Music in Video Games

Essay by Anonymous UserHigh School, 10th gradeA, March 1996

download word file, 5 pages 4.5

Throughout the history of the video game industry, there has been many changes concerning music in video games. Music in video games progressed greatly within the life of the industry from 1972 to the present. These progressions can be seen as improvements in quality which includes an increase in the number of output channels, an increase in song length, a great improvement in the quality of timbres, and also a general shift from non-programmatic music to programmatic music which fits a game. If one takes a close look, one can see that all of these improvements are either directly or indirectly resulting from improvements in the technology which is used to produce video game music. These improvements in technology include the increase of the number of bits of a Sound Central Processing, the increase of Audio Random-Access-Memory, the switch from the use of frequency modulation to digital sampling, and the use of compact discs for playing music during a game.

By closely examining the contribution of the preceding technological advancements, one can see that technology has indeed caused great improvements for music in the video game industry.

                The first technological enhancement which greatly enhanced the quality of music in video games is the number of bits which a sound Central Processing Unit (CPU) has. The sound CPU is a component in a video game system which controls every single sound which a system produces. This, then, obviously includes music. Specifically, the CPU controls what sounds are to be played at what time, their volume and dynamics, and each sound's length and rhythm. In a sense, the sound CPU acts as a conductor who has absolute control over every single instrument in his orchestra. The increase of the number of bits serves to improve music quality by increasing the number...