A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
The height of a rack-mounted device measured in "rack spaces." 1U is one rack space in height. 2U is twice as tall, at a height of two rack spaces.
24-bit recording is the current industry standard for pro-quality digital audio in which audio is captured and played back as binary computer data in a 24-bit word length. 24-bit recording and playback precisely captures and reproduces the most subtle audio nuances.
A system used to verify that a MIDI connection is working, which involves the sending device sending frequent short messages to the receiving device to reassure it that all is well. If these active sensing messages stop for any reason, the receiving device will recognize a fault condition and switch off all notes. Not all MIDI devices support active sensing.
The characteristics given space that affects the listeners perception of sound in that space.
Digital interface that allows 8 individual tracks to pass through an optical (toslink) cable. Lightpipe is used with ADAT machines and is now incorporated in many soundcards and multiple out AD/DA converters.
ADC "AD/DA Converter"
For "Analog-to-Digital Converter," a device that receives analog audio and converts it into digital data, such as analog audio coming into a V-Studio, sampler or digital mixer.
A system for generating waveforms or sounds by combining basic waveforms or sampled sounds prior to further processing with filters and envelope shapers.
Abbreviation for "Attack/Decay/Sustain/Release," the four settings of a traditional envelope.
For "Audio Engineering Society/European Broadcast Union," a format for sending and receiving digital audio data; typically uses an XLR connection.
After Fade Listen; a system used within mixing consoles to allow specific signals to be monitored at the level set by their fader of level control knob. Aux sends are generally monitored AFL rather than PFL
For "Apple Audio Interchange File Format." A commonly used type of disk file that contains audio, developed by Apple. Also called ".aif" files.
A realtime control produced by pushing a key down further than the point at which the key's note sounds. Channel aftertouch affects all currently sounding notes; polyphonic aftertouch affects only the pressed note.
A computer program designed to perform a specific task. In the context of effects units, algorithms usually describe a software building block designed to create a specific effect or combination of effects.
When an analogue signal is sampled for conversion into a digital data stream, the sampling frequency must be at least twice that of the highest frequency component of the input signal. If this rule is disobeyed, the sampling process becomes ambiguous, as there are insufficient points to define each cycle of the waveform, resulting in enharmonic frequencies being added to the audible signal.
The resonating of the real or imaginary space in which a sound occurs.
Unit of electrical current.
Device that increases the level of an electrical signal.
A device that changes the Time Variant Amplifier's settings over a period of time.
The technical term for a signal's volume or loudness.
Voltage-based representations of sound.
The conversion, using an ADC, of analog audio to digital data.
A system for synthesizing sounds by means of analogue circuitry, usually by filtering simple repeating waveforms.
Filter used to limit the frequency range of an analogue signal prior to A/D conversion so that the maximum frequency does not exceed half the sampling rate.
Device (or software), that allows a MIDI instrument to sequence around any notes currently being played. Most arpeggiators also allow the sound to be sequenced over several octaves, so that holding down a simple chord can result in an impressive repeating sequence of notes.
A parameter that sets the speed at which an envelope or dynamics processor starts. With an envelope, Attack sets the speed at which the enveloped setting travels from 0 to its nominal value. In a dynamics processor, it sets the speed at which the processor starts working.
To make lower in level.
A general word for sound.
Signals in the human audio range: nominally 20Hz to 20kHz.
Feature of a tape machine or other recording device that enables specific locations to be stored, then at some later time, these locations within the recording may be recalled. For example, you may store the start of a verse as a locate point so that you can get the tape machine to wind back the start of the verse after you've recorded an overdub.
The memorization and playback of changes you make to mixer settings.
Automix is the automated mixing system in a V-Studio or VM mixer.
A feature on V-Studios that automatically starts and stops recording for you when you're punching at locations you've set beforehand.
Short for "Auxiliary"; a designation for extra busses typically used for sending signal to effects, headphone amps and other destinations.
An extra input; typically used for receiving a signal from the output of an internal or external effect processor.
An extra bus that can be used for sending signal anywhere; typically used for sending signal into an effect.
In set-theory, a line or point used as a divider in a symmetric operation. Axes can exist in time, pitch, or other dimensions. e.g. a melodic inversion resulting from a reflection transformation around an axis of pitch. e.g. an upward line: c,e,f,f# can be reflected downward with an axis on c as c,a-flat,g,g-flat. If the axis were c# the inversion would be d, b-flat,a, a-flat.
Alignment coordinate of a tape head which references the head gap to the true vertical relative to the tape path.
To make a copy of data and to store the copy on an external medium -- such as a CD-R or CD-RW disk -- for safekeeping. This copy is called a "backup." Backing up is extremely important to safeguard against unexpected events. To play or work on a song or project that's been backed up, it must be "recovered."
This word has several meanings in recording. It may refer to the relative levels of the left and right channels of a stereo recording, or it may be used to describe the relative levels of the various instruments and voices within a mix.
A type of audio connection that uses the three leads in a cable, connector and jack as part of a phase-cancellation scheme to boost signal and reduce noise.
In EQ, a range of frequencies.
Band pass filter
A type of filter that allows only the band of frequencies surrounding the cutoff frequency to pass through unaffected.
In EQ, the width of a band; the number of frequencies that are boosted or cut above and below a selected center frequency.
In MIDI instruments, a group of patches. Each bank can contains up to 128 patches, numbered from 0-127 or 1-128. In favorite lists, a group of patches.
A type of MIDI message that typically corresponds to a specific bank of patches. When an instrument receives a Bank Select message, the corresponding patch bank is selected. Typically, a Bank Select message is followed by a Program Change message that selects a patch within the selected bank. A Bank Select message may contain two components, an MSB ("Most Significant Byte") and/or an LSB ("Least Significant Byte") value.
The lower frequency range of a sound, usually from about 200 Hz down.
1) A constant unit of time that forms a background clock in music.
