Glossary

Lots of cool sounding terminology in music making, the meaning of which is usually less cool, but essential to know. This is an A to Z I’ll update as I go along: there are better explanations on the web then I could hope to give so click on the links!

A

ADSR – Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release.

Amplitude – The maximum extent of a vibration or oscillation, measured from the position of equilibrium. Or as far as we are concerned: volume.

Attack – How quickly a sound reaches maximum level (of amplitude, for example) after the sound is activated. When you press a key, how quickly you hear the sound at the volume level you’ve set.

B

Band Pass Filter – A device that passes frequencies within a certain range and rejects frequencies outside that range. See also Filter, below.

C

Chorus

Circle of Fifths

Compression

Cutoff

D

DAW

Decay

Delay

Dry/Wet

Dynamics

E

Envelope

EQ

Expansion

F

Feedback

Filter

Flanging

Frequency Slotting

G

Gate

H

High Pass Filter

I

J

K

KAOSS Pad

L

Low Frequency Oscillation

Low Pass Filter

M

MIDI

Modulation

N

O

Oscillation

P

Pan

Peak

Pitch

Portamento

Q

R

Release

Reverb

S

Sustain

T

Tone

Tremelo

U

V

W

X

Y

Z

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