Welcome, one and all, to this month’s In Desperate Need of Love. Today is a bit of an oddball entry into the series too. Now, I’m sure that most of you have heard of Vocaloid, the 2004 music software that launched the career of virtual idol Hatsune Miku, right? Well, this is similar. Sort of.
Back in 1998, Codemasters and Jester Interactive released a piece of software of the PlayStation called Music: Music Creation for the PlayStation. If the title doesn’t give it away, it was essentially a piece of music software. The thing is, it’s a little more difficult to find much in the way of information for the disc now, at least compared to other better-known releases. That’s OK though, because we’re going to be talking about the equally forgotten sequel, 1999’s Music 2000 (AKA MTV Music Generator in NA).
So, what we had here was something that felt pretty unique for Sony’s first console baby. The software promised one thing: you could make music without the need to actually know how to play an instrument. But did it make good on that promise? Yes. Knowing how to actually play music probably helped (though it would have removed the need for the software), but if you could find the chords or guitar tabs online and had a basic idea of how music should work, then you were set to go.
The screens themselves are in that odd area where they look pretty complex when laid out in front of you, but are deceptively simple when you’re actually playing around with them. There are certainly a wide selection of instruments to choose from, and once you get going and get your head around how to enter notes, it becomes really easy to get lost in creating masterpieces.
Now, if you don’t have the know-how or the inclination-to-learn-how, you weren’t limited to full blown fresh creations. For those that just wanted to have some fun with pre-built stuff, there were two options. First, there was the in-built library of riffs and beats, which itself ran up to about 4,500 samples. Then there was the sample engine. That’s right, you could switch out the game disc for a music CD and sample your favourite artist’s work for your very own remix!
This was never going to replace professional music production software, of course. It’s not like the system was without its faults. Songs took up a lot of memory card space, and you were very limited in terms of how much self-sampled stuff you could fit in each track as a result. The real joy of this though is that both Music 2000 and its predecessor did something that many parents complained that games didn’t do: it encouraged creativity in kids and teens. Believe me when I say that this was a big thing in its time. It offered a realistic compromise for parents and their offspring in that regard: if the young’uns were gonna spend hours in front of the screen on a games console, they were at least doing something other than shooting things.
Now, while it is hard to come across much relating to information on the software, it should be noted that there are plenty of tracks created with it online! For that reason, I think that the best way to show why Music 2000 should not be forgotten is to share some prime cuts of famous tracks. Enjoy the jams!