2) 'Difference tones' whose frequency difference is below 20 Hz, resulting in separate pulses rather than a 'tone'. These are often used in tuning instruments.
The maximum pitch change that can be applied by moving a pitch bend control.
Software which is not fully tested and may include bugs.
High frequency signal used in analogue recording to improve the accuracy of the recorded signal and to drive the erase head. Bias is generated by a bias oscillator.
Counting system based on only two states - 1s and 0s.
Part of a computer operating system held on ROM rather than on disk. This handles basic routines such as accessing the disk drive.
Binary digit, which may either be 1 or 0.
Digital recording can capture audio using number strings of varying lengths -- a longer string allows more detail in the description of level changes in the signal. The size of a string is referred to as its "bit depth." Most often, digital devices record and play audio using bit depths of 16 or 24 bits. Audio CDs use 16 bit.
Blog (an abridgment of the term web log)
Blog is a website, usually maintained by an individual, with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse chronological order. "Blog" can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog. Check out a great blog sample at themusiciansite.com or check out our AMS blog at gearblog.org.
A twelve bar sequence of seventh-chord changes in jazz based on I, IV, and V chords (there may be three or more chords). Two common progressions are I, I, I, I, V, V, I, I, IV, V, I, I and I, I, I, I, IV, IV, I, I, V, IV, I, I (all the chords add the seventh). However, other variants are possible.
A single control which allows the range of frequencies passing through a filter to be either amplified or attenuated. The center position is usually the 'flat' or 'no effect' position.
Bouncing is the copying of tracks onto other tracks. Typically, this is done to combine a greater number of tracks into a fewer tracks, though there are other reasons to bounce. Some people call bouncing "ping-ponging."
Beats Per Minute.
A midi controller that converts breath pressure to MIDI information.
Circuit designed to isolate the output of a source device from loading effects due to the input impedance of the destination device.
Temporary RAM memory used in some computer operations, sometimes to prevent a break in the data stream when the computer is interrupted to perform another task.
The transmission of a chunk of SysEx data from one MIDI device to another. The sending device doesn't need to understand the data -- it merely needs to be able to receive, store and re-transmit it.
Taking two or more audio recording tracks, and mixing them together to make a separate track. Usually used to make room for more tracks.
"Burn" is music industry slang for writing data onto a CD.
Bus (or Buss)
A pathway down which one or more signals can travel to a common destination.
A function that re-routes a signal to avoid a circuit or part of a circuit.
A piece of digital data comprising eight bits.
Middle C in most MIDI devices.
CC number (Control Change Number)
A numbered MIDI message that's permanently assigned to a particular parameter. A MIDI Control Change number is followed by a value that sets the parameter in the MIDI device that receives it.
A recordable type of Compact Disc that can only be recorded once - it cannot be erased and reused.
A device capable of recording data onto blank CD-R discs.
A CD-RW drive -- short for "CD-ReWritable" -- is a device that can burn audio onto CD-R ("CD-Recordable") or CD-RW ("CD-ReWritable") discs. You can write unerasable, permanent data onto a CD-R one time. A CD-RW disk can be reused: You can erase a CD-RW and write new data onto the disk.
An abbreviation for Roland's "Composite Object Sound Modeling" technology that shapes audio by applying the sonic characteristics of popular or classic microphones, guitars, guitar amplifiers and studio reference speakers.
Control Voltage used to control the pitch of an oscillator or filter frequency in an analogue synthesizer. Most analogue synthesizers follow a one volt per octave convention, though there are exceptions. To use a pre-MIDI analogue synthesizer under MIDI control, a MIDI to CV converter is required.
Another name for an XLR connector.
Some industry professionals refer to headphones as "cans"
Property of an electrical component able to store electrostatic charge.
Electrical component exhibiting capacitance. Capacitor microphones are often abbreviated to capacitors.
Microphone that operates on the principle of measuring the change in electrical charge across a capacitor where one of the electrodes is a thin conductive membrane that flexes in response to sound pressure.
Meaning heart shaped, describes the polar response of a unidirectional microphone.
1) A single strip of controls in a mixing console relating to either a single input or a pair of main/monitor inputs.
2) In the context of MIDI, Channel refers to one of 16 possible data channels over which MIDI data may be sent. The organization of data by channels means that up to 16 different MIDI instruments or parts may be addressed using a single cable.
A MIDI message which is used across one channel as opposed to the whole piece. For example there may be six instruments in a piece of music (piano, guitar, drums, bass, sax and violin) a channel message may be volume which would control piano only. By sending a volume message the piano, volume can be increased while all the other instruments remain at the same level. Most channel messages are very easy to drive from icons in software programs.
A row of controls on a mixer allocated to the shaping of a single audio signal.
Term describing the process whereby a slave device attempts to synchronize itself with a master device. In the context of a MIDI sequence, chase may also involve chasing events - looking back to earlier positions in the song to see if there are any program changes or other events that need to be acted upon.
Three or more different musical notes played at the same time.
An effect in which multiple copies of a signal are played together slightly out of time to create a shimmering effect.
A scale of pitches rising in semitone steps.
Metronome pulse which assists musicians in playing in time.
The unpleasant thumping or clicking noise made when a digital signal exceeds the capacity of an audio device.
A timing reference that provides the basis for synchronization of different elements in a single device, or between multiple devices.
Exact duplicate, often refers to digital copies of digital tapes.
The adjustment of pitch in semitone steps.
Common Mode Rejection
A measure of how well a balanced circuit rejects a signal that is common to both inputs.
Encode/decode device that compresses a signal while encoding it, then expands it when decoding it.
A device for the storing and processing of digital data.
The amount of gain reduction applied to a signal exceeding a compressor's threshold level setting.
A dynamics processor that reduces the level of any signal exceeding a specified threshold volume.
A type of high-quality mic that requires power.
Material that provides a low resistance path for electrical current.
Alternative term for mixer.
Compound designed to increase the electrical conductivity of electrical contacts such as plugs, sockets and edge connectors.
