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Designing Software Synthesizer Plug-Ins in C++ by Will Pirkle

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Chapter 10DigiSynth: Sample Playback Synthesizer

By the late 1980s, synthesizer companies had switched paradigms from using analog circuits to using audio samples. A sample is a recorded sound. It could be an acoustic instrument, a sound of nature, or even a recording of another synthesizer. In the early days of sample-based synthesis, solid-state memory was expensive, so the samples were typically very short. Even with today’s cheap memory prices, sampling still has issues where sample length is concerned. For example, how long would a sample of a concert grand piano’s lowest note (A1) last if the note was played fortissimo (fff) in a large concert hall? You would need to sample the note until it decayed below the digital noise floor (−96 dB ...

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