This could be a synthesizer module or a sound module which comes loaded with sounds. You could also use a MIDI sampler, where you can record your own sounds and then play them back using MIDI. All these MIDI instruments come with a MIDI implementation chart, within which are a list of all MIDI commands along with info on whether the device is poly or mono or if it is multitimbral. Jul 23, · Sound Modules Explained. Korg monotron DELAYIn past years, a sound module referred to the part of a keyboard that generated sounds. Popular digital keyboards included a module version in their lineup (usually rackmountable), which could connect to a main keyboard via MIDI.
Since the first mainstream keyboard synthesizers were released in the s, musicians from classical pianists to hip-hop producers have enjoyed and made use of their versatility and unique sonic elements. Keyboard and MIDI sound modules allow any musician to control an array of effects, synthesized instruments, and timbres through digital pianos, MIDI keyboards, and in some cases, computers.
Credit: Amazon. Buy from Amazon. Delivers more than sounds, along with plenty of effects and recording features, in one compact, user-friendly package. Choosing a sound module can feel like an overwhelming how to overcome an addictive personality. Not only are companies manufacturing new modules all of the time, but many have begun to develop sound modules that emulate the sounds of classic synthesizers.
Some MIDI sound modules how to get rid of a gum boil at home designed for touring musicians who need a rugged device they can take on the road.
Professional studio musicians and serious audiophiles playing at home might want the highest-quality tones they can hear, but only need a narrow range of synthesized instruments. We looked at their features of various keyboard sound modules and drew on our own knowledge of sound modules and MIDI devices, which includes years of playing MIDI-compatible keyboards and composing music with MIDI devices.
For reliability, we conducted extensive research that went beyond just our personal experiences with these devices. We talked to a number fellow musicians who use sound modules with their keyboards and MIDI devices at home, in the studio, and on tour, so that we could get their expert opinions on the top products and the mandatory features they felt any keyboard or MIDI sound module must have.
We were able to narrow a long list down to ten modules that can meet the needs of the many types how to patch asphalt driveway musicians. From there we were able to pick the single MIDI sound module that we believe caters to the largest number of musicians.
To get the most out of a sound module, you will want to what is a midi sound module a few things about them before shopping around. Sound modules emulate different types of sounds using digital technology. First, you need an input device, sometimes also referred to as a controller. The input device lets you enter the notes you wish to play.
Computer software that allows for MIDI playing, composition, and recording can allow your laptop, desktop, or even your mobile device to be used as a controller, but not all sound modules are compatible with them. Second, you need a sound bank, which converts the input to a digital signal. All sound modules provide a sound bank and, in many cases, various effects to use, both of which make use of a digital signal.
Enabling an effect like reverb can also change the way the waveform is processed and played back, without changing the timbre of the waveform itself. This way, if you enable reverb on a violin sound, you will still hear the same violin, but the instrument will sound fuller.
The more robust sound comes from the waveform being replicated at a slightly different tone when you play a given note. Third, you need some form of output device, which converts the digital signal to an audio signal you can hear. In some sound modules, built-in speakers provide the output. Other modules do not have their own speakers, so will you need to hook up a pair of headphones or speakers to the module to hear anything, even when you have the input hooked up to the module.
If you are using a sound module with a digital piano or computer, the speakers from those devices can serve as your output. For a great overview of MIDI, including its historical and technical sides, this article from the Indiana University of Bloomington has a wealth of information. Finally, you will want to know how to hook up a sound module. Sound modules can be connected to input devices using a designated MIDI cable.
The two most important pieces of information you can have when choosing a keyboard or MIDI sound module are to know which modules are on the market and to have an idea of what you will want to use your module for. As we noted above, the sound module market has become more expansive and diversified over the years. Manufacturers design certain sound modules to present users with as many instruments, polyphonics, channels, and effects as possible. Other sound modules mainly excel in doing just a few things but doing them well.
Some of the more specialized modules deliver crisp, clear drum samples, or the perfect string crescendo. Alternately, highly specialized devices may let you reproduce tones from older technology without having to figure out how you can track down, let alone afford, a synthesizer that has not been produced since the s. Manufacturers create some modules with the ability to edit or place effects on sounds that are created through other devicesbut the most basic sound modules will solely allow you to utilize pre-programmed instrument tones, perhaps with a reverb or chorus effect.
