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 . 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 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.


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Digital synthesizer Synthesizer that uses digital signal processing to make sounds

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)

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 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 software synthesizer or softsynth is a computer program or 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 may be readily interfaced with other music software such as music sequencers typically in the context of a digital audio workstation. Softsynths are usually less expensive and can be more portable than dedicated hardware.

Groovebox Musical instrument designed for live, loop-based music

A groovebox is a self-contained electronic or digital musical 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.

Fairlight CMI

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.

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

Sampler (musical instrument) Device that records and plays back samples

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.

Ensoniq Corp. was an American electronics manufacturer, best known throughout the mid-1980s and 1990s for its musical instruments, principally samplers and synthesizers.

Ableton Live Digital audio workstation

Ableton Live is a digital audio workstation developed by Ableton 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. 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 editions: Intro, Standard, and Suite.

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.

Korg Triton

The Korg Triton is a music workstation synthesizer, featuring digital sampling and sequencing, released in 1999. It uses Korg's HI Synthesis tone generator and was eventually available in several model variants with numerous upgrade options. The Triton became renowned as a benchmark of keyboard technology, and has been widely featured in music videos and live concerts. At the NAMM 2007, Korg announced the Korg M3 as its successor.

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 synthesizers which can produce a single timbre at a given pitch when pressing one key or multiple keys.

Korg Trinity

The Korg Trinity is a synthesizer music workstation released by Korg in 1995. It was also the first workstation to offer modular expansion for not only sounds, but also studio-grade feature such as SCSI, ADAT, various sound engine processors, audio recording capability, and more. It was considered one of the most comprehensive music workstations, in term of features, at the time.

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.

E-mu Systems

E-MU Systems was a software synthesizer, audio interface, MIDI interface, and MIDI keyboard manufacturer. Founded in 1971 as a synthesizer maker, E-mu was a pioneer in samplers, sample-based drum machines and low-cost digital sampling music workstations.

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.