Archive for September, 2008


Tenori-on / Monome clone for DS update : CellsDS

So awhile ago I joked about the possibility of a Tenori-on version coming out from Nintendo. Looks like homebrew won again. Bret from has released CellsDS which is actually more of a Monome clone where you can write your own engines and control surfaces (MIDI is still in the works).

Out of the box (aka zip) it comes with several Engines already so those of you that don’t want to write your own sequencers don’t have to. It includes a basic step sequencer, “Block” mixer, Tenori-on style Bounce sequencer, and a few more. Very cool.

The LUA scripting is very very easy to get a grasp of even if you are only slightly familiar with scripting (php experience and the like will benefit you) and the documentation + examples are well done and easy to follow, and surprisingly flexible (including sending custom variables from one engine to the other).

It comes with a large library of default sounds, so for the even lazier, you don’t have to create your own. Head over to for more information.

I should probably mention that previously, there was Monomeds but it was largely an unfinished project and open source. I’m not sure if CellsDS is branched off of that code or not, but users that were looking forward to a finished Monomeds app for the DS should be aware of this program, esp. now since the midi implementation is set to take place soon.

Yes, midi note out and clock sync are planned. I’ve been debating how to do the midi note out. I’m torn. Here are my options:

1) Make it easy on the Lua programmer by making play_note(note_number) automatically output a midi note where the midi note is based on the note_number and the channel is based on the engine number.


2) Add a new function called something like send_midi(param1, param2, param3, param4). This is more flexible but makes more work for the Lua programmer.

Anyways, CellsDS is a subtle yet killer application b/c of its flexibility. So if that sort of flexibility and the ease of LUA scripting appeals to you, or even if you just want another fun sequencer for the DS and don’t want to muck about with coding… check it out.


September 2008
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