You should be aware of a few what is a midi sound module ways that sound modules can differ from each other. For example, manufacturers may design a given module to primarily be used with a MIDI keyboardwhile others can more easily operate with a broader range of devices, like digital pianos that allow MIDI input or computers.
Although a few modules can generate their own what is a midi sound module sounds, many are intended to be routed through speakers. You may need headphones or a device that can provide both input and output, like a digital piano or a computer with its own speakers, to ensure you can hear certain sound modules.
Your basic knowledge of the sound module market should include how the leading devices compare in terms of these features. Knowing how you will use your sound module might seem like an obvious concept to be aware of, but if you do not give enough thought to your musical needs, you run the risk of buying a sound module that is not right for you.
If you need a portable module to take to and from a music class or band practice, you do not want to buy a device that sounds great but is too bulky to carry around. Here are some of the questions you should ask yourself while how to edit a pdf file in adobe acrobat pro at sound modules:. Buy on Amazon Current Amazon.
The S-Engine is one of the lower-cost modules available. This device has sounds, which is more than most other comparably priced sounds modules offer, from pianos and organs to strings and brass instruments. Even with this many sounds, though, some readers have noted that their favorite instruments were not included in this module.
If you know you will be using a specific instrument tone often, you may wish to make sure the S-Engine contains it. The S-Engine also has numerous drum samples, making it handy for situations where you might want to program a beat for a song or create your own rhythm track.
In this sense, even people who primarily play another instrument can make good use of the S-Engine. As someone who also plays guitar, I have come to rely on MIDI drum tracks to play over when a live drummer is not available, so I appreciate the availability of a recording feature. The recording function, along with the additional effects features like chorus and reverb, adds to the wide range of uses that the S-Engine has, and allows this module to meet the needs of musicians, regardless of their preferred instrument or what styles they play.
At the same time, though, the display appears a bit simplistic. Credit: Roland Corporation. This module is a bit pricier, but we think it is a great option for professional musicians and home producers who want a highly distinct synthesizer sound at a reasonable price.
We have a few reasons for naming the Roland JU as runner-up include. This module lets musicians re-create the recognizable sound of the thirty-year-old Roland Juno synthesizer, still heard in many modern rock, pop, techno, and hip-hop songs. Reviewers have praised the preset sounds for having rich tones that come close to a warm, analog sound. That said, if you are looking for a more general-purpose MIDI sound module, the Juno may not deliver the wider range of tones that you want.
The layout of the module uses a variety of sliders that permit for high levels of customized sounds and effect edits. New module users might find the layout confusing, though, as it differs from many other modules. However, most of the sound customization must still be performed on the module itself, meaning you will only be able to pitch shift and change notes via the input devices.
Also, the JU has relatively limited polyphony, so what gpa do you need to get into ou can only play chords of four keys at a time. For anyone using the JU with a digital piano, this is a limitation that could prove restrictive.
Credit: Suzuki Europe Ltd. We were impressed at the larger number of sound options with this module, as it has many more instruments and drum samples, along with pre-programmed loops, when compared to less expensive modules.
This module was designed for use with a computer, and its sounds are highly impressive when used along with any MIDI what is a midi sound module program. Instruments that are often difficult to accurately replicate digitally, such as trumpets and saxophones, sound closer to their real counterparts than many other modules manage to accomplish.
However, musicians who favor digital pianos or MIDI keyboards as controllers may find the SD difficult to use, because it lacks any type of built-in display.
Therefore this model is mostly meant for individuals who prefer to program music. If you are a home or studio producer, you may find that the Ketron SD provides you with a generous selection of tones, but live musicians may not find they have as much use for this module.
We found this device useful enough to rank on our list of top modules, but there are some shortcomings that could limit its utility for many musicians.
True to its name, the PianoBox Mini is small enough to be carried easily, what is a midi sound module it has a three-numeral display that permits musicians to use it with most MIDI controllers. What is a midi sound module unique feature the PianoBox Mini has that we would like to see implemented more often is that it has a built-in battery, so unlike many other comparable modules, the PianoBox Mini does not always need to remain plugged in.
