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 …

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ToneSynthDS: Promising New Nintendo DS Synth + Sequencer Homebrew

Commercial developers are now releasing music creation apps for mobile game systems, in the form of the KORG DS-10 for Nintendo DS and Rockstar’s Beaterator for PSP. But some of the best ideas still come from the homebrew community. What’s most impressive about ToneSynthDS is not so much what it does as its interface, fitting all its functionality into the DS’ two compact screens. Its minimal interface finds an elegant arrangement of everything you most urgently need, with a sequencer screen on one DS screen and basic virtual analog synth parameters on the other. A 4 x 4 matrix next …

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Going Mobile: Nintendo DS-10 Comes to North America

Today was full of good news for people interested in carrying pads in the palm of their hand. Fans of the Nintendo DS in North America, the Korg DS-10 Plus synthesizer for Big N’s game system is now coming to your side of the Pacific Ocean. (That also bodes well, I think, for other parts of the world.) The DS-10 I think really deserves some credit for making a straight-up music title a hit on gaming platforms, and its success certainly surpassed my own expectations. It’s not a game, it’s not an interactive experience, it’s not a music game – …

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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? …

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Korg DS-10 Plus Coming, with Beefed-Up Features for Nintendo DSi

Fans of the Nintendo DS may have been immune to the siren song of Nintendo’s tweaked DSi model. Unfortunately, I have a feeling a bunch of you are about to upgrade your handheld game system. Why? Because the folks at AQ Interactive are doing an upgraded version of the DS-10 software synth for the game platform, now on the DSi. Palm Sounds gets the scoop. New in this version: Twice the analog synths (4 of them, instead of 2) Twice the drum machines (8 instead of 4) Twice the tracks (12 instead of 6) Expanded song mode: programmable track mute, …

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glitch-sequencer: Free, Processing-Based App from GlitchDS Creator Hearts Netbooks

For those of you longing to mutate beats like so many promiscuous Petri Disk bacteria, programmer Bret Truchan is a kindred spirit. Bret has created a series of instant experimental classics for the Nintendo DS: glitchDS, a cellular automaton music sequencer, repeaterDS, a visual sample mangler, and cellDS, a grid-based sequencer you can script in Lua. The Nintendo DS is portable and cute, but it’s not normally open to running software without the Nintendo Seal of Quality. (Insert snickers here.) To run Bret’s software, you need specialized hardware that fools the DS into running software. The DS isn’t entirely stable …

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Wireless MIDI on iPhone: Open Source Motion Control Talks to Nintendo DS, Computer

The Cupertino-Mushroom Kingdom gap has been closed: you can now mix and match DS and iPhone/iPod touch for wireless control of music and visuals. DSMI, the homebrew library that has enabled wireless and serial MIDI connections from the Nintendo DS, has come to iPod touch and iPhone. That means anyone building instruments and controllers on the iThing can now add wireless MIDI controllers that talk to computers – or other mobile devices, including the DS. It also means that DSMI’s acronym standing for “Nintendo DS Music Interface” has only one word that describes all the things it does. If you’re …

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A Mutating Drum Step Sequencer, New MIDI Library for Processing

The creator of the wonderful glitchDS, repeaterDS, and cellDS Nintendo homebrew music apps has turned his sights to the free and open coding-for-artists desktop tool Processing. The result: a drum machine that mutates and morphs in wonderful ways via a command-line interface. (I almost put the command line bit in the headline, but while I actually adore command lines, I think the more interesting part of it is the way it mutates its patterns in lovely ways. No boring endless step sequence repeat here.) The tool is called Quotile, and since it is built in Processing and the code is …

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Korg DS-10 in Ensemble Jams

The Nintendo mobile is a solo instrument no more. Lovers of the Korg DS-10 cartridge for the Nintendo DS handheld are making their own ensembles. And one such trio is a selection of who’s who in Japanese game music. The Korg DS Trio performed a celebrity concert after the Tokyo Game Show. GameSetWatch has an extensive interview with the three. Nobuyoshi Sano (composer, Ridge Racer series) and Yasunori Mitsuda (Chrono Cross and Chrono Trigger) are two familiar names, joined by Michio Okamiya of Final Fantasy hard rock cover band The Black Mages. All three had input into the creation of …

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Now on the Nintendo DS: OpenSoundControl

Big news from the homebrew Nintendo DS scene: OpenSoundControl is now supported, thanks to a community contribution from Tim Wood. That means you can drag your stylus around and send high-resolution data straight to software running on your computer. From the DSMI site: OSC is an emerging standard for exchanging music control signals that is much more flexible and modern than MIDI. For example, OSC can directly communicate via network, so the PC-side DSMI server is not required. fishuyo also made a nice demo with a Kaoss pad and sliders of the new OSC capabilities. It comes with a pd …

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