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Chapter 21. Creating a New Song > About Synthesized Music and Loops

167. About Synthesized Music and Loops

KEY TERM

MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface)— A technology for describing and storing music to be synthesized (re-created through software rather than a recording).


For many years, it has been possible for computer users to create very complex synthesized music using MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) technology. The idea behind MIDI is that synthesized music is a great deal more flexible than digitized music, or music stored on your computer as a simple stream of audio samples. A digitized song, for example, might sound crisp and realistic—but it takes up many megabytes of space on your disk and cannot be easily transferred over the Internet. The MP3 and AAC files used in iTunes are digitized music files, and even though they're compressed (losing some of their original sound quality), they're quite large. Nobody would ever want to stick an entire MP3 file into the background of a Web page, as it would bring a modem user's Internet connection to a standstill. And what if the musician wanted to go back and change a bit of instrumentation, or fix a sour note? That kind of editing is not possible with digitized music. What's recorded is pretty much what you're stuck with.


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