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Animusic, LLC
Type Animation
Founded 1995
Founder(s) Wayne Lytle
Headquarters Ithaca, New York (production facility)
Austin, Texas (operations and shipping)
San Diego, California (business office)[1]
, United States
Key people Wayne Lytle, director
David Crognale, digital artist
Jeff Garrard, Operations, PR, Marketing[2]
Industry CGI animation, software
Products ANIMUSIC|studio (proprietary)[3]
Website http://www.animusic.com

Animusic is an American company specializing in the 3D visualization of MIDI-based music. Founded by Wayne Lytle, it is incorporated in New York and has offices in Texas and California. The initial name of the company was Visual Music, changed to Animusic in 1995.

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.

Unlike many other music visualizations, the music drives the animation. While other productions might animate figures or characters to the music, the animated models in Animusic are created first, and are then programmed to follow what the music "tells them" to. 'Solo cams' in the Animusic DVD shows how each instrument actually plays through a piece of music from beginning to end.

Many of the instruments appear to be robotic or play themselves using curious methods to produce and visualize the original compositions. The animations typically feature dramatically-lit rooms or landscapes.

The music of Animusic is principally pop-rock based, consisting of straightforward sequences of triggered samples and digital patches mostly played "dry"; i.e., with few effects. There are no lyrics or voices, save for the occasional chorus synthesizer. According to the director's comments on DVD 2 (see below), most instrument sounds are generated with software synthesizers on a music workstation. 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.

Contents

Compilations

As of 2006, two video albums have been released:

  • Animusic: A Computer Animation Video Album
  • Animusic 2: A New Computer Animation Video Album

Animusic was re-released in 2004 in a special edition DVD. Animusic 2 was released in 2005. The Animusic website has announced that the company is making Animusic 3, and 8 new animations are planned. In a recent newsletter, it was announced that they would also be producing a high-definition version of Animusic 2 on Blu-Ray, to be released sometime before Animusic 3.[4] In another newsletter, they revealed the working titles of 3 animations in Animusic 3: “Sonic Warfare”, “Paddle Ball” and “Super Pipe Dream”.

Publicity

Animusic has been promoted at SIGGRAPH since 1990, and has been promoted on Public Broadcasting Service and other television networks such as Tech TV's "Eye Drops". Wayne Lytle and his works have also been featured on Fox News and over 30 other local stations in January 2007.[5] Animusic's 'Pipe Dream' was released as a real-time demo for ATI's Radeon 9700 series graphics cards.[6] Animusic also rendered 'Resonant Chamber' and 'Starship Groove' in HD resolution for Apple's Quicktime HD Gallery.[7] There was an internet rumor that the "Pipe Dream" video was recreated at the University of Iowa from farm machinery parts. This has been proven false.[8]

Software used

According to the company's FAQ, animation is created procedurally with their own proprietary MIDImotion software. Discreet 3D Studio Max was used for modeling, lighting, cameras, and rendering. Maps were painted with Corel Painter, Deep Paint 3D, and Photoshop. They have also created their own software called AnimusicStudio.

Animations

  • Various animations for SIGGRAPH
  • More Bells & Whistles (1990), made by Wayne Lytle before creating Animusic
  • Beyond the Walls (known as Concerto in 3D if watched in stereoscope) (1995), the first animation made under the name of Animusic, produced for VRex (a manufacturer of stereoscopic glasses and projectors)
  • Kansas - Device, Voice, Drum DVD (2002)

More Bells And Whistles

  1. Instruments

Beyond The Walls / Concerto In 3D (stereoscopic version)

  1. Instruments

Animusic: A Computer Animation Video Album

Track listing:

  1. Future Retro
    • Instruments in the order they're presented:
    • The robotic drummer (surrounded by a percussion set) has four arms and one bass drum mallet foot; two of the arms hold 2B Drum sticks while the other two hold the Glockenspiel mallets. The Three-Necked Electric Guitar has metallic fingers that pluck the strings of the electric bass, and a metallic arm that strums the strings of the lead and rhythm guitars in both plucked and arpeggiated styles. As a whole instrument, the body is colored green and sports various plugs and lights.
  2. Stick Figures
  3. Aqua Harp
    • Instruments in the order they're presented:
    • The room in which this animation takes place is completely enclosed. Its ceiling is painted a dark blue or black with a crescent moon and a constellation of stars that appear to glow. The room is filled with about one foot of water which the harp sits in. With the instrumental refrain, the lights touch the harp.
  4. Drum Machine
    • Instruments in the order they're presented: (various gear-driven percussion devices)
    • Like machines in the factory, the gears rotate automatically to play the percussion instruments. As the drum kit keeps playing, two more kits descend with the control of the chains.
  5. Pipe Dream
  6. Acoustic Curves
  7. Harmonic Voltage

Animusic audio CD bonus tracks

There were also 3 other music pieces only available on the Animusic audio CD.

