Animusic, LLC
Animation, Music
Industry CGI animation, software
Genre Various
Founded 1995
Founder Wayne Lytle and David Crognale
Headquarters 99 Eastlake Rd.
Ithaca, New York, United States[1]
Area served
Ithaca, New York
Austin, Texas
San Diego, California[2]
Key people
Wayne Lytle (director)
David Crognale (digital artist)
Jeff Garrard (Operations, PR, Marketing)
Ben Trumbore (software development)[3]
Products Animusic DVDs & Blu-ray discs
Animusic CDs
T-shirts and Mousepads[4]
Owner Wayne Lytle

Animusic is an American company specializing in the 3D visualization of MIDI-based music. Founded by Wayne Lytle, it is incorporated in New York and has offices in Texas and California. The initial name of the company was Visual Music, changed to Animusic in 1995.

The company is known for its Animusic compilations of computer-generated animations, based on MIDI events processed to simultaneously drive the music and on-screen action, leading to and corresponding to every sound.

Unlike many other music visualizations, the music drives the animation. While other productions might animate figures or characters to the music, the animated models in Animusic are created first, and are then programmed to follow what the music "tells them" to. 'Solo cams' featured on the Animusic DVD shows how each instrument actually plays through a piece of music from beginning to end.

Many of the instruments appear to be robotic or play themselves using curious methods to produce and visualize the original compositions. The animations typically feature dramatically-lit rooms or landscapes.

The music of Animusic is principally pop-rock based, consisting of straightforward sequences of triggered samples and digital patches mostly played "dry"; i.e., with few effects. There are no lyrics or voices, save for the occasional chorus synthesizer. According to the director's comments on Animusic 2, most instrument sounds are generated with software synthesizers on a music workstation (see Software Programs for more info). Many sounds resemble stock patches available on digital keyboards, subjected to some manipulation, such as pitch or playback speed, to enhance the appeal of their timbre.


As of 2012, three video albums have been released:

All Animusic DVDs are set to Region 0, meaning they are playable in all DVD players worldwide.[5]

Animusic was released in 2001 on VHS, and later DVD, with a special edition DVD being released later, in 2004. This special edition included extra material, such as Animusic's first animation, "Beyond the Walls".[6] A second album, Animusic 2, was released in the United States in 2005. Later, in 2008, this volume was released in Japan through a distribution deal with Japanese company Jorudan, Co. Ltd.[7] In a company newsletter, it was announced that the Animusic company would also be producing a high-definition version of Animusic 2 on Blu-ray, to be released sometime before their third major album, Animusic 3.[8] This HD compilation was eventually released in November 2010, featuring all of the animations featured in Animusic 2, as well as the animation "Pipe Dream" from Animusic encoded at a high bitrate.[9] In a later newsletter, the working titles of three animations in Animusic 3, “Sonic Warfare”, “Paddle Ball” and “Super Pipe Dream”, were revealed.[10] In 2012, they successfully launched and funded a Kickstarter for Animusic 3. They are yet to complete it; however, a sequel of sorts in "The Sound of Twelve" was released in March 2015, made using similar harmonics with Animusic.


Animusic has been promoted at SIGGRAPH since 1990, and has been promoted on Public Broadcasting Service and other television networks such as CNN.[11] Wayne Lytle and his works have also been featured on Fox News and over 30 other local stations in January 2007.[12] Animusic's "Pipe Dream" was released as a real-time demo for ATI's Radeon 9700 series graphics cards.[13] Animusic also rendered "Resonant Chamber" and "Starship Groove" in HD resolution for Apple's QuickTime HD Gallery.[14] A popular tourist destination located in Fredericksburg, Texas, the Rockbox Theater, often plays the Animusic DVDs either before shows or during intermission.[15]

There was an internet rumor that suggested that the "Pipe Dream" video was actually a machine created at the University of Iowa from farm machinery parts. Although this has been proven false,[16] the rumor is still considered "pretty amusing" to the Animusic staff.[17] Intel later commissioned a version of the machine to be built which was demonstrated at IDF 2011.[18]

Software programs

According to the company's FAQ, animation is created procedurally with their own proprietary MIDImotion engine.[19] Discreet 3D Studio Max was used for modeling, lighting, cameras, and rendering. Maps were painted with Corel Painter, Deep Paint 3D, and Photoshop. They have also created their own software called ANIMUSIC|studio that is based on scene-graph technology.[20] According to an August 2015 newsletter, Animusic started using Unreal Engine 4 for rendering.[21]


