miniMusic has unveiled their new Krikit Audio Engine (or Krikit Synth), a software synthesizer that can generate rich audio on most Palm OS handheld computers without any additional hardware. First to incorporate the new audio engine is miniMusic's NotePad music notation software, allowing many different instruments to be used together to play back songs. Also announced today is the new SoundPad application to design new instruments for the Krikit Synth that can be used in NotePad and future Krikit powered software; SoundPad will be released on May 24th, but a free preview can be downloaded now from the miniMusic website.
The Krikit Audio Engine is both polyphonic and multitimbral. "Polyphonic" meaning that it can play several notes or pitches simultaneously (for playing harmony, chords or counterpoint). "Multitimbral" means that it can play those notes using different instrument sounds simultaneously (maybe playing piano, guitar and drum sounds to simulate a band). Unlike an MP3 player or other music players, the Krikit synthesizer generates rich audio in real time without a pre-existing digital recording (e.g. an MP3 file).
"We designed the Krikit Synth specifically for handheld computers and the Palm OS. We used FM synthesis techniques to keep our sound files extremely small and kept optimizing the synth until it ran well on even the slowest CPUs," says Chad Mealey, President of miniMusic. "It's like having the best synth keyboard from the 80s in your pocket"
The NotePad 1.3 upgrade adds a number of playback possibilities. Now most Palm handheld users can hear what previously required a built-in sound card or additional hardware. The Krikit Synth brings rich audio to a wide range of OS 5 handhelds, like the palmOne Treo 600 and 650, the Tungsten T, T2, T3 and T5, the Tungsten C, the Tungsten E and E2, The Zire 31, 71 and 72, Tapwave Zodiac 1, Zodiac 2, Sony Clie UX40, UX50, TJ35 or similar models.
The brand new SoundPad 1.0 application allows anyone to design new sounds. An innovative graphic interface lets you grab and manipulate any parameter of a sound. Quickly change oscillator frequencies, ratios, waveforms, amplitude envelopes and modulation. This easy sound design interface sets the Krikit Synth apart from any other handheld sound engine.
This Summer the new audio engine will be incorporated into miniMusic's other products: BeatPad, SpinPad, BugBand, EarTrain, AxisPad and the new MixPad MIDI file player.
Pricing, Availability, and Distribution
NotePad 1.3 is available for $29.95 and includes sample songs and a sample sound bank. Current NotePad owners may be eligible for a free upgrade to NotePad 1.3, others will be asked to pay a $5 upgrade fee (The fee may be applied toward the purchase of SoundPad). SoundPad 1.0 will be available on May 24th for $19.95, or both NotePad and SoundPad are included in the new Krikit Bundle for $44.95 (10% off). Educational discounts and site licenses are also available for all miniMusic products. Free demos of NotePad, SoundPad and other software titles are currently available for download from the miniMusic website and from other Palm OS software distributors. Developers may license the Krikit Audio Engine to add enhanced sound to their products.
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