Posts tagged: Nintendo DS

Latest DS Synths & Applications – Seno DS & TonesynthDS

A rundown of the latest music related homebrew for Nintendo DS: Seno DS and TonesynthDS.

Starting with TonesynthDS, a work in progress showing a lot of potential. Using basic waveforms, volume and modulation options like AM and ring modulation it does create some very warm sounds very usable in everyday productions. Load these samples in Ableton’s sampler or just chop them up using the arrangement view and you’ll have some original sounds not found in today’s sample packs. The only downside is the lack of an option to save your work. But, that will be fixed in an upcoming update as it still a work in progress. (Looking forward to that update!!)

Get your copy and the latest updates on the development at: TonesynthDS

Seno DS aims to be a whole DAW in itself, offering the option to create riffs, mix the volume and change parameters like ADSR and monophony, polyphony and trigger settings, LFO and the ability to transpose sounds. It’s looks aren’t as slick as, for instance, Nitrotracker, but it gets the job done and feels very reminiscent to the Playstation classics, “Music” and “Music 2000”.

To be able to use my Nitrotracker sample-kits in Seno DS, they have to be converted to mono first… So, I decided to save you all the hassle. Check out my downloads for more information. (How to load them up in Seno DS will also be explained there.)

Get it at: Seno DS

Road to Japan : One Year Anniversary

This month I’ve been studying Japanese for one year!

With absolutely no background or prior knowledge of the Japanese language I started learning. To me, the most logical first step was to learn some basic words and most of all: 平仮名 and 片仮名 (Hiragana and Katakana respectively), the basic phonetic script. Using the Nintendo DS has played a major role in all this using applications such as Project JDS (<- highly recommended) and My Japanese Coach to make a start. After learning 平仮名 and 片仮名 I worked on my vocabulary using Smart.FM and grammer skills using the book: Japanese for Busy People I: Romanized Version while making a start on 漢字(Kanji) via About.com.

So where are we now? Well, my trip to Japan helped a great deal in mastering basic vocabulary and grammer, no doubt about it. And it also taught me a basic understanding of Kanji. Being surrounded by a language and it’s characters gives one a feeling of “must understand this”. Added; Some Kanji make a whole lot of sense by themselves. For instance: The Kanji for train station looks like this: 駅. If magnified a bit one can clearly make out a train and its rails, some stairs and is that a bench perhaps? Here is the mentioned Kanji in a bigger form:

Can you see what I mean? On the right is the track with a train on it, and on the left are some stairs and what appears to be benches or maybe even an escalator. Of course this doesn’t mean that every kanji is decipherable by taking a good look and using a bit of imagination. Colors are a good example of this. Red: 赤 Blue: 青 Black: 黒White: 白. What shape is a color? This can only be learned by studying. My Japanese coach helps a little, so does Smart.FM, but I guess most of all About.com’s Joyo Kanji. (Joyo Kanji are the first 1006 Kanji taught in primary school.) Since it also teaches you the right stroke order plus the 音読み (onyomi) and 訓読み (kunyomi); The different readings of a Kanji.

But the biggest help so far has been these books I picked up in Japan. (Very cheaply, I might add!) As I now understand the meaning of pretty much every first grade Kanji. Next challenge: Getting the on- & kunyomi stuck in my head and learning a greater understanding of creating sentences.

Happy 2010 and happy studying everyone!

KORG DS-10 Plus

A much wanted and sought after video-game application for Nintendo DS, KORG DS-10. AQ Interactive released a new version version for both DS and DSi just short of a month ago; KORG DS-10 Plus (Play-Asia).

This version promised a few improvements over the original when played on the normal Nintendo DS, but the main core of the application is in the DSi version. The same game-card can be used for both systems and the DSi version is fully backward-compatible, meaning that when linking up the systems for multi-play, both “games” will sync-up it’s tempo and thus you can still use your old version to create tracks on multiple DS’s. For more on it’s features, I’m gonna let Denji Sano do the talking in his Keynote: Take it away Denji!

Allowing up to four DS to be synced. When used wisely, like say, via à 4 channel mixer, one could create a very interesting song created on four separate KORG DS-10’s, all running in sync. The DSi version features the same stuff you already knew from the original DS version, but, everything in dubbles. Twelve instead of six channels, four instead of two synths, eight instead of four drum-tracks and so on. When used with the new DSi “Dual-mode” this would mean, technically, you could have 8 KORG’s all synthesizing in tune and in time with each other. That’s some bang for your buck! Unfortunately, I don’t have a DSi yet, so I could not test the DSi features myself.

I ordered KORG DS-10 Plus on Amazon, costing me only ¥3150. But expect retailers (if sold in a store at all… Remember how many shops sold DS-10?) to squeeze about €45,- out of your wallet, or I guess, about $50,-. So I recommend ordering the application via the good ol’ internet. Remember that this is a Japanese release, and so the manual will be in Japanese. If you want an English manual, you’ll have to wait for Q1 2010 for an American and European release. But if you already used the original version and read the original manual, you won’t find any surprises in this installment.

Nitrotracker 0.5 is going open source

Happy to hear that Nitrotracker (a homebrew sound-sequencing application for Nintendo DS) is still in development, AND is going open source!

Read more here, and vote for Nitrotracker while your at it: http://nitrotracker.tobw.net/index.php?cat_id=0

Update に

 

Another great attribute for learning Japanese is the Nintendo DS

My Japanese CoachThe best application available for learning Japanese is an official release called ‘My Japanese Coach‘ by Ubisoft. In this learning tool you learn Japanese step by step in a playful way. The “games” used for learning the language don’t feel pointless, with the exception of “Hit-A-Word”. But so far, I haven’t encountered this mini-game anymore since lesson 6, where you get an introduction to Kana in the form of Hiragana.

What helped me learn Hiragana so fast (In a week! – Ed) is the homebrew application ‘Project JDS‘. A simple yet usefull application based on tutoring the Kana. You can choose to learn Romaji to Katakana, Romaji to Hiragana and Katakana to Hiragana, and all of these in reverse order if one wishes to do so. Project JDS has some nice added features in the form of an audio preview and an animated preview on how to write the Kana, and what order to perform the strokes in.

There are more applications available like ‘Kanji Sonomama Rakubiki Jiten (Kanji Dictionary). But they seem a little to hardcore for me right now. And the above two cover the same ground. Though I must say, I have yet to complete ‘My Japanese Coach’, so I don’t know how far that “game” goes.