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Professional Music Driver (PMD)


  1. Noteable Characteristics
  2. Setting up PMD
  3. Learning PMD MML
  4. Converters
Professional Music Driver (PMD) is a music driver developed by M.Kajihara which utilizes MML (Music Macro Language) to create music files for most japanese computers of the 80's and early 90's.

Noteable Characteristics

PMD can be used to make music for the PC-98, PC-88, X68000, and FM Towns. It's the most used tool to make music for the PC-x801 series, notable examples are Touhou Project and Grounseed.

It has a series of additions in comparison to other tools used to make music in those platforms that would make coding much easier, such as predefined SSG drums, envelopes and the possibility of using macros, and one of the reasons for being popular was the low amount of RAM used, so it wouldn't slow down the games.

Setting up PMD

Things you're gonna need:

1 - MC.exe

2 - A MS-DOS Emulator for running MC.exe (not needed if you're using WIndows XP or earlier)
3 - A music player of your choice

First, get all the dependencies. Extract the MC compiler kit to some directory. You can't run these in windows, so you'll need to setup a MS-DOS emulator to work on that folder.

Setup an MML folder in the directory with MC (not mandatory, but it being organized helps when dealing with this, trust me). To compile your MML file, all you'll need to do is type in MC /v MML\[yourfilehere].

This will give you a .M or a .M2, depending on what you wrote for the preprocessor in the actual MML file. You can play these back with FMPMD2000 or any playback program of your choice.


• A translated of MC.EXE by Mana, Pigu and VasteelXolotl
is available, with the error messages translated to english (old).
• FMPMD2000 and other players requires no special setup! Simply extract all the components to the same folder and you can play the .M files that MC.EXE compiles.
• The /v option is what writes the voices to the output. If you don't specify this on MC or on your script, your file will not make sound!

PMD File Watcher
is a tool that makes the compile-and-play process much easier. To use it, just:
1 - Download it here
and extract it somewhere
2 - Download MS-DOS Player
and extract it somewhere.
3 - On the option that ends on (E) on the first tab, load msdos.exe and MC.exe on the first tab and, on the second, load whatever PMD Player you wish to use, then save (on the second button below).
4 - Load the MML file you're working on and press the first button below. As long as it's active, everytime you save your mml file, it'll automatically compile (and play the file, if you set that up). [note that you can't load hoot on this]

Learning PMD MML

While we're working on our own tutorial for n00bz, check Noyemi K.'s PMD Guide
which has some basic information (REALLY basic), and once you feel like you've learned enough from that, read the Translation of PMDMML.MAN by Blaze and Pigu
for more info or check the list of Professional Music Driver Effects Commands.

Converters is a tool that converts deflemask DMF modules to PMD.

is a tool that converts S3M files to PMD-compatible MML. While it's intended to use with Scream Tracker 3 (using it will require no additional setup), any S3M module that follow the limitations will work (though you will need to set up the instruments on your own).

is a tool that converts MIDI files to many MML formats, PMD included. You need to change the settings to that, though, besides having to set up the MML for instruments, song properties and etc. Remember to make each midi channel monophonic though.

is a tool that converts .OPM files to PMD instruments