remain calm

ds music apps

updated 21/apr/09 with new programs!

the nintendo ds is an excellent platform for homebrew audio software – here’s a mostly complete list of some of the excellent free and commercially available sound toys that are available for the platform.

by dan/remaincalm
drum machine & sequencer
(source code available)
by dan/remaincalm
MCU-compatible mix controller
by A128
grid-based sequencer

by bioroid
incredibly powerful sequencer/synth
by korg
korg ds-10
commercial sequencer, very good!
by Clone45
experimental lua sequencer

by tobw
awesome tracker, just updated to v0.4!
by tobw
converts touchscreen data into midi over wifi
(dscratch) by gorgull
sample looper, scratcher, glitcher

dstep v2
by evil jed
dstep v2
cool looking sequencer
by Clone45
really powerful cellular automation sequencer
by Clone45
stuttering sample player

by Benji7905
a better kaoss clone
by Brian Grogan Jr
sampled piano
(source code available)
by therain
midi sequencer

monome ds
by GrizzlyAdams
monome emulation (midi control)
(source code available)
by pakl
cool-looking experimental synth
(source code available)
by pakl
sampled ukulele

by evan morris
dsmi synth, looks interesting!
(haven’t tried it yet, source code available)
MIDI Jammer
by Andrew Buch
graphical midi tool
by tepples
chiptune solo! great fun
(source code available)

pulse ds
by tobw
psg midi synth
(source code available)
sampling keyboard
by tobw
kinda like a casio sk-1
(source code available)
drummers v2
(haven’t tried it yet)
(haven’t tried it yet)
knobs and sliders
(haven’t tried it yet)
drum me
sampled drum kit
strum me
sampled guitar

please leave a comment if i’ve missed any!

if anyone knows anything about the wireless protocol korg are using for that thing, can they please contact me? cheers.

88 Responses to “ds music apps”

  1. robman84 Says:

    Good idea.

    Here;s some I use:

    drummersV2 (
    dsmidikeyboard ( )
    dstepV2 (
    FUDIKaosDS (
    KnobsAndSlidersDS (
    MIDI-Jammer (
    MIDIPad DS (
    PulseDS ( )

  2. Says:

    awesome, i’ll add those to the list tonight. some there i haven’t seen before. cheers!

  3. DSMidiWifi on Leopard. Anyone get it to work? » BIT-101 Blog Says:

    […] […]

  4. infradead Says:

    wow great list!

    here are two to add to it

    SoundCells 1.00 Release and Ukulele DS 1.00

  5. Says:

    thanks for the tips – i’ve added most of those now

  6. How to Make an Easy Dub Siren from a Circuit Bent Keychain, "Morpher" circuit bend, dsSynth, remain calm » ds music apps, and repeaterDS Says:

    […] remain calm » ds music apps – the nintendo ds is an excellent platform for homebrew audio software – here’s an […]

  7. Marc Troy Says:

    What “backup module” is needed to use them?
    Will a M3 DS Real work?

  8. Says:

    m3 real is an autopatching card so it should “just work”. probably.

    in case it doesn’t, some people have had success by starting dsorganize first and running their homebrew apps from there.

    i use the r4ds, so that’s the only one i’d personally guarantee – i know a lot of homebrew authors use this one to develop on, it’s quite reliable. i used to own a supercard cf and that also worked for most software (but it sticks out pretty bad).

  9. Dantheman Says:

    PianoVero – I don’t have a source, but there should be a mirror download available at if you have an account.

    On a side note, does this textbox not allow capital letters or is there something wrong with my browser/keyboard?

  10. Dantheman Says:

    Scratch that, apparently the capital letters appear when submitting the comment, though they appear lowercase when typing the comment in the first place.

  11. Says:

    ah – sorry about that. there’s a css rule that enforces lower-case.

    i’ll add that other app in the next few days, thanks!

