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FounderWayne Lytle
Previously in Ithaca, New York (Sold to RP Solutions, Inc.)
Key people
Wayne Lytle, David Crognale

Animusic is an American company specializing in the 3D visualization of MIDI-based music. Founded by Wayne Lytle, it was incorporated in New York, with offices in Texas and California. The initial name of the company was Visual Music, but was 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. The animated short "Pipe Dream" showed at SIGGRAPH's Electronic Theater in 2001.[2]

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

Many of the instruments appear to be robotic or play themselves using seemingly 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" (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 2017, 3 video albums have been released:

  • Animusic: A Computer Animation Video Album (VHS/DVD (2001), CD (2002), Special Edition DVD (2004))
  • Animusic 2: A New Computer Animation Video Album (DVD (2005), CD (2006))
  • Animusic HD: Stunning Computer-Animated Music (Blu-Ray (2010))

All Animusic DVDs are set to Region 0, meaning they are playable in all DVD players worldwide.[3]

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".[4] 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.[5] 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.[6] 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.[7] In a later newsletter, the working titles of three animations in Animusic 3, “Sonic Warfare”, “Paddle Ball” and “Super Pipe Dream”, were revealed.[8] In 2012, a Kickstarter campaign for Animusic 3 was successfully launched and funded. "The Sound of Twelve," a music-only album made using similar harmonics as Animusic, was released in March 2015.


Animusic has been promoted at SIGGRAPH since 1990, and has been promoted on Public Broadcasting Service and other television networks such as CNN.[9] Wayne Lytle and his works have also been featured on Fox News and over 30 other local stations in January 2007.[10] Animusic's "Pipe Dream" was released as a real-time demo for ATI's Radeon 9700 series graphics cards.[11] Animusic also rendered "Resonant Chamber" and "Starship Groove" in HD resolution for Apple's QuickTime HD Gallery.[12] A popular tourist destination located in Fredericksburg, Texas, the Rockbox Theater, has often played the Animusic DVDs either before shows or during an intermission.[13]

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,[14] the rumor is still considered "pretty amusing" to the Animusic staff.[15] Intel later commissioned a version of the machine to be built which was demonstrated at IDF 2011.[16]

Software programs[edit]

According to the company's FAQ, animation is created procedurally with their own proprietary MIDImotion engine.[17] 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.[18] According to an August 2015 newsletter, Animusic was using Unreal Engine 4 for rendering since Animusic 3.[19]


  • Various animations for SIGGRAPH
  • More Bells and Whistles (1990) – made by Wayne Lytle before creating Animusic
  • Beyond the Walls (known as Concerto in 3D if watched in stereoscope) (1996) – the first animation made under the name of Animusic, produced for VRex (a manufacturer of stereoscopic glasses and projectors). This animation is included as a bonus feature on the Animusic special edition DVD.
  • Kansas – Device, Voice, Drum (2002) – animation for an intro to the band's concert and a music-only bridge in one of the tracks "Miracles Out of Nowhere"; album cover. This animation incorporates several instruments from the first album, including the drum kit from Future Retro and the bass guitar tower from Harmonic Voltage.

More Bells and Whistles[edit]

  1. Instruments in the order they're presented:

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

  1. Instruments in the order they're presented:
  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[edit]

Track listing:

  1. Future Retro (4:24)
    • BPM=112
    • Instruments in the order they're presented:
    • The bands of the Rock 'n' Roll in a Heavy metal. 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 rock 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)
    • BPM=188
    • Instruments in the order they're presented:
    • It is seen on the cover. In this animation, "Mr. Stick" (aka "Mr. Bass Man") the instrument, the 3-stringed acoustic guitar, the double bass, and the violins all have "arms" (fingers for the guitar) which they use to play themselves.
  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 (3:22)
    • BPM=148
    • Instruments in the order they're presented:
    • This performance begins with the ball firing testing on the acoustic guitar/bongo double instrument. The golden vibraphone fountain that looks like a flower and the tubular bells appear to be made of gold.
    • This video is likely the 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.[20]
    • In 2012, Intel made a real version with 2,300 balls, taking 90 days.[21]
  6. Acoustic Curves (5:32)
    • 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 (6:46)

Animusic audio CD bonus tracks[edit]

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

  1. Seventh Alloy (4:27)
  2. A Slight Delay (6:07)
  3. The Harvester (5:40)

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[edit]

Track listing:

