AAC – mp4 audio file used by iTunes Music Store – lossy file but better than mp3.
AAX – 64 bit plugin format for Pro Tools 10 and 11 to replace RTAS and TDM.
Acid File (acidized file) – An audio file where markers indicate the rhythmic sections so that the file can be pitch and tempo adjusted – less common than in the late 1990’s. REX audio files and Apple Loops are similar. Ableton, Reason and Machine can commonly play back these file types.
ADAT – Optical digital audio transmission format designed by Alesis. Can refer to the hardware recording device but more commonly refers to the 8 channel optical digital format.
Additive Synthesis – A form of synthesis that adds waveforms (usually sine waves) together to create new sounds.
ADSR –Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release. Refers to the sections of an envelope, which modulates sound over time. All sounds have ADSR characteristics that can be used to describe the sound. ADSR or envelopes, in synthesis, can be applied to several sections of a synthesizer including the oscillator, filter and amplifier.
AES/EBU – Audio Engineering Society/European Broadcast Union – Professional stereo digital audio transmission format using XLR cables, for example.
Aftertouch – A MIDI controller message that measures the pressure on depressed keys. Monopressure – senses the strongest depressed key and uses it for the aftertouch message. Polypressure – senses aftertouch individually for every key depressed.
AIFF – Apple Audio Interchange File Format – a standardized audio file type on the MAC similar to WAV and SDII.
Algorithm – Simplified instructions as to how something (software) should function. Algorithms, for example, are a part of Kurzweil K series, Yamaha DX series synthesizers and NI FM series software.
Amplifier – A device that increases the signal strength of audio.
Arpeggiator – A real-time sequence generator that plays back notes of a chord rhythmically arpeggiated one note at a time.
ATA – SATA – Hard drive connection protocol.
Attack – The initial part of a waveform that rises in amplitude and usually is transient in nature.
Attenuate – A reduction in amplitude or volume.
Audio Instrument – Logic term for virtual instrument or soft(ware) instrument.
Audio Units (AU) – Apple brand of plug-ins similar to VST and RTAS.
Bandwidth – 1. For EQ – the width of the peaking curve. Also known as Q. The higher the Q, the more focused the EQ. The lower the Q, the broader the frequency range is for the selected EQ. 2. For audio files – the amount of data that a file streams per second.
Binary – Base 2 numbering system of ones and zeros for digitally encoding information. Used in computer programming, MIDI and digital audio.
Bit – Smallest binary digit either 1 or 0 (on or off).
Bit Rate – The number of bits used to represent one value. Affects how a digital audio system represents amplitude. 16 bit for CD quality sound, 24 bit for most studio recordings. For computers, bit rate (32 or 64 bit) determines how memory is stored and used. 32 bit software programs, for example, can only access 4 GB of RAM.
BNC – Cable connector for video or sync. Used for wordclock.
Bounce – The process of converting a multi-track file, usually after mixing, into the desired delivery format, most commonly stereo. Bounces can occur in real-time or offline, where the bounce is processed as fast as the computer can render it.
BPM – Beats Per Minute – basically tempo; how many beats there are per minute. Example: 120 bpm.
Broadcast Wave File – BWF – Audio file format similar to wave file that can include meta data and time stamping among other information.
Buffer (size) – Refers to a temporary storage place for audio information before the computer sends the information to the audio interface. The higher the buffer size, the lower the CPU load of the computer but the longer the delay between playback and hearing the audio. Conversely, the lower the buffer size the higher the CPU load but the quicker audio will be passed to the audio interface.
BWF – See: Broadcast Wave File
Byte – 8 bits.
Channel (See also: Track) – A single audio track with the implied ability to have sends or inserts. Refers to one track on a mixer. In stereo, refers to either the left side (left channel) or right side (right channel) of the audio.
Clipping – Distortion created by overloading the signal path. Results in the squaring off of the waveform.
Clock – Timing reference (See: wordclock).
Compression – 1. For dynamics: The reduction of a signal by a specific ratio (See: Compressor). 2. For files: Reducing a file for transmission or storage. File compression can be lossless or lossy. Lossless means no data is lost while lossy means some data has been lost to reduce the file size significantly.
Compressor – A device that controls dynamics (volume range) using parameters: threshold, ratio, attack time, release time and make up gain. (See: Compression).
Controller – Device or parameter that varies values or creates data to control another device or parameter.
Controller Numbers – Assigned numbers to MIDI controllers standardized by the MIDI spec. For example, CC#1 or continuous controller 1 controls modulation.
