Music that Changes: Splinter Cell, Permutative Music, and Games

Brent, CDM’s resident game composer, is back with another look at the world of digital music in gaming. And again, gaming gives us a glimpse of what future digital music could be like — namely, permutable. (That’s a word, isn’t it?) -PK The level of interactivity in today’s game audio continues to grow and expand. While most of us are used to the experience of a specific theme or piece of music associated with a given level or area in a game (e.g. the level 1-1 “Overworld Theme” from Super Mario Bros.), only recently have game composers been afforded the …

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Unlikely Sound Equipment II: Synth-in-a-rock

I get these kind of requests all the time. "Peter, thanks for the helpful coverage on the USB MIDI controllers, but when will someone finally release audio hardware I can really use, like a concrete block that plays algorithmic music for 30 years?" Yes, folks: it's a piece of concrete. With a DSP chip inside. That can randomly generate algorithmic music for 30 years (after which, it dies . . . unless it's robot soul goes insane thinking about its own mortality, a la Blade Runner). Good news for DIY types, though: the Boston-based DSP collective that created this is …

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