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Try your hand at computer game music-making!

18 September 2015

BitBox logo

Ever wondered how music works in computer games? Fancy making your own?

Dr Kenny McAlpine, Senior Lecturer in the School of Arts, Media & Computer Games at Abertay University, will be showcasing BitBox! at Dundee Science Centre this weekend, to allow visitors to do just that.

BitBox!, which is used as a learning tool for Abertay students, is an installation that takes game music from the screen and brings it into the room, allowing students to write music for computer game soundtracks.

During these ‘Meet the Expert’ drop-in sessions, which will run regularly between 11am and 4pm on Saturday 19 September 2015, visitors can discover the industry tricks and techniques that lie behind interactive soundtracks, investigate and explore BitBox!, and design and play their own music.

Dr McAlpine explained: “Using ultrasonic sensors, the system tracks your position in 3D space and uses your location in real time to create evolving soundscapes, dynamic textures and interactive music tracks.

“Writing music which changes in real-time, in response to input from a listener or game player, requires a different approach and a different set of skills than writing more traditionally structured music.

“BitBox! breaks down the complex structural elements, allowing users to explore interactive music through expressive play and without the need to be able to play an instrument.”

Dr McAlpine leads teaching and research in sound production and music performance at Abertay University.

His interests include the authentic performance of early music, virtualisation of the experiential aspects of music performance, and game music, about which he is currently writing a book for Oxford University Press.

He has worked as a composer and sound designer both in community and professional theatre, and has performed as a jazz organist at a number of festivals and events.

The event is included as part of normal admission to Dundee Science Centre, which is open daily from 10am-5pm. 

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