More Bells And Whistles

(Main Article: More Bells and Whistles (computer animation))

  1. Instruments

Beyond The Walls/Concerto In 3D (stereoscopic version)

  1. Instruments
  2. This animation starts with a musical bubble machine on the wall. It blows different sizes of purple bubbles and it shows that the biggest bubble has the lowest pitch and the smallest bubble has the highest pitch. Next, the gong rings twice and the harmonious trumpets and tuba play the fanfare with vertical clash cymbals striking four times. Then, the bass drum with a hi-hat on top of, big wheel below and two arms attached to it comes out of the door with a yellow star on it and begins to play. A two-armed snare drum with a cowbell on top and a medium wheel below comes out of its doors and joins its bass drum friend for a beat. As the walls begin to open, their one-armed friend the crash cymbal joins in as well and the percussion instruments get in their positions in front of the musical light/laser machine that first plays the bass lights with all the lasers joining in with harmony. A group of these instruments continue playing as they move towards the doors and the yellow laser, along with one of the red ones, opens the doors with all the airplane tom-toms and the helicopter clash cymbals taking off for the percussive solo pattern. The flying percussion instruments move aside as the choir lasers solve the puzzle to open the ship's doors and for the grand finale, as the white fireworks pop up, all the moving instruments fly into the starry sky far away.

Animusic: A Computer Animation Video Album

Track listing:

  1. Future Retro (4:45)
    • BPM=112
    • Instruments in the order they're presented:
    • The robotic drummer (surrounded by a percussion set) has four arms and one bass drum mallet foot; two of the arms hold 2B Drum sticks while the other two hold the vibraphone mallets. The Three-Necked Electric Guitar has metallic fingers that pluck the strings of the electric bass, and a metallic arm that strums the strings of the lead and rhythm guitars in both plucked and arpeggiated styles. As a whole instrument, the body is colored green and sports various plugs and lights. There are also giant loudspeakers in the background, connected to the electronic instruments, with VU displays that light up when the instruments are played.
  2. Stick Figures (5:23)
  3. Aqua Harp (3:47)
    • BPM=87
    • Instruments in the order they're presented:
    • The room in which this animation takes place is completely enclosed. Its ceiling is painted a dark blue or black with a crescent moon and stars that appear to glow. The room is filled with about one foot of water in which the harp sits right in the middle. Between instrumental refrains, the lighting changes between warm-toned lamps on the wall and cool-toned, blue-ish underwater lights. All of the instruments are connected to the harp.
    • In the background, water gently ripples throughout the piece. Some lights are set on top of the wooden columns.
  4. Drum Machine (3:22)
    • BPM=120, 185
    • Instruments in the order they're presented: (various gear-driven percussion devices)
    • Like machines in the factory, the gears rotate automatically to play the percussion instruments. As the drum kit keeps playing, two more kits descend with the control of the chains. At the end of the performance, the gears stop moving.
  5. Pipe Dream (3:28)
    • BPM=147
    • Instruments in the order they're presented:
    • This performance begins with the ball firing testing on the bass/bongo double instrument. The vibraphone fountain and the tubular bells appear to be made of gold.
    • This video is the second most famous Animusic animation, partially in thanks to an email hoax stating that the set was a real machine built at the University of Iowa using farm equipment. The hoax mail also said that it took 13,000 hours to make the performance (equivalent to about a year and a half), including building, calibrating, etc.[22]
    • In 2012, Intel made a real version with 2,300 balls, taking 90 days.[23]
  6. Acoustic Curves (5:36)
    • BPM=120-180, 112, 108
    • Instruments in the order they're presented:
    • In the beginning of this animation, the instruments are introduced one at a time, coming from either the ceiling or the abyss floor, and disappear at the end. They seem to play automatically.
  7. Harmonic Voltage (5:58)

Animusic audio CD bonus tracks

There were also 3 other music pieces only available on the Animusic audio CD.

  1. Seventh Alloy (4:27) (Click here to hear a sample)
  2. A Slight Delay (6:07) (Click here to hear a sample)
  3. The Harvester (5:40) (Click here to hear a sample)

Since they were never animated, it is difficult to determine the shapes of the instruments, although they may strongly resemble many seen in the two Animusic albums.

