(DSiWare)

Rhythm Core Alpha (DSiWare)

Game Review

Rhythm Core Alpha Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Corbie Dillard

Catchy beat or sour note?

We've seen a wide variety of music creations applications released for computers over the years, ranging from simple point-and-click programs that anyone can use to high-end music creation tools for professional musicians. With the release of Rhythm Core Alpha, developer SoftEgg is aiming for somewhere in the middle of this range. While the application certainly packs some higher-end features, it still tries to remain as simple as possible in order to allow gamers of all musical skills to make use of it.

There are a lot of tools to make use of in Rhythm Core Alpha, ranging from 12 separate drum tracks to set up and customise to a huge array of musical instruments with which to work. Composing music requires little more than pointing and clicking notes onto a grid. You can configure the notes any way you choose and even adjust the volume of the notes, and with 12 percussion tracks to work with you can weave a fairly intricate rhythm track if you're willing to spend the time to do it.

Once you've created your drum track, you can then begin working on adding a variety of musical instruments to the mix. You can set the range of play from 16 beats all the way up to 64 beats. You'll even be able to switch out the default musical instruments with a huge variety of instrument choices. If you're unsure what the current note on the scale is, you have a keyboard to the left that will allow you to play that particular note to verify if it's the one you're looking for. If for some reason you place a note in the wrong location on the scale, you simply click on it to remove it and start again.

If you find the grid system a bit too limiting for the type of music you're wanting to play, the program also features a Solo Mode that pulls up a screen absolutely covered with musical notes that can be played freely using the stylus and touchscreen. You'll be surprised at just how much freedom this lends to the experience and can be rather useful for times when you're looking to play something a bit more complicated. Once you've completed your musical track, you can then save it onto your DSi for future playing and editing.

You can certainly appreciate how much freedom and control the developers have managed to squeeze into this simple DSiWare application. Although it's not really anything we haven't seen elsewhere, it's certainly the first application of its kind to be made available on the DSiWare service and should provide a rather creative experience for music aficionados. It would have been nice if the developers had made the presentation a bit more visually appealing rather than use the simple black and white presentation consisting mainly of plain white text, but it's certainly adequate.

Conclusion

Rhythm Core Alpha does a nice job of mixing a simple point-and-click input system with a wide range of higher-end musical functions to create a music creation application that people of all ages and musical skill sets can enjoy. You won't be creating studio-quality tracks, but for those who like to play around with creating their own simple rhythm compositions, this offers up just the type of experience you're looking for. Of course, much like Flipnote Studio, it's also the type of experience that you'll basically end up getting out of it what you're willing to spend the time to put into it.

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User Comments (18)

xAlias

#1

xAlias said:

Cool... but I'll wait for Rytmik. I have WarioWare D.I.Y, and the music creator in that is good enough for me.

grumblegrumble

#7

grumblegrumble said:

OH wow I am loving this... You can save your creations to your system and there are so many combinations and ways to create... Great app! I think this is the 2nd dsiware title ever to allow you to save your files (FLipnote Studio being the first.) Great download! I give this a 8/10!

jediknight

#8

jediknight said:

its soo AWESOME!!!!!! the only thing id want is more space/block to make music. only 64 blocks...

Shane904

#11

Shane904 said:

@ Jedi and grumble

It is pretty good. And jedi, you can keep a save on the SD card and keep multiple ones on the computer

Cats

#12

Cats said:

I'd like to see a side-by-side comparison of: KORG DS-10plus, this, Rytmik, and Warioware DIY by someone that loves making music. I make music on Warioware and I found it to be limited, but more flexible than when I first glanced at it. Making stereo in WW DIY eats up 2 of my measly 5 tracks! O.O ...no really! Q.Q

Well, something this ugly has to have something good under the hood to get a 7... (I hope) :/

jediknight

#13

jediknight said:

i just figured that out too sak904. thanks anyway. though, i do wish they gave us 100 blocks instead of a measly 64.

Cats

#14

Cats said:

This plays like Rytmik looks, and Rytmik plays like this looks. If you enjoy reading tech manuals and theories, get Rytmik. If you like laying down a backbeat and then jamming out to it all freestyle like... get this.

P.S. - they both have some really good points, and their faults.. this for instance doesn't have stereo. but I still love to jam out with it. I'd have given Rytmik and this very close to equal scores for very different reasons... 7.5 - 7.8 ~ a really solid number for a first attempt. I hope they both earn enough cash to make more improvements and make a second showing.

If you're the designer of RCA ...things that could make this an absolute must buy.

  • stereo
  • the ability to record your own samples with the built in mic
  • sort the instruments a little
  • pretty colors and contests to attract the masses ;D
yodude

#15

yodude said:

Very interested in this, but can't find many samples online of what you can do with it by users (youtube etc.). I applaud the release of this but I think the demo the designer did as seen on Youtube is terrible. He should pull it and replaced with something a bit more convincing. Having said all this, I probably will purchase on next points purchase to support RCA as the designer put alot into this from what I can see.

yodude

#16

yodude said:

Update 9/12/2010
I Finally purchased and must say I am very happy with this choice. There is a lot packed in here for the price. My only gripe is the sound quality which I felt was very poor, but given the fact that it is a download for 5 bucks I can live with that for what it offers in return.

Korg DS vs. Rytmik vs. Rhythm Core Alpha
Korg DS Plus - Requires the most amount of elbow grease to get something out of it that sounds good as a song. However it offers the best sound quality of the three app's and the best Retro Synth experience on the go. If you are an old Depeche Mode/Kraftwerk fan this probably will allow you to replicate something they did 20-25 plus years ago.

Rytmik - Great studio software piece with plenty of sample options to create with, I was quickly able to slap something together that sounded Trance/Techno-e in a short time. Sound quality was in the middle between the three, but offers the best GUI/visual of the 3.

Rhythm Core Alpha - Lots of fun out of the box, not the most pleasing on the eye or ears, but perhaps that was the only way to cram as much as they did into it. However, once I got going playing around with it my focus shifted to having fun, which I did do and feel I will do for some time. The sound quality was disappointing as if I do ever achieve greatness with it I could not do much with it beyond playing for family and friends. Worth noting is this I felt was similar to the Korg app, but comes with far much more preloaded sounds, but again suffers when it comes to the audio. For the price I really cant complain though.

Summary
If you plan on doing anything retro new wave or some of the top forty on the radio today, the Korg app is the way to go as it delivers excellent sound quality and actually sounds like what the one hit wonder Hip Hop artists of today are using or some of the greats from yesteryear did. If you want to mess around with sound samples and stitching a song together, then Rytmik is great. My recommendation is to grab all three for 3 different experiences and to support all developers.

paperskyx

#17

paperskyx said:

This looks horrid. The graphics are ugly and almost painful to look at. Granted, what really matters is the quality of music we're able to make with it, but the look is important to me too.. If looking at it will give me a headache, I won't buy it.

LuckyButtonPusher

#18

LuckyButtonPusher said:

I downloaded the improved PAL version (500 DSi Points).

This DSiWare is great!!! Amazing: You can play all your patterns (blocks) in realtime and even change the chords of your created tunes automatically. LIVE !!!

I checked it out by myself:
http://youtu.be/YzdH0UtvKho

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