Core Audio – The term Apple uses for the system that controls the audio within Mac OSX.
Crash – An error in a software application that causes the hardware to not respond usually requiring a reboot.
Cubase – A cross platform (MAC & PC) professional music and audio production software DAW. Cubase is designed by Steinberg based on their Nuendo platform.
Cut (see also paste) – Remove selected.
DAT – Digital Audio Tape – older late 1980’s consumer format for recording and listening to audio designed to replace the standard cassette, but CDs became the format of choice for consumers. Professionals in the audio world used DAT to replace 1/4” analog tape for storing master recordings.
DAW – Digital Audio Workstation – Any computer that runs music or audio production software.
dB – dB – decibel – A unit of amplitude or loudness.
Decay – The first descending section of an envelope. Sound reducing in volume over time.
Delay – The difference in time between when an audio event occurs and when a listener hears it.
Dither – Low level noise that helps maintain most of the dynamic range when reducing the bit rate of a signal, for example, from 24 bit to 16 bit.
Dongle – USB key that must be used for certain software to run for piracy protection purposes. Many audio applications and plug-ins use dongles. Dongles are more of a pain to legitimate users. I’m all for fingerprint or retina scans for software activation. Maybe the future will have dongles that, instead of just containing a key, will contain the entire application so software will transfer to other systems more readily and have less configuration issues. Ironically, in some notable cases, cracked (pirated) software, where the protection has illegally been extracted from the software, tends to be more stable and runs more efficiently than the legal copies do. Cubase, Pro Tools and many plug ins and software instruments require dongles.
Drum replacement/enhancement – The process of enhancing or replacing drum sounds using electronic or sampled drum sounds.
Drum Trigger – A percussive audio signal that is used to trigger electronic or sampled drum sounds or other events/sounds. Drums can be either the source of the trigger or the destination of the trigger. For example, a snare could trigger another snare or event, or a bass guitar could trigger a bass drum.
Emulation – A representation of an original such as a software emulation of a hardware piece of equipment.
Envelope – 1. A description of how sound evolves over time usually, but not always, referring to amplitude. 2. A modulation source that changes sound over time using ADSR parameters.
EQ – Equalization – Changing the harmonic content of a signal.
eSATA – Hard drive protocol for connecting external hard drives to a computer at SATA speeds that are faster than USB 2.0 and Firewire 800. An eSATA drive can run at, in most cases, the same speed as an internal SATA drive.
Export (see also: Bounce) – The process of converting a multi-track file, after mixing, into a stereo file or the process of extracting a portion/track. More correctly, taking any part of a project and making it available to another project. This could include individual audio tracks, MIDI, plugin settings, markers, tempo maps and more.
Filter – A device that removes something from the whole. A MIDI filter may remove aftertouch messages to thin out the data stream of the signal. In audio, a filter removes a portion of the audio spectrum.
Firewire – Interface protocol for transferring information at high speeds usually to and from a computer to an external device such as a hard drive or multi-channel audio interface. Firewire 400 has a maximum bandwidth of 50 MB/sec while the faster Firewire 800 has a maximum bandwidth of 100 MB/sec. Most portable audio interfaces use a Firewire 400 interface.
FM – Frequency Modulation – In reference to synthesis, a type of additive synthesis that is characterized as having fast transients and bell like sounds.
FPS – fps – Frames Per Second – Used in video and film and for sync audio.
Freeze – 1. The temporary printing of an audio track so that the processing power used by that track can be freed up. 2. A malfunction in software that causes the hardware to become unresponsive either temporary or fatal in which case requires a reboot.
Frequency – How often something happens. Used in audio to describe the periodic nature of sound and can be used to identify pitch. Frequency is usually measured in Hertz (Hz), which is cycles per second.
Fundamental – The lowest harmonic of a sound that determines the pitch of a sound.
FX – Effects.
Gain – Volume adjustment.
GarageBand – A simplified audio and MIDI sequencer (DAW) by Apple included with all new MACs.
GB – Gigabyte – 1024 megabytes.
General MIDI – A standard for synthesizers that describes what program change messages will call up what sounds and how many notes the synthesizer should play at once as well as some standardized MIDI controller messages mapped to the same synth component. Most important perhaps is the General MIDI drum mapping that, for example, always places the kick drum on note number C1 etc. Before this standard, every manufacturer had their own method of keymapping drum sounds across the keyboard.
Granular Synthesis – The fragmenting of audio to create new sounds. Used in time stretching.