Animusic 2: A New Computer Animation Video Album

Track listing:

  1. Starship Groove
    • BPM=111
    • Instruments in the order they're presented:
    • Most of these instruments are played by the five starship robots. While they perform, the starship travels steadily through space. In the commentary, Wayne Lytle states that the robot that plays the red lead synth pad set looks like a female. "She" is also capable of actions and body language.
    • The spaceship whirs throughout the piece, although not heard during the music itself, but at the beginning and end.
  2. Pogo Sticks
    • BPM=110
    • Instruments in the order they're presented:
    • It has been revealed that the stick bass has "cousins," which are the hammered guitars. His "friends" are the drum kit playing sticks and the two stick xylophones, one as a marimba and another as a metallophone. They also have green lights that glow when they go through tunnels. Throughout the performance, they travel around the wooden course at sunset, stopping at stages intermittently.
    • This animation has actually been evolved from the "Stick Figures" animation from the first Animusic. On the stills seen on the DVD, it is revealed that the instruments are actually the original stick bass, with appropriate changes. The "Stick Figures" stage was copied several times and appears as the stages the band stops on.
  3. Resonant Chamber
    • BPM=120, 155,180
    • Instruments in the order they're presented:
    • Across the circle-shaped resonator are the strings of the classical guitar and a bass guitar which cross each other.
    • In this animation, it can be noted that there is only one dark sky with four windows and four different moons. One of them is the thick crescent moon, another is the full moon, third is the waning gibbous and the last one is the thin crescent moon. Inside the room, there are four lanterns already lit up.
  4. Cathedral Pictures (based on selections from the 1971 Emerson, Lake & Palmer adaptation of Pictures at an Exhibition by Modest Mussorgsky)
  5. Pipe Dream 2
    • BPM=140
    • Instruments in the order they're presented: (the set is used in Pipe Dream in the first Animusic, but is aged and dented here)
    • To contrast the two different performances on this set, the Bass/Bongo double instrument next to the wall is lit by a blue light in the second version, as opposed to a magenta light in the first version. The golden vibraphone fountain now glows orange when struck instead of white. The back wall from the first animation has been removed to reveal a large empty space filled with pipes. The tubular bells also have a little more detail, partially due to the fact that they spend more time onscreen.
  6. Fiber Bundles
    • BPM=120
    • Instruments in the order they're presented:
    • Towards the end of this piece's commentary on the DVD, Wayne Lytle remarks that the music in the Ratchet & Clank series, written by David Bergeaud, may have had some influence over this piece.
  7. Gyro Drums
  8. Heavy Light
    • BPM=100-135
    • Instruments in the order they're presented:
    • Set on a peak in the mountains, the piece is performed on an Aztec-like pyramid, with a long series of small stairs leading up to it. The performance starts with the blue chorus beams appearing to trigger the transformation of the pyramid into the musical temple. At least three other planets or moons can be seen in the sky, one of which bears a strong resemblance to the planet Jupiter.

Animusic 2 audio CD bonus tracks

The bonus audio tracks on this CD consist of reduced versions of Heavy Light and Fiber Bundles:

  1. Heavy Light – Drum/Bass Submix (sample)
  2. Fiber Bundles – Drum/Bass Submix (sample)
  3. Fiber Bundles – Synth/Ambient Submix (sample)

Animusic 3: The Next Computer Animation Video Album

Animusic is currently producing the third volume of the Animusic series; it was once intended to be released sometime in 2010, featuring animations such as "Sonic Warfare", "Paddle Ball", and "Super Pipe Dream".[24] However, this release date passed with no word regarding the volume's progress. In November 2010, Animusic attributed this delay to a complete restructuring of their modeling and rendering software.[25]

On August 6, 2012, the company began a Kickstarter campaign aimed at raising $200,000 to fund the completion of the Animusic 3 DVD.[26] This campaign was featured on several websites such as Animation World Network.[27] A rough mix from the newly revealed album The Sound of 12, titled "Glarpedge," was released online on August 28, 2012.[28] This album has been described by the company as "the soul of Animusic 3."[29] On August 31, 2012, two more mixes were released: "Emoticondria"[30] and "EchoKrunch."[31] The Kickstarter page was later updated to confirm that a Blu-ray edition of Animusic 3 would be released shortly following the DVD's completion.[32]

On September 5, 2012, the Kickstarter campaign ended successfully, with a final backing amount of $223,123, surpassing the goal and reportedly putting Animusic 3 into its final production stages.[33] Animusic posted expected shipping dates of October 2013 for the DVD, and February 2014 for the Blu-ray disc.[34] However, both dates eventually passed without either product being released.