Type of MIDI message used to translate continuous change, such as from a pedal, wheel or breath control device.
Method used by software manufacturers to prevent unauthorized copying.
Fading out one channel or source while simultaneously fading another in, so that there is no silence between the two pieces of material.
A bus -- sometimes a stereo pair of busses -- dedicated to the providing of signal to performers so they can hear what they're doing.
To reduce in level.
Cut and Paste Editing
The ability to copy or move sections of a recording to new locations.
The frequency at which a filter starts to work.
Control voltage used in analogue synthesizers, to control oscillator or filter frequency.
In a sound wave, the repeating movement from the greatest amount of air pressure to the least; the pitch of sound waves is measures in cycles; each cycle equals one "Hertz."
For "Digital-to-Analog Converter," a device that converts digital data to analog audio, such as the audio leaving a digital mixer on its way to an analog device.
Abbreviation for "Digital Audio Tape"; used in reference to this type of tape as well as the recorders that use it.
Term used to describe serial electrical connection between devices or modules.
Pedal that, when pressed, causes sustaining notes to continue to play until the pedal is released.
In the context of reverberation, damping refers to the rate at which the reverberant energy is absorbed by the various surfaces in the environment.
Information stored and used by a computer.
A system used to reduce the amount of data needed to represent an audio signal, usually by discarding audio information that is being masked by more prominent sounds.
A circuit board that clips to a sound board or PCI slot and turns it into a GM or GS sound source. A GM daughterboard gives you 128 CD quality sounds and a GS daughterboard gives you over 300 sounds, everything from pianos to guitars to drums to a helicopter.
Abbreviation for "decibel," a unit of measurement for the loudness of audio.
Variation on dB referenced to 0dB = 1mW into 600Ohms.
Variation on dB referenced to 0dB = 0.775 volts.
Variation on dB referenced to 0dB = 1 volt.
A means of measuring the slope of a filter. The more dBs per octave, the sharper the filter slope.
A commercial encode/decode tape noise reduction system that compresses the signal during recording and expands it by an identical amount on playback.
A realtime controller found on many Roland instruments. You can manipulate or trigger sounds by moving your hand above the D-Beam.
Stationary head digital recorder format developed by Philips. Uses a data compression system to reduce the amount of data that needs to be stored.
Digitally Controlled Oscillator.
Digital Delay Line
In a traditional envelope, the time it takes for the enveloped setting to reach its sustain level after the Attack envelope stage.
A device that detects and reduces sibilance in vocal signals.
The process by which the empty space on a hard drive or in a device's RAM is made continuous -- instead of being broken into small, scattered pieces -- to help ensure smooth operation.
An effect in which a copy of a signal is played back later than the original.
Substance formulated to remove oxides from electrical contacts.
A notch that you can feel as you move a fader up or down; signifies the point at which no level boost or cut is applied by the fader.
Short for Direct Inject, where a signal is plugged directly into an audio chain without the aid of a microphone.
A visual interface that displays a music score from any MIDI file. This virtual score constantly displays the exact location in the music file in several notation sizes
Sound represented as binary computer data.
Digital music file
Music that is digitally recorded as a computer file. Common types of digital music files are .mid files -- the smallest and only really interactive type, also called a "Standard MIDI Files" -- .wav files -- very large, medium-resolution files, and MP3 files -- a highly compressed, high resolution file suitable for recording and playback
The conversion, using a DAC, of digital data to analog audio.
Digital processor for simulating reverberation.
A switch that allows you to quickly reduce your monitoring volume.
Consumer multi-pin signal connection format, also used for MIDI cabling. Various pin configurations are available.
A mic-level box that converts a phone connector to an XLR connector.
A means of connecting two electrical circuits so that both AC and DC signals may be passed between them.
An output that routes signal from a mixer input channel, usually post fader, to an external location. Direct outputs are used most often to send signal to a recorder track inputs during recording.
Used to describe vinyl discs, CDs and MiniDiscs.
Abbreviation of Diskette, but now used to describe computer floppy, hard and removable disks.
Fuzz or roughness added to a sound.
A process that deliberately adds a tiny amount of noise to a signal in order to mask unwanted sounds introduced when the signal's original bit depth is reduced. Dithering is recommended when transferring audio to a device that uses a lower bit depth.
Direct Memory Access: Part of a computer operating system that allows peripheral devices to communicate directly with the computer memory without going via the central processor or CPU.
An encode/decode tape noise reduction system that amplifies low level, high frequency signals during recording, then reverses this process during playback. There are several different Dolby systems in use: types B, C and S for domestic and semi-professional machines, and types A and SR for professional machines. Recordings made using one of these systems must also be replayed via the same system.
A device for software security. When plugged into a computer allows the computer to run a program. If the device is not present, the software will not function. Prevents piracy.
The artificial simulation of a second unison performance by using a delay with a short delay time.
Piece of software that handles communications between the main program and a hardware peripheral, such as a soundcard, printer or scanner.
Synthetic playing surface which produces electronic trigger signals in response to being hit with drum sticks.
A signal to which an effect has not been added.
For "digital signal processing," the means by which digital audio is mixed, filtered, equalized, or by which effects are added.
Adding further material to an existing recording. Also known as overdubbing.
A system for controlling the level of one audio signal with another. For example, background music can be made to 'duck' whenever there's a voice over.
To transfer digital data from one device to another. A Sysex dump is a means of transmitting information about a particular instrument or module over MIDI, and may be used to store sound patches, parameter settings and so on.
A type of microphone that works on the electric generator principle, where a diaphragm moves a coil of wire within a magnetic field.
Usually refers to Noise Gates and Compressors.
The range in dB between the highest signal that can be handled by a piece of equipment and the level at which small signals disappear into the noise floor.
Volume changes that occur in audio.
A multi-pin connector that is used with ADATs and other multitrack audio devices.
EMI Electro Magnetic Interference
A buzz or hum usually caused by a strong magnetic field. Most often this results from an audio cable being routed too near an AC cable.