Additionally, the battery is strong enough to run a MIDI keyboard on its own, too. However, we found it problematic that the sound bank contains fewer instruments than how to make a santa sleigh out of cardboard devices. Yet, at the same time, there are other modules that offer a bigger bang for the buck. The Ketron SD2 is another midrange sound module. We were impressed with the woodwind and brass instruments on this module, which surpassed the tones heard on some of the more costly modules and computer file sound banks.
We were less enthusiastic about the fact that there are fewer total instruments available on the SD2 than some of what is a midi sound module other devices in the same price range, including other Ketron offerings. Music what is a midi sound module who wish to focus on percussion-heavy tracks, however, may not miss the relative lack of instruments, as the SD2 has a plethora of drum samples and pre-built drum loops.
Other users who may find they enjoy the Ketron SD2 are singers, rappers, casual musicians, or hobbyists who already know a bit about programming MIDI music on the computer, but are just starting to pick up an instrument.
These users could use the pre-built drum loops or create their own and have a rhythm section to help them practice vocals or their instrument of choice. This device tends to be low-cost, which could make it a possible option for musicians who are on a budget, or who want to start learning about using sound modules without spending a large amount of money. The display and controls are straightforward and simple, as the manufacturer seems to have developed it with sound module novices in mind.
We think that the small size of the miniEngine could be great or musicians who will be taking their sound module to and from a music class, practice space or gigs. We also found that the miniEngine weighed a bit more than other compact devices, at just over three pounds, but this weight is unlikely to prevent most buyers from being able to transport the miniEngine.
The price and size necessarily limit the number of instrument tones this module offers, so the miniEngine may not appeal to experienced producers who want hundreds of tones and effects or require unusual instruments. We also felt some of the instruments, like the guitars, brass instruments, and woodwinds had lower-quality sound, which detracted from our evaluation of this module. Certain sound modules are designed with expert musicians and programmers in mind, such as musicians who work in a studio or have invested heavily in home recording equipment.
The Roland Fantom-XR, which is priced accordingly, numbers among the modules that deliver to this specific audience. We also liked the detailed pixel display, which is a necessity given the comprehensive functionality that the Fantom-XR has.
We noted that there were large numbers of instruments already present on the module, and liked that users could directly record using the module without hooking it up to another device. Additionally, the module has a software package that is compatible with both Windows and Linux, which we thought could help musicians who like to customize all of their module sounds.
Users will need a dedicated space, such as a gear rack, to hold the module, however, because it is somewhat heavy and large. The Fantom-XR may also require users to invest time in extensive setup and what is a midi sound module time to get the perfect sounds, although musicians have also stated they were pleased with many of the standard instrument tones.
Display: Sound modules can be thought of being the "guts" of a synthesizer, digital piano or organ without the keyboard being attached. This means that the module can be controlled by an external device, such as a sequencer. These modules are space saving and often more affordable than if they came with the keyboard attached.
A sound module is an electronic musical instrument without a human-playable interface such as a piano -style musical keyboard. Sound modules have to be operated using an externally connected device, which is often a MIDI controller , of which the most common type is the musical keyboard although wind controllers , guitar controllers and electronic drum pads are also used. Controllers are devices that provide the human-playable interface and which may or may not produce sounds of their own.
Another common way of controlling a sound module is through a sequencer , which is computer hardware or software designed to record and playback control information for sound-generating hardware e. Connections between sound modules, controllers, and sequencers are generally made with MIDI Musical Instrument Digital Interface , which is a standardized protocol designed for this purpose, which includes special ports jacks and cables.
Sound modules are often rack-mountable , but might also have a table-top form factor , particularly when the intended user is a DJ or record producer. The height of a sound module is often described in rack units "U" or unit. Small sound modules are mostly 1U in height, the larger models a multiplication e.
Despite their name, most sound modules do not produce any audible sound until their output is plugged into a keyboard amplifier or a PA system. There are a wide variety of sound modules, ranging from more generalist modules that can be used for a number of controllers or instruments e.
