Us musicians complain about MIDI now and then. But it sure can be useful. Having a simple MIDI input port opens up the MeeBlip to working however you like, and with hardware old and new.
Ashley Elsdon has been writing about mobile music since long before the days of iPhones and iPads. His blog is “Palm Sounds” for a reason – that’s Palm as in the old PDA, as well as the palm of your hand. And so, when Ashley got his MeeBlip SE, he connected it to a “vintage” Palm PDA. miniMusic BeatPad remains a clever little app, controlling parameters with a stylus. Oh, and that old Palm screen should also perform nicely in direct sunlight when your fancy smartphone is a glaring mess. Quick results:
You can still read up on miniMusic’s MIDI interface for Palm and BeatPad software. (I blogged it on Create Digital Music in its first year of operation.) But it’s easy enough to make your own MIDI interface – here’s a post on that from January of this year, so people are obviously still interested:
A simple Palm Pilot Serial MIDI interface
It seems it could be a fun DIY project if you happen to find an old Palm in a closet or garage sale. Typically, only batteries are an issue. (My summer goal: start getting solar power going for fun in the park with MeeBlip.)
If all that seems a little too nerdy (dorky?) for you, though, there’s always iOS and its support for MIDI, among others. Here, Ashley pairs MeeBlip with Genome for iPad:
Genome is a really nice MIDI sequencer for iOS. It seems an ideal arrangement might be a computer, iPad with Genome receiving MIDI clock input, and MeeBlip on output. (Then you can add other parts and effects on the computer.) But we’d be curious to hear your rig.
All of this illustrates that you can use MeeBlip with any MIDI source. And you aren’t limited to notes: anything you can do by turning a knob, you can automate with MIDI, useful for acid techno lines and the like. Start reading here:
Control MeeBlip SE with MIDI
(All MeeBlips respond to notes; you’ll need a 2.x firmware for full control. If you have an older MeeBlip, read up on how to update your firmware.)
MeeBlip owners have been wondering where we’ve been with news. Basically, we’ve been shipping – and engineering. We don’t like to be so quiet, though, so we’re setting up for the summer so that we get to talk to you more regularly, here and on the forums. Stay tuned for more. Suffice to say our little quiet period has given us a chance to do some planning to be very noisy, indeed.
A forum update is scheduled for May, too. We’ve been working with a talented developer to build a new registration process for our Vanilla forum software to prevent spam, which has become a big issue on that platform recently. Once we’re done testing, we’ll roll it out and share with you.
Most importantly, we’d love to hear what you’re doing with your MeeBlip. Send us sounds, videos, photos, thoughts, questions – we’ll run them here.