The process of altering the levels of frequencies that comprise a signal. Also called "equalization."
A re-usable template containing mixer routings and other settings. In some V-Studios, walks you through the creation of a setup using displayed questions.
A delay-based effect in which copies of a signal are heard trailing off to silence; similar to shouting from a mountaintop and hearing your voice repeat.
Any of a variety of audio processes that can be applied to a signal to modify it, including reverb, delay, flanging, phasing.
The process of adding an effect to a signal by sending a copy of the signal to an effect and mixing the effect's output with the original signal.
A built-in or external device that produces effects.
An input that receives signal from the output of an internal or external effect.
In loudspeakers, the ratio of output power to electrical power input.
Emulated Headphone Jack
A speaker simulated signal direct to your recorder, mixer or headphones without having to place a microphone in front of your guitar amp or cabinet.
The process by which sampled audio is prepared for VariPhrase manipulation.
A device that changes a basic setting by the desired amount at specified time intervals. Envelopes are commonly used to alter basic waveform pitch settings, as well as basic TVF and TVA settings.
A device that boost or cuts the volume of specific frequencies in a signal.
Standard Western tuning that divides each octave into twelve mathematically equal parts.
A device that reduces the level of a signal when it falls below a specified threshold to exaggerate its dynamic range.
An optional circuit board that can be installed in a device to add additional sounds or effect processing.
A multi-use button whose function is defined by software.
Refers to the wider spacing of the pole pieces in some Dimarzio pickups to match up to Fender guitars, or those guitars equipped with Floyd Rose tremolo systems.
Abbreviation for "effects."
A change in level over time increasing upward from silence.
A change in level over time falling gradually to silence.
A slider-type device used for the precise manipulation of levels. In some devices, can also be used for the setting of parameter values.
The delaying of a delay so that multiple images of the original signal are heard; also, the loud squeal that's heard when a channel is receiving its own output.
A device that removes specified frequencies from a signal.
A device that changes the Time Variant Filter's settings over a period of time.
The last stage of CD-R/RW writing in which the disk's table of contents (TOC) is written onto the disk.
The adjustment of pitch in the smallest of increments, typically 100ths of a semitone, or "cents."
An effect that generates a swirling sound by adding a slightly delayed copy of the signal in which the copy's delay time fluctuates.
A powerful all-purpose bus available on Roland digital mixers.
On an in-line mixer, the act of allocating a channel's tools to the control of an input signal or to the control of a multitrack tape return.
When working with two signals 180 degrees out of phase, delaying one of the signals so that its phase lines up with the other.
A motorized fader that automatically moves to its current setting.
Front Of House: Refers to the main speakers and the mix station in a sound system.
Harmonic content of a sound that determine the sound's character, especially important in human vocal sounds, where formants are produced by mouth shape and vocal cord length.
The breaking up of a large space -- a hard drive or onboard RAM memory -- into smaller, disconnected chunks of space that prevent data from being stored in one continuous area. Fragmentation can cause operational problems.
In SMPTE and MTC time codes, seconds are divided into frames as determined by the current frame rate.
Refers to the number of times per second that a sound wave's cycle repeats, with a greater frequency resulting in a higher perceived pitch; also used as shorthand for describing sound waves in audio by their pitch.
Abbreviation for "General MIDI" and "General MIDI 2," respectively.
GPI is short for "General Purpose Interface," a control jack found on some video editing devices.
Roland's extension of General MIDI. GS adds features such as chorus, reverb and panning for more realistic sound, and expands beyond the original 128 sounds of General MIDI to 16,000-plus sounds. This open-ended convention has been licensed by Apple for QuickTime 3.0, 4.0 & 5.0, by Microsoft for their GS synthesizer, and by Nintendo for their sound applications.
Another term for level.
A device that turns audio off or down when it falls below a specified threshold.
General MIDI -- or "GM" -- is a music industry standard ratified in 1991. It established a set of 128 synth, orchestral and percussion sounds so that GM files and Standard MIDI Files play back on any GM-compatible instrument with predictable results.
General MIDI 2
General MIDI 2 -- or "GM2" -- is an update to the General MIDI standard. It was ratified in 1991. GM2 was adopted by Roland and Yamaha to extend the set of GM sounds, expressive musical parameters and other features in order to provide for more consistent playback of GM2-compliant files on different instruments.
In analog recording, the signal degradation that occurs with each generation of audio recording.
An equalizer with pre-determined editable frequencies, arranged from left to right to visually depict the EQ shape of a signal.
A common zero voltage reference in a system of connected audio devices; when devices have different zero voltage references, ground hum may occur.
A process by which multiple channels are joined together under a single level control.
Abbreviation for "hertz."
Abbreviation for "high impedance."
A device that uses magnetism to store data on a rigid platter mounted inside its case.
A horizontal line along the path of a fader to help identify its up/down position.
The number of dBs above the point at which a clipping warning appears before clipping actually occurs.
A unit of measurement equal to a sound wave's single cycle.
High-impedance devices include electric guitars and basses, and some semi-pro microphones.
High pass filter
A filter that allows all frequencies higher than the cutoff frequency to pass through unaffected.
Pedal that, when pressed, causes sustaining notes to continue to play until the pedal is released.
Refers to the venue where a performance is taking place and the equipment and crew provided by the venue. Example: House engineers mix sound on house systems.
An undesirable low-frequency tone present in a signal as a result of grounding problems or proximity to a power source, typically a 60Hz noise in USA.
Short for "Integrated Device and Electronics." A set of data transmission standards employed by high-speed disk drives.
Abbreviation for "in/out," as in "inputs and outputs".
Music data file format used on MT, KR, HP-G, AT- and V-MT-series products. Files created on any of these instruments are cross-compatible. The Visual MT (V-MT1) can convert any i-format song into the Standard MIDI File (SMF) format.
The amount of force with which voltage leaves a connector and the amount of resistance to that force in the jack receiving it -- they should be equal.
