscript paper? Recording ideas from a piano? Firing up your favorite music software? How about … coding in 65c816 Assembly language? The trio behind this video prefers the latter, more intensive approach, to get close to the chip hardware by communicating directly with the Super NES. It’s one heck of a way to make an invitation to an event, but that’s just what they’ve done, in celebration of Blip Festival Tokyo 2012, in a kind of audiovisual spectacular. With code by Batsly Adams, music by Zabutom, and graphics by KeFF, the result …

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sunvoxdevices

SunVox, Production Tool That Runs Almost Everywhere, Gets Updates; Watch Videos

God Bless Russian engineering. As of this summer, it’s the only ticket to and from our space station, via a capsule that Just Works. It gaves us the very first electronic instrument (thanks, Professor Theremin). And it gives us an insane music tracker slash production tool slash soft synth selection slash modular hosting environment that runs on Windows, Mac, Linux, Palm, Windows Mobile (yes, you’re reading this list right), and now iOS and iPad. Well, don’t just thank Russian engineering. Thank Alex Zolotov, who sends along his latest work. Highlights: Waveform drawing A drum synth Sample recording Side chain compression …

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playingangrybirds

Creating in 2011: A Composers’ View of Mobile Game Audio, From Trends to Slot Machine Sound Design

Pay attention to those Angry Birds. They could be a sign of upcoming gigs, composers and sound designers. Photo (CC-BY) Johan Larsson. Composer/sound designer Ben Long has a resume of work on dozens of games. Here on CDM, he shares the topic on which he recently addressed GDC China: mobile. If mobile game audio is going to rise to people’s expectations, it’ll have to get past rushed developers and hardware obstacles, including revisiting the whole mono/stereo debate. Ben lets us know his insider take on that landscape, and shares with us the process for designing sounds for virtual slots. Everyone, …

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SunVox, Modular Music+Tracker, Now Free on Most Platforms, iPad Coming

SunVox, the quirky and cool modular music creation software, already runs on a ton of platforms. Starting now, most of those platforms can run the tool for free. (The one exception: iPhone/iPad.) That means you get a rich music creation environment that can run on everything from an ancient PDA to a desktop computer, complete with FM, virtual analog, and sample-based synths, effects, modular routing, musical arrangement, and even tracker-level detailed editing, all for free. SunVox works on Mac, Windows, and Linux, plus mobile platforms Palm, Windows Mobile, and iPhone. In fact, it’s an ideal choice to resurrect one of …

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Mixtikl 2 Brings Generative Music to Desktops, Mobiles – and Generates Music in Tweets

A traditional music score can fill reams of paper. But make music generative, and a tiny amount of musical DNA can breed musical events. How little DNA is needed? How about 140 character worth – enough to fit into a single Twitter post? That’s what’s possible in Mixtikl 2, which dubs its Twitter musical “vectors” “tikls” – pronounced “tickles.” There are three platforms, each priced separately: Mac / Windows desktop + plug-ins (standalone version, VST plug-in for your favorite host, and even a plug-in for playing and customizing mixes right in your web browser). Cost: US$19.99. Windows Mobile: smartphones and …

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Intermorphic Mixtikl Arrives: Mobile and Desktop Generative, Creative Music Suite

Oh, yeah. It’s deep. To keep a cool head, perhaps put on "Music for Airports" on loop while you read through the tutorials. Musicians and composers have long dreamt of computers and mobiles playing music that changes on its own, rather than playing static, pre-determined scores. But to actually pull it off, you need a number of pieces. One solution for putting those pieces together is finally here, with desktop-to-mobile delivery and an interesting combination of a generative engine with synths and effects that can work in real time. We’ve been following the work of Intermorphic for some time: this …

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Pocket Producers: Griff Demo, Walkthrough on Windows Mobile

Keeping to the theme of Tony’s video with his Windows Mobile device, here (via a reminder on comments from its creator) is Pocket Griff. There’s no gimmick here: this is all about taking your software studio / sequencer and putting it in your pocket so if inspiration strikes you on the go, you can actually make something. And because of the ready availability of powerful PDAs that run Windows Mobile – including some impressive refurb / used models and devices that aren’t also trying to be a phone – it’s not hard to find a gadget that can run this. …

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HTC Touch Pro as a Portable Beat Sequencer, with Windows Mobile, AudioBox

It’s easy enough to dismiss mobile music devices as toys, and I’d add, there’s really nothing wrong with toys. But the test – a personal one – is whether or not you can develop your musical ideas with them. Some of the deepest, most consistently satisfying tools for mobile devices are the ones that shrink down real production capabilities to a handheld size. Look closely at these apps, and you’ll see software that could easily have passed for “advanced” sequencers on computers fifteen years ago. (Indeed, I think arguably we’ve lost some usability with the complexity we’ve added since.) While …

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Mobile Music Platform Survey Results, Plus Beatmaker MIDI Export

Being expressive and productive creatively is all about finding a workflow that fits you. Form factor is part of that, because location matters. (I discovered this when trying unsuccessfully to operate my MacBook on a bus to Boston this week that wouldn’t accommodate my knees. Mobile devices suddenly had more appeal.) Naturally, not everyone has the same needs or interests. So today, we have some survey data on how readers feel about mobile tech, as well as an update to the iPhone/iPod touch Beatmaker app that could have a big impact on how you use that device in conjunction with …

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