Steve Rucker and Thomas Chase MIDI Composition Note
The following appeared in Kidscreen on September 1, 1997. The citation is Robertson, Virginia (1997-09-01). TV cartoon music gaining in sophistication. Kidscreen: p. 14.
Widespread changes in scoring can largely be traced to a key technological advance in the early 1990s that made the simulation of most instruments quick and inexpensive. "Things changed around 1990 with the introduction of the MIDI [Music Instrument Digital Interface]," says Steve Rucker of Chase Rucker Productions, creator of the music for Cartoon Network's Dexter's Laboratory and The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest. The MIDI's musical sampling capabilities made the use of live musicians to record scores a luxury rather than a necessity. "The good news with the way we do it now is you can see your ideas directly," says Rucker's partner Thomas Jones Chase. Even though digital scoring is standard for TV, films still use live symphonies. "An orchestra is an orchestra," notes Chase. "For many kids, animation music is their first exposure to orchestral music."