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Digital Improvisation - Hungarian start-up revolutionising digital music standards


It will never be the same old song again–this was the concept for MS3, a Hungarian musician when he created a software solution he calls „digital improvisation” or DI. The „di” music file format he developed enables the users to listen to one song in endless number of versions. „Imagine Madonna’s new releases were recorded in di format. Whenever you hit the ’’Play’’ button, a different remix of the same song is played back. You never get bored of your cd then” said Mester, now head of the start-up company Digimpro established to exploit the new technology.

The principle behind DI is to enable a multitude of versions of the same musical part (sound samples) to be bundled within a wrapper file format. During the recording and production process, the artist can explore a whole range of musical possibilities without having to commit to a final decisive cut. During final mastering, several worthy versions (or takes) are then included in the final mix. The result: a refreshing and enriching musical experience, which engages the listener in a way never envisaged before. DI provides the ability to represent musical variations of the same song encapsulated within a computer format which then yields a whole spectrum of possible musical renditions.

“But improvisation is just the tip of the iceberg” said MS3. “DI also provides an intuitive interactive interface (III) to allow the user to choose and control the way the song is played-back.” Music therefore is subject to individual taste, and now for the first time, the listener can actually arrange the song to suit their taste or mood. It’’s easy, and it falls within the guidelines set by the artist, thereby preserving the artistic integrity of the music.

And DI is a concept which stretches across the full spectrum of musical genres and styles. From traditional jazz to electronic dance music, from pop to classical, there is always an application of DI that can dramatically enhance the artistic and qualitative value of the recorded music. In addition, it represents a new opportunity for the music industry to re-asses the commercial implications of recorded music sales: with DI, a label is offering more musical content without altering the length of a song. With DI, tracks can be incrypted in a way that fulfills an important criteria–anti piracy measures.

To commercialise the idea, major venture capitalists invested in creating Digimpro Ltd. Right now there are 15 owners of Digimpro from 7 different countries from 3 different continents. Operations are going in Budapest, London and Stockholm. The company offers di-songs and the diPlayer software on its website So far Swedish, Hungarian and French pop groups released their songs in di format, including the Swedish boy band Bobby’s, the French world music band Djoliba and the Australian Adam Thompson, winner of the Australian Music Awards. Conversations with British bands are also being taken place in the UK.

Tibor Gergely Kovács | alfa
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