The company is known for its Animusic compilations of computer-generated animations, based on MIDI events processed to simultaneously drive the music and on-screen action, leading to and corresponding to every sound. The animated short “Pipe Dream,” showed at SIGGRAPH’s Electronic Theater in 2001, details the use of this specific sequencing.
Unlike many other music visualizations, Animusic uses MIDI information to drive the animation, while other software programs, such as Blender, animate figures or characters to the music. Any animated models in Animusic are created first, and are then programmed to follow what the music, or MIDI information, instructs them to do. ‘Solo cams’ featured on the Animusic DVD shows how each instrument plays through a piece of music from beginning to end.
Many of the instruments appear to be robotic or play themselves using seemingly curious methods to produce and visualize the original compositions. The animations typically feature dramatically-lit rooms or landscapes in rustic and/or futuristic locales.
The music in Animusic is principally pop-rock based, consisting of straightforward sequences of triggered samples and digital patches mostly played “dry” (with few effects). There are no lyrics or voices, save for the occasional chorus synthesizer. According to the director’s comments on Animusic 2, most instrument sounds are generated with software synthesizers on a music workstation (see Software Programs for more info). Many sounds resemble stock patches available on digital keyboards, subjected to some manipulation, such as pitch or playback speed, to enhance the appeal of their timbre.
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