Music library

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AdLib Visual Composer

Whereas Game-Maker provided powerful tools for drawing, defining, and organizing visual elements — tiles, sprites, maps — the sound side of things was always kind of an afterthought. Sound Designer is solid for editing simple PC speaker effects, then with Game-Maker 2.0 came native Sound Blaster support. Although the upgrade was welcome, the formats that RSD chose to support were... curious. Any digital samples had to be in 8000 kHz 8-bit mono .VOC format, and any music in the very peculiar and proprietary .CMF. Whereas even now audio applications like Adobe Audition support .VOC, there never really were any obvious sequencers for .CMF. The lack of tools was a regular frustration for most Game-Maker users.

Ad Lib's very popular Visual Composer did output a related format, which could be easily converted into .CMF files. This fact, however, was never well documented -- and as popular as Visual Composer was amongst sound professionals, it was something of an open secret -- released years before most PC owners even had a sound card, alongside hardware that was quickly supplanted by Creative's more versatile cards.

So what you’ll often find is Game-Maker games with original, brilliant visuals and subversive design that borrow most of their sounds and all of their music from the demo libraries, or even from other Game-Maker games.

Game-Maker came with a limited set of stock pieces, which tend to populate most games. Designers also got clever, tracking down .CMF files on bulletin boards and hacking existing commercial or shareware games -- especially early Epic Megagames releases -- for their music. Most users built up a small personal library to plug in the way a film editor uses temp tracks, while waiting for RSD to implement a more obvious music format.

Stock tracks

These are the tracks included in the Game-Maker sample library, and used to track all of RSD's demo games. They are, therefore, the most commonly reused pieces.

See: Stock tracks

Common tracks

In later versions, Game-Maker came with many more demo games by a variety of authors. The following tracks were included in those games, and so may also be considered in regular distribution.

See: Common tracks

Original composers

A few users managed to bypass the technical problems and compose at least a little music for their games. Some users made it a regular process.

See: Original musicians
See: Original music