Bhajis Loops + Tungsten T3 = £75. Bargain!

Every few weeks, I get an email from someone saying "You should post something about Bhajis Loops. It's amazing!" It's a studio-in-a-box which runs on Palm handhelds. I've written about it a couple of times . So, finally inspired by this thread full of more happy users, I emailed Olivier, who told me (roughly) "Get a Tungsten T3. They've got a clever memory thing, they're cheap, and they're cool". So I did. Mine came with a Wifi card for £85, some go for £60. The software is $27, and you can buy 1gb SD cards for £10 on the 'bay.
What does it do? Loads samples and lets you sequence them. Each sample is like an oscillator - you can use a single wave or long sound, loop it, and run it through the filter/effects. You can sample directly from the built-in microphone. You can draw the waveforms from scratch. Most things can be automated. You can download free sample packs - the Fairlight CMI library, old tracker sounds, vintage synths and drum machines, or just dump your own samples onto the SD card. I've made this sample pack with Mellotron, Cracklebox and DSI Evolver samples.
Why do people think it's so cool? Olivier is a genius of interface design. The software is intuitive, logical and really quick to use. Drawing X0X drum patterns right onto the screen is great. Because it's quick and dirty and fairly lo-fi (like an MPC60 is lo-fi) it's fun, and I found myself avoiding micro-polishing hell. There's a very active user community always coming up with new hacks and tricks - three weeks ago, jngpng worked out how to do Ableton-style timestretching (roughly).
What's bad? Entering tiny little notes with a tiny little pointer on a bus rattling through South London is a bit fiddly. It's quite tempting to make really bad hardcore records. What does it sound like? There are tonnes of user songs to download here.

Is this easy enuff to use for beginners?
Yup, Bhajis is very easy to use but full of possibilities. If you've used a multitrack application at least once you'll be at home...

There are several screens : sample editor, instrument editor, pattern editor, multitrack ("song") editor. Plus the mixer screen and the automations. It's quite intuitive.

And, though it *can* be lo-fi, it's not always so : you can set the samplerate to 44khz in the preferences (but you can use 22k or 11k to gain more polyphony while composing and then switch to 44k when you render your tracks to wav files)...
Is there any way to extract the sounds out of their sample packs for use with other programs?
i've said it before and i'll say it again, bhajis loops is my all time favorite music application. wonderful! :D
oh and welcome to the community tom! :D :D glad to see you've finally picked up a palm and bhajis! :)
To the poster who wants to extract the sounds...I don't know if their is a way to extract them, but if you did so, you would be breaching our copyright. We don't object to them being made available in a proprietary format for free. We applaud Bhaji Loops for it's ingenious piece of software.

If you want those sounds, may I recommend you purchase our VSTi, Nostalgia

Details of all the instruments included are available Here.
Hollow Sun.
The message from Roberto only applies to the sample packs built from the (great!) Hollow Sun sounds.

The SH101 and Access Virus sample packs were recorded/converted by myself and you can do whatever you want with them (including detaching each record of the Palm database file to get individual .wav files).

As for the other sample packs maybe we should ask their authors' first...

A last point: these sample packs are designed to be very compact, with an upper limit of 64kb per sample due to the design of the PDB format. It does not really make sense to use this on a PC with virtually unlimited storage and sample memory.
Do these wonderful lil' gadgets sync with a mac? I would love to get one just so I can use this program, but I would also love to be able to load documents onto it from my powerbook so I can proof read on the bus.
Anyone running this on a Palm TX ? i have the chance to get a good deal on a 2nd hand one, but the T3 seems to get more mentions here, is this just due to the affordable 2nd hand prices of the T3? nothing to do with stability?

On the bhajis garden forum there is a thread related to specific palms, this is what someone said about the TX:

(Mar 23, 2006 14:20

With my TX, the UI gets sticky at the 13th note and the glitches appear on the 14th...

I have read the WiFi functions of my Palm are taking some CPU, so I should look for that and test again with more power...))

Here is the entire forum post:
Do these wonderful lil' gadgets sync with a mac?

Standard synchronization tools for OS X provided by Palm are OK, though they are even better 3rd party apps like the Missing Sync (sync with iApps, etc...). There is a Mac version of the synchronization tool for Bhajis Loops, too, but not fully tested on intel Macs (coming very soon).

