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Author Topic: Trackers for Android  (Read 161 times)

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Rave669

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Trackers for Android
« on: November 18, 2017, 22:13:11 »

Hey everyone.

Just wanted to talk about Solutions for tracking under Android.

I tried the MilkyTracker port, but it's not very controllable with the touchscreen. I suppose if you have a keyboard and mouse, it would be easier, but it sort of defeats the purpose.

I recently paid for a full copy of PixiTracker. While not a full blown tracker, it's easy to use, and can export to XM format, so it's pretty easy to create "sketches" on the go and then finish up work on a PC using a proper tracker. You can load your own samples, but features like effects, looping samples and proper table-based editing is absent. Still very useful though!
The same person who created SunVOX made PixiTracker. I've considered actually using SunVox as well, since it's also available for android. Anyone know how useable it is in android? It looks pretty good feature-wise. Feedback on this would be appreciated.

Lastly, NanoLoop is available too; I have had a little experience with it from years ago when I worked with it in the Gameboy scene. Not my cup of tea, but still putting it out there.

At one time 8Tones was an option, it's no longer on the Play store, and I don't have a source to safely get a copy to sideload.

If anybody knows of any other trackers for android, feel free to chime in.
Aside from that, any input on the subject would be appreciated. Android seems to be a platform that doesn't get a lot of love, but it's useful when out and about; I can't always bring my Notebook PC along, but I always have my smartphone.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2017, 22:17:19 by Rave669 »
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Saga Musix

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Re: Trackers for Android
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2017, 01:39:00 »

Quote
I suppose if you have a keyboard and mouse, it would be easier, but it sort of defeats the purpose.
Isn't using a touchscreen kind of defeating the purpose of a tracker? ;) Without the speed of keyboard interaction available, you can just as well use a regular sequencer, of which there are plenty on Android.
My two cents why there are not (and probably never will be) many trackers for mobile platforms. As a tracker developer I wouldn't even know where to start with a sensible Android port because many things about trackers are inherently desktop-oriented.
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Rave669

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Re: Trackers for Android
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2017, 02:04:09 »

Quote
I suppose if you have a keyboard and mouse, it would be easier, but it sort of defeats the purpose.
Isn't using a touchscreen kind of defeating the purpose of a tracker? ;) Without the speed of keyboard interaction available, you can just as well use a regular sequencer, of which there are plenty on Android.

While your opinion is duly noted, I beg to differ. There are a few platforms that use tracker interfaces that neither utilize keyboards or mice, for example:

NanoLoop and LSDJ both made for the gameboy, utilizing the standard controls (dpad, A, B, Select and Start keys) many people have used them to track with no complaints.

Furthermore there's the NerdSEQ http://xor-electronics.com/nerdseq/
which is a tracker-based modular sequencer that uses a similar interface to the gameboy.
Of course you can expand the module to use a Sega Genesis / Megadrive gamepad instead. it's a nice bit of kit!

Check it out in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TquD64S8v0
They also have the NerdSynth project which operates on a similar principle.

As I said, it's not meant to be a primary solution, but it would be good to use whenever inspiration hits. PixiTracker as I said works really well for being touchscreen based.

I still appreciate your opinion, though. nothing beats using a PC, unless of course you don't have your PC handy.
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Saga Musix

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Re: Trackers for Android
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2017, 02:58:08 »

I think all of these qualify as having some sort of keyboard though. ;) Obviously not quite as suitable as full-sized keyboard, but still probably way more usable than a touch-screen. Having the cursor keys for rapid navigation probably helps massively.
(Chris Nash's dissertation and papers about trackers may be an interesting read in this context.)
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nikku4211

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Re: Trackers for Android
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2017, 22:02:00 »

I don't know if using a touchscreen really defeats the purpose of a tracker, but unfortunately, the majority of phones nowadays lack a keyboard or a keypad, and I am sure that all keyboard/keypad phones will be discontinued sometime in the not-so-distant future.
You can buy a laptop, but they're often bulky. Even the thin ones are still not the ideal size for something to carry on a small purse.
Of course, maybe a tracker isn't good to use anyway, but some people are more used to the tracker format than things like music sheets, so it's harder to just write down musical ideas on paper.
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Rave669

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Re: Trackers for Android
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2017, 23:06:41 »

Well, just as a heads up, I will probably be making a purchase of SunVOX in the near future; not just for tracking, but for it's synth modelling as well; Some folks have made some really cool standalone synthesizers with it, it's been giving me some ideas.

Just to prove my point however, I've been making a project only using PixiTracker. I'll post it up when it's done so you can hear what can be done with it. Many may not view Android as a viable platform, but I believe it has a place in the creative process, even in the tracker scene.
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Re: Trackers for Android
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2017, 11:06:29 »

Just to make my point more clear; it's not necessarily just the input (in)capabilities of the devices that are so severely limiting there. I see a lot of people asking "why don't you port tracker X to Android?" and most often the only sensible answer to that question is "because it's not designed for mobile devices." If you really want someone to work well on mobile, it needs a UI designed from scratch that aids you where the lack of keyboard controls matter the most.
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