A synonym for "insert effect". Also, a mixer whose input and multitrack tape return controls are contained in each of its channel strips.
A jack that receives audio.
The level of signal coming into an input jack or input channel.
A point in a signal flow at which an insert, or in-line, effect can be employed.
An effect routing that interrupts a channel's signal flow, diverting its signal into the effect and then out of the effect back into the channel. An insert effect completely replaces the original signal with an effected version. Commonly used with dynamics processing and modeling effects.
Interactive song files
Since MIDI files contain individual note information, users can interact with their contents, most frequently by changing the files' tempo, key, or number of tracks.
An audio connector. Most often refers to 1/4" phone female connectors, but can refer to other connectors as well.
For "kiloHertz," a thousand Hertz.
A feature in which the amount of change applied to a sound is based on the played note's distance above or below Middle C.
In compressors, the curve representing how fast the compressor reacts when a given signal passes the threshold point.
For "Liquid Crystal Diode," a plasma-based display used in most digital mixers.
For "Light Emitting Diode," a small, sometimes colored, light bulb.
LFO ("Low Frequency Oscillator")
An inaudible low-frequency waveform that alters a basic setting -- a waveform's pitch, a tone's filter or panning settings -- in a cyclic manner according to the shape of the LFO's waveform. An LFO is typically used as a means of adding vibrato, tremolo or auto-panning.
For "Least Significant Byte." The LSB value is the second half of a full MIDI Bank Select message (the first half is the MSB value). Control Change Number 32 is the LSB Bank Select Control Change number.
The "bleeding" or leaking of the sound of one source into the microphone of another source. For example, Cymbal noise coming through the microphone on a snare drum.
A general term for volume or amplitude.
A compressor set to a ratio of 10:1 or greater. This has the effect of preventing all but the fastest signals from exceeding the threshold volume, thus forcing them into the desired level range.
The high-level signal produced at the outputs of audio equipment such as synths, samplers, beatboxes, turntable preamps, CD players, mixers, recorders and playback devices.
An bookmark for a time location. Locators are fast and easy to recall, and are ideal for navigating a song or project.
As a verb, the act of playing the same section over and over. As a noun, a chunk of audio that's played over and over. Also an effect routing that adds an effect to a signal by sending a copy of the signal to an effect, and mixing the effect's output with the original signal.
An effect routing that adds an effect to a signal by sending a copy of the signal to an effect, and mixing the effect's output with the original signal. Commonly used for reverbs and delay-based effects. Also called a "send-and-return effect."
Another term for volume.
Low-impedance devices include pro-quality mics, as well as synths, samplers, beat boxes, effect processors and so on.
Low pass filter
A filter that allows all frequencies lower than the cutoff frequency to pass through unaffected.
For "Musical Instrument Digital Interface," the wiring and message protocol that allows musical instruments and other devices to communicate.
A five-pin DIN connector found at either end of a MIDI cable.
A computer music file created by a MIDI instrument or MIDI sequencer. These files have a ".mid," (pronounced "dot mid") suffix.
An instruction transmitted from one MIDI device to another. Each MIDI message contains at least two numbers: one that identifies the type of message being sent, and one that represents a value for the selected type of message.
A form of MIDI-based synchronization that transmits a rhythmic pulse from one MIDI instrument to another to keep the devices synchronized.
MIDI Control Change message
A type of MIDI message assigned to a particular parameter. When you send a value for a MIDI Control Change number, it sets the corresponding parameter in the MIDI device that receives it.
MIDI control surface
A hardware device that transmits MIDI messages, and whose purpose is the control of a second MIDI device.
For "MIDI Machine Control," the MIDI-based protocol that allows the controls of one MMC-compliant device to affect the transport mechanism of another.
For "Most Significant Byte." The MSB value is one half of a full MIDI Bank Select message (the second half is the LSB value). Control Change Number 00 is the MSB Bank Select.
For "MIDI Time Code," a form of SMPTE used for the timing synchronization of two or more MIDI devices.
A shortcut that performs a multi-step operation as a single action.
Refers to the main left and right speakers in a sound system. Also called FOH.
A bookmark for a specific time location used by V-Studios and CD-R/RW recorders.
The final version of a recording project, from which copies are made for distribution.
One device controls the timing of synchronized devices. That device is the master. Any device controlled by the master is a slave device.
The final step in the process of preparing a mix for publication and/or mass-duplication.
The pair of V-Tracks onto which the final mix is recorded. Mastering tracks can be burned onto an audio CD.
Mastering Tool Kit
A suite of professional-quality effects that prepares audio for transfer to an audio CD.
A credit-card-sized card that can store patch or other kinds of data.
A device that shows the level of a signal.
A separate piece of mixer hardware that provides an additional array of meters.
A common nickname for "microphone."
The low-level signal produced by microphones and electric instruments such as electric guitar or bass.
A microphone preamplifier. An amplifier that brings the very low output signal of a microphone up to line level so that it is more easily recorded or processed.
A device that converts sound waves into audio signals.
As a noun, a signal that contains one or more other signals -- typically a mix is a pair of stereo signals that contains numerous mono and stereo signals, along with effects, combined together. As a verb, the act of creating such a combined signal, or of using a mixer in general.
A common synonym for the noun "mix".
A device in which audio signals can be manipulated, enhanced and directed to other destinations, singly or together; also, someone who operates a mixer.
A process by which the characteristics of one signal are applied to another. Roland's advanced COSM modeling creates realistic emulations of popular and classic microphones, guitars, guitar amplifiers and studio reference speakers.
A technical word for "change." In synths, a modulator changes a pre-programmed value. Common modulators include mod wheels, D Beams, envelopes, LFOs, keyboard velocity and aftertouch.
Mod wheel, Modulation wheel
A wheel located to the left of a keyboard that allows you to change parameter values in realtime.
As a noun, a speaker, or set of speakers, for the purpose of listening to a mix; as a verb, to listen.
