Personal Computer News


Dancing Feats

Author: Mike Gerrard
Publisher: Softcomm
Machine: Commodore 64

 
Published in Personal Computer News #046

Joystick Virtuoso

Dancing Feats is the latest in a long line of micro musical programs. It reinforces the argument that the Americans consistently produce some of the best software.

Objectives

The program is designed as an introduction to music and music theory, and does a lot of the hard work for you. Music can be saved onto cassette or disk and played back later, and the program itself has a record and playback feature which simply stores music in the micro's memory.

Your musical instrument is the joystick and, like any other instrument, you should experiment with its capabilities.

Dancing Feats

The 64 provides most of the basic musical output, such as bass lines, style of play, speed of play, and so on, and it's up to you to put the icing on the cake as a joystick-wielding Jimi Hendrix.

In Play

The program starts by showing a display of its musical capabilities, which should inspire even the most unmusical to play a note or two.

While playing, the major chord that you're in is displayed at the bottom left of the screen, and whatever note is produced with the joystick is shown mid-right at the bottom.

Dancing Feats

The main use of graphics in the program is a rather interesting representation of your note.

As far as the displays go, forget everything you ever learnt about telephone wires and tadpoles, since Dancing Feats produces a multi-coloured vertical bar on the screen whenever you play a note. It may not suit Andre Previn, but it certainly looks pretty.

Most of the program is menu-driven, using the joystick and you can easily choose from a variety of background accompaniment, including bass, jazz and so on. If you like syncopated music, you can even have that.

Dancing Feats

As a final note, you can also play acappella (without instrumental accompaniment) and amaze and annoy everyone with a dazzling solo on the electric joystick.

Verdict

This is an unusual program, but for anyone interested in music it is well worth investigating. Needless to say the use of sound depends to a large extent on the user, but some quite amazing results can be achieved.

Dancing Feats may not be as riveting as a fast game, but it does provide a very different and entertaining use of the Commodore 64.

Move over Mike Oldfiend.

Mike GerrardPete Gerrard

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