Parappa

Music Production and Gaming: When Two Worlds Collide

Gaming and music are two almost universally liked forms of art and entertainment. Throw them together, and the two worlds collide in various inventive ways. The roots of computer based electronic music production were laid down by eager experimenters with Commodore 64s, Amigas and Ataris, excited by the prospects their beige wonder machines promised beyond Centipede and Manic Miner – but how they did that is a piece for another time. Today we’re going to look at how music production and composition has been approached in the context of gaming in three different ways – and nominate our favourites in the categories!

1: Rhythm Games

Our Favourite: Parappa The Rapper

 

Rhythm games represent actual musicianship to varying degrees; some games require nothing more than mechanical duplication whilst other more interesting fare rewards ‘freestyle’ – and our all time favourite of these more appealing (at least to our sensibilities) versions is Parappa The Rapper. In your quest to impress your beau as the venerable rapping dog, the only way you could get the best ratings was to ride the beats with some style and initiative. The sequel Um Jammer Lammy traded in bars for guitars and the style and wackiness, in our humble opinion, knocks the scripted drudgery of Guitar/DJ Hero into a cocked hat.

Interesting Mention: Numark Scratch: The Ultimate DJ

 

Numark’s Scratch the Ultimate DJ was announced way before DJ Hero, but the release of DJ Hero (along with some seedy legal battles involving Activision’s purchase of the developer of Scratch which publisher Numark asserts was specifically to delay release so that DJ Hero would hit shores first) means it’s entirely possible that it’ll never see the light of day, despite having by far the most interesting hardware… shame.

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Numark V7 and X5

Review: Numark V7 and X5

The following is an excerpt from my full review, which is available at DJ Tech Tools. Head over to read it in its entirety.

The DJ equipment industry has been in a state of change for a while, not least because the traditional paradigm for club DJing has been turned on its head and shaken until it no longer knows which way is up. Digital music and the advent of controllerist techniques have changed what DJs need and expect from equipment – but without, as yet, any standardisation in the market, manufacturers are left to their own devices to experiment.

Digital music and the advent of controllerist techniques have changed what DJs need and expect from equipment

Numark are no strangers to experimentation, and the Itch based NS7 was their first foray into the world of prestige, media-less controllers, holding the hand of the then new to market Itch from Serato. Now we have the V7 and X5, which take some of the key technologies developed for the NS7 and expand them into standalone products. How does the V7 stand up against CD decks and DVS solutions, and where does the X5 fit in the endless pile of two channel mixers?

To read the full review and drool over few pictures, head over to DJ Tech Tools for the whole article.

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