Although the release of Animusic 3 has been postponed for some time, others have created and released tribute animations and fan-made versions of the Animusic concept through YouTube while the third addition to the series has been anticipated.[35] Over time, hundreds of these homemade animations have been produced and shared. The bulk of these animations have been created since shortly after the release of Animusic 2. Animations such as these are still being made to this day by many different contributors.

On the Kickstarter update in August 2015,[36] Wayne Lytle announced some other factors that have delayed the project, like Dave Crognale leaving the project, personal struggles, and physical stress and injury, along with prizes for backers. However, he insists on his determination to finish the project, especially now with the help of Unreal Engine 4, and his gratitude for those who have invested in him. His stated reason for holding off on an update was to have a completion date, but there doesn't seem to be one as of now.

See also

External links


Social media

Coordinates: 42°30′56″N 76°31′10″W / 42.515528°N 76.519561°W / 42.515528; -76.519561


  1. "Animusic | Company | Contact Info". Retrieved 2012-08-10.
  2. "Animusic | Company". Animusic. Retrieved 2012-01-14.
  3. "Animusic | Company | People". Animusic. Retrieved 2012-01-14.
  4. "Animusic Online Store". Retrieved 2012-08-09.
  5. "Animusic | Support | 6". Retrieved 2012-08-09.
  6. "Animusic Special Edition Details". Retrieved 2012-08-09.
  7. "Animusic 2 in Japan". Retrieved 2012-08-09.
  8. "Animusic 2 in HD". Retrieved 2008-12-28.
  9. "Animusic HD Details". Retrieved 2012-08-09.
  10. "November 2007 Newsletter". Retrieved 2012-08-09.
  11. "Animusic | Reviews | Media". Retrieved 2012-08-10.
  12. "Wayne Lytle TV interviews". Archived from the original on 15 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-11.
  13. "Pipe Dream video used as a Radeon demo". Archived from the original on 12 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-11.
  14. "Animusic featured in Apple's Quicktime's HD gallery". Archived from the original on 2007-08-23. Retrieved 2007-10-11.
  15. "Animusic | News | Rockbox Theater". Retrieved 2012-09-07.
  16. "'Farm Machine Music' on Snopes". Retrieved 2007-10-11.
  17. "Animusic | News | Hoax Email". Retrieved 2012-08-09.
  18. "Intel Pipe Dream Demo (IDF 2011)". Retrieved 2012-08-09.
  19. "Animusic | Support | 10". Retrieved 2012-08-09.
  20. "Animusic | Company | Software". Animusic. Retrieved 2012-08-09.
  21. "Update 24: Alive · ANIMUSIC 3 (DVD / Blu-ray)". Kickstarter. Retrieved 2015-09-29.
  22. "Animusic | News | Hoax Email". Animusic. Animusic. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  23. Normal, Nick (February 20, 2012). "Animusic's "Pipe Dream" Made Real". Retrieved 2016-03-01.
  24. "September 2009 Newsletter". Retrieved 2009-10-20.
  25. "Animusic Blu-ray!". Retrieved 2012-09-08.
  26. "ANIMUSIC 3 (DVD/Blu-ray) by ANIMUSIC". Retrieved 2012-09-02.
  27. "ANIMUSIC 3 Starts Production". Retrieved 2012-09-02.
  28. "So12 Glarpedge by ANIMUSIC". Retrieved 2012-08-29.
  29. "ANIMUSIC's sounds on SoundCloud". Retrieved 2012-09-04.
  30. "So12 Emoticondria by ANIMUSIC". Retrieved 2012-08-31.
  31. "So12 EchoKrunch by ANIMUSIC". Retrieved 2012-08-31.
  32. "ANIMUSIC 3 (DVD/Blu-ray) by ANIMUSIC ≫ Updates". Retrieved 2012-09-02.
  33. "Animusic | Previews | Animusic 3". Retrieved 2012-09-08.
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