GUI – Graphic User Interface. The visual way users interact with software.
Hardware – Physical units – you can touch this stuff but be careful if it’s old.
Harmonic Content – The overtones of a sound. Harmonic content allows the ear to distinguish between sounds of equal pitch.
HDMI – Interface for connecting high-definition video equipment.
Headroom – The amount of room an audio signal has before clipping.
Hertz (Hz) – A measurement of the cyclical nature of sound measured in cycles per second.
Hexadecimal – Base 16 – Numbering system used in computer programming and in MIDI where two digits (0-9 and A-F) can represent up to 256 values.
HPF – High Pass Filter – (see also LPF) attenuates (reduces) lows and allows high frequencies to pass.
iLok – A USB dongle (see also dongle) used as a software key to run copy-protected software such as Pro Tools.
Insert – Audio insertion point in a mixer’s channel (hardware or software) that allows for EQs, compression etc. to be inserted into the signal path of that channel. Effects the entire sound of the channel compared to a percentage when using sends.
Interleaved – A single audio file that can contain two or more audio channels. See: stereo interleaved.
IR – Impulse Response – A sample recording of a reverberant space used to emulate the space as a reverb setting. Impulse Responses are most commonly used for reverbs, but can also be of guitar amps, EQ, compression and more.
Jitter – Timing errors or inaccuracies in the wordclock measured in picoseconds – causes problems with recording and playback.
Keymap – A map of how samples are assigned across the MIDI key numbers.
LAN – Local Area Network – Computers that are connected together using Ethernet.
Latency – The delay in an audio signal from the time playback is initiated to when audio is heard. This is generally affected by the buffer size of the audio interface. Most noticeable is latency when playing a software instrument as a triggered sound seems late or delayed compared to when the sound was triggered.
LFO – Low Frequency Oscillator – A waveform generator that generates waveforms below human hearing (20 Hz) used to modulate other synthesis parameters in a steady repeated manner (vibrato, tremolo etc.).
Librarian – A software program designed to organize sound libraries with the goal of making the sounds accessible, usually from within or in conjunction with a sequencer. Popular in the 80’s as synths did not have many program locations. Now making a comeback as a method of organizing thousands of sounds.
Lightpipe – Another name for optical ADAT or S/PDIF connections. See TosLink.
Lossless – File compression (for audio) that reduces the file size without losing data or compromising the quality. Apple Lossless and Kontakt Compression are two examples of lossless file types.
Lossy – File compression (for audio) that gives major savings in file size at the expense of audio quality. MP3 and AAC are examples of lossy file compression formats.
Logic Pro – Audio/MIDI sequencer DAW from Apple specific to the Mac platform. Strengths include the assortment of virtual instruments included with it. Weaknesses include the clumsy environment editor and how adding tracks is effected by the environment. Functions are not always ‘logically’ located. Considered an extremely powerful platform for composers.
LPF – Low Pass Filter – A filter that attenuates (reduces) high frequencies and allows the low frequencies to pass through the filter without reduction.
LSB – Least Significant Byte/Bit (see also MSB) – a change in the LSB results in only small changes.
Mapping – See: key mapping.
Markers – Time reference points in a sequencer.
Master – Finished audio product after recording, mixing and mastering.
Matrix – A grid for values.
MB – Megabyte – Thousand bytes – 1024 if you’re that particular.
MIDI – Musical Instrument Digital Interface – A performance language used for communication between digital musical instruments.
MIDI Interface – A device or the connection that connects two or more MIDI equipped instruments. Computers usually have an external MIDI interface that is usually USB. Synthesizers usually have built in MIDI ports. Emerging as a trend are synthesizers or MIDI controllers that use USB instead of 5 pin DIN connectors to transmit MIDI to and from a computer.
Mixer – An audio device that combines audio signals.
Modulation – Changing or modulating a parameter usually over time; MIDI controller #1.
Modulation Wheel – MIDI controller (#1) that usually is a wheel to the left of a keyboard.
Modular Synthesizer – An analog subtractive synthesizer where the signal flow is determined by the user by connecting sections of the synthesizer together with patch cords. Quite a flexible sound creation tool but is complicated to program. Instruments of note: Moog Modular, Korg MS20, ARP 2600, and NI Absynth.
Mono – “one” – Can be either one channel of audio or one sound at a time (synthesizer). See also: Stereo
Monophonic (see also: polyphonic) – literally “one sound” – For synthesizers, this means playing back one sound at a time.
mp3 – mp3 - Compressed lossy audio file that takes up on average one tenth that of a PCM file (AIFF, WAV etc.).
