NitroTracker v0.4

0xtob (or just Tob), FINALLY released version 0.4 of NitroTracker. I can honestly say the wait has been excruciating--and totally worth it! There was a time when I would check his website on a daily basis in hopes of seeing a new release, which turned out to be a total waste of time since the news was announced on his mailing list the day before the site was updated. I had totally forgotten about the mailing list. My jaw hit the keyboard when I read the subject line:

[NitroTracker] NitroTracker v0.4 is here at last!

"At last", indeed.

NitroTracker is an amazing sequence of code that grants you the privilege of making pretty sounds come out of your NDS--on purpose--whenever the mood strikes you. Tob took the, "When it's ready" approach to this release and it shows. A lot of polish and testing went into this and I find the interface a lot more intuitive this time around.

If you're new to NitroTracker you might find the interface a little overwhelming. I can assure you it's easier than it looks. I suggesting anyone that hasn't already done so to give the NitroTracker Manual a quick read. There is also an official NitroTracker Forum and an IRC chat room (#nitrotracker on Espernet) in place if you need to connect with like-minded individuals.

Of all the new features I think Multi-Sample Instruments (MSI) has the most potential for exploitation. It is a fair compromise for a lack of VST support. At the end of the day you're still working with samples but I can imagine putting together something like a really wicked drumkit by way of MSI! Honestly, VST support is the last item on my NitroTracker wish list. I would be cool to have but I don't think it's a realistic goal; I just don't know if the NDS can handle the memory requirements. Then again, wasn't the same thing said about NEO-GEO emulation on the Sega Dreamcast and Nintendo DS? Besides, if NitroTracker is missing something you need, just load the XM file into your MAC/PC tracker of choice and continue from there.

If you're still not convinced I recommend listening to some tracks composed in NitroTracker. you'll find a few tracks were included with the release for that extra inspirational push.

If you have a Nintendo DS and a flash card you have no excuse for not installing this. Even if you have no musical skill you can have fun recording samples with the NDS microphone and playing them back on the synth. Those of you with a musical background should be happy to know there is midi support. I was able to get it running on Windows XP and it's also been tested to work on Macs.

While the topic in the official chat room might read, "NitroTracker v0.4 is out! Think it's cool? Just wait for 0.5..." I feel there's enough to keep us busy in v0.4 until that becomes a reality.

download: NitroTracker v0.4
web: NitroTracker

First Post

0xtob - #
July 11, 2008 at 7:33 PM
Hey, thanks for the great article! You're right, I've taken the "When it's done approach". It's basically what Blizzard does: Keep everyone waiting for an eternity, and then when they've all grown beards, release a well-polished product.

Just to avoid unnecessary expectations: VST support on the DS is as plausible as a folding at home client for the Game Boy. The main problem is that VSTs are developed for PCs or Macs, that means they're compiled for a different CPU and they use operating system APIs that are not available on the DS. So, VST plugins would have to be specially developed for the DS. But another problem is that realtime audio processing on the DS is limited by its 66MHz CPU. I'm sure you can do basic filters (as the upcoming Korg DS-10 will probably prove) but no complex setups.

Nevertheless, there is in fact going to be something remotely similar, which is plugin support for sample filters! I don't want to promise too much, but I think this is going to be pretty cool.

But again, it's going to be released "when it's done" :)


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