MTV Music Generator
|Editor Rating:||7.5/10, based on 2 reviews|
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MTV Music Generator is possibly the coolest thing that will ever be released for the PlayStation. Those of you with PCs and an ear to the world of pop culture will no doubt be aware of a funky music creation tool called Acid Music by Sonic Foundry (Fat Boy Slim allegedly uses it) which allows you to sequence samples to make cool tunes. Those of you who have craved something like that, but don't have the computing power can now try a similar, less powerful tool on the PlayStation. It may not be as flexible or as easy to use...but it's an incredible tool to use as a first step in music creation. You simply pull samples off the CD and lay them down on a time grid to piece together a song...it's rather like a music jigsaw puzzle. As an added bonus, the package also includes a simple video creating tool as well as a simple 'game' for up to four players that lets you jam on the joypad buttons to create a song.
To illustrate how easy MTVMG is to use...l decided to build this preview around the creation of the song 'Puke' which I pieced together from the techno, drum 'n' bass and ambient samples supplied with the package. When it's finally released you'll also be able to pull samples off music CDs too and save them down to your memory card.
I begin by trying to find a basic drum loop that doesn't sound like a bad German techno act that you'd find in a club on Spring Break. After much hunting I settle for a hardcore (ish) 'bum-chika-bum-chika' loop and then add a faster bass drum and hi-hat loop to keep things driving along. Pasting this into the grid is easy and is only hindered by the slow access speed of the PS CD drive. Once this is stripped in I go in search of a bass and melody structure that I can introduce. Bass lines are easy...but the melody proves a little tougher. I want to create something with an industrial edge, but on first hunting most of the melodies sound a bit poncey. I eventually settle for a moody piano line and strip this in. Now I want to build the track toward a Trent Reznor-like crescendo before stripping the drums out and letting things settle into something quiet and moody. Can I find some nasty guitars though? Nope. I settle for some noisy synth sounds and some more rhythmic bangs and crashes before cutting everything off and finishing with just that moody piano line and a hi-hat. Groovy. It's only a couple of minutes long, but it already sounds reasonably professional. Add a touch of reverb and this baby's ready to be recorded for posterity. Now all I need is a recording contract and someone to appreciate the psychedelic video I created to go along with it.
Download MTV Music Generator
As I said in my preview last month, this is probably the coolest thing that will ever be released on the PlayStation, and it's a very different kind of product that deserves to sell very well. Upon first tinkering this comes across as a very basic sample sequencing program. Some of you may have tried the Acid products on the PC (from Sonic Foundry) and this is fundamentally the same thing. You pull loops and samples off the CD, load them into memory and piece together a song by 'painting' these loops into a grid. Although a bit fiddly, and limited by the PlayStation's meager memory capacity, it is actually possible to produce some very decent results. The package comes with a wide variety of different samples--from Drum & Bass to Rock to Trance...but once you delve deeper into the manual (you need to pay attention with this one) you realize that you can manipulate the samples as well as simply lining them up and playing them back. I pieced together a fairly respectable '70s cop show-style theme complete with 'wacka' guitars and funky bass lines in about an hour. Shoe was humming it after I played it to him, so it must have been OK. I've not even touched on the 'Jam' game and video editor here...but they're simply added bonuses. The real fun is making music. With patience, it's very enjoyable.
Being a fan of the original Music (released in Europe only). I'm tickled pink to see its sequel make it over to these shores. This game jams. Having always been a DJ wanna-be without the resources to buy real DJ equipment, I found MTV Music Generator a cheap and user-friendly alternative. You can create many a groovy beat on this disc, even if your musical training doesn't go beyond puffing on a recorder. Give this "game" a look and a listen. It's cool.
When I first heard about this software I didn't think it was going to be very good. I knew they could do stuff like this on a computer, but thought there was no way to do it on the PS. I was wrong. They not only made this program, they made it fun to use and provided tons of samples (most of which sound good). The load times are trying, organizing samples takes some getting used to and there are some memory limitations but there's a lot to this title.
I'm not sure what MTV has to do with this sequencer, but Music Generator is a cool little gadget for your PS. If you've used any of the Sonic Foundry apps, then you should feel right at home here. With the help bubbles, everything is fairly straightforward, although actually pasting the samples could get a little unwieldy with the standard PS controller. Wanna hear the drum'n bass tune I cooked up with Music Generator? I'll MP3 it and send it on over.