Creating Guitar Hero: Josh Randall on Bringing Interactive Music to the Masses, Future of Music Games

The UK Sony PlayStation site has posted Josh Randall’s keynote at the Cybersonica arts fest in London. Josh Randall, a sometimes CDM reader (still out there, Josh?), is Creative Director of Harmonix, the groundbreaking game shop that created Guitar Hero and other interactive music games like Amplitude, Frequency (pictured), and (soon) Guitar Hero II. Interview with Josh Randall [Video, PlayStation.com] Cybersonica Keynote Excerpts [Video, PlayStation.com] Via: Interactive Music for the Masses [Pixelsumo, blog of Cybersonica curator Chris O’Shea] Josh talks in the interview about the upcoming PS3, Cybersonica, and the possibility of other instruments. (Keytar Hero? Accordion Hero? Ukelele Hero? …

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Sony’s Answer to Apple’s Soundtrack: Cinescore Eliminates Composers Entirely, Brings AI to Klezmer

Yes, I know, there are many video production houses working on weddings and corporate videos who aren’t likely to hire Howard Shore to compose the score. (Well, except for the odd Lord of the Rings geeks tying the knot.) So, it makes sense that we’d see yet another software product that promises to generate the music algorithmically according to a musical genre and custom hit points. Because, of course, it’s not like there are a bunch of composers around hard up for money who would do anything for a gig. Ahem. Sony is teasing their new Wndows-only product Cinescore at …

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PSP Rhythm Composer: Roland-Style Drum Machine / PSPKick Update

There’s now not just one but two drum machines for the Sony PSP handheld game system. The new PSP Rhythm Composer is a simple drum machine with a Roland TR-style interface: PSP Rhythm Composer for PSP [ matrixsynth ] In the meantime, PSP Kick has a new Flash-based Website, though it’s more Flash, less substance. On the bright side, they’ve got new forums up, and promise upcoming sound packs and skins. (See previous story: PSP Kick) So the PSP homebrew community has come up with two drum machines while the Nintendo DS folks have come up with squat. (Any leads, …

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Downsampled 1: Next-Generation Gaming and Music

Introducing Downsampled: in conjunction with Computer Music Magazine (UK), CDM will look monthly at an overview of a hot topic on the site. First up: next-generation gaming and music. Here’s a roundup of just some of the relevant stories on CDM. Nintendo markets music-making as game: Start your own Wi-Fi Nintendo Band with the Nintendo DS and Band Brothers (+ geeky video of Nintendo execs and Miyamoto’s vision of gaming) ElectroPlankton game interactive musical toy for the DS Installation and duos with live violin using ElectroPlankton in Japan PSP lovers . . . check out PSP Kick Games as instruments: …

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Gaming + Music: Guitar Hero

Our friend Josh Randall at game developer Harmonix sends along his latest: Guitar Hero Guitar Game for PS2 The game comes with a guitar PS2 controller. We’re not allowed to see photos yet, but it’ll look like a guitar with “fret” and “strum” controls. Music includes Red Hot Chili Peppers, David Bowie, Boston, The Donnas, Black Sabbath, The Ramones, White Zombie, and Jimi Hendrix. “You’ll start your rock career playing small clubs and bars, but if you play well you’ll work your way up to stadiums and arenas.” Funny . . . that’s a superb description of my current career. …

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NAMM: The “HD” MiniDisc – 1GB Recorders from Sony

Still like your recorded media removable? A 1GB MiniDisc is just US$7 — meaning you can stock up on them a lot more easily than you can CompactFlash cards. While previous MiniDisc recorders suffered from fidelity loss and timing issues due to their ATRAC compression, new Hi-MD recorders use standard uncompressed PCM. Sony has two new Hi-MD recorders (via Harmony Central): the MZ-M100 and MZ-M10. They include stereo mics, USB connections for PC or Mac, and rechargeable batteries. You sacrifice a lot: 16-bit/44.1 kHz only (not even 48 kHz for video work), no mic pres, no digital in. I can’t …

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Sony-BMG Pays Up for Payola

Let’s play a game. Here’s how it goes: I read a headline, you feign surprise. “Sony-BMG engaged in widespread payola.” “Sony-BMG settles in case regarding payments to radio stations.” “Radio groups refuse to comment.” (see Digital Music weblog or your local paper) Okay, well here’s one that brings a little surprise. According to Billboard Radio Monitor, the one radio group that is being outspoken about cleaning out the corruption is uber-evil media giant Clear Channel. On the other hand, payola isn’t exactly part of Clear Channel’s business model — they’re too busy going after the big bucks by being the …

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Thereminy Game Scores: Destroy All Humans!

Composer Gary Schyman has a rich, tongue-in-cheek score for the Xbox/PS2 game Destroy All Monsters; his homage to classic scores like The Day The Earth Stood Still earns him an interview on NPR: Schyman on Weekend Edition Plenty of tracks to download; via Theremin World, where you can find reviews, more links, and more sounds to download. But, fun as this new score is, I’m surprised that Theremin World doesn’t give Schyman a hard time for using a synthesized Theremin instead of the real thing. (Pity the poor copy editors at IGN, who refer to a “sign” wave and “portamenteau.” …

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PSP Kick: Homebrew Drum Machine (What About DS?)

There’s plenty of homebrew music software for the Game Boy and GBA (check out LSDJ and Nanoloop), but what about next-gen portables? MusicThing gets the scoop on PSP Kick, a sampled drum machine for PSP. PSP Kick is very simple — it’s just a 12-slot drum sampler with AIFF output — but it sounds like fun, and you can save your creations to a Memory Stick. Hopefully this is a sign of more to come. PSP Kick official site (just a static image now, but “launching soon”) Release info and download at PSPupdates (warning: annoying popup ads, but worth it!) …

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