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11.2. Beatnik authoring system

The Beatnik authoring system includes three elements: the Beatnik Player, the Beatnik Audio Engine, and the Beatnik Editor. All three work in conjunction to mix and play back music and sound effects that are composed of a hybrid of MIDI-based instrument sounds and web-optimized digitized audio samples.

MIDI forms the core of the Beatnik System. Beatnik uses MIDI-like messages to control the Beatnik playback sound engine. Other authoring systems such as Flash must compile and upload MP3-compressed sound files for playback in a browser. In addition to compressed MP3 audio files, Beatnik compiles and uploads text-based MIDI instructions that trigger the pre-loaded bank of Beatnik MIDI instrument sounds to play back your musical score or composition. Once these standard instruments are downloaded with the Beatnik Player and housed on a user's hard drive, little data needs to be sent over the Internet—just tiny instructions (compressed MIDI files) that instruct the Beaknik Player's tone generator/sequencer to play music. Later in this chapter, we will discuss the Beatnik Player's components in more detail.


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