A single signal.
An operating mode in which a synth or sampler sounds only a single note at a time no matter how many notes are played. When a new note is played, the previous note is stopped.
In the XV-5080, a patch comprised of up to 88 partials.
A device that can play more than one patch at a time, typically through the use of a performance or multitimbre.
Music Tutor interactive
A feature on some Roland instruments that adds a helpful, "human" personality to an easy-to-use 5-track sequencer (expandable to 16 tracks), a GS sound section and a floppy disk drive. The Music Tutor acts as a powerful, practical learning assistant, and is helpful for learning a tune or studying a keyboard method.
As a noun, a switch that allows you to silence a channel's signal. As a verb, to silence an audio signal.
A device that automatically shuts off or turns down a circuit when the level ( in dB ) falls below a certain point ( threshold ). Commonly used on drum microphone channels to eliminate bleed from cymbals and other drums and to eliminate the ring found in improperly tuned drums.
The process by which the gain of digital audio is increased to its maximum allowable volume.
A notation program allows one to play music into a computer via a MIDI keyboard and have the notes instantly appear on the screen, immediately available for printing. More advanced programs feature additional editing, note-entry and printing options.
A form of EQ in which a selected frequency and a specified number of frequencies above and below it -- called a "band" -- are affected.
The dark vertical line at the center of a playlist that represents your current position in the playlist. Also called a "timeline."
The slotted part of a guitar located at the top of the neck that holds the stings above the fretboard and maintains spaces between the strings. Usually made of plastic, bone and more recently graphite.
A connector that transmits digital data as light using fiber-optic technology.
In a synth, internal hardware that generates sound.
Out of phase
A situation in which the soundwave cycles in one signal reach their greatest amount of air pressure as the cycles in a similar signal reach their least; the two signals will cancel each other out.
External, as in an "external device."
A jack that sends out a signal from a device.
Replacing a part or adding another part to a mutitrack recording.
What occurs when a signal is so loud that it exceeds the capabilities of the device through which it's passing.
For "Pulse Code Modulation," the method used for recording and storing samples in many synths.
PS/2 is a wiring standard for computer peripheral devices developed by IBM.
A device that lowers the level of a signal. Also an oversize button you can strike to play a sound.
The left/right positioning of a signal within a stereo image.
A setting whose value can be changed.
A type of EQ that can be adjusted to boost or cut any frequency within its overall range; may also have a user-definable bandwidth.
An object within a performance or multitimbre that plays a patch. Each part has its own set of parameters, including MIDI channel, key range (or "zone"), and offsets to the selected patch's own settings.
In the XV Series, a collection of up to four samples mapped to an area on the keyboard. Each partial contains several components that play and shape its samples. These are the SMT (Sample Mix Table), TVF (time variant filter), TVA (time variant amplifier), envelope and LFO. In pre-JV/XP-Series synths, the basic building block of a patch. A partial contains several components that play and shape a waveform.
In a synth, a set of tones -- or partials in pre-JV/XP-Series synths -- along with parameters that determine their behavior. In recording, a temporary connection made between two audio devices, or within one. In the XV 5080, a multi-partial patch can contains up to 88 partials.
A short musical passage recorded as MIDI data.
A sudden high-volume burst of signal.
An object that contains 16 parts, each of which plays a patch. Performances allow you to use multiple patches together as splits or layers, and when working with a multitrack sequencer in some synths. In some synths, performances also incorporate an arpeggiator and rhythm patterns.
The power required for the operation of a condenser microphone when it's not supplied by internal batteries or a separate power supply.
The synchronization -- or lack thereof -- of the sound waves in two similar signals. Also an effect in which a swirling sound is added to a signal by creating a very slightly delayed copy of the signal and in which the copy's delay time fluctuates, similar to flanging.
The complete cancellation of audio that occurs when two signals are 180 degrees out of phase.
A 1/4" connector used for the transmission of mic or line-level audio.
A small audio connector used for the connection of line-level signals and S/PDIF-format digital audio connections.
In a V-Studio, a set of pointers that instructs the V-Studio when and how to play a take.
Part of a guitar that captures the vibrations of the strings and converts those vibrations to electrical signals.
Pitch bend paddle, Pitch bend wheel
A device located to the left of a keyboard with which you can raise or lower the pitch of played notes by a pre-programmed amount in realtime.
In a V-Studio, a list of all of the data to be played in a song or project, presented on a horizontal, left-to-right axis.
Refers to whether or not the hot and ground leads in two audio cables are connected to their destinations in the same manner.
An operating mode in which a synth or sampler can play multiple notes at once, as in a chord.
The number of waveforms or oscillators a synth can simultaneously play.
An operating mode in which one note glides to the next.
The designation for accessing audio just after it leaves a particular channel component. For example, "post-fader" grabs audio just after it leaves a channel's main level control before it gets to its panning control.
The designation for the accessing of audio before a particular module; for example, "pre-EQ" grabs audio before it gets to a channel strip's EQ.
Getting a project organized before going into the studio. This may include having the arrangements finalized, knowing what microphones are needed, planning for what overdubs are needed, number of tracks and scheduling. Good preproduction can save a lot of time and money when working in a professional studio.
A type of MIDI message that corresponds to a specific patch. When an instrument receives a Program Change message, the corresponding patch is selected for use.
In a VS-2480, all of the audio and settings for a recorded work, stored as a project disk file on the VS-2480's hard drive.
A low frequency boost, which occurs when a unidirectional microphone is placed very close to the sound source.
The undesirable sound of a compressor or expander switching on and off.
The process of re-recording sections of a previously recorded track. The act of starting a punch is called "punching in." Ending a punch is called "punching out."
A synonym for "bandwidth."
A sequencer operation that corrects the timing of recorded MIDI data. Quantizing moves notes -- and other MIDI data if desired -- to the nearest gridline on a user-selected rhythm grid.
