Programming (music)

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Programming is a form of music production and performance using electronic devices and computer software, such as sequencers and workstations or hardware synthesizers, sampler and sequencers, to generate sounds of musical instruments. Programming is used in most electronic music and hip hop music since the 1990s. It is also frequently used in "modern" pop and rock music from various regions of the world, and sometimes in jazz and contemporary classical music.

Music form of art using sound and silence

Music is an art form and cultural activity whose medium is sound organized in time. General definitions of music include common elements such as pitch, rhythm, dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture. Different styles or types of music may emphasize, de-emphasize or omit some of these elements. Music is performed with a vast range of instruments and vocal techniques ranging from singing to rapping; there are solely instrumental pieces, solely vocal pieces and pieces that combine singing and instruments. The word derives from Greek μουσική . See glossary of musical terminology.

A music sequencer is a device or application software that can record, edit, or play back music, by handling note and performance information in several forms, typically CV/Gate, MIDI, or Open Sound Control (OSC), and possibly audio and automation data for DAWs and plug-ins.

A music workstation is an electronic musical instrument providing the facilities of:

Music programming is the process in which a musician produces a sound or "patch" (be it from scratch or with the aid of a synthesizer/sampler), or uses a sequencer to arrange a song.

Synthesizer Electronic instrument capable of producing a wide range of sounds

A synthesizer or synthesiser is an electronic musical instrument that generates audio signals that may be converted to sound. Synthesizers may imitate traditional musical instruments such as piano, flute, vocals, or natural sounds such as ocean waves; or generate novel electronic timbres. They are often played with a musical keyboard, but they can be controlled via a variety of other devices, including music sequencers, instrument controllers, fingerboards, guitar synthesizers, wind controllers, and electronic drums. Synthesizers without built-in controllers are often called sound modules, and are controlled via USB, MIDI or CV/gate using a controller device, often a MIDI keyboard or other controller.

Sampler (musical instrument) musical instrument

A sampler is an electronic or digital musical instrument which uses sound recordings of real instrument sounds, excerpts from recorded songs or found sounds. The samples are loaded or recorded by the user or by a manufacturer. These sounds are then played back by means of the sampler program itself, a MIDI keyboard, sequencer or another triggering device to perform or compose music. Because these samples are usually stored in digital memory, the information can be quickly accessed. A single sample may often be pitch-shifted to different pitches to produce musical scales and chords.


Digital audio workstation electronic system designed primarily for editing digital audio

A digital audio workstation (DAW) is an electronic device or application software used for recording, editing and producing audio files. DAWs come in a wide variety of configurations from a single software program on a laptop, to an integrated stand-alone unit, all the way to a highly complex configuration of numerous components controlled by a central computer. Regardless of configuration, modern DAWs have a central interface that allows the user to alter and mix multiple recordings and tracks into a final produced piece.

A drum machine is an electronic musical instrument that creates percussion. Drum machines may imitate drum kits or other percussion instruments, or produce unique sounds. Most modern drum machines allow users to program their own rhythms. Drum machines may create sounds using analog synthesis or play prerecorded samples.


A groovebox is a self-contained instrument for the production of live, loop-based electronic music with a high degree of user control facilitating improvisation. The term "Groovebox" was originally used by Roland Corporation to refer to its MC-303, released in 1996. The term has since entered general use, and dates back to the Movement Computer Systems Drum Computer in 1981.

Claire Trevor School of the Arts

The Claire Trevor School of the Arts is an academic unit at the University of California, Irvine focused on the performing and visual arts. The four departments housed in the school are for art, dance, drama, and music. CTSA has undergraduate programs, masters programs, and a doctoral program in drama conducted jointly with UC San Diego.

University of California, Irvine public research university in Irvine, California, United States

The University of California, Irvine is a public research university located in Irvine, California. It is one of the 10 campuses in the University of California (UC) system. UC Irvine offers 87 undergraduate degrees and 129 graduate and professional degrees. The university is classified as a Research I university and in 2017 had $361 million in research and development expenditures, according to the National Science Foundation. UC Irvine became a member of the Association of American Universities in 1996 and is the youngest university to hold membership. It is considered to be one of the "Public Ivies," meaning that it is among those publicly funded universities thought to provide a quality of education comparable to that of the Ivy League.

