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MIDI Controller

A MIDI controller is any device that sends out MIDI data to control another MIDI device or program. Some MIDI controllers are also capable of recieving MIDI data. Two examples of a MIDI controller would be a MIDI keyboard which can be used to control softsynths/external hardware synths or a MIDI DAW controller used to control fader/pan levels in your DAW as well as other things such as plugin parameters.

Calf Plugins

Calf Plugins

Calf plugins are a complete plugin suite, in the LV2 plugin format, that cover all your basic processing needs. From processors like EQ's and compressors to effects like reverb and delay, it covers all you need to get mixing. It also includes a number of virtual instruments. The suite currently consists of 45 plugins.



LMMS (Linux MultiMedia Studio) is a MIDI sequencer, aimed at producing electronic music. It comes with it's own built in virtual instruments but also has support for third party plugins.



Carla is a plugin host that has extensive support for plugin formats. It can be used as a standalone program for live use but can also be incoporated into modular recording set ups, and includes a built in graphical patchbay . As well as plugins, Carla can also load up GIG, SF2 and SFZ sample packs.


Not a setting on every compressor but some compressors have this option. This is related to how the threshold takes affect. A soft knee will introduce the compression more gradually, whereas a hard knee setting will be more abrupt. Both have their place but soft knee compression is considered to have a more pleasing effect.

Release (Plugin parameter)

A common setting on compressors. This is related to the attack setting. Where the attack setting tells the compressor when to kick in, the release tells the compressor when to stop compressing the signal. Release settings are measured in milliseconds.


A common setting on compressors and various types of filters. In compressors, this determines how quickly the compressor effect will kick in/how long it takes to pull the gain down. This is measured in milliseconds. Setting a few milliseconds of an attack allows the initial attack to come through and can sound punchier.


A common setting on compressors. This setting relates to a compressors threshold setting. The higher the ratio setting, the more compression will be applied to any audio that breaches the threshold. On lower settings, the compression affect will be more subtle. Ratio settings are also found on gates.


A common setting on compressors. This setting sets the threshold for what level the audio signal will kick in, eg if it's set to -15dBFS, this means that the threshold settings will affect any audio that breaches this threshold. On a gate, the threshold setting refers to the point below which the audio cuts off.


A DAW, which stand for Digital Audio Workstation, is software used for the recording, editing and mixing of digital audio. DAW's started off as integrated hardware units but nowadays, a DAW most commonly refers to recording software.

DAW's follow many conventions from hardware recording set ups. You even have a virtual mixer console and can route audio similarly to hardware set ups. You can also process individual audio tracks using plugins such as EQ, compressors and reverbs.


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