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Welcome to The Mix

Article from The Mix, January 1995

It's been bandied around for what seems like an age, but the term 'multimedia' is starting to actually relate to something tangible, rather than just being a marketeers' catchphrase. In continually ramming the jargon down peoples' throats before the technology was actually ready, these people have been in grave danger of killing off the very market they're so desparate to develop. Thankfully, the technology has caught up just in time to prevent complete apathy setting in. With the increased processing power that Pentium and PowerMacs offer, and the continual fall in price of CD-ROM drives, we now have a climate in which everyone can access the vast potential that the medium has to offer. Okay, so we're still waiting for decent quality video, but we're very close to getting it...

The arrival of multimedia (or mixed media, as we prefer to call it), means there's new opportunities for musicians. Just as the sound-for-pictures market (TV, video, film, library music) has given work to a whole legion of composers over the last decade, there are a host of lucrative new areas that the music producer can explore. One example is the incredible growth market of computer games. No longer are shoot-em-ups restricted to bleeps and burps as an excuse for a soundtrack. We're now talking CD quality sound, with sound effects more than a match for the impressive graphics that are now standard. To take advantage of the audio capabilities, games companies are approaching established artists and composers to write music specially for their latest games. Our special feature this month shows how an established TV composer, Debbie Wiseman, has begun to move into this area, and how the Ocean games company have their own sophisticated music production facility for generating soundtracks and effects. There's no need to restrict yourself to just writing music for multimedia projects either - you can now design the whole thing yourself. Macromedia's Director is something of an industry standard when it comes to multimedia authoring programs (review page 48), and its sophistication is belied by its ease-of-use. We'll be looking at all the ingredients you need to put together mixed media projects in the coming months, in terms of what gear you need, and how to actually get it together. Exciting times, then, for music producers...

Finally, some good news to start the year with. Since the launch of the mix in July, we've been under considerable pressure to change our name. Despite some very oppressive legal action, the outcome is that the name remains the same, since the matter was 'settled on mutually-agreeable terms'. A hearty thanks to the vast majority of the industry that supported us, and a jab in the eye to those few that didn't. Rest assured that The Mix is here for the long term, and it'll continue to be the music producer's essential literary accessory.

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Publisher: The Mix - Music Maker Publications (UK), Future Publishing.

The current copyright owner/s of this content may differ from the originally published copyright notice.
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The Mix - Jan 1995

Donated by: Colin Potter, Chris Moore

Coverdisc: Mike Gorman

Editorial by Chris Kempster

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