For "Random Access Memory," the type of volatile memory used in a device for the storage of user data. If the device has battery-backed RAM, its contents are preserved at power-off. Otherwise, RAM memory is cleared when the device is turned off.
A Roland digital communication standard that allows the exchange of digital information between connected devices. The R-BUS standard includes R-BUS jacks and cables. Each connection can simultaneously carry eight channels of digital audio data in and out of a device, and can also carry synchronization and MIDI data.
Another name for a phono connector.
For "Radio Frequency," interference from local radio stations that's sometimes picked up and passed along audio cables.
An early name for Roland's R-BUS standard.
For "Read-Only Memory," the type of memory in a device that can permanently store sounds and other data. The contents of ROM memory cannot be changed by a user.
For "Realtime Phrase Sequence," a feature that allows you to trigger a pattern by playing a single key. With RPS, each key can play its own pattern.
For "Roland Sound Space," and effect that produces a three-dimensional audio image in which sound seems to be coming from the front, side, above or below the listener.
The amount of gain change to be applied to a signal that exceeds or falls below the threshold settings of a compressor or expander, respectively.
A realtime process is one that occurs while you're recording or playing back without requiring you to stop either action since it takes place in "real time."
To reload a song or project you've backed up. When you recover backup data, the data returns to its original, playable, editable form.
You can reverse an undo by performing a "redo".
On the VS-2480, a region is a section of time within a project, defined by the placement of IN and OUT edit points -- it's the portion of the project that falls between these two edit points.
With an envelope, Release sets the speed at which the envelope returns to its zero setting. In a dynamics processor, it sets the speed at which the processor stops working.
Removable disk drive
A hard drive device whose disk platter resides on a cartridge that can be removed from the device and replaced with another cartridge.
A gain control that raises the level of the cutoff frequency. This control can be manipulated manually using performance techniques such as velocity, or automatically using enveloping or LFOs.
A bus or input jack that receives signal, typically from effect outputs.
An effect in which the ambience of a physical space is simulated -- a signal is copied many times, and the copies are heard one after another at decreasing levels, so closely together that they are not perceived as individual events.
A type of sound that plays a different patch on each key.
A musical passage that uses drum and percussion sounds.
In some personal studios, an extra track that plays pre-recorded rhythm patterns.
A strip across which you can drag your finger back and forth to manipulate a sound in realtime.
The process of continually adjusting a signal's level.
In EQ, the reduction of the level of lower-most or upper-most frequencies.
The connection of a component's output to the input of another component. For example, you can route input jacks to input channels, input channels to tracks, Aux busses to effects or to output jacks, and so on.
For "Serial Copy Management System," the system used for write-protecting digital audio so that no unauthorized digital copies of the audio can be made.
Short for "Small Computer System Interface." SCSI is a set of cabling and data standards for the passing of data between storage devices.
The data stream running through cabling connecting a series of SCSI devices.
Short for "Standard MIDI File".
The vast collection of interactive song files for keyboard instruction, instrumental and vocal accompaniments and contemporary and traditional church music. In addition, thousands of "play for fun" titles include lyrics and harmony for sing-alongs.
For "Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers"; synchronization technology used for coordinating the timing of audio and video equipment.
For "Sony/Philips Digital Interface Format," a standard for the sending and receiving of digital audio data; typically uses phono connectors.
Short for "Song Position Pointer."
A copy of a master, kept in case of damage to or loss of an original.
A recording of audio in a synth or sampler. In digital recording, one of thousands of recordings of audio captured each second.
Another term for "sample rate".
The number of times per second a digital device captures an image of a signal. CDs use a 44.1kHz sample rate -- 44,100 samples per second.
An instrument that digitally records audio. Playback of the recording can be triggered using a keyboard, pads or other mechanisms.
Mixer settings saved in the internal memory of a V-Studio or digital mixer. A scene can be quickly recalled, re-establishing all of its settings instantly.
A rough vocal track recorded live along with the initial rhythm instruments to help the basic tracks keep in the "groove" of the song. Final vocals can be re-recorded later during overdubs.
A bus or output jack that transmits signal.
An effect routing that adds an effect to a signal by sending a copy of the signal to an effect, and mixing the effect's output with the original signal. Commonly used for reverbs and delay-based effects. Also called a "loop effect."
A MIDI recorder that captures MIDI data and can play it back in realtime.
A type of EQ in which all frequencies above or below a selected frequency are affected; low shelving affects all frequencies below the selected frequency; high shelving all those above it.
The electric or magnetic materials used in a cable that protect its signal from unwanted noise.
A kind of microphone mount where the microphone is isolated from noise from the floor and stand. Also, most handheld microphones have an internal shock mount to reduce handling noise.
A general term for audio as it travels through audio cables and equipment.
The journey a signal takes from one place to another.
The hissing or "lisping" sound heard on words with S and C in them. Caused by bad mic technique or improper equalization. Also called Essing.
Type of reverb whose beginning is slightly delayed to simulate the reflection of sound off of a physical wall; also called- "pre-delay".
A spoken label recorded at the beginning of a take, such as "Remix, Take 1".
One device controls the timing of synchronized devices. That device is the master. Any device controlled by the master is a slave device.
A credit-card-sized memory card that can store patch and/or other kinds of data.
A captured group of mixer settings that reflect the state of the mixer at a particular moment within a song or project -- the mixer can recall the snapshot and re-instate its settings at the proper moment during the playback of the song or project.
Soft button, soft knob
A multi-use button or knob on a digital mixer whose function is defined by software.
When monitoring, the isolation of one signal by silencing all other signals.
In some V-Studios, all of the audio and settings for a recorded work, saved as a song disk file on the V-Studio's storage device.
Song Position Pointer (SPP)
A type of MIDI message that communicates song/sequence/project location information by transmitting the number of 16th notes since the beginning of the song/sequence/project.
A common PC component with a D-to-A (digital to analog) converter and a set, or "wavetable," of sounds. Also a credit-card-sized storage device that holds synth and sampler patches and waveform data.
