Ratings: Graphics & Audio: 20/25, Gameplay: 18/25, Creativity 17/25, Fun 15/25
The PSP is not only a gaming console that you can carry around the companies that specialize in those games have also tried hard to come up with the entertainment part of the system. Traxxpad is one such software program that is not a game but a music creation program. I have tried my hand at some music creations using a PC based program that works very well at being able to combine and create notes and music.
Traxxpad works very well but is a bit time consuming to create your own music, not due to bad design or problems with the software, just that there are so few buttons and keys and you have to use the buttons only. On a PC based music creator you have your mouse and keyboard to quickly change notes, move portions of music and change screens.
The PSP is just not designed for this type of program but Definitive Studios has done a very good job in making Traxxpad user friendly. Traxxpad is basically a graphical representation of several music creation devices such as a mixer that combines the notes you choose to place in the mixer graph.
Each of the four buttons for the PSP, the circle, square, X and triangle, play a different note. You combine these notes into a string of notes or a song. You can create hip hop, rap, techno or any combination you like. There are over 1000 notes included but with the added sequencer, mixer and other parts of the program you can change pitch and sustain notes or combine them to create songs.
There are three main sections to Traxxpad that create music; R.T.I.S.T., MeLOD and S.T.A.C. The R.T.I.S.T. or Real Time Sequencer is the base area where you can combine several notes into a beat. The MeLOD, for refining the melody, is where you work with beats to alter and enhance their melody or rhythm, very much like a MIDI controller. The S.T.A.C., Studio Through A Console, is the area where you combine the beats into music that you can record or play.
The sequencer section uses a simple graph to show where each note will be placed and you just hit the button to place that note on the graph. Using the various buttons you can add notes to a channel or group to create a series of notes or a beat. You can sustain notes that you add by holding the button for that note for a few seconds.
Using the sequencer controls you can add different notes to create your own unique beat. Save that beat into memory and you can switch to the S.T.A.C. section to combine beats into songs easily and quickly. The sequencer lets you work with various types of beats at one time such as one beat for bass type instruments. When you save all the various kinds of beats you want it’s simple to create music with a wide variety of different sounding beats.
You can quickly switch form one section to another, just make sure you save your current beat before doing so. Traxxpad allows you to easily move from the sequencer, studio and melody creator so you can quickly change things or arrange them how you want when the inspiration hits.
Using all these sections you can take individual notes and alter them how you like, combine them into beats and create whole songs that you play or record. You can also save the songs and use them on a computer to record onto disc easily with the Ad Hoc wireless or file transfer. The Traxxpad saves music in it’s native wav format so using them on any MP3 player or other device is very simple. You can create ring tones and easily transfer them to a phone if your phone allows you to.
The four buttons of the PSP are kind of limiting but they have done an admirable job using the different sections and various tools of each to create an easy to use program. There is definitely plenty to do with the PSP Traxxpad if you want to create your own music such as hip hop or techno. The Traxxpad is not for someone who wants to quickly put together music in a few minutes but to be able to create songs of your very own it is definitely good.
If you’re into music and want to be able to create your very own tunes on the PSP Traxxpad is a very good way to create, edit and record techno and various music styles all your own.