Digital Sound & Music: Concepts, Applications, & Science, Chapter 6, last updated 6/25/2013
Figure 6.34 EFM1 synthesizer in Logic
Some third-party vendor samplers and
synthesizers are not automatically installed with
a software sequencer, but they can be added by
means of a software wrapper. The software
wrapper makes it possible for the plug-in to run
natively inside the sequencer software. This
way you can use the sequencer’s native audio
and MIDI engine and avoid the problem of
having several programs running at once and
having to save your work in multiple formats.
Typically what happens is a developer creates a
standalone soft synth like the one shown in
Figure 6.34. He can then create an Audio Unit
wrapper that allows his program to be inserted
as an Audio Unit instrument, as shown for
Logic in Figure 6.35. He can also create a VSTi
wrapper for his synthesizer that allows the
program to be inserted as a VSTi instrument in
a program like Cakewalk, an MAS wrapper for
MOTU Digital Performer, and so forth. A
setup like this is shown in Option 3 of Figure
Aside: As you work with MIDI and
digital audio, you’ll develop a large
vocabulary of abbreviations and acronyms.
In the area of plug-ins, the abbreviations
relate to standardized formats that allow
various software components to
communicate with each other. VSTi
stands for virtual studio technology
instrument, created and licensed by
Steinberg. This is one of the most widely
used formats. Dxi is a plug-in format
based on Microsoft Direct X, and is a
Windows-based format. AU, standing for
audio unit, is a Mac-based format. MAS
refers to plug-ins that work with Digital
Performer, an audio/MIDI processing
system created by the MOTU company.
RTAS (Real-Time AudioSuite) is the
protocol developed by Digidesin for Pro
Tools. You need to know which formats
are compatible on which platforms. You
can find the most recent information
through the documentation of your
software or through on-line sources.
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