This section is there to inform you about technical terms and music directions.
Disclaimer: This Glossary is influenced by Wikipedia and the Glossary at www.Sweetwater.com
Amplitude – in physics it is the maximum absolute value of a periodically varying quantitiy. In the musicians world it is the strength of a signal or sound without regard to its content.
A Cappella – vocal music or singing without instrumental accompaniment. The term is Italian for “like the chapel” (music); and originated as a result of the use of instruments in medieval church music. A cappella can also describe the practice of using just the vocal track(s) from a multitrack recording to either remix or put onto vinyl records for DJ’s.
Artists: Bobby McFerrin, Boyz II Men, The Nylons.
Broken Beat or “BRUK” – an electronic music genre that can be characterized by syncopated rhythm typically in 4/4 meter, with staggered or punctuated snare beats and/or hand claps. It has heavily influenced music in the UK.
Dubstep – evolved in South London in the late 1990s within a variety of styles like 2-step-garage, broken beat, drum and bass, jungle, dub, reggae. Characteristics: syncopated percussion and drum patterns, basslines containing popular sub bass frequencies.
Dubstyle – the fusion between hardstyle and dubstep.
Drum and Bass (also written as drum ‘n’ bass and commonly abbreviated as D&B, DnB or D’n’B) is a genre of electronic music which emerged from rave and oldschool jungle scenes in England during the early 1990s. The style is often characterized by fast breakbeats (typically between 150–180 beats per minute) with heavy bass and sub-bass lines,sampled sources, and synthesizers. Another feature of the style is the complex syncopation of the drum tracks’ breakbeat. The popularity of drum and bass at its commercial peak ran parallel to several other homegrown dance styles in the UK including big beat and hard house.
EDM (electronic dance music) – an overall term for percussive electronic music, such as techno, trance, house, dubstep,
drum and base, jersey club and their subgenres.
Euphoric Hardstyle – in 2010 there was a movement to a more melodic approach on hardstyle which is called euphoric hardstyle. Characteristics: highly emotional melodies, kicks becoming highly pitch-shifted. Artists: Da Tweekaz, Code Black, Wasted Penguinz
EQ (Equalizer) – formerly known as an audio device whose function is to equal out the tonal characteristics of a sound. Back in the days of telephone wires it was there to cut the sound deficiencies and to get a flat response in telephone lines. Today, it should be named an “unequalizer” since it is more often used creatively to alter the relative balance of frequencies to produce desired tonal characteristics in sounds. www.reverb.com: “There are basically two ways in which to use equalization: to boost desirable frequencies and to cut undesirable frequencies.”
Hardstyle – a mixture between hard techno and hardcore, is a music direction which emerged in the Netherlands when djs experimented with hardcore. In the first years, hardstyle typically had a tempo of approximately 140 to 150 BPM. Characteristics: a compressed kick drum, a screech, a vocal sample and a reverse bass which is heard on the offbeat after each kick. In 2004-2005 hardstyle became more melodic and a littlebit faster. Hardstyle Artists are for example: Da Tweekaz, Wasted Penguinz.
Hardcore – a subgenre of EDM, faster tempos (160 to 200 BPM or more), originated from the rave culture of the Netherlands in the 1990s, formerly known as hardcore techno.
Hertz – the number of periods per second describes the Frequency of for example sound waves. The Frequency is measured in Hertz. One Hertz is one period per second. Very high tones are in the range of Kilohertz, one Kilohertz are 1000 periods per second.
House – early house music is a dance-based music characterized by repetitive 4/4 beats, with the kick drum on every beat. It is also characterized by rhythms made by drum machines, a synthesized bass and off-beat hihat cymbals. House has several similarities to disco music, but is more electronic and minimalistic, and the repetitive rhythm of house is more important than the song itself. House music in 2010, while keeping several of these core elements, varies widely in style and influence, ranging from the soulful and atmospheric deep house to the more minimalistic microhouse.
MIDI – Musical Instrument Digital Interface, a technical standard which connects electronic musical Instruments, computers and other related devices so they can communicate with one another. A single MIDI link can carry up to 16 channels of Information, each of which can be routed to a separate device. MIDI carries event messages that specify notation, pitch and velocity, control signals for parameters such as volume, vibrato, audio panning, cues, and clock signals that set and synchronize tempo between multiple devices.
Oldschool – subgenre of hardstyle, instead of using oversteered sounds typical for hardcore it uses reverse basslines and screeches. The reverse bassline consists of an extremely bass-containing and long reverberating kick-drum and a scratchy off-beat bass. Screeches are brash sounds which initially base on scratching, and later on were substituted by synthesizers.
Plugin – a piece of software which enhances another software application and usually can be run indepently
Reggae – origins are in ska and rock steady, stylistics are taken over from rhythm and blues, jazz, mento (a rural folk music which served its audience as dance music and an alternative to the adapted chanteys of local church singing), calypso and african music. Reggae took over the use of the bass as a percussion instrument from the music direction rock steady.
One of the most easily recognizable elements are offbeat rhythms, staccato chords played by a guitar or piano (or both) on the offbeats of the measure. The tempo of reggae is usually slower than ska but faster than rocksteady. The concept of “call and response” can be found throughout reggae music. The bass guitar often plays the dominant role in reggae. The bass sound in reggae is thick and heavy, and equalized: the upper frequencies are removed and the lower frequencies emphasized. The guitar in reggae usually plays on the off beat of the rhythm. It is common for reggae to be sung in Jamaican Patois, Jamaican English, and Iyaric (rastafari) dialects. Reggae is noted for its tradition of social criticism and religion in its lyrics, although many reggae songs discuss lighter, more personal subjects, such as love and socializing.
Raw Hardstyle – since 2011, influenced by dutch hardcore or older hardstyle. Characteristics: darker melodies, screeches and deeper kick drums. A label representing Raw Hardstyle is for example WE R Raw.
Syncopation – means to have a variety of rhythms which turn up rather unexpected. In general, syncopation is a term for “a disturbance or interruption of the regular flow of rhythm”. For example, if you have a Hip Hop Beat, usually the Kick Drum would occur on the first and third beat, but the second kick drum can also be placed an eigth BEFORE the third (down) beat.
In Fruity Loops, it would look like this:
Talkback Mic/Button – a feature on consoles that allows the engineer to communicate to the musicians in the tracking room or on stage.
Time Code – digital information that is used for synchronization between media devices and media formats.
Two-Step – one of the primary characteristics of the two-step-sound is that the rhythm lacks the kickdrum pattern used in many other styles of electronic music with a regular four-on-the-floor pulse. A typical 2-step drum pattern features beat-skipping kick drums with a shuffled rhythm or the use of triplets applied to other elements of the percussion, creating a “lurching, falter-funk feel”, and resulting in a beat distinctly different from that present in house or techno. Although tracks with only two kick drum beats to a bar are perceived as being slower than the traditional four-on-the-floor beat, the listener’s interest is maintained by the introduction of unusual snare placements and accents in the drum patterns, or scattered rimshots and woodblocks, as well as syncopated basslines and the percussive use of other instruments such as pads and strings. Instrumentation usually includes keyboards, synthesizers and drum machines.