A MIDI device whose sole purpose is to generate sounds. A sound module typically contains patches, and may contains its own effects as well.
A mixer with a separate section for controlling multitrack tape returns.
Standard MIDI File (SMF)
A file that contains a MIDI recording of music in the Standard MIDI File format. Such as file can be played by any SMF-compatible sequencer or playback device. The most common SMF types are Type 0 files with multiple tracks combined into a single multi-channel track, and Type 1 files comprised of separate individual tracks.
A two-dimensional image created by two signals, each of which is assigned to one of a pair of speakers arranged left and right of each other.
Traditional acoustic piano tuning that slightly sharpens the highest keys and slightly flattens the lowest keys for psychoacoustic purposes.
Short for "channel strip".
A musical passage that can contain all of the elements of a musical arrangement and can be played as a single object.
A subdivision of a SMPTE or MTC frame equaling 1/98th of a frame.
Pedal that, when pressed, causes sustaining notes to continue to play until the pedal is released.
In a traditional envelope, the level at which an enveloped setting remains after the Attack and Decay stages until the key is released.
In EQ, to quickly listen to all of the frequencies in a signal one after another.
Or "sync"; the coordination of timing between audio and/or video devices.
An instrument that synthesizes new sounds from raw audio materials such as waveforms. A synth may also generate its own completely original sounds using oscillators.
SysEx, System Exclusive
A type of MIDI message that contains instructions that can be understood only by a specific MIDI device identified by manufacturer, model and SysEx ID number.
For "Table of Contents," the directory on an audio CD that allows its player to find each selection on the CD.
Short for "Tip/Ring/Sleeve." A type of 1/4" audio cable connector that uses three wires for carrying audio signals and for grounding. The wires are attached to the connector's tip, ring and a second ring called a "sleeve."
Tip/ Sleeve. Standard mono 1/4" connector.
TVA ("Time Variant Amplifier")
The component within a tone or partial that controls the level of its audio, and sets its stereo position, or "panning."
TVF ("Time Variant Filter")
The component within a tone or partial that controls the frequency content of its audio.
In a V-Studio, a take is an audio file recorded on your hard drive. In general studio usage, "take" refers to an attempt to record a performance, successful or otherwise.
Synonym for speed or rate.
A separate device or internal drive mechanism that electrically terminates a SCSI chain of devices. Each SCSI chain must have a terminator at both ends. V-Studios and Roland sample-based devices provide termination for one end of a SCSI chain.
The smallest division of a quarter note.
The basic building block of a patch. A tone contains several components that play and shape a waveform. These are the WG (wave generator), TVF (time variant filter), TVA (time variant amplifier), envelope and LFO. One or more tones are the foundation of every patch
In a V-Studio, a set of V-Tracks, one of which can be active at a time. In editing on pre-VS-2480 V-Studios, a section of time within a song, defined by the placement of IN and OUT edit points -- it's the portion of the song that falls between these two edit points. In a sequencer, one stream of MIDI data on one or more MIDI channels.
The dark vertical line at the center of a playlist that represents your current position in the playlist. Also called a "now line".
A designated level that triggers an action in a compressor, gate or expander.
A stream of recorded audio data.
A method of expressing the available recording time by measuring the maximum length of a single monaural track of recorded data.
A very brief high-level signal.
The higher frequencies in a signal.
A rhythmic fluctuation in level.
A rod that is inside the neck of a guitar. The truss rod counters the tension of the strings, prevents the neck from excessive bowing, and is used to adjust string height.
USB MIDI interface
An interface for connecting a MIDI device to a computer using a USB (Universal Serial Bus) connector. The industry-standard USB cable is convenient for users who frequently change between Mac and PC platforms.
A type of connection that utilizes only two of the leads -- the high and ground -- of a cable, connector and jack.
A V-Studio's Undo feature allows you to reverse your most recent recording and editing actions. This is called "undoing" the action.
A multi-use knob whose function is defined by software.
British name for vacuum tubes.
Roland sampling technology that allows you to manipulate sampled audio in realtime. VariPhrase allows you to change the pitch, tempo, formant content and groove of encoded sampled audio.
Virtual Track, V-Track
A Virtual Track -- or "V-Track" -- is a set of one or more recorded phrases arranged in the order in which they're to be played back. Each V-Studio track contains a set of V-Tracks, any one of which can be played back or recorded on at any given time.
A realtime controller based on the force with which a MIDI device's keys or (pads, etc.) are struck.
The amount by which changes in velocity affect a tone or patch.
A rhythmic fluctuation in pitch.
A GS/General MIDI module effectively creates a multi-part ensemble for orchestral or combo accompaniments, with up to 16 distinct orchestral sounds or timbres.
Signal processor that uses a filter to add the frequency characteristics of a sound to the original signal. Can be used to make robot-like sounds as well as making instruments sound like they are "talking".
A general term for a signal's loudness.
A commonly used type of hard disk file that contains audio, developed by Microsoft. Also called ".wav" or "WAVE" files. There are many professionally recorded drum and other instrumental loops available as .wav files for use in song construction.
WG ("Wave Generator")
The component within a tone that selects the desired waveform and sets its basic behavior.
In a synth or sampler, the raw material from which a patch is constructed. A waveform is one or more samples of an instrument or other type of sound. Each tone or partial in a patch plays a waveform, as selected by the tone's or partial's wave generator. In a V-Studio, an audio signal displayed in a grid. The horizontal axis shows elapsed time, and the vertical axis shows volume, or "amplitude."
A signal to which an effect has been applied.
A type of timing information carried within a digital audio signal that keeps multiple digital recording devices precisely synchronized when exchanging digital audio.
A speaker that reproduces low or low-midrange frequences. As opposed to a horn or "Tweeter" that reproduces high frequencies.
A high-quality three-pin audio connector; also called a "cannon connector"; also used for AES-EBU-format digital audio connections.
An audio cable with one jack on one end, and two on the other.