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Keymap

Refers to a function in modern keyboards and synthesizers that use sample data for raw sounds. The keymap is what defines or assigns each sample to a particular key or key range (or each key to a sample – depends on how you look at it). This is sometimes confused with a zone, but in most keyboards zones are distinct and separate from keymaps. It depends on the architecture of the specific instrument, but keymaps are usually at a much lower level of the hierarchy than zones. If you were to make a sample based piano program, for example, one of the first steps would be to assign your individual samples to specific set of keys that will trigger them. This will cause the proper samples to play over the range of the keyboard. In most modern instruments this “sound” can then be layered with other sounds or routed through effects and filters to create the final program or patch. To make things confusing, keymaps are not always called keymaps, though the word keymap is by far the most descriptive of what they are. Some brands of keyboards refer to it as Key Group, Voice, Multisample, or Wave.

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