  12. Nintendo DS Music App Roundup Says:

    […] Remain Calm has put together a comprehensive list of  24 music apps for the Nintendo DS.  Some of the apps listed include sequencers, sampled instruments, turntable emulators, and mixing consoles.  I personally can’t wait to fire up Protein[DS] and try out some touchscreen scratching on the perfectly good DS that has somehow been laying around my house unused for the past 9 months. […]

  13. GEARFUSE » The Ultimate Guide to Nintendo DS Music Apps Says:

    […] Link Read More Nintendo DS Homebrew GuideiPhone Firmware reveals some hidden apps for the futureHand-held Guide Dog Gets You Where You’re GoingKORG DS-10 Software Hits Nintendo DSRun Athletics Nintendo shoes lock in gamer status TAGS: audio, ds, homebrew, MIDI, music, nintendo, Software SHARE: Stumble Upon, Digg,, Reddit this, SlashdotSend to a FriendPermalink […]

  14. Marc Troy Says: Thanks for your reply.

  15. Rev Bucky Says:

    Hey all. This sounds fascinating, and I would love to get some of this stuff.

    However I am fairly Tech ignorant, and have no idea on how to get or use these things!

    Could someone give me an idea what it takes, or how I do it?

  16. Says:

    rev, you need:

    – a nintendo ds
    – an r4ds cartridge with a micro-sd card (or equivalent – you can get these all over the place)

    that’s enough for most of the above – you just extract the program you want to run to the micro-sd card, put it in the r4ds and run it from the nintendo.

    some other ones require you to download a program to your pc called a ‘dldi patcher’, and double-click the music programs after you extract them to the micro-sd. has a program linked here: that’ll do what you want if you’re using windows.

  17. Daniel Craig Says:

    Hi there, Cool post on ds music apps, I’m looking forward to reading more of your site.

  18. Cosmos › Be A Hobo Says:

    […] DS Homebrew Instrument Roundup – An excellent roundup from of homebrew audio software and sonic toys which allow musicians to turn the Nintendo DS into a cheap synth / sequencer / drum machine with an interesting input mechanism. […]

  19. properbo Says:

    can’t get DS protein working on my dsxtreme card. it loads up but can’t get it going.have swaped drivers etc. anyone got idea what the story is? its suppose to work with my card. have spent hours messing with it but still no joy ;-(

  20. Says:

    have you extracted all the files on there to the correct location? check the readme files to make sure you’re putting everything in the right spot.

  21. properbo Says:

    yea think so. it loads up but nothing happens. i can load up sample,go into scratch mode but its like the samples dont load up. theres no wave on the screen. im just wondering really if it works with my card. its suppose tooo?? thanks for reply

  22. Says:

    have you done all of these steps? pay special attention to step 3, step 4 (it needs to be in /proteinds/ in your card!)

    (from the readme on )

    1. unzip the archive
    2. enter the “ProteinDS” directory
    3. DLDI patch “ProteinDS.nds” file with your linker’s DLDI device patch (more info about DLDI on
    –> 4. copy the whole “ProteinDS” directory at the root of your linker’s filesystem <– 5. place your own samples in “/ProteinDS/Samples/” directory 6. launch “ProteinDS.nds” on your DS

  23. properbo Says:

    sweeet. i just started from scratch. didnt know u had 2 hole L & r buttens to get working. happy days cos been trying it for ages. cheers

  24. Homebrew Nintendo DS music apps | The Kevin Pipe Says:

    […] collection of homebrew Nintendo DS music apps via Waxy. Source code available for some of them too. More: Nintendo DS […]

  25. Homebrew Nintendo DS music apps » Developages - Development and Technology Blog Says:

    […] collection of homebrew Nintendo DS music apps via Waxy. Source code available for some of them […]

  26. sUBA Says:


  27. Andrew MEllo Says:

    wow this is amazing. Now i can make music where ever i go!

  28. End of Week Links or Steaming Summer Pile of the Interent | homemade noize Says:

    […] Remain Calm has a collection of home brew music making apps for the Nintendo DS. […]

  29. tfive Says:

    some of those look alright, but psp has better!

