You had us at 1-bit
For those who may have missed it. The PixiTracker is a 1-bit visual tracker made by developer Alexander Zolotov. He released the app on Android and recently dropped an iOS version. The application, is a paint-by-music tracker in which patterns and phrases can be dropped in graphically. You have a drag and drop selection tool, Cut, Copy Paste, editable sounds, file exporting, unlimited patterns, a graphical output option, 10 octaves and a lot of little nice touches such as a graphical representative video output. With some manual dexterity, you can drop in patterns live. You should check out the glorious videos on his developer website
The app is available on the Google Play store on Android or the App Store on iOS for 0.99USD. A bargain
We caught up with Alexander for a quick chat about the app.
Do you like chiptune then? Have you ever written a chiptune song?
Sure, i like it I grew up with 8-bit computers. First, the “Specialist” Soviet home-made computer (with soviet i8080 CPU clone) in 1991. Then the ZX-Spectrum in 1993. So these sounds are very pleasant to my ears. Although I don’t write pure chip tunes, i write the songs with some chiptune elements, 8-bit sounds and soon. You can listen to it here
Which groups or composers [of any genre] do you like the most?
Vangelis, J.M.Jarre, Eduard Artemyev, Kraftwerk, Bent, Mike Oldfield and Ulrich Schnauss.
Why did you write a 1-bit music program?
Why not? I like sound experiments. 1-bit is very interesting type of synth. There is no volume of the signal – only pulse width and the spirit of old computers
How long did it take to develop the app?
Two weeks or so. But the base part (for both 16bit and 1bit versions) of PixiTracker were developed in two months.
How did you approach the design layout for the app?
Common sense, advice from friends – that’s the recipe.
Are there any differences between the coding on Android and iOS versions?
Of course these is plenty of differences. iOS is better for native applications (like PixiTracker), more bug-free. But Android is more universal and it provides full access to the file system of your device.
Thank you to Alexander for taking the time to talk to us and of course, building us something new to play with. But that’s not all!
Until the end of this month, the 31st of August we’ll be accepting submissions for a competition to put out ten tracks on a compilation and released through noichan. Cheapshot is kicking off the compilation with his track Skwone Bit
Here’s some rules/guidelines for you guys.
- PixiTracker 1-Bit only version.
- Keep em short eh? If they’re over 5 minutes, it’s pointless. 3 minutes is a good benchmark. The same applies for file sizes. We don’t need anything hi-def here.
- The PixiTracker exports to Wav. We want the submissions as mp3s. When you convert them, ID3 Tag your mp3s please. We receive or download submissions and when we present the names publicly, it’s because we’ve taken your own tagging methods, so please get it right the first time around.
- Don’t forget if you use soundcloud for your upload to make the track downloadable. dropbox works well too. But the best way is to make yourself a personal album on your noichan account.
- If you submit the track and it wins, it’s going on the compilation. Entry is admission for us to sample it, loop it and fuck it into pieces with reference to the original artists.
- Deadline is the 31st of August, depending on your regional time zone.
- Have fun!