Ben as a audio walkstation: mod trackers... (was: Ben NanoNote applications)

Joshua Judson Rosen rozzin at
Fri Jun 17 18:27:58 EDT 2011

Wolfgang Spraul <wolfgang at> writes:
> > Since I mentioned Ben as a musical device in my last message,
> > I reminded myself of a class of devices about which I'd entirely
> > forgotten: if a nice tracker were made to run on Ben, it might
> > make a nice musical `walkstation' similar in vein to, e.g.:
> > Yamaha's QY70 (there are some videos on YouTube demonstrating
> > various QY-series devices, for anyone not familiar with them).
> Yes! I was thinking along those lines recently with Ben being
> able to feed 'programmed' music into a Milkymist One. You give
> me some good leads now, I will google what the QY70 can do...

For an explanation of the program-genre:

(The QY70 & friends are actually *MIDI* tools, but MOD and MIDI
compositions/files are very similar in spirit--the most notable
difference being that MOD files include audio-samples defining
all of the instruments used, where MIDI compositions just include
*references* to instruments from a standard catalogue/palette
and leaves waveform-synthesis to be totally defined by the player).

> Do you know any programs that we may easily be able to port to
> the Ben that would make us go in this direction?

Well, after some searching, I think I may have found something
that meets all of the requirements; there's a *curses-based*
tracker mentioned in this article ("About the Mod: Part One"):,1

It's called "FunktrackerGOLD"..., and it looks like it's
quite old and unmaintained at this point (the most `canonical'
upstream I can find for it is sunsite^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H ibiblio:

... with a timestamp in mid 1999(!))..., but it's worth a try at running it.

Judging from the screenshot in the LinuxJournal article, it should run
fine on a Ben using the small ("un-fuzzy-4x8") console-font. It might
be OK using the 6x10 font, also, though I'm not sure--someone will
just have to try it :)

It's quite remarkable how much more interesting curses-based apps have
become to me, since I got my Ben... ;)

> > Someone asked, a while back, whether there were any way that
> > Ben NanoNote might add value to the MM1--maybe this is an answer.
> Absolutely, thanks!
> > A pocket-sized tracker for making and playing mod-files was
> > something that I wanted for much of the last decade (though
> > not as much, now, since I've become focused on things
> > other than making music).
> I'm not familiar enough with programs in that field to know
> what free software would pass as 'tracker for making and
> playing mod-files'. Can you drop any names or URLs of free
> software projects that could be ported to Ben to provide this
> functionality?

"Don't be afraid to ask (λf.((λx.xx) (λr.f(rr))))."

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