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Digital synthesizer

A digital synthesizer is a synthesizer that uses digital signal processing (DSP) techniques to make musical sounds. This in contrast to older analog synthesizers, which produce music using analog electronics, and samplers, which play back digital recordings of acoustic, electric, or electronic instruments. Some digital synthesizers emulate analog synthesizers; others include sampling capability in addition to digital synthesis.

Music technology (electronic and digital) Music technology

Digital music technology encompasses digital instruments, computers, electronic effects units, software, or digital audio equipment by a performer, composer, sound engineer, DJ, or record producer to produce, perform or record music. The term refers to electronic devices, instruments, computer hardware, and software used in performance, playback, recording, composition, mixing, analysis, and editing of music.

A software synthesizer, also known as a softsynth or software instrument, is a computer program or plug-in that generates digital audio, usually for music. Computer software that can create sounds or music is not new, but advances in processing speed now allow softsynths to accomplish the same tasks that previously required the dedicated hardware of a conventional synthesizer. Softsynths are usually cheaper and more portable than dedicated hardware, and easier to interface with other music software such as music sequencers.

Fairlight CMI digital sampling synthesizer introduced in 1979

The Fairlight CMI is a digital synthesizer, sampler and digital audio workstation introduced in 1979 by Fairlight. It was based on a commercial licence of the Qasar M8 developed by Tony Furse of Creative Strategies in Sydney, Australia. It was one of the earliest music workstations with an embedded digital sampler, and is credited for coining the term sampling in music. It rose to prominence in the early 1980s and competed with the Synclavier from New England Digital.

Software sampler

A software sampler is a piece of software which allows a computer to emulate the functionality of a sampler.

Electronic keyboard electronic keyboard instrument

An electronic keyboard or digital keyboard is an electronic musical instrument, an electronic or digital derivative of keyboard instruments. Broadly speaking, the term electronic keyboard or just a keyboard can refer to any type of digital or electronic keyboard instrument. These include synthesizers, digital pianos, stage pianos, electronic organs and digital audio workstations. However, an electronic keyboard is more specifically a synthesizer with a built-in low-wattage power amplifier and small loudspeakers.

Ableton Live software music sequencer and digital audio workstation

Ableton Live is a software music sequencer and digital audio workstation for macOS and Windows. In contrast to many other software sequencers, Ableton Live is designed to be an instrument for live performances as well as a tool for composing, recording, arranging, mixing, and mastering, as shown by Ableton's companion hardware product, Ableton Push. It is also used by DJs, as it offers a suite of controls for beatmatching, crossfading, and other different effects used by turntablists, and was one of the first music applications to automatically beatmatch songs. Live is available in three versions. Intro, Standard, and Suite. The current version of Live is "Ableton Live 10".

A rompler is an electronic music instrument that plays pre-fabricated sounds based on audio samples. In contrast to samplers, romplers do not record audio and have limited or no capability for generating original sounds. The term rompler is a portmanteau of the terms ROM and sampler. Both may have additional sound editing features, such as layering several waveforms and modulation with ADSR envelopes, filters and LFOs.

Yamaha QY10

The Yamaha QY10 is a hand-held music workstation produced by the Yamaha Corporation in the early 1990s. Possessing a MIDI sequencer, a tone generator and a tiny single-octave keyboard, the portable and battery-powered QY10 enables a musician to compose music while traveling.

Monotimbral is usually used in reference to electronic synthesisers which can produce a single timbre at a given pitch when pressing one key or multiple keys.

The Fantom-X (Xa/X6/X7/X8/XR) is a music workstation/synthesizer produced by Roland Corporation. It was introduced in 2004 as an upgrade from the Fantom S series. The Fantom-X competes with the Korg Triton/Triton Extreme, the Yamaha Motif ES and other similar large-scope keyboards such as the discontinued Alesis Fusion. In 2008 it was succeeded by the Fantom-G, which was devised to compete with the new Korg and Yamaha flagship keyboards.

The Roland W-30 is a sampling workstation keyboard, released in 1989. It features an on-board 12-bit sampler, sample-based synthesizer, 16-track sequencer and 61-note keyboard.

In sound and music, an envelope describes how a sound changes over time. It normally relates to the amplitude (volume), but it may also involve elements such as filters (frequencies) or pitch. For example, a piano key, when struck and held, creates a near-immediate initial sound which gradually decreases in volume to zero. Envelope generators, which allow users to control the different stages of a sound, are common features of synthesizers, samplers, and other electronic musical instruments.

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