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NAMM Sneak Peek

Architecture

A term loosely used in music technology to point to the structure of components (hardware or virtual) making up a device or process. A device’s architecture is its makeup in terms of inputs, outputs, and the kinds of processes it does in what order. The architecture of a synthesizer, for example, would include its sound source (oscillators perhaps), filtering, and envelope generator, plus any effects processors or other real time controllers. It would also include the outputs and in general can include everything about the instrument’s functionality. These days there are many instruments and processors that have such powerful software they can actually redefine themselves with different architectures. Kurzweil’s popular VAST (Variable Architecture Synthesis Technology) is an example of such flexibility. While VAST doesn’t totally reconfigure the entire instrument it does allow for a variety of radically different synthesis techniques to be employed in the one hardware platform. There are numerous other examples.

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