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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:

Download PMDDotNET
and extract it. You can run it by dragging the .mml file into the PMDDotNETConsole.exe or run it from commandline (recommended). It's advised to rename it to mc.exe for ease of use.

From the same creator, MML2VGM
is a really useful tool on which you can script songs in PMD format and them with a single button press, even highlighting the notes for easy visualization. Unfortunately it's not fully translated into English.

You will 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.

To compile your MML file, all you'll need to do is type in MC /v/c [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.


• For DOS users, a translated of MC.EXE by Mana, Pigu and VasteelXolotl
is available, with the error messages translated to English. PMDDotNET already has a translation.
• The /v option is what writes the FM instruments 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 run it after extracting.
2 - On File->Settings, select the MML compiler. If using MS DOS Player, select it as well. On Options, type "/v /c", and disable the notification sound if desired.
3 - After that, all you have to do is load the MML file you're working on and press Start. As long as it's active, every time 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

Read the Translation of PMDMML.MAN by Blaze and Pigu
for 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