This post is part of my ongoing tracker-app-reviews-from-slash-FOR-a-possible-tracker-newbie-perspective series. Next up: likely Klystrack.
I figure out absolutely everything backwards. The very first tracker that really piqued my interest in all this tracker-y stuff so “late” in life wasn’t Renoise, SunVox, or even some other “well-known / classic” tracker app for desktop machines. It was LittleGPTracker, aka LGPT, aka PiggyTracker, aka Piggy, aka The Pig.
I don’t remember how I bumped into this crazy app or the associated Hexawe netlabel-community. I liked much of the music I heard being made with Piggy, and was further fascinated by the idea of a robust music app designed to run on mobile devices with only gamepad input allowed for the end user.
LGPT was directly and openly inspired by a longrunning Gameboy music / tracker app called Little Sound DJ – LSDj for short. These two apps share more in common than their numerous interface / UI similarities; both are meant for use on mobile gaming devices or equivalent, and both have super-passionate fanbases actively making music with the things. Once you’ve got the basics of using one of them down, you’re pretty well ready to use the other as well. But there are some pretty significant distinctions between their approaches as well, particularly from a sound-generation angle.
I’ve played / worked much more with LGPT than with LSDj. While LGPT is available not only for several obscure mobile gaming dealies but also natively for Win32 (to say nothing of OSX / Linux / even RPi), I don’t have the requisite hipster hardware to run the Gameboy-only LSDj on a real Gameboy for the “legit experience” and have had to resort to using it in an emulator. But I’ve used both apps just enough at this point to feel comfortable slapping up a joint review from, again, the tracker-n00b perspective.
I have also used both of these apps enough to believe that some smart developer who might get serious about combining these two apps’ particular strengths with a somewhat more modern set of capabilities and UI could very much be on a direct route to The Future Of Mobile Electronic Music-Making. These apps are incredibly cool, and particularly in the case of LGPT, they’re useful for more than just chiptunery. Both programs have particular strengths in terms of workflow / input efficiency that eludes not only most other trackers, but nearly all other “modern” music-making apps as well.
Let’s get down to it.
But before we do – I’ll say more about “hardware requirements” at the very end of this review, but you should know upfront: these apps were meant to be used with gamepads or the equivalent. I would vehemently argue this does not mean you should take these apps any less seriously as music-making tools. You may eventually disagree, but try to keep an open mind.
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