MATRIXSYNTH: miniMusic BeatPad driving a Voyager and 909

Monday, February 27, 2006

miniMusic BeatPad driving a Voyager and 909

Update2: Moogulator put up a post on this. The funny thing is that I completely missed the irony in the shot - a mighty knob ladden Voyager being driven by a tiny pda. Too funny. Thanks Moogulator!

Update: I should note that everything in the samples is being triggered by BeatPad - I am not using the 909 sequencer. Also you can sync to BeatPad, so I could have the 909 running its own sequence, synced to BeatPad and have BeatPad sequencing another synth though the 909 via the 909 MIDI through.

I just posted about the miniMusic MixPad. That post actually came about when I was setting up this post. I was playing around with BeatPad driving a Minimoog Voyager and a Roland TR-909 and I thought I'd put up a couple of samples and a link to miniMusic. When I checked out their site I found the new software. That aside... Title link takes you to a couple of samples and shots. Note that these samples are a bit long, daft and don't fully showcase what BeatPad is capable of. I was just dinking around. BeatPad has a super intuitive UI. There is one page for your main lead and one for your drum machine (pictured above - click the shot to see the individual parts). You can mute and solo different sounds on the drum grid and you can mute either the entire lead or drum section. In the lead section you can mute notes, adjust the length of the pattern , gate time, velocity, transposition and tie notes all on the fly. It's a blast to tweak things live. There are four things I wish it had - support for driving multiple lead sequences driving different MIDI channels at the same time (basically multi-track live sequencing), the ability to sequence MIDI CC independent of notes for things like filter, resonance and other modulations, the ability to save sequences, and the ability to flip back to saved or "sanp-shot" sequences. To clarify when you edit one of the 64 sequences available, the edits remain when you close out, so in that sense they are saved, but once you edit one there is no way to go back. I beleive you are supposed to just use a new track, but when you have multiple tracks previosly saved it can be painful remembering each track. Hmm... Add a fifth item - the ability to name your sequences for saving. Regardless BeatPad is pretty amazing - there is just something super intuitive in using a stylus to control your sequences. Believe it or not, it beats the pants off of a bulky knob box. I'm still in disbelief that a Pocket PC MIDI device/cable for external sequencing has not yet hit the market.

What's up with that?


  1. Nice! got a couple of questions though. Is that the M515? and did you use Palm's HotSync Serial Cable with miniMusic's Palm-to-MIDI Interface to make those demos?!

  2. Ask away. It's the M505 and it is the HotSync Serial Cable from Palm with miniMusic's Palm-to-MIDI Interface pictured here: I had to order the serial cable as my Palm did not come with one out of the box. And yes, everything in the demos is being driven by the Palm - no TR-909 sequencer running. BTW, when I first saw miniMusic I passed because I was honestly too lazy to want to order the serial cable from Palm followed by the adapter and software from miniMusic. I finally thought, what the heck. I'll order it all and just forget about it until it arrives. When it did I was pretty blown away. I'm am very glad I went through the "hassle" to get it. The hook up is super simple and it just works. If you are even thinking about it. Just do it. Think of it as a cool toy and you just might be surprised like me. One thing I should mention (I'll update the post after this), is that you can synth other devices to the palm as well. So you can sync the 909 to it and sequence other synths via the 909 MIDI throughput.

  3. Well actually I was gonna ask you about the sync capability as well but I guess I got a bit shy! Anyways, thanks for the tip and yeah I'm definitely going for it.



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