Piki Geek will be creating themed posts surrounding a daily topic each weekday. Henceforth, we will regularly celebrate the Twitter staple, Music Monday, with details surrounding a particular music-oriented piece of technology or software.
The Nintendo DS came out about, what, six years ago? You either have one already, or you’ll likely never get one. According to statistics, though, you’re probably among the many who own Nintendo’s dual-screened fun machine. Furthermore, if you’re an active member of the geeky underworld, chances are even higher that you even own a homebrew flash card, such as the R4, Cyclo DS or M3. If you own even one of the products above, this post is for you.
Enter AXE, developed by Damian Yerrick.
AXE was released around 2006, but managed to slip under the radar due to the obscurity of flash cards back then. So, what exactly is it? Simply put, AXE is a tiny application that turns your touch screen into a chiptune-making beast, completely in real-time. The kicker? Even if you were damned with a solid “0” in the musical skill category, AXE will allow you to create kick-ass original tunes every time you touch your stylus to the screen.
The concept behind the program is simple: A constant drum beat and bass line lay out a repeating musical foundation, while interacting with the touch screen produces specific notes based on where your stylus is positioned. Fortunately, all of the possible notes produced follow a simplified musical scale to ensure that no matter what notes you play, they fit in perfectly with the background. Even when you go buck-wild on your screen, you’ll still end up with some seriously jammin’ ear candy.
Check out Piki Geek’s own chiptune madness in the video below.
Here’s what you need to start rocking out on your own: A Nintendo DS homebrew flash card, a micro SD card and Damian’s free program, which can be downloaded from his website. Simply drop the contents of the zip file onto your micro SD, navigate to AXE_0.03.nds on your homebrew card and jam the night away.