First Look: MTV Music Generator 2

Codemasters demos the next version of its popular console-based music software.

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Codemasters had MTV Music Generator 2 - the upcoming version of its 24-track loop-based virtual studio - on display yesterday afternoon in San Francisco. Fans of the simple, functional, and surprisingly deep software package will be pleased to know that this second version is as intuitive as its predecessor but also adds a host of new options and several notable improvements.

Naturally, the PS2's superior audio hardware gives the Music Generator a significant boost; aside from its relatively generous 2MB of audio memory, the PS2 boasts the ability to play back up to 48 simultaneous audio channels - easily enough for the Music Generator to process sounds quickly and clearly.

The refinement of the riff editor - the tool used to create custom pieces of music note by note - is one of the notable improvements that has been made for MTV Music Generator 2. The virtual keyboard used to edit riffs is now arranged horizontally along the top of the screen, which makes the feature more inviting by making its management more intuitive. The most notable feature present in the new version, though, is the sampler. By means of an external USB adapter, the Music Generator will allow users to sample any sound source equipped with a headphone jack. At the presentation, for example, Codemasters representatives played back samples of sounds they pulled from their Game Boy Color, which they then arranged in a piece along with traditional song loops.

The software also features an interesting jam mode that allows up to eight participants to take part in impromptu jams using sounds mapped to the PS2's control pads. MTV Music Generator 2 is scheduled for release in April of 2001. Look to GameSpot for continuing coverage.

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