Hardware sound modules have largely been replaced by software synthesizers , due to the increased speed and processing power of computers and their decrease in price. A sound module may also be referred to as "tone generator", "synth module", "MIDI sound generator", "MIDI module", "expander", or "rack-mount synthesizer".
With electronic drums , the sound module is sometimes colloquially called the "brain". Sound modules may use any number of technologies to produce their sounds. A sound module may be an analog or digital synthesizer , a sampler , or a rompler. Electronic drum modules are sound modules which specialize in drumkit and percussion sounds. Drum modules may be triggered by external trigger pads or pickups attached to an acoustic drum as well as through MIDI controller pads.
Drum modules are distinguished from drum machines through their lack of dedicated onboard triggers and lack of an integrated sequencer. Clonewheel organ modules are usually tabletop-style devices that enable keyboardists to recreate the sound of a tonewheel-based Hammond organ using any MIDI keyboard or MIDI-equipped stage piano. Organ modules may have drawbars and controls for a simulated Leslie speaker a rotating horn and low-end baffle effect.
Some sound modules focus on piano sounds, typically providing grand piano , electric piano , and a few other keyboard sounds, such as clavinet.
Wind controller modules are specialized synth modules that are designed to work with wind controllers. They typically support legato wind-style playing and can respond to the unique controller inputs, which sense breath, biting on the mouthpiece, and pressing keys.
Wind controller players may use a specialized wind controller module such as the Yamaha VLm module or its predecessors, the VL-1 or VL As well, wind controller players may use general-purpose rack synths such as the Yamaha Motif XS Rack, Roland Fantom X, or the Roland Integra-7 rackmount MIDI sound module; however, these general use synths require extra wind sounds or "patches" to work well with wind controllers.
Like other specialized sound modules, accordion modules also have other sounds piano, string orchestra , flute, etc. Moreso than for other sound modules, accordion modules are likely to also have music sequencer , drum machine , and backing track features, to enable a performer to do a one man band show. Accordion modules are manufactured by firms such as Ketron and Soltron. Synth modules often have onboard effects units , such as reverb and chorus effect , or, for organ modules, vibrato and overdrive.
Because most electronic instruments are designed in a modularized way, manufacturers often release a sound module version of their fully integrated instruments. In this case, instrument and other sounds can be loaded through MIDI or external media.
In some cases, sound modules have expanded capacity for sounds in comparison to the controller-equipped version. The front of a rackmount sound module, or the top for tabletop units, typically contains a small screen or panel to provide information to the user e.
This may be supplemented with LED indicators to show the status of various features. In some models, LED indicators are embedded within a translucent button, so pressing the button shows its status on the button. There is usually a volume control, some types of buttons or knobs for selecting sounds and changing settings, and a power button.
The smallest, simplest piano modules may have only a volume knob and a knob to scroll through several piano sounds. The most complex synth modules may have a large number of knobs, buttons, and faders to control oscillators, filters, and amplitude settings. Some units may have MIDI thru connections, which can be used to chain synth devices. In the s and s, some synth modules have one or two USB connections. Some synth modules may have left and right XLR outputs and one or more pedal inputs for a sustain pedal and expression pedal.
The front panel may also have a headphone jack, USB port, or another port for making connections. Some synth modules may have an XLR input for a vocal mic, for routing through a vocoder. Some s and s-era synth modules can be connected to a computer laptop, tablet, etc , to allow the user to use editing software to make advanced changes to settings or sounds. Many synth modules can have new sounds loaded. In s-era modules, external tape players, cartridges, or floppy disks were used.
In the s decade and s, USB connections were increasingly used to load new sounds. Some s-era sound modules have a WiFi antenna connection to allow wireless loading of updates and new sounds. A sound module has the same advantages over a fully integrated instrument as does any system with a modularized design:.
Audio interfaces are often erroneously called sound modules. The audio interface connects a computer to other devices; and software in the computer actually generates sound using samples or synthesis. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Externally controlled electronic musical instrument. This article needs additional citations for verification.
Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Archived from the original on Categories : Sound modules Synthesizers. Hidden categories: Articles with short description Short description is different from Wikidata Articles needing additional references from June All articles needing additional references. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. Help Learn to edit Community portal Recent changes Upload file.
Download as PDF Printable version. Wikimedia Commons.