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Term: Structured audio

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Term: Structured audio


Dynamically constructed sound resulting from the processing of data through combinations of software and hardware. Such software includes sequencers and trackers that use data to control when individual sound elements should start and stop, to set values for attributes such as volume and pitch, and for other effects that should be applied to the sound elements. The sound elements may be short sections of waveform sound (sometimes called samples or loops) or data elements that characterize a sound so that a synthesizer (which may be in software or hardware) or sound generator (usually hardware) can produce the actual sound. The data are brought together when the file is played, i.e., the sounds are generated in a dynamic manner at runtime. Structured sound bears a relationship to waveform sound similar to the relationship between vector data and raster data in the realm of imaging.

One familiar form of structured audio is the note-based type generated by systems for music composition and also used for playback. Although the most prominent note-based formats are associated with MIDI, the Musical Instrument Digital Interface, there are many devotees of formats called MODs, from modules, sometimes called tracker files. Other formats contain data used by synthesizers that simulate the human voice, e.g., for telephone company directory services.

See also:
Waveform (sound)