Digital Sound & Music: Concepts, Applications, & Science, Chapter 6, last updated 6/25/2013
Figure 6.30 A dedicated MIDI sequencer
Now that personal computers have ample memory and large external drives, software
solutions are more common. A standard setup is to have a MIDI controller keyboard connected
to your computer via USB or through a USB MIDI interface like the one shown in Figure 6.30.
Software on the computer serves the role of sequencer and synthesizer. Sometimes one program
can serve both roles, as diagrammed in Option 2 of Figure 6.28. This is the case, for example,
with both Cakewalk Sonar and Apple Logic, which provide a sequencer and built-in soft synths.
Sonar’s sample-based soft synth is called the TTS, shown in Figure 6.31. Because samplers and
synthesizers are often made by third party companies and then incorporated into software
sequencers, they can be referred to as plug-ins. Logic and Sonar have numerous plug-ins that
are automatically installed – for example, the EXS24 sampler (Figure 6.32) and the EFM1 FM
synthesizer (Figure 6.33).
Figure 6.31 A USB MIDI interface for a personal computer