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English definition

Friday 21 January 2005, by Rob Weale

A sample is a portion of sound locked in digital memory, which can be played back, transposed and undergo several other transformations which are possible in a dedicated device such as a sampler or on a computer’s hard disk. Most of these functions can be triggered either by the sampler’s controls, by a MIDI instrument or through other digital interfaces: computer software or hardware, MIDI data boxes. (Source - Rodolfo Caesar (1992). The Composition of Electroacoustic Music. PhD Thesis, University of East Anglia.)

A sampler is an electronic instrument that allows for the capture of digital recordings of any sound which can be played back by way of any MIDI trigger. Most samplers allow for modest editing opportunities (e.g., envelope, filter, modulation) as well as creating a digital loop allowing short sounds to be sustained.

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