Anyone running this on a Palm TX ?

Bhajis Loops works and is stable on the TX. The T3 is the best deal because 2nd hands ones are cheap, and of all the Palm OS devices, it has the largest sample memory.
Re: TX - this from Olivier's wonderfully helpful email (you should really have a 'which palm should I buy' spot on the Bhajis website, dude): "- Tungsten TX. Not as fast as the T3 (but can be overclocked), with less RAM
(about 4Mb), and does not have a built-in mic (for instant stupid vocal samples). BUT: wi-fi is a nice addition if you want to use your Palm for other applications. The battery life has been improved, also."

Re sample packs - Having spent the weekend putting one together, the 64 k limit is really tight (but makes you think a bit more about what you're doing). To fit 2-second drum loop, I was sampling at 22khz, 8-bit, and compressing the thing to death.
Thanks for the pointers re: the TX, i think i might hold out and look for a T3 and then a large SD card.

Got to say, only discovered this blog recently but find it indespensible, thanks to everyone who contributes to the posts, probably the only blog i check out several times a day.keep up the good work =)
Re: Olivier's comments..

Absolutely, and quite bad of me not to make that clear in my post. My apologies :o)

Re: Anon & his copyright comment..

Funny how a request to dig deep into your pockets always provokes a response like that. C is also for criminal and corrupt :o). Now, what words start with the letter D ? ;o)

Hollow Sun
does the wifi card on a T3 use the same slot as the SD memory card?
YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ! ! ! Bhajis!

I run Bhajis on a Clié TG50 (~£60), which is nifty because it has a proper keyboard for Grafitti haters (me).

But I used to use it on a Zire 31 (~£40) and can confirm it worked OK on that too.

I can also confirm it has unlimited possibilities, you'll never reach the end of all the different functions and options.

It also has built-in Oblique Strategies which is pretty much the best sideways-thinking idea I have seen in a music app.
Yes, anonymous, you've spotted the flaw in my ebay over-enthusiasm. There's only one SD slot, so I can't use the memory and the wifi together.
i was looking for somthing that would work on my mobile phone, an mda vario (free from t-mobile, new version coming out soon, crippled as a phone but great geek toy).

the choices there are the excellent fruityloop-esque and simple phoenixstudio, or the impenetrable griff.

phoenixstudio is simple but fantastic, three synths, drum machine that can import samples, really easy to use, fun. the developers site is down but you can still buy it online in lots of places for 20 dollars.

griff is a nightmare to use, and three times as expensive, and much much more than that if you want to have the extras. i've used the demo, i dont think i'll bother buying it.

here is the sound of my first commute playing with phoenixstudio and writing an electropop tune on the tube.

i recorded it with a mic because like any normal person i've lost my 2.5mm to 3.5mm adaptor.

i am now harbouring secret fantasies of going to open mic nights with my phone and doing ultraportable 80s synth pop. they usually have rules about naff backing tapes but i dont know what the policy is on live virtual synth rendering.

my next experiment is to use pocketmixer to record and process sounds i find on my journey. it elts you reverse/splice/process, cold then import as drum sounds to phoenix. i think the expensive/obtuse griff is probably more suitable for experimenting, but then, neither of them are max/msp, it's just a cheap fun toy to use on the bus.

btw the mda vario is stereo, with stereo speakers!
Dude.. Great tune!!
Wow, I just picked up a treo 650, and Bhajis Loops after check this program. All I can say is that this program is fucking amazing. You can mix, add effects, sequence, everything!! I can't get over how robust this program is. If you want something to make music while anywhere, this is it!!!
Roberto, in terms of the Hollow Sun sounds, this is an issue I've never quite understood. As I understand it, Hollow Sun was, for years, a place where people would donate samples of their own vintage gear, for the benefit of others, without (as far as I knew) signing over any copyright to the samples they'd sent in. The Contributions page ( clearly states that those particular samples have been used in the VSti instrument that Hollow Sun is now charging for. I understand claiming ownership of the sampler settings (envelopes, mappings, etc.), but how can you argue for ownership of samples that were donated with the express purpose of sharing freely?
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