Though chip music made via handheld gaming devices is nigh synonymous with Nintendo’s Gameboy line, renowned artist/composer/programmer/honorary GeekDad Matthew Applegate – more widely known as Pixelh8 – has just released a brand new module that looks to change this. The Music Tech Master Stroke software is instead designed for Nintendo’s popular follow-up, the DS. Yet, unlike other homebrew and officially released DS music applications, which are typically sequencers, it is instead a live performance tool.
Using the system’s unique touch screen interface, Master Stroke allows musicians to tweak things like pan and volume options on the fly, while still using the d-pad, face and shoulder buttons to make sweet, chippy music. Other new features, like the whammy function, similarly employ the touch interface to supplement Pixelh8′s traditional Music Tech program design in a number of exciting ways. Thankfully, this module also comes in at the same price point at its forebears: free.
Master Stroke even includes a xylophone mode, the inclusion of which Matthew attributes to his daughter:
Originally it wasn’t going to have Xylophone Mode (just the old directional button play mode) but my daughter who is brilliant as Glockenspiel wanted something to practice on while in the car so I added that in for her, she’s one of my BETA testers and I am a very Geeky Dad so I had to do it .
The beta version of Master Stroke, recently released in conjunction with Sound Network’s Interface Amnesty, is currently freely available from Pixelh8′s site. Though only “95% complete,” Matthew plans to resume work on it following the release of his forthcoming album And the Revolution. Until that time, the next generation of electronic musicians is actively encouraged to create, experiment and share using this next generation instrument.