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  • System Detail

System: DirectMusic Producer

Authors

Description

DirectMusic Producer is an authoring tool used to create music and other sounds for computer games and other applications. You can use DirectMusic Producer in a number of ways, ranging from quickly setting up the playback of an existing MIDI file to creating a wholly new piece of music or sound effect. You can also use DirectMusic Producer to create a complete performance of music and sound effects that follows your settings for timing, length, start and stop times, instrument use, and other parameters. The following are some of the capabilities of DirectMusic Producer: Importing and Creating Audio Data Audio data in a DirectMusic Producer segment can come from several different sources. You can obtain data in the following ways: Import existing MIDI files. Capture data from MIDI devices. Compose musical patterns by using a graphical editor. Import wave files, including compressed wave files in any format supported by the Windows audio compression manager (ACM). DirectMusic Producer does not support wave recording. Variability DirectMusic Producer gives you many options for incorporating variability into soundtracks. As a piece plays, there are multiple possible paths it can follow, including different chord choices, alternative melodies or sound effects, changes in rhythm, and increased or decreased intensity. Interactivity You can use DirectMusic Producer to design soundtracks that are linked to events or states in an application. For example, the appearance of a villain in a CD-ROM game might be accompanied by a particular musical theme; the musical patterns in the theme could vary depending on the circumstance, such as a game character being in peril. As another example, a multimedia CD-ROM about international travel could have a different style of music accompany each region or city, with smooth transitions from one style to another as the user explores. In addition, each mouse click could have a special sound effect or motif dedicated to it. Unified and Exact Timing All sounds are on a single timeline, no matter how many files you combine. Timing is very precise. You can cue sounds to occur at a given clock time, or at the nearest appropriate boundary such as at the beginning of a measure. Complete Control over Instrumentation DirectMusic Producer files support the Downloadable Sounds (DLS) Level 2 standard. You can make use of the power of DLS to ensure that instruments sound exactly the same on every playback system. DLS frees you from the limitations of MIDI hardware. You are no longer restricted to a fixed set of timbres. An instrument can play any sound, even a nonmusical sound effect. Scripting Using DirectMusic Producer scripts, you can have more immediate control over the performance of sound in an application. Changes in a script take immediate effect, without the necessity of recompiling the application.

References

“With the development of electronic and computer music, multidemnsionality of sound representation turned out to be both natural and useful. But music goes beyond multidimensionality -- it is even more complex.”

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“... but beware, technique can submerge the user: We must defend ourselves; it is good to use techniques, but we have to dominate them, to stay alert.”

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“Music is then no longer primarily conceived as a guide for premeditated emotions, but as the density of the possible relationships which first become actuality during production under the influence of chance, and which during performance are presented to the listener as sounds beyond any environmental associatiations, independent of bodily actions required to produce sounds...”

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“... the use of numerical machines no longer stands in need of justification. It is not a mystery. If there is a mystery, it is in the mental structures of music and not in the computers, which are only tools, extensions of the hand and the slide rule.”

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“Composers are now able, as never before, to satisfy the dictates of that inner ear of the imagination. They are also lucky so far in not being hampered by esthetic codification -- at least not yet! But I am afraid it will not be long before some musical mortician begins embalming electronic music in rules.”

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“The computing machine is a marvelous invention and seems almost superhuman. But in reality it is as limited as the mind of the individual who feeds it material. Like the computer, the machines we use for making music can only give back what we put into them.”

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“The characteristics of every sound depend on the way in which the sound was produced. Each art-form exploits its special production methods in order to endow the phenomena with unmistakable characteristics. Artistic economy demands that the means be appropriate to the end, and that the exploitation of the means be an end in itself.”

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“... and the hope of an extraordinary aesthetic success based on extraordinary technology is a cruel deceit.”

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“... the individual and the society are deprived of the formidable power of free imagination that musical composition offers them. We are able to tear down this iron curtain, thanks to the technology of computers...”

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“The use of computers is the logical outcome of a historical development. It by no means heralds a new musical epoch; it simply offers a fast, reliable and versatile means of solving problems that already demanded solution. The person who writes the computer programme must bear the development of musical language up to the present in mind, and try to advance a stage further.”

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“The danger is great of letting oneself be trapped by the tools and of becoming stuck in the sands of technology that has come like an intruder into the relatively calm waters of the thought in instrumental music.”

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