MSB – Most Significant Byte/Bit – Changes to the most significant byte/bit cause great change instead of refined change of the least significant byte/bit.
Multi-timbral – The ability of an instrument to produce more than one sound at once. Usually refers to synthesizers or sound modules that can play back different sounds on different MIDI channels at the same time.
Multi-track – Having more than one independent track that is synchronized to one another.
Mute – Stop sound – usually used to refer to stopping the sound or muting a track within a sequencer or analog mixing board.
Natural Harmonic Series – The overtones or harmonics of an acoustic sound that follow a specific order (the natural laws of physics). The basis of all sound and music.
Native Processing – Processing audio with the computer’s CPU without the aid of processing cards such as TDM, PowerCore, UAD etc. With computer speeds less of an issue as in the past, native processing will probably be the way of the future.
Nibble – Half a byte. No Kidding! It’s a real term. The humour wears off fast. A nibble equals 4 bits.
Noise – Anything that lowers the quality of the intended communication. In audio it may be random audio frequencies. There are three intentional noises, white, pink and dither. White noise contains all audio frequencies at equal levels. Pink noise contains all frequencies with a reduction in the higher frequencies closer to how the human ear hears sound. Both white and pink noise can be used for audio testing. Dither is noise added to an audio signal to help preserve the signal while reducing the bit rate.
Notation – Standardized musical language for representing music performance on paper (or screen).
NTSC – North American Television Standard Commission – sets standards such as screen size and frame rate (30) for North American Television.
Nuendo – Powerful Post Production software program by Steinberg that is similar to Cubase. Common in Europe.
Nyquist Theorem – A theory that states that in order to accurately represent an analog waveform in a digital system, the sampling rate must be at least twice that of the highest harmonic content of the sound. (See also: Sampling Rate).
Offline processing – (see also: online processing) – Nonlinear processing where the rendering of files does not occur in real time. Used to either speed up the processing compared to real-time or to do CPU intensive processing that cannot occur in realtime because of CPU overloads.
Omni – More than one. In MIDI, omni mode means receiving more than one MIDI channel at once. In microphones, omni means receiving sound from all directions.
Online Processing (see also: real time processing) – Processing of audio in real time or as the playback occurs.
Optical – The use of light to transmit audio. Used in digital audio and analog optical light sensing compressors.
Oscillator – An audio waveform generator; a sound source for an analog synthesizer.
Overdub – Recording in whole or in portion over a previously recorded track or adding audio to a previously recorded multi-track session.
PAL – Television standard at 25 fps for Europe and Asia (see also: NTSC).
Patch – 1. A programmed sound of a synthesizer or sampler. The term is a fall back to the days of physically patching the separate synth modules of a modular synthesizer. 2. A fix for a software application that doesn’t require installing the entire program again.
Patchbay – A terminal where signals can be routed in and out to various different sources. A patchbay is usually found next to an analogue mixing console for routing audio signals to outboard audio processors. More commonly today, patchbays are in the digital domain for routing signals.
Patch cord – An audio cable used to link two audio devices. Patch cords, for example, are used with patchbays and also modular synthesizers either analog or software.
PCM – Pulse Code Modulation – A fancy term for digital sampling/recording.
Peak – 1. A digital clip or over 2. The maximum signal strength that an audio track reaches. 3. A two-track audio editing program for the Macintosh.
Physical modeling – A type of synthesis that uses algorithms instead of samples to emulate acoustic instruments such as brass, woodwinds and pianos.
Pitch – The speed or rate of the fundamental of a sound. Measured in either Hertz and/or by musical alphabet (example: A440).
Pitchbend – Controller wheel on a synthesizer that changes pitch up and down.
Plug-in – A software component used as an insert or send such as eq, reverb, compression et cetera or a software instrument.
Polyphonic – Literally means “many sounds” – commonly refers to synthesizers that can produce more than one sound at once.
Portamento – Sliding from one pitch to another. Also known as glide.
Post Production – Audio production that happens after the video is complete.
Post-roll – The time after recording or overdubs occur to allow a transition out of the recording point.
PPQN – Pulses Per Quarter Note – The resolution of a sequencer. A minimum of 24 ppqn is needed to get a realistic sequence. Most sequencers now are sample accurate. Anything 480 ppqn and above is pro.
Pre-roll – The time before recording or overdubs occur to allow a transition into the recording point.
