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 MPreal.com, 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
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Hewer is to leave The Apprentice after 10 years

TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice

Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says

film George RR Martin owns a cinema in Santa Fe

Arts and Entertainment
Clued up: John Lynch and Gillian Anderson in ‘The Fall’

TV review

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Rhys says: 'I'm not playing it for laughs, but I have learnt that if you fall over on stage, people can enjoy that as much as an amazing guitar solo'
musicGruff Rhys on his rock odyssey, and the trouble with independence
Arts and Entertainment
Krysia and Daniel (Hand out press photograph provided by Sally Richardson)
How do today's composers answer the challenge of the classical giant?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
News
Shenaz Treasurywala
film
News
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Watkins as Christopher Jefferies
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars Director JJ Abrams: key character's names have been revealed
film
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams won two BBC Music Awards for Best Song and International Artist
music
Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
TV
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump

TV

Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

film
Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

TV
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

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

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
    The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

    The 12 ways of Christmas

    We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
    Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

    The male exhibits strange behaviour

    A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
    Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

    Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

    Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

    The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
    Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

    Marian Keyes

    The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

    Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

    Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
    Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

    Rodgers fights for his reputation

    Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
    Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

    Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

    'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
    Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick