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.

89 thoughts on “ds music apps”

  1. 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.

  2. 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…

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

  4. 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.

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

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

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

  7. 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 ?

  8. 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..

  9. 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.

  10. Opps. mis-posted:

    [quote]anyone know how to contact Chism?


  11. 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 http://www.rhythmcorealpha.com .

  12. 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 ..

  13. 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 http://www.rhythmcorealpha.com and we have screenshots, videos, songs, press-releases, etc. on there.

    The game page on Nintendo’s site is at http://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/lVrE9K0JZDCsQ7cMZh_CHYA-fjcjPjTN

  14. What about “Electroplankton”?
    Not sure if that one is still available, but I still have it on my DS.
    When used through lush reverb effects, very useable.

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