Program – 1. Software application 2. Single preconfigured synthesizer sound 3. The act of entering data or performance information into a sequencer usually in step time.
Pro Tools – Recording and editing software by Avid (formerly Digidesign). Considered by some to be the industry standard for high-end studios and post production facilities in North America.
Punch in/Punch out – Selected in and out points for recording that do not interrupt playing back. Used for overdubs.
Q – Bandwidth of an equalizer curve.
Quantization noise/error – The misrepresentation of a waveform based on the moving event parameters to the nearest grid point of the signal.
Quantize – The correction of MIDI performance timing by moving events to the nearest grid point such as quarter notes.
Raid – A group of hard drives or partitions that is designed to either: 1. have redundant arrays to reduce the chance of lost or corrupt data. or 2. increase read and write speed by transferring the load across several hard drives. Raids are commonly used by sound editors, film editors and photographers that have to store and access massive amounts of data.
RAM – Random Access Memory – Volatile memory that loses its contents when powered down.
REV – Reverb.
Reverb – The sound of an acoustic space recognized by the reflection of sound. Created by a series of echoes that are so close together that the ear can’t distinguish them from one another.
Real time – Processing at the same rate as playback.
ROM – Read Only Memory – Non-volatile memory that stores contents permanently.
RTAS – Pro Tools plug in type. Stands for Real Time Audio Suite.
Sample Accurate – Sync at the sample level.
Sample level – A zoom setting that shows the individual samples of an audio waveform.
Samples – Recordings or snapshots of audio usually musical instruments. The more samples that are taken, the more accurate the representation of the original sound source.
Sample Playback – The playback of samples (digital audio).
Sample Rate – The number of digital pictures recorded and played back per second. CD quality sound requires 44,100 or a 44.1 kHz sampling rate.
Sampler – Electronic musical instrument that can record and playback recorded samples of other sounds and instruments.
SCSI – Small Computer System Interface (skuzzy) – older data transfer protocol still used for hardware sampler CDROMs and hard drives. Think Akai S series, Kurzweil K2k series, EMU…
SDII – Sound Designer 2 file. An audio file type designed by Digidesign that is fairly common. (see also: AIFF, WAV, BWF).
Send – An offshoot audio path from a channel that does not interrupt the normal signal path. Sends are usually used for applying time-based effects such as reverb and delay.
Sequencer – Puts performance events in sequence.
Serial – Signal/message throughput that only sends one signal/message at a time instead of sending several signals/messages at once as parallel does. MIDI and USB are serial.
Session – Usually refers to a recording session or a scheduled recording block of time. Can also refer to the digital audio data collected from a recording session.
SFX – Sound Effects.
Signal Path – The map of the flow of a signal from input to output.
Sine Wave – A waveform that has no overtones and therefore is the building block of all sounds. (See: Overtones, Natural Harmonic Series, Additive Synthesis).
SMDI – An older sample transfer protocol over MIDI, too slow to be used with current samplers.
SMF – Standard MIDI File.
SMPTE – Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (see SMPTE timecode).
SMPTE timecode – Hours:Minutes:Seconds:Frames – a timing reference for synchronizing video and audio devices.
S/MUX – Sample Multiplexing. The ability spread a digital audio signal at a higher frequency rate over several cables. Usually refers to using two ADAT optical cables to get eight channels of 96 kHz audio, but AES and other digital formats can support S/MUX.
SNR or S/N – Signal-to-Noise Ratio – The amount of noise present in a signal compared to the desired signal. The lower the better.
S/PDIF – Sony Philips Digital Interface – Consumer level digital audio transmission protocol using RCA or TosLink connectors.
Software – Programmed instructions for how computers should operate.
Song Position Pointer – Vertical line in most audio and music software programs indicating the location in time.
Sound Module – A synthesizer without a controller such as a keyboard that is usually rack mountable. Most sound modules are sample playback units. Modern sound modules are usually software, hence they are virtual. See Virtual Instrument.
Standard MIDI File – A MIDI sequence performance file that can be imported and exported between most sequencers.
Step-time – Non-linear recording or event entry.
Stereo – Audio that consists of two channels: left and right.
Stereo Interleaved – A single audio file that has both the left and right audio channels combined as opposed to a separate file for left and right channels.
Subtractive Synthesis – A form of synthesis that creates its signature sound by removing (subtracting) harmonic content using filters.
SuperDrive - MAC’s term for DVD-R/CD-R built in recorder on Macintosh computers.