  30. Says:

    well… psp has better sound quality and probably a bit more grunt. but my ds is pink, so i totally win. also, the touch screen is great for live stuff.

    some of these programs are really good! there’s a couple of new ones i need to add as well (and the korg ds-10 is gorgeous).

  31. unfolding Says:

    excellent! I just bought a ds yesterday after using psp music homebrew for about a year (it was a tough choice between psp and ds originally).. so anyway I saw this site and had to buy one because of the upcoming release of the ds-10, and all this great stuff!

    so im thinking about buying a rds4, but I want to buy something that all of these programs should work on! whos got a lot of these and which card do you have?

  32. Says:

    i use the r4ds to develop on and it works great with all of those apps. cheers!

  33. ffadzill Says:

    hey guys…

    i have a problem with the repeater ds…
    apparently when i boot up the sampler it states,
    ‘unable to load sounds from sound file”
    and i cant use it…

    so pls guys…help me out here…
    btw does the reapeater ds need midicables?

  34. nintendo roms Says:

    omg I had no idea all these great music apps existed for DS !!!

    Thx for the great post !

    You can check out some more nintendo homebrew mods at my homepage

  35. laci Says:

    Can you apply any of these to the 1st version of the DS?

  36. laci Says:

    Does anyone know of a hack for the 1st version of the DS that would make it double touch screen simultaneously? I have the option to switch touch screens between the 2 so I would assume you could make it happen at the same time.

  37. aaron Says:

    Jo-Jo is a slut. BUY THE DS-10.

  38. Says:

    whoa, sorry about that – i didn’t realise someone had posted a ds-10 download link there. have deleted the comment now, cheers.

  39. DS music apps| DIY Blog | Complete source of DIY Information, Tutorials, Guides, Reviews| Says:

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  42. GrooveStep Says:

    Also check out GrooveStep for the Nintendo DS which is available at

  43. Says:

    cheers for the link. i’ve been a bit slack, there’s a whole bunch of new audio apps i need to get listed on here – will do that on the weekend or something.

  44. » Blog Archive » 6 Nintendo DS Music Making Demos Says:

    […] For a comprehensive list of Nintendo DS Music applications, head down to Remain Calm’s very definitive list. […]

  45. Querystring » Nintendo DSi gets its first flash cart Says:

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  47. Peetr S Says:

    Thanks for these. I have been wondering about DS-10 back up and wondering about wi-fi. However I think there is another way. The DS-10 is quite a capable programme and I have been having a lot of fun with it. Looking forward to playing with some of the homebrews soon.

    Look forward to any new homebrew apps you may have found !

  48. Free of All » Blog Archive » Nintendo DSi gets its first flash cart Says:

    […] happily use them for homebrew. There are a lot of great programs out there; here’s a list of 24 apps that are dedicated to music creation. You can run Linux on it too. It’s as easy as copying a file to a flash drive. If you have a […]

  49. Bashers » Blog » Korg DS-10 Says:

    […] Korg DS-10 is niet de eerste muzieksoftware voor de DS. In het homebrewcircuit circuleren al veel geluid- en muziekprogramma’s. Ik heb zelf al veel plezier gehad met Nitrotracker, een oldskool Fasttracker-kloon voor de DS, en Protein, een soort van virtuele scratchdraaitafel. Voor deze software heb je dan weer wel een flashcard nodig. En er zijn meer voorbeelden. […]

  50. David Beltran Says:

    Muy buena la idea, estos programillas me van a ir de lujo para trastear en la playa

  51. ethan Says:

    I can’t find the official link, but this “DS Drum Machine” (TR-909) looks promising…

  52. ethan Says:

    Great page! Keep up the good work! 😀

  53. Says:

    the tr-909 looked great, but disappeared a LONG time ago. doesn’t run on any modern flash cards, either. bliptracker does a lot of what that one does, though.