  1. Starship Groove
    • BPM=110
    • Instruments in the order they're presented:
      • Blue bass synth robot
      • 2 blinking light towers, notating the 7/4 (odd-meter) time signature as purely visual metronomes
      • 2-player drum kit robots (2 snares, a hi-hat, a bass drum, 2 toms, a cowbell, a wood block, a splash cymbal, a triangle, and 2 crash cymbals)
      • Red lead synth robot
      • 2 low-pitched power chord accent flashes
      • Yellow synth robot
      • 2 high-pitched power chord accent flashes
    • Most of these instruments are played by the 5 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 Blue robot and the Red robot played together.
    • 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 the first Pipe Dream, but is aged and dented here)
    • To contrast the two different performances on this set, the Acoustic Guitar/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=110
    • Instruments in the order they're presented:
      • Green Bass Chorus Synth
      • White Echo light Synth Pulses
      • Violet Synth Bass
      • Electric drum set
      • Red Synth Lead
      • Yellow treble Chorus Synth
      • Blue-green Synthesizer Flash light Pulses
    • 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:
      • Blue Chorus synth Lasers
      • Violet Synth Bass Beams
      • Yellow Lead Synth Lasers
      • Drums and cymbals (Bass drum, a snare drum, a ride cymbal, a splash cymbal, 2 crash cymbals, 2 hi-hats, 2 percussion clickers, 3 wood blocks, 10 toms)
      • Orange String Beams
      • Red synth sawtooth Lasers
      • White Chorus Floodlights
      • Green flash Chirp Laser
      • Three Gongs
    • Set on a peak in the mountains, the piece is performed on an 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. At the end, the soundings of gongs mark the reversal of the initial transformation, as the doorway-like structure retracts.

Animusic 2 audio CD bonus tracks[edit]

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

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

Animusic 3: The Next Computer Animation Video Album[edit]

Animusic was working on the third volume of the Animusic series for over 10 years. It was initially intended to be released sometime in 2010, featuring animations such as "Sonic Warfare", "Paddle Ball", and "Super Pipe Dream".[22] However, this release date passed with no word regarding the volume's progress. A year later in November 2010, Animusic attributed this delay to a complete restructuring of their modeling and rendering software.[23]

On August 6, 2012, the company began a Kickstarter campaign aimed at raising $200,000 to fund the completion of the Animusic 3 DVD.[24] This campaign was featured on several websites such as Animation World Network.[25] A rough mix from the newly revealed album The Sound of 12, titled "Glarpedge," was released online on August 28, 2012.[26] This album has been described by the company as "the soul of Animusic 3."[27] On August 31, 2012, two more mixes were released: "Emoticondria"[28] and "EchoKrunch."[29] 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.[30]

On September 5, 2012, the Kickstarter campaign ended successfully, with a final backing amount of $223,123, surpassing the goal and should have put Animusic 3 into its "final production stages".[31] Animusic posted expected shipping dates of October 2013 for the DVD, and February 2014 for the Blu-ray disc.[32] However, both dates passed without either product being released.

On a Kickstarter update in August 2015,[33] Wayne Lytle announced some other factors that have delayed the project, including Dave Crognale's departure from the project, personal struggles, physical stress and injury, and the distribution of supplemental prizes for backers. However, he insisted on his determination to finish the project, expressing his excitement about the abilities of the newly-implemented Unreal Engine 4 and his gratitude for those who have invested in him. Lytle stated that he had withheld from posting an update until he had a completion date, but did not give one in the update.

Since the 2015 kickstarter update, no further updates have been posted. Many Kickstarter backers have expressed their frustration with the company's continued lack of communication about the project, inferring that it is suffering from a lack of personnel in its production team, along with other issues.[34]

In August 2017, the Animusic headquarters, including Animusic's office space and the Lytle residence, was sold[35] to RP Solutions, Inc.[36]

In August 2019, the Animusic website at ANIMUSIC was taken down briefly and replaced by a generic template with a small explanation that the site is undergoing a redesign.[37] A quote from the new site states that "The ANIMUSIC website is being rebuilt from scratch, using Squarespace. Our previous website was ancient, dating back to the early days of ANIMUSIC.." [38]As of August 9, 2019, the new website contains a collection of screenshots from Animusic 2, along with one picture from Animusic 1 and three work in progress images that appear to be from Animusic 3. The website's About page references the site being "A Fresh Start" for Animusic.

Although the release of Animusic 3 has been continually postponed, others have created and released tribute animations and fan-made versions of the Animusic concept through YouTube.[39] Over time, hundreds of these homemade animations have been produced and shared. The bulk of these have been created since shortly after the release of Animusic 2.


