BOSS Pedal Sketch: BOSS Stompboxes as Free iPhone Download

The BOSS Pedal Sketch application, a free download today for iPhone and iPod touch, probably isn’t what you think it is – but it is a novel concept in mobile apps, and a sign of some of the new ideas to be explored. If your first thought was that this is a handheld set of virtual stompboxes, as we’ve seen recently from the likes of IK Multimedia, you’d be wrong. (That’s okay, that’s what I thought at first glance, too.) Of course, as I’ve observed before, while these apps are cool for practice sessions, they’re no replacement for hardware – …

READ MORE →

Korg M1 Keyboard Workstation, Reborn on Nintendo DS

The original M1, definitely larger than a DS. Photo (CC-BY-SA) Kevin Phillips. Having made their own DS-10 instrument, Korg and DS developer AQ Interactive yesterday presented something new for the handheld Nintendo. This time, they’re revisiting one of the all-time greatest hits of digital synthesis, the Korg M1 workstation. Markus Schroeder tips us off that the M1 will be the next release for the DS. An iOS (iPhone/iPad) version may follow, as with Korg’s recent mobile rendition of the ElecTribe. Markus is also kind enough to translate the Japanese contents of the presentation: Features are (subject to change / error): …

READ MORE →

Handmade Music NY 8/29: Meet the Musical Inventors, Pong to Dodecahedrons

Handmade Music is a community get-together, Science Fair, noise-making happening, and party for people making things that make music. We return to NYC on Sunday, August 29 at 7p. Our new Manhattan home is Culturefix, a new electronics boutique, gallery, and tapas bar on the Lower East Side. This month, we welcome a classically-trained guitar duo using their instruments to play games, an original string-modeling instrument, a sonic dodecahedron sculpture (really), artists using game chips, and more. Last-minute creations are always welcome. If you’re in New York, we definitely hope to see you Sunday night. And wherever you are, it’s …

READ MORE →

Android Music: Jasuto, Modular, Serious Music App, Now Does ‘Droid

Handheld music making gets its share of criticism and nose-upturning from “serious” digital musicians. Indeed, some of the apps hold up to a few minutes of casual use but fail to form that long-term relationship that makes us love musical tools and toys. Limitations can be good, but many of these tools aren’t open to from-scratch sound design. And when you get back to your desk, you’re often stuck with clumsy workflows like exporting to raw audio files – and that’s if you’re lucky; some applications even lack tools that basic. Jasuto is different. Its graphical, modular interface is open-ended …

READ MORE →

Android Music: Electrum Drum Machine-Sampler, Reloop Sequencer

Google’s Android platform has gotten only a fraction of the attention for music making that iPhone OS and iPad have, but that doesn’t mean the OS doesn’t have some advantages of its own. Thanks to being an open OS, it’s also easier to install custom OSes, and repurpose older devices and build cheap embedded computers on a platform like BeagleBoard. The remaining challenge: convince Google that beefing up real-time audio hardware access is important. So, with Google’s own I/O conference this week and me in Berlin next week during DroidCon, now seems like the perfect time to talk about handheld …

READ MORE →

NitroTracker, DS Music Tool, Now Open Source

One of the most beloved tools in Nintendo DS homebrew has become free software, under the GPL v3. Talk about restrictive platforms – the DS requires special hardware just to get this app to run. But even with a couple of people involved in development, that could mean better, more frequent updates. I also wonder if we might see this largely-native code ported or adapted to another platform. (It’d work especially well with hardware that’s got a stylus.) The code release is not for everyone, as indicated by the phrases that mark the site: Do you write VBlank handlers instead …

READ MORE →

Teaser: Processing is Coming to Android

The remarkable thing about Processing on Android is that you can use your (desktop) sketchbook development environment as always, then run on the Google emulator or your device. Google’s open-source Android mobile platform runs on Java. Processing, the elegant coding language for visualization, art, and media, is built in Java. The marriage of the two, therefore, is one we’ve long been anticipating. Processing’s ability to focus on lightweight, portable implementation is a perfect match for the demands of mobile development. For artists and visualists wanting to make handheld devices and tablets more expressive, I have good news: it’s coming. While …

READ MORE →

TouchDJ Arrives for iPhone

You’re now approved to DJ with your iPhone. Or at least the app is. I’m not sure if I can take credit for getting Apple’s attention, but Apple has approved the TouchDJ application from Amidio. That’s big news, partly because developer Amidio has consistently been at the forefront of musical development on the platform, including their Noise.io synth and wild hexagonal JR Hexatone Pro. This also is a big blog to the theory that Apple is intentionally blocking DJ apps — and a big boon to the theory that the App Store is just plain clogged, even if it may …

READ MORE →

Multi-Player Drumming: Handheld Open-Source Music for Nintendo DS

It’s drumming, the multi-player game. The Drummer is an open-source application for the Nintendo DS handheld, developed by Andrea Bianchi and Woon Seung Yeo and presented alongside a paper earlier this year at the NIME Conference (The International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression). As with any Nintendo homebrew software, you’ll need a special DS cartridge capable of loading software from flash memory – though if this app were developed more, it could make a terrific DSi app. The idea is this: while making a handheld game system into an instrument, why not take advantage of its networking features? …

READ MORE →

iPhone Day: Star6 Demonstrates Elegance of Mobile UI, Live Mobile Music with Style

The novelty of the iPhone or [your favorite device here] may fade. But part of what matters in mobile design is thinking about how to create interfaces and uses that can scale to the size of your palm. That can mean embracing radical simplicity, and reducing an interactive, digital musical object down to its essential noise-making functions. In acoustic instrument design, that means economizing sound production in a form. In the digital world, it means finding the interactive role you’d want to bring with you onstage, in the length roughly equivalent your fingertips to your wrist. I’m a few weeks …

READ MORE →