  54. ethan Says:

    OH! You MADE bliptracker! lol Silly me… I’ll have to check that out! I love how music can be made “on the go” with the ds! Drum machines and trackers in our pockets…two decades ago this would have blown people’s minds… tracking in DOS and all…

  55. Says:

    yep. i still like the korg ds-10 one the best though. every now and then i still miss my train station because of it.

    when i get a chance, i’ll be adding a few more to this, notably groovestep, which is definitely worth checking out as well:

  56. ethan Says:

    well i should probably get to bed… but see if these are any good…
    (sequencer of sorts?)

  57. ethan Says:

    heh! Groovestep was on my mind as well…

  58. Says:

    k, updated with a couple i’d left out. please let me know if there are any others!

  59. no one really cares what my name is. Says:

    Awesome!!! I’ve been looking for a list like this!!! I tried nitrotracker, but no sound comes out, any ideas?

  60. Says:

    nitrotracker needs to have WAV samples loaded or it doesn’t do anything. chuck a couple of smaller drum samples on there and go nuts, it’s an excellent app.

  61. some guy Says:

    coooooooooooool!!!!!!! drum kit!!!!!!! thanx :-)

  62. Says:

    this Seno thing looks pretty cool…

  63. ChabrellIgan Says:

    God dag! Kan jag ladda ner en bild fran din blogg. Av sak med hanvisning till din webbplats!

  64. Peetr S Says:

    Pixelh8 has released his apps as freeware. Be aware they need a GBA cart to run though.

    Music Tech Pro Performer

    Going to pick up a slot 2 device soon and give this a go.

  65. Zack Says:

    Shit, thanks! I’ve been wanting these!

  66. trix Says:

    hey…umm..i have a DSi….can i use these apps with the sd card ….??

    help please (btw..i dont have an r4)

  67. a128 Says:

    Seno DS has new screenshots and new features

    check here

    I will post a video soon…a release candidate will posted in a few weeks.

  68. ShadowCat Says:

    Nice collection. But isn’t there a little program where you can create sheet music on a DS, and listen to it ? And save it ? Like, when you travel for 2 hours in a train, have an idea for a nice tune, create and save it, and continue working on it when you’re home ?

  69. a128 Says:

    Seno DS new home is

  70. Fanta Says:

  71. Fanta Says:

  72. Granit Says:

    Thanks for a great list!

    Dont know if you still update this page, but here is two new adds for you;

    – Pixelh8 Music Tech Master Stroke DS


    – TonesynthDS



  73. andrea Says:

    Here another one:

  74. Iola Huelse Says:

    definitely looking forward to seeing what you have planned next. Any news on what you’re working on?

  75. ~Its Mickle Says:

    Hi, Have been using these programs for a while, haven’t yet seen a way of generating and dumping a midi file? For example a very basic set of samples could be stored with the nds file, enough to work with whilst on the move, allowing you to make a beat and dump the midi file when you get back to the workstation.. Any idea’s on this topic? Thanks in advance. Ps Good work on the blog, shame there hasn’t been much recent development since ds-10..

  76. Says:

    I haven’t tried it for a while, but I think Bliptracker will send MIDI over the network if you hook it up via DSMI – so you can record the MIDI in your DAW later on.

    Not 100% sure of this but probably worth a shot.

  77. Ethan Says:

    Seno’s (Grid-Based sequencer) new link:

  78. Jordan Says:

    Opps. mis-posted:

    [quote]anyone know how to contact Chism?


  79. hannah Says:

    you miss lmp, the best! it a ipod nano clone!

  80. Dalila Gabor Says:

    Like the Nintendo Wii, there’s a piss-poor library for the DS

  81. SoftEgg Says:

    Please take a look at Rhythm Core Alpha in the DSiWare store! It has a 12 track, 64 step drum sequencer with 122 sounds, an 8 track, 64 step instrument sequencer with 166 sounds, the ability to build up to 100 64 step loops, a 1000 step pattern mode, and a special 2D solo mode that lets you play along using the stylus.