  1. Seventh Alloy (Click here to hear a sample)
  2. A Slight Delay (Click here to hear a sample)
  3. The Harvester (Click here to hear a sample)

Since they were never animated, it is difficult to determine the shapes of the instruments, although they may strongly resemble many seen in the two Animusic albums.

Animusic 2: A New Computer Animation Video Album

Track listing:

  1. Starship Groove
    • Instruments in the order they're presented:
    • These instruments are played by the starship robots. In the commentary, Wayne Lytle states that the robot that plays the red lead synth pad set looks like a female. "She" is also capable of actions and body language.
  2. Pogo Sticks (pictured at right)
    A screenshot from "Pogo Sticks", the second video on Animusic 2.
    • Instruments in the order they're presented:
    • It has been revealed that the stick bass has "cousins," which are the hammered guitars. His "friends" are the drum kit playing sticks and the stick xylophones. Throughout the performance, they travel around the wooden course at sunset, stopping at stages intermittently.
  3. Resonant Chamber
  4. Cathedral Pictures (based on selections from Pictures at an Exhibition by Modest Mussorgsky)
  5. Pipe Dream 2
    • Instruments in the order they're presented: (the set is used in Pipe Dream in Animusic 1, but is aged and dented here)
    • To conrast the two different performances on this set, the Acoustic Guitar/Bongo double instrument next to the wall is lit by a blue light in the second version, as opposed to a magenta light in the first version. The golden vibraphone fountain now glows orange when struck instead of white. The back wall in the first animation has been removed to reveal a large empty space filled with pipes. The tubular bells also have a little more detail, partially due to the fact that they spend more time onscreen.
  6. Fiber Bundles
    • Instruments in the order they're presented:
    • Towards the end of this piece's commmentary on the DVD, Wayne Lytle remarks that the music in the Ratchet & Clank series, written by David Bergeaud, may have had some influence over this piece.
  7. Gyro Drums
    • Instruments in the order they're presented:
      • Drum kit
        • Four snare drums
        • Four bass drums
        • Four hi-hats
        • Seven tom-toms
        • Six bongos
        • Eight buzz synthesizers (concealed at first)
        • Eight cymbals - four crashes, two rides, one splash and one China
      • Second Drum kit
        • Eight hi-hats
        • Two cowbells
        • Two woodblocks
        • Two timbales
        • Four bongoes
        • Eight tom-toms
        • Four cymbals - Two rides and two splashes
      • Third drum kit
        • Four gongs
        • Four ride cymbals
        • Four bass drums
        • 52 tom-toms
      • Fourth drum kit
        • Eight maracas
        • Eight cabasas
        • Four bass drums
        • Eight snare drums
        • Four Crash Cymbals
        • Four Hi-hats
      • 171 drums, cymbals, etc. in total.
    • There are three robotic drummer players in this animation. The first one is inside a spherical cage of percussion instruments with limited movement along a straight pole. The other two "satellite" players move around the outside of the drumkit along two large circular tracks.
  8. Heavy Light
    • Instruments in the order they're presented:
    • Settled in the mountains, there is an Aztec-like pyramid with stairs on it. The performance starts with the blue chorus beams solving the puzzle, transforming the pyramid into the musical temple. At least three other planets can be seen in the sky. One of them looks like the planet Jupiter.

Animusic 2 audio CD bonus tracks

The bonus audio tracks on this CD consist of reduced versions of Heavy Light and Fiber Bundles:

  1. Heavy Light - Drum/Bass Submix (sample)
  2. Fiber Bundles - Drum/Bass Submix (sample)
  3. Fiber Bundles - Synth/Ambient Submix (sample)

Animusic 3

Animusic is currently producing the 3rd volume of the animusic series; it is predicted to be released sometime in 2010, featuring Super Pipe Dream.[9]

See also

  • MIDIJam - a program that allows one to animate any MIDI file on their computer
  • Synesthesia - a medical condition where one sees different colors based on shapes or sounds.

External links

References








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