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Dynamic music - is there an alternative to DirectMusic?

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I'm writing a game that is going to have a fair amount of emphasis on music, sort of like BeatMania or DDR. Unlike those games, though, I'm going to have a focus on dynamic music. The ability to change the tempo, enable/disable various channels, etc. is a bare minimum. If having this kind of audio flexibility means I won't be able to have CD-quality audio that sounds like a real band, so be it. (I draw the line at MIDI without soundfonts, though. That always sucks.) So far I already have this much: MikMod offers these things, as does DUMB, which I'm probably going to switch to because MikMod sucks. :P Still, I get the feeling I could do better. DirectMusic offers everything that I'd love to have in this area. It's perfect for on-the-fly musical adjustment -- heck, that's what it was designed for -- and on top of that, it allows a nearly infinite capacity for musical variation, so the music never gets old. The dynamic musician's dream! The problem is... since it's a part of DirectX, it only works on Windows. Not only am I hoping to make a commercial Nintendo DS port of this game, even if such a thing never materializes, it'd be nice to have our game run fully-featured on Unix and Mac OS X as well. I don't imagine anybody has any ideas? By the way, I'd love to make an open-source DirectMusic player library if there is no alternative available, but I'm worried about patents. MS does seem to fully document how DirectMusic works, down to the file formats and everything, and I worry that they might be freely giving this information away because it's covered by a patent. In particular, Patent #5,753,843 might cover it. Unfortunately, I don't think there's any way to tell without hiring a patent attorney, and somehow I doubt even one of those could give me a definitive answer, since software patents are such a grey area. Anybody have any thoughts on this matter? (EDIT: Fixed the link to the patent.) - Kef [Edited by - FurryKef on March 16, 2008 3:20:47 AM]

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Have you looked at RTAudio?
http://www.music.mcgill.ca/~gary/rtaudio/

It's a pain to compile under visual studio - but it works great.

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I must admit I'm puzzled... I'm looking through the API documentation and it looks like RtAudio is basically a portable low-level audio library. What does this have to do with dynamic music?

Such a thing is nice to have around (although I think SDL_audio or Allegro libs will do me fine in that area), but it doesn't really address the matter I'm dealing with. ^^;

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Er, you'd use the audio library to play the music...since, music is sound...

To port this to the nintendo DS would probably require writing nintendo DS specific code or using a library designed for the DS. What does directmusic do that the other libraries don't?

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A shot in the dark but what about fMod? Its really competent and should easily be able to do what you're after. Also, its supported by a bazillion of platforms.

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Quote:
Original post by Vorpy
Er, you'd use the audio library to play the music...since, music is sound...

To port this to the nintendo DS would probably require writing nintendo DS specific code or using a library designed for the DS. What does directmusic do that the other libraries don't?


Well, I'm looking for a high-level music library, not a low-level one. Specifically, I'm looking for a dynamic music library -- one that easily facilitates matching the audio to the in-game action. Another thing that DirectMusic has that I would really like, and have not seen offered by anybody else, is the possibility of having many different variations of the same piece of music. You can literally design music for it that will never be played back the same way twice, even if you feed it the same parameters.

Quote:
A shot in the dark but what about fMod? Its really competent and should easily be able to do what you're after. Also, its supported by a bazillion of platforms.


The thing is, I don't know if FMOD can really do that thing with the multiple variations, which is the big thing I'm really looking for, but I might look into it sometime. But, unfortunately, FMOD doesn't have a Nintendo DS port, at least yet. We could probably work out a deal with them to allow us to make one from the source code if we pay a commercial license for it, but we'd need to pay the license first, and we won't be able to afford it for a while.

- Kef

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