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Will Harvey's Music Construction Set

DOS - 1984

Alt name The Orchestrator
Year 1984
Platform DOS
Released in United States
Genre Educational
Theme Music
Publisher Electronic Arts, Inc.
Dosbox support Supported on 0.61
5 / 5 - 5 votes

Description of Will Harvey's Music Construction Set

Any good music creating software provides the usual enter, edit, load, save, and play functions, but Electronic Arts' Music Construction Set offers much more, and still stands to this day one of the best programs of its kind.

If you have a graphic printer, MCS can graphically print sheet music. In addition to joystick and keyboard input, you may use either the Koala Pad or Atari Touch Tablet to indicate your choice of graphic icons displayed on the screen. You may use up to four voices in a four octave range, or choose the three voice, five octave range option. You control the speed, volume, and sound. MCS lets you choose from 13 different sound types.

To help get you started, MCS comes with well written documentation and sample song files. The documentation not only teaches you how to use the software, it also provides information on music notation. Notes, rests, dots, ties, time signatures, sharps, flats, scales, and keys are all explained. The only real limitation I found is the 700 note maximum capacity, but since the vast majority of songs require less than 700 notes, this should not be considered very important.

In short, MCS is a good example of how long well-programmed titles can stand the test of time. Thumbs up!

Review By HOTUD

Captures and Snapshots

Comments and reviews

Xetwnk 2020-01-09 1 point

Did anybody ever reverse-engineer the file format in which MCS saved music? Was that format the same on every make-and-model of machine MCS was released for, or different on each machine -- or some combination of both? And does anybody know where to reach Will Havey today (January 2020)?

Xetwnk 2020-01-09 1 point

I can't get the sound to work when playing online; any attempt to play just makes a teeny squawk and doesn't even scroll the staff. :-( I still use the Atari 8-bit version of this in emulation, and it works great! Forty (?) years later, I finally have time to play with it a bit! :-D

Saint Mikhail 2018-06-09 2 points

I also used this software to arrange music for Army Band in 1989! WOW! Long time ago!

Kyle P 2018-01-26 0 point

I remember somethng similar for commodore 64 but it was a bit complicated.

mattyo 2014-06-13 1 point DOS version

I had this on my Apple II clone, and even bough a synth card (Mockingboard) to get 8-channel sound with it. I was so amazed by it back then, LOL.

SemperNovus 2014-04-02 0 point DOS version

I bought this years ago for.... Actually I can't even remember if it was for the Atari 800 or my old IBM. Loved it!

RJ 2013-09-10 0 point DOS version

The only bad thing about this so far is that you can't seem to switch from moving the in-game cursor with keyboard arrow keys to moving the cursor with the mouse, unless I'm doing something wrong.

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