Digital Sound & Music: Concepts, Applications, & Science, Chapter 6, last updated 6/25/2013
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The next questions to consider are these: Which parts of this setup are hardware and
which are software? And how do these components communicate with each other? Four
different configurations for linking controllers, sequencers, and synthesizers are diagrammed in
Figure 6.28. We’ll describe each of these in turn.
Figure 6.29 Configurations linking controllers, sequencers, and synthesizers
In the early days of MIDI, hardware synthesizers were the norm, and dedicated hardware
sequencers also existed, like the one shown in Figure 6.29. Thus, an entire MIDI setup could be
accomplished through hardware, as diagrammed in Option 1 of Figure 6.28.
Option 1: All hardware
Option 2: Audio processing program has
both sequencer and soft synths
Option 3: Third party provides soft synth in audio wrapper
Option 4: Software sequencer in one program
is rewired to soft synth in another
Hardware Controller
Hardware
connection
USB directly to computer
or MIDI via external interface
Software sequencer and soft
synth in same program
USB directly to computer
or MIDI via external interface
USB directly to computer
or MIDI via external interface
Hardware
connection
Hardware
connection
Hardware
connection
Hardware
connection
Hardware
connection
Hardware Sequencer Hardware Sampler / Synthesizer
Output
Output
Output
Output
Third party soft synth
in audio wrapper
Software sequencer
Sequencer in
one program
ReWire
Soft synth in
another program
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