Sustain – 1. The sustaining part of a waveform ADSR. 2. MIDI controller #64 that acts like a sustain pedal on a piano.
Sustain Pedal – MIDI controller # 64 – changes the ADSR function of a sound by prolonging the sustain portion of a sound after a note is released.
Square Wave – A box-like waveform with only odd harmonics at an amplitude ratio inverse to the number of the harmonic compared to the fundamental (3rd harmonic ratio of 1/3) – intentionally created in subtractive synthesis – undesirable distortion when a waveform clips.
Synthesizer – An electronic instrument.
Sync – See: synchronization.
Synchronization – Time aligning playback and recording devices by reference the same clock. See: wordclock.
Tempo map – A project’s tempo changes in bpm that can be embedded into a MIDI file. Tempo maps can be used to align the bars and beats of a project with audio recorded without a constant tempo (freely recorded audio).
Threshold – Value point at which an event must surpass for other processing to take effect. Common in compression, triggering and gating.
Thunderbolt – A connection protocol developed by Intel, based on PCI express and serial data transfer that uses the video port connector to transfer extreme bandwidths greater than USB 3.0 and Firewire 800. Can be used for video, hard drives and other devices.
Timbre – The tone colour of sound based on its harmonic content.
Timecode – See: SMPTE timecode.
Timestamping – Timecode information embedded into an audio file commonly used to indicate the start time of the audio file. Timestamping works well to move audio files between projects and different software programs.
Time Stretch – Changing the length of an audio file or sample, usually without changing the pitch of the sample. Software samplers are adopting time stretch as a method of sample playback to reduce the amount of samples required to create a realistic sounding keymap.
Track – Noun: One linear time based location for either audio or performance information that is separately controllable from other tracks. Verb: the process of recording to a track.
Transient – The initial part of a waveform that quickly rises in amplitude.
Trigger – One event that surpasses a threshold to cause another event to occur. Example: a drummer trigger.
Triangle Waveform – A waveform similar in sound to the sine wave as its harmonic content is limited to odd numbered harmonics with an amplitude ratio of 1/9th, 1/25th, 1/49th etc… of the fundamental.
TosLink – Optical cable or connection.
TRS – Tip Ring Sleeve – Balanced 1/4” audio connection.
Universal Serial Bus – USB – Device connection protocol common on modern computers. USB 1.1 is typically used for low bandwidth devices such as keyboards and mice. USB 2.0 has a maximum bandwidth of 60 MB/sec and is typically used for hard drives and digital video cameras. USB 3.0 is ten times faster than USB 2.0. All versions of USB are backwards compatible.
Variable Pulse – A waveform created by an oscillator in a subtractive synthesizer that varies the width of the square wave to produce its sound.
VC – Voltage Controlled – Analog – infinitely variable.
VCO – Voltage Controlled Oscillator.
VCF – Voltage Controlled Filter.
VCA – Voltage Controlled Amplifier.
Velocity – The speed at which a note is played on a MIDI controller.
Velocity Switching – In synthesis or sampling, how velocity is used to switch between programs or samples.
Virtual Instrument – Software based instrument designed to be used as a standalone application or as an AU or VSTi within a sequencing program.
Virtual Memory – Memory used by a computer that is on the hard drive to extend the amount of RAM that a computer has. Slower tasks that do not require high speed RAM may be stored to Virtual Memory on a hard drive. If a computer is left on for weeks at a time, virtual memory use may be high and may cause small performance issues.
VST – Virtual Studio Technology. A technology developed by Steinberg (for its Cubase, Nuendo platforms and freely licensed for use by other professional sequencers) that emulates a studio environment within software. Most notable is the emergence of VST plug-ins that emulate hardware effects units and more.
VSTi – The “i” stands for instrument. An emulation of hardware instruments in a software environment.
Wav (WAVE) – A digital audio file type created by Microsoft (see also: AIFF, SDII, AAC).
Window Set – Recallable window/screen snapshots settings stored to memory.
Wordclock – A synchronization method using BNC connectors. Wordclock is necessary when several digital audio devices are connected together so that they all reference the same time.
XLR – Standardized three-pin cable used in professional studios to connect balanced audio signals.
Zero Latency Monitoring – A feature on some high-end audio interfaces that allows the listening (monitoring) of sound thru a digital system without hearing latency (delay). Without zero latency monitoring, overdubbing parts would be difficult for the performer, as they would hear their playing delayed compared to the sequencer playback.
Zippering – Audible digital artifacts caused by a controller that has a low resolution.