Reviewed: July 24, 2007
Released: June 26, 2007
Traxxpad: Portable Studio is a music creation software program for the PSP from Definitive Studios and Eidos Interactive. Using the various screens you can create beats and combine them to create your own music. Hip Hop, rap and techno are the main types of music that can be created using the hundreds of notes that are already in the Traxxpad software.
Using the three main sections of Traxxpad you combine notes to create beats and then combine beats to create songs. The three main sections are not difficult to use but working with the four notes using the four main buttons takes some time so the software is not exactly the easiest to use on the PSP.
Traxxpad has three main sections that you create your songs or music in: R.T.I.S.T., MELOD and S.T.A.C. The R.T.I.S.T. stands for Real Time Sequencer, MELOD is refining Melody and S.T.A.C. is for Studio Through a Console.
The Real Time Sequencer is where you take the notes and place them in the order you want to create a beat. You can choose different notes and assign them to the four shaped buttons to play them into your graph. The graph is a timeline for your melody or song that you are composing using the PSP.
Once you have saved the beat you want into memory you can use the S.T.A.C. to create a song or music. The studio portion is easy to use to combine different beats you have saved to create your own music. Once you have created the music you can save the song in WAV format to play on any MP3 player. You can save them and transfer them using either the AD HOC wireless or file transfer modes.
You can also use the MELOD section of Traxxpad to change notes by altering the rhythm or frequency of the note. You can lengthen or shorten the note as well as change pitch and other characteristics. With the hundreds of stock notes that the Traxxpad comes with you really can create even more beats and songs by altering each note the way want to.
Starting out to make your own song or melody is not that easy using the PSP system and does take time. The handheld game controls are not really designed for this type of application but it does work pretty well.
The hardest thing is getting all those notes into the beat you want due to only allowing four notes at a time on the controls. You also have the limiting factors of the small screen but they did well with the small size and made a nice studio music creator.
Adding the notes to create the beats works pretty well but remembering the notes and what they sound like to get a particular style you want will take time and plenty of experimentation. The computer software applications of this same type are much easier on a keyboard and mouse set up.
There are over a thousand stock notes such as drums, trumpets and even futuristic techno notes. You can also use the microphone of the PSP to sample sounds and record them into the saved memory area for Traxxpad to use as new stock notes.
Traxxpad is a great and fun way to play around with music and create songs, beats or even ring tones for you to use by downloading to your phone or computer. The program just takes time to use and can be a bit frustrating due to the limitations that the handheld has for a software application that is more designed for the PC.
Graphics are pretty standard for the PSP system and nice for the size. There are really four main areas with one being the menus and the other three the main sections where you work on your music. The sequencer is a graph arrangement that you can set your notes onto that is easy to understand for setting up beats.
You can quickly change from the menus of the notes to the sequencer using various buttons and clicking on the highlighted note will give you a sample of that note. You can quickly change back to the graph and place that note for the beat.
Working with the notes you have a MIDI like screen for changing various aspects of the notes like the length or rhythm. It is also pretty easy to use and very basic from a graphics standpoint.
The main area for combining the beats into a song or music is much like the graph for the sequencer with the name of each beat in the box. All the graphics work pretty well and are pretty simple to use but it is very limited on the small screen.
The sounds and notes come out very clear and are very good quality as you would expect from a sound application. They have done a good job recording a wide variety of musical notes from several different real world instruments as well as techno sounding computerized ones.
The quality of the beats and other recorded sound are good and sound nice over the small speaker but sound even better when you are using earphones. Once you have recorded the song or music and transferred it to a computer it is also a very good quality.
I had no problem listening to music that I messed with on the PSP system with Traxxpad and then transferred to my PC.
This is one of those applications for a computer or console gaming system that you will either buy because you are interested in what it can do or you are not even going to look twice at it. If you like to create your own music and want to be able to work on it wherever you are or when inspiration hits then this might be for you.
Traxxpad works pretty well but it is kind of a pain as it does take time to be able to find the beats and place them how you want. But it is kind of fun and worth it once you take the time to get the hang of how to do things.
Traxxpad is an interesting application for creating songs or techno sounding beats. There is something here if you’re interested in creating music on your PSP but this is not for the quick and easy music buff.