Tim at SoftEgg Enterprises contacted us via our Submit A Story form about a new music app for the Nintendo DSi, Rhythm Core Alpha:
We recently made a new music creation system for the Nintendo DSi portable game console, and we thought you’d like to know about it!
You might think “Nintendo, that’s going to be some dumbed down kids crap!” But you’d be SO wrong! Rhythm Core Alpha was designed from the start as an instrument for creating and performing music live, in front of an audience. It has a 12 track drum sequencer, an 8 track piano-roll style melody/bassline synth, a pattern sequence mode, but most of all it includes a LIVE SOLO MODE, where you can solo on the screen using the stylus!
Furthermore, the system’s face buttons allow you to change the key of your sequenced backing tracks, and the notes available in the solo mode are keyed to that, so you can never hit a wrong note! Even better, those buttons can also be reassigned to switch to different loops or different steps in the pattern mode (which can also sequence the chord changes!)
The system comes with 122 drum sounds and 166 instrument sounds, but also includes a full ADSR volume envelope giving you a far more extensive sound palette. (The upcoming European version is said to have even more extensive sound mangling options!)
There is also a full set of editing functions for the sequence data, allowing you to copy, shift, set, clear, randomize, scale, and transpose to your hearts content on single tracks, or any subset of the track list. Using the “Random” function on every track simultaneously and then forcing it into a key and scale with the remap controls actually yields some almost musical concoctions on its own!
We think it is a really killer product for any musician, and at $5 (500 Nintendo DSi Points) it is a real steal (even if you have to buy a DSi to play it on!)
You can preview Rhythm Core Alpha above.
If you’ve used Rhythm Core Alpha, leave a comment and let us know what you think!
Here is the official info on Rhythm Core Alpha:
Rhythm Core Alpha is an advanced music creation system for the Nintendo DSi. It is designed for creating and performing live music in-front of an audience; an electronic instrument designed for PERFORMING!
Rhythm Core Alpha’s 2D solo mode allows one to play the screen by drawing with the stylus. The key and scale can be set so that one can never hit a wrong note! You can even play the drums from the DSi screen!
Setting up a drum beat is nearly instantaneous with its twelve (12) track DRUM GRID. You can choose between 122 different and unique drum sounds, created especially for Rhythm Core Alpha!
Creating instrument parts is fast and easy using the traditional MIDI-style piano-roll editor. Eight (8) different instrument sounds can play at once, using any of 166 different instrument sounds. Notes can be of any length.
A full set of editing commands are available for building your drum and instrument tracks: Copy, Shift, Set, Clear, Random, Echo, Velocity and Transpose! Up to 64 beats can be set for each track in each loop block. Furthermore, a full ADSR volume envelope control is available for every track, allowing for great customization for each sound.
Rhythm Core Alpha automatically detects the possible keys and scales for the music you have entered, and allows you to change the key and scale instantly by simply pressing a Button or a direction on the +Control Pad. By using the shoulder buttons as shift-keys, 24 different key/scale combinations can be selected, from 120 possible options that you can choose to assign to each button. So, much as one changes chords when playing guitar, so can chords be changed even easier in Rhythm Core Alpha!
Up to 32 different loop blocks of drum and instrument notes can be created, and then sequenced in the pattern editing mode. You can even edit one block while another block is playing! In the pattern mode, the block, key, and scale changes can be set. A very powerful feature is that loop points can be added to allow a chord progression to continue indefinitely until the user decides to break out of it. The face buttons on the DSi can be set to jump to different patterns or blocks completely under user control, allowing for the maximum flexibility for live performances! One can even set the patterns so that they allow the user to change the chord or block independently of the other sequenced changes, for even more performance options.
The chord changes can also change the notes available for the solo mode, allowing for carefree soloing without worrying about hitting a wrong note!
At an estimated retail price of 500 Nintendo Points (US $5, Europe €5), Rhythm Core Alpha provides unparallelled control at unbeatable price! Look for it in the Nintendo DSiWare Store!