Glossary

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Here are a list of terms used in LMMS and their meaning. There can also be found few musical terms. When communicating with other musicians and developers, please use the correct terms as this will be more efficient and easier for both parts.


A

Automation
Setting the position of a knob or other control in LMMS over time by a manually-drawn envelope. Automation is edited in the Automation Editor for individual controls. See the article on Working with Automation for a more task-oriented description.
A capella
Singing a song without instrument accompaniment.


B

Bit depth
The resolution of each sample. The number of volume steps in each sample. The number of bits in each sample.


C

Compression
Making a file smaller. It can be done in two ways: 1. Lossy compression makes the file smaller by loosing (unimportant) information (bits). Ogg and mp3 are examples of lossy compressed audio files. 2. Lossless compression makes the file smaller by writing it in a smarter way (like zip files), thus no information get lost. Flac is an example of lossless compressed audio files.
Compressor
Reduces the dynamic range by amplifying quiet sounds and reducing the volume of loud sounds. This is a science in itself, with a lot of possibilities, thus you should read more about compression to understand why the first sentence isn't necessarily true.
Controller
Setting the position of a knob or other control in LMMS over time by a generated envelope such as an LFO. This differs from automation because automation is drawn manually by the user and is often not a repeated effect such as a sine, square or saw wave, whereas controllers use such waves to give a regular pattern to a control.


D

Damping
How the sound is decaying. A knob controlling damping controls how the decay sounds, e-g. how fast it goes silent.
Dry
When about music/sound: Dry sound is a term used on sound without reverb or echo.
Dynamic range
The ratio between the strongest and weakest sound in a song. A song with high dynamic range have very weak and very strong sounds.


E

EQ
Abbreviation for Equalizer. An equalizer adjusts the balance between frequencies (by adjusting the amplitude of audio signals at particular frequencies). Equalizers often appear as frequency-specific volume knobs.
Envelope
An envelope is a way to control how the sound changes over time. From when the sound starts, while the note is hold and to when the note ends, you can control by an envelope. The ADSR envelope is perhaps the most common, it consist of ways to control the attack, decay, sustain and release.


F

Filter
A filter alters the frequency spectrum of a sound coming out of an oscillator. Common filters are low-pass (meaning low frequencies are let through), high-pass (allowing high frequencies through), notch (blocking a narrow range of frequencies), and band-pass (allowing only a narrow range of frequencies). Filters, even in the digital world, cannot be truly linear - i.e. the graph of the filter's response over frequency shows a curved 'knee' dropping down rather than a vertical line. This means that a low-pass filter set to 100Hz will let some frequencies lower than that through, although the lower the frequency the more it will be cut. The steepness of the drop in a filter is called it's Q parameter. Historically, some analogue filters also introduced 'resonance' or amplification of frequencies around the 'knee' point in the filter - this effect has been used in much electronic music and is included in LMMS.
FX
Short for Effects.

G

H

I

J

K

L

LADSPA
LADSPA is an acronym for Linux Audio Developers Simple Plugin API. It is a standard for handling filters and effects, licensed under the GNU LGPL. It was originally designed for Linux through consensus on the Linux Audio Developers Mailing List, but works on a variety of other platforms. It is used in many free audio software projects and there is a wide range of LADSPA plugins available.
LFO
Acronym for Low Frequency Oscillator. This typically refers to oscillators whose usual frequency is in the 0.1Hz - 10Hz range - i.e. from one beat every ten seconds to ten beats every second. Above this frequency the oscillator is generating frequencies in the audible spectrum and the 'low frequency' prefix is not used. LFOs are typically used to control things such as filter sweeps and amplitude oscillation ('vibrato').
LMMS
Originally acronym for Linux MultiMedia Studio. Today it runs on the platforms Windows, Linux and soon Mac too, and LMMS is therefore an abbreviation of your choice.

M

N

O

Ogg

Ogg is a free, open standard container format maintained by the Xiph.Org Foundation. Similarly to MP3, it is designed to provide efficient streaming and manipulation of high quality digital multimedia.


P

Peak Controller
A Peak Controller is similar to a noise gate, but with greater flexibility. Peak controllers are commonly placed on a percussion track, and then use the output signal to control the volume of another sustained sound. This results in the sustained sound being chopped up in time with the percussion, and has been used by artists such as Madonna (vogue) and Seal (crazy) to create very distinctive sounds.
Phaser
Project
The entire package of instruments, tracks, patterns and settings that comprise the whole performance of the song. This is what you save and load from the Project menu.


Q

Q
The steepness of the cutoff of a filter.
Q
The Q in the Automation Editor and Piano Roll. Assumed short for Quantization: The "resolution" of notes and automations.

R

Reverb
Short for reverberation. Umbrella term for an echo effect.

S

Sample
An individual audio file, used either in an instrument (see AudioFileProcessor Plugin) or a Sample track.
Sampling
Measurement
Sample rate / Sample frequency
How many times per second the signal are measured.
Sample Track
A type of track that is designed to take audio files. Multiple different Samples can be placed in one sample track, and they can overlap. See Working with Samples.
Segment
A block in a track that contains a sample (in the case of a sample track), notes in a piano roll or repeats of a beat / bassline. Each type of track only uses one type of segment. See Song Editor.
Song
The overall combination of tracks playing simultaneously that makes up your composition. See Song Editor.
Spectrum
A term used to describe all the different frequencies in a sound. The effect plugin Spectrum Analyzer displays the different frequencies present in that FX-channel.
Step
One sixteenth of a bar in the Beat + Bassline Editor; a single "tab" or "tombstone" in the pattern display.


T

Template
A mmpz file with either preloaded instruments, samples and/or automation tracks. By clicking new project you load the default template; a mmpz file with a Triple Osc track, Sample track, B+B track and Automation track in the Song Editor, and a Kicker instrument in the B+B Editor.
Track
A row in the Song Editor containing an instrument, sample track, or beat/bassline.

U

V

VST
Acronym for Virtual Studio Technology. Programs or plugins which tweaks or produce sound. They use the .dll extension and is supported by LMMS. VSTi (Virtual instrument) is a common name for VST´s which generate sounds and signals, like any other instrument plugin. These are loaded through VeSTige. VSTfx (VST effects) are used to describe VST´s which tweaks or changes signals, like any other effect plugin.


W

Wav
Waveform Audio File Format. A cross-platform uncompressed audio standard.
Wet
When about music/sound: Wet sound is a term used on sound with reverb or echo.
Width
When about music/sound: The sound width is how stereo the sound sounds. Effects which increase the stereo is commonly called stereo wideners. To achieve this effect various techniques can be used, the most easy is delay between right and left channel. Further reading.

X

Y

Z

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