    Even better, the +Control Pad can be used to change the key and scale on the fly, and the pattern mode can also sequence these changes. The selected key and scale are also used by the solo mode, so you can’t hit a wrong note! You can also reassign the +Control Pad to control which loop block is playing, or set it to jump to different steps in the pattern mode, giving you real flexibility in how you play a song.

    There are also a full set of sequence editing commands like time shift, copy, random, echo, scale velocity, and transpose. There is a unique selection screen that lets you select non-contiguous ranges of beats for quick editing. You can even select multiple tracks for any particular edit operation.

    The program also has Mute and Solo buttons for each track to allow on the fly mixing.

    Every sound can be adjusted with a full ADSR envelope, and extra volume and pan controls. The upcoming European release includes additional sound mangling options.

    It’s definitely the most powerful music creation system on the Nintendo DSi, and it’s only 500 Nintendo DSi Points ($5 US, 5 Euros).

    There is more information at .

  82. Mobile Platforms & Music Production « Audio Silver Lining Says:

    […] Surprisingly the Nintendo DS has a pretty impressive range of music production tools both from established vendors such as Korg who have released  the superb DS-10 synth (complete with sequencer) and homegrown solutions which a kind person has gathered together for our perusal here […]

  83. Lista de aplicativos musicais para o Nintendo DS | MusicApps Says:

    […] post original é do blog Remain Calm e traz uma lista bem completa de aplicativos pagos e gratuitos para o DS. google.load('orkut.share', '1'); google.setOnLoadCallback(function() { new […]

  84. Nintendo DS Music Creation: Korg M01, King Britt + GlitchDS, Trackers and DS MIDI | Dubspot Blog Says:

    […] NDS system and the numbers grow all the time. For more information I suggest checking out the blog Remain Calm for a nice roundup of 24 of the best music apps for your portable Nintendo device. Below is a list […]

  85. Dboy Says:

    Here’s another one [Dbay v1.0.r23] for the pile…
    *admin edit: broken link*

    admin: that link is broken here – this one works though:

  86. Ton Wijnen Says:

    Hoi, where to get korg ds for my nintendo ds xl?
    I am from holland.
    Ton Wijnen.

  87. nintendo ds lite age range Says:

    the nintendo ds is an excellent platform for homebrew audio software – here’s a mostly complete please leave a comment if i’ve missed any! . know u had 2 hole L & r buttens to get working. happy days cos been trying it for ages. cheers ..

  88. SoftEgg Says:

    We just released Rhythm Core Alpha 2 for Nintendo DSi and 3DS. It is available as a download in the eShop. We really added a lot of new features!

    • Drum Pad screen
    • Mixer screen
    • Solo screen now includes 10 different variations
    • 1,2, and 3 row tradtional piano layouts.
    • 8 way grid
    • 6 way grid. *
    • “Wide” mode with large buttons for fingers!
    • Customizable grid arrangement
    • Notes light when played
    • Sample-based synthesizer engine has been enhanced:
    • ADSR volume envelope*
    • Pitch Envelopes
    • Envelopes curve control
    • Vibrato (multi-waveform, including square wave variations for chiptune arpeggios) +
    • ECHO!
    • Key/scale changing buttons can change block (loop) or pattern step.*
    • Record solos and key changes+
    • “Block Lock” mode always edits playing block. (Good when recording solos across multiple blocks!)
    • Individual blocks (loops) can be saved and loaded from system memory. Over 90 example loops are included for use in your own songs.
    • Export MIDI files to SD card!
    • Loads RCa1 songs!
    • Tracks and blocks can be renamed.
    • New sounds and samples.
    • Many other tweaks and features!

    (* = Rhythm Core Alpha 1 feature that bears repeating. + = feature that first appeared in the European release of RCa1.)

    I hope you can add it to the list! Our website is still and we have screenshots, videos, songs, press-releases, etc. on there.

    The game page on Nintendo’s site is at

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