Tom Wilburn continues to document music-making using a Nintendo DS and Nintendo’s bizarre game, ElectroPlankton. Since we last checked in with him, he’s gotten further content up, plus an evolving table-of-contents.

Composing with ElectroPlankton: Table of Contents [Mile Zero]

There’s just one hitch: it’d be great to get audio into the Nintendo DS via a cable instead of the mic. Thomas tried hacking the built-in jack, but with less-than-desirable results. Any experienced benders out there wanna help out? Any word on headsets for the DS? Give him or me a holler and let us know.

Thomas also sends details of his experience after the jump, including how it’s going using a game that’s imported in Japanese.

He writes:

Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed the article! As of yet, I haven’t used
Electroplankton live, but I’m looking forward to trying. I don’t know if I
made it clear in the first post, but my one-man rock band basically uses a
looper and a bass guitar to play a whole band’s worth of rock and funk
songs–I do the percussion with muted slaps, and there’s a lot of upper-neck
chording for the guitar parts and solos. There are a few .mp3 samples up on
Mile Zero–just impromptu recordings done at home, but they get the idea
across. If you go back into the Music category, they shouldn’t be too hard
to find.

One of the great things about Electroplankton is that you don’t need to know
any Japanese, really. Almost everything is very self-explanatory, and there
are a few translations online. I imported it from Lik-sang and played with
it for a while (then set it aside). Recently I realized that it basically
had a drum machine and synth built-in, which would be really handy to fill
sound and give me more flexibility (cheaper than a sampler, too).

Unfortunately, although there are a couple of FAQ pages for EP out there,
they all look at it from a gaming standpoint. I couldn’t find anything to
tell me what keys the music was in, or what the limitations are in a band
context. That’s really why I’m writing this series: I’m having a lot of fun
experimenting with it, and I’m hoping that it can serve as a resource for
people will take it farther than I can. People who do programming with
Nanoloops and LSDJ just blow me away. I’m just a bass player, your modern
world frightens and confuses me…

As I continue to post the Electroplankton articles, they’ll all go in the
same games/society/art folder, and I think EP stuff is all I have in there.

Thanks, Thomas! We’ll stay in touch here at CDM. I’m going to try this, too, though with EP supposedly getting imported to the US this fall, I think I’ll wait for the English version.