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Adaptive Music Engines

Dr Kenny McAlpine discusses the emergence of sound and music engines, beginning with Microsoft's DirectMusic through to WWise and FMOD.

In the 1990s and early 2000s, interactive music once again started to appear in video games.

Over time, specialist software packages known as middleware, or sound engines, were developed to provide a set of tools to help composers write nonlinear music that would adapt in real-time to gameplay. In this video, we’ll explore how that fusion of the underlying technology and the produced sound has given us the polished video game music that can be heard today.

Once you’ve completed the video step, follow the link to the article step that follows, where we’ll look at an approach to writing adaptive music, musikalisches wurfelspiel, or musical dice.

This approach allows a composer to write adaptive music by first writing a series of musical fragments that can be pieced back together in any order, and using a random process, like the roll of a dice, to sequence the fragments to create a longer composition.

You can find supporting documentation and a link to some music files on the next step.

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Video Game Design and Development: A Bit-by-Bit History of Video Game Music: Video Game Sound and Music

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