Move over, Fatboy Slim

A new PlayStation title could shake-up the recording industry.

VIDEO games and dance music have been two of the most frequent causes of moral panic among "concerned" parents - and two of the most popular leisure activities for their gleeful offspring. It was the laser- guided marketing campaigns of the Sony Playstation in 1995 that first brought the two together, placing consoles in clubs and hip dance acts on game soundtracks. As a result, the videogame shot from being a geek's plaything to a mass-market entertainment medium, and became enshrined alongside music and clubbing in the youth culture pantheon.

The innovative British software house Codemasters took the relationship one step further in 1998 with the introduction of the music creation title "Music". However, it is the just-released sequel, Music 2000, which has finally cemented the union between games and dance music by turning the humble Playstation into an ersatz recording studio

Music 2000 is essentially a user-friendly distillation of industry standard computer-based recording software such as Cubase and ProTools. Crammed into the code are thousands of instruments, loops created by the professional DJs (Leftfield and Grooverider) and a 24-track recording capability.

The process of creating a song is as simple as editing a document in a word processor. The component parts - drum loops, bass lines, melody, percussion and vocals - are cut and pasted on to a timeline. They can then be altered at will: effects added; tempos and pitches changed; even the properties of the instrument waveforms can be transformed.

Alternatively, users can assign instruments and samples to up to four control pads, and "jam", recording the results in real time - and after that there is a video creator to get to grips with. Not bad for a mere computer game.

Where Music 2000 stands out, though, is in its inclusion of a sampler. The sampler (which allows fragments of sound to be recorded, edited and reused) has triggered even more of a revolution in popular music than electrifying the guitar, bringing with it a new level of democracy. Suddenly people without any formal musical training could summon a host of disparate sounds, from orchestras to police sirens, and use them for songwriting.Sampling has since fuelled many music genres, from the James Brown and Blue Note loops of hip hop to the stolen disco riffs of chart-toppers Phats and Small.

The Music 2000 sampler allows users to record 14 seconds from any audio CD placed in the Playstation's CD-rom drive. These samples can be cut up and reassembled in just the same way as those built in to the program, giving musicians access to a huge potential palette of sounds. The Playstation's meagre amount of memory limits the sampling ability somewhat, but there is enough there to get started. Budding Fatboy Slims should also arm themselves with the Legendary Deep Funk and Strange Games series of CDs for inspiration.

At pounds 100 for the game and console, this new breed need not be confined to the moneyed middle classes. Neither does it presume an in-depth knowledge of musical theory. The program will ensure that all the samples are in key and in time, though these controls can be overridden by the more musically knowledgeable.

Finished songs can be dumped to tape using the Playstation's audio out sockets. Alternatively, they can be transferred to PC, encoded as an MP3 file, and uploaded to, a website showcasing the work of unsigned artists that regularly attracts record company scouts.

Music 2000 is an example of the kind of enterprise that Sony looks set to encourage for the new PlayStation 2. Consoles are increasingly adopting non-gaming functions (music creation, DVD movies, Internet access), and could yet triumph over the PC in the home entertainment arena.

Whereas the title is undoubtedly pitched at the entertainment market, there also is a strong educational aspect to it, which is sure to prove popular with parents searching for a Christmas alternative to virtual genocide or Lara Croft. No longer will kids be accused of wasting their time when they pick up the pad - the skills that they acquire through Music 2000 are a good foundation for making the music or using the professional recording packages that could one day earn them a living.

Music 2000 (Codemasters, pounds 34).

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
War veteran and father of Peter and Laust Thoger Jensen played by Lars Mikkelson

TVBBC hopes latest Danish import will spell success

Arts and Entertainment
Carey Mulligan in Far From The Madding Crowd
FilmCarey Mulligan’s Bathsheba would fit in better in The Hunger Games
Arts and Entertainment
Pandas-on-heat: Mary Ramsden's contribution is intended to evoke the compound the beasts smear around their habitat
Iart'm Here But You've Gone exhibition has invited artists to produce perfumes
Arts and Entertainment
U2's Songs of Innocence album sleeve

tvU2’s latest record has been accused of promoting sex between men

Arts and Entertainment
Alison Steadman in Inside No.9
tvReview: Alison Steadman stars in Inside No.9's brilliant series finale Spoiler alert
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

    Everyone is talking about The Trews

    Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
    'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

    'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

    British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
    Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

    Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

    Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
    14 best kids' hoodies

    14 best kids' hoodies

    Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

    The acceptable face of the Emirates

    Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk