Quick Guides

Quick Guides

Concise but fact-packed guides to essential computer music topics

  •  MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) – what it is, how it works and does it still have a place in today’s music environment?
  • Digital Audio – How sound is digitally recorded, the important parameters and the importance of sample rates and resolutions.
  • FireWire – the connections, the speed, the cabling, and how it’s being used for music in digital audio devices and the next generation of MIDI.
  • Oscillators explained – wave shapes, harmonics and fundamentals, pitch, amplitude and tone, pulse width and subtractive synthesis.
  • EQ and Filters – what they are, what they do, and the various types of EQ and filter that you’ll find in music hardware and software.
  • Envelopes – ADSR and other envelope generators, what the ADSR phases do and how they can be applied to a range of synthesiser modules.
  • Audio CDs – CD-R, CD-RW, ‘book’ formats, DAO and TAO burning, multisession recording, overburning, buffer underrun errors, subcodes and indexing.
  • Time Signatures – what they are, what they mean and how to interpret them.
  • Fades and crossfades – different types, what to use in mixing and in loop creation. Zero-crossing points and software aids to help create seamless loops.
  • Analogue Synthesis – how it works, using Control Voltages, the main synthesis modules, and why many software synths emulate analogue synthesis.
  • Synthesis – a look at types of synthesis other than analogue including Additive, FM, Phase Modulation, Waveshaping and Granular synthesis.
  • Reverb, echo and delay – the essential parameters and how they affect the sound; environment simulators and multi-tap effects.
  • Samplers – the core set of features and functions of both hadware and software samplers including multisamples, velocity switching and velocity crossfading.
  • Song Structure – the various parts that make up a song including intro, verse, chorus, middle eight, bridge, hook, outro and break.
  • Vocoders – what they are, how they work, hardware and software versions, and suggestions for using them with sounds other than the voice.
  • Modulation – different types of modulation, what they do and how they work including, vibrato, tremolo, chorus, phasing, flanging and rotary speaker effects.
  • Microphones – the major types, how they work, pickup and response patterns, selecting the best mic for you.