  • The last update Wayne Lytle provided to the Kickstarter community was on August 21, 2015 titled "Alive."[40]

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. ^ "The SIGGRAPH 2001 Computer Animation Festival: A Digital Odyssey". Animation World Network. Retrieved Aug 14, 2019.
  3. ^ "Animusic | Support | 6". Retrieved 2012-08-09.
  4. ^ "Animusic Special Edition Details". Retrieved 2012-08-09.
  5. ^ "Animusic 2 in Japan". Retrieved 2012-08-09.
  6. ^ "Animusic 2 in HD". Retrieved 2008-12-28.
  7. ^ "Animusic HD Details". Retrieved 2012-08-09.
  8. ^ "November 2007 Newsletter". Retrieved 2012-08-09.
  9. ^ "Animusic | Reviews | Media". Retrieved 2012-08-10.
  10. ^ "Wayne Lytle TV interviews". Archived from the original on 15 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-11.
  11. ^ "Pipe Dream video used as a Radeon demo". Archived from the original on 12 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-11.
  12. ^ "Animusic featured in Apple's Quicktime's HD gallery". Archived from the original on 2007-08-23. Retrieved 2007-10-11.
  13. ^ "Animusic | News | Rockbox Theater". Retrieved 2012-09-07.
  14. ^ "'Farm Machine Music' on Snopes". Retrieved 2007-10-11.
  15. ^ "Animusic | News | Hoax Email". Archived from the original on 2012-08-18. Retrieved 2012-08-09.
  16. ^ "Intel Pipe Dream Demo (IDF 2011)". Archived from the original on 2012-12-06. Retrieved 2012-08-09.
  17. ^ "Animusic | Support | 10". Retrieved 2012-08-09.
  18. ^ "Animusic | Company | Software". Animusic. Retrieved 2012-08-09.
  19. ^ "Update 24: Alive · ANIMUSIC 3 (DVD / Blu-ray)". Kickstarter. Retrieved 2015-09-29.
  20. ^ "Animusic | News | Hoax Email". Animusic. Animusic. Archived from the original on 18 August 2012. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  21. ^ Normal, Nick (February 20, 2012). "Animusic's "Pipe Dream" Made Real". Retrieved 2016-03-01.
  22. ^ "September 2009 Newsletter". Retrieved 2009-10-20.
  23. ^ "Animusic Blu-ray!". Retrieved 2012-09-08.
  24. ^ "ANIMUSIC 3 (DVD/Blu-ray) by ANIMUSIC". Retrieved 2012-09-02.
  25. ^ "ANIMUSIC 3 Starts Production". Retrieved 2012-09-02.
  26. ^ "So12 Glarpedge by ANIMUSIC". Retrieved 2012-08-29.
  27. ^ "ANIMUSIC's sounds on SoundCloud". Retrieved 2012-09-04.
  28. ^ "So12 Emoticondria by ANIMUSIC". Retrieved 2012-08-31.
  29. ^ "So12 EchoKrunch by ANIMUSIC". Retrieved 2012-08-31.
  30. ^ "ANIMUSIC 3 (DVD/Blu-ray) by ANIMUSIC ≫ Updates". Retrieved 2012-09-02.
  31. ^ "Animusic | Previews | Animusic 3". Retrieved 2012-09-08.
  32. ^ "Update 11: The Latest on the Lateness · ANIMUSIC 3 (DVD / Blu-ray)". Kickstarter. Retrieved Aug 14, 2019.
  33. ^ "Update 24: Alive · ANIMUSIC 3 (DVD / Blu-ray)". Kickstarter. Retrieved Aug 14, 2019.
  34. ^ "Comments » ANIMUSIC 3 (DVD / Blu-ray) — Kickstarter". Retrieved 2017-02-05.
  35. ^ "Property Description Report For: 99 Eastlake Rd, Municipality of Lansing" (PDF). Tompkins County, New York.
  36. ^ "Contact Us". Retrieved 2018-01-12.
  37. ^ What???, archived from the original on 2019-08-04, retrieved 2019-08-05
  38. ^ "ANIMUSIC". ANIMUSIC. Retrieved 2020-04-29.
  39. ^ "Animusic: Original Masterpieces and Fanmade Greats - YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved Aug 14, 2019.
  40. ^ "ANIMUSIC 3 (DVD / Blu-ray)". Kickstarter. Retrieved 2020-04-29.

External links[edit]