Ever wondered what a musical term means? Wondering what a word used by industry people means? Look no further! We're on a mission to demystify these terms. Many of these words are used in hip-hop, rap, pop, rock and many other types of music. Check out our glossary below.

An acronym that stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface. MIDI is the industry standard music data protocol that can transmit information between electronic musical instruments, sequencers, computers, and other audio devices. One MIDI connection can transmit data on up to sixteen channels, communicating simultaneously with up to sixteen individual devices and instruments.

Similar to: Musical Instrument Digital Interface


A console or any other device used by beat producers and audio engineers to edit and blend multiple audio streams into one composite signal. A mixing console can have as few as 2 channels, and as many as 96 as in professional recording studios. The term can also refer to the technician performing the mixing.

Similar to: Mixing Console, Audio Mixer, Sound Board, Audio Production Console


Any unintended undesirable sounds, such as buzzing or hissing, that can be detected in an audio signal. Noise is produced by all electronic equipment, and issues such as radio interference, bad connections, and improper grounding can amplify it.


The process of applying a fixed amount of gain (or bringing up the volume) across an audio signal in order to match the loudest points of the signal with the highest acceptable recording level.


A synthesizer function that can generate an audio signal. The oscillator can create a number of different waveform shapes, which can then be further modified in various ways to produce a unique sound.


A recording technique, where additional audio streams are recorded on top of an existing recording. The overdubbing process can be repeated multiple times in order to add all the necessary sounds. The technique allows beat makers and music producers to create rich, complex recordings even with limited performers.

Similar to: Layering


Short for Panoramic Potentiometer, it is a mixing console control that manages the panning of the audio signal in the stereo. In other words, it allows the engineer to set how much of the signal is directed to each speaker or channel.

Similar to: Pan Pot, Panoramic Potentiometer

Pop Filter

A screen-like device that is used to filter out any loud popping sounds that are caused by the performer's breathing as they speak or sing into the microphone. Pop filters are typically placed in front of microphones in recording studios.

Similar to: Pop Shield, Pop Screen


A digital music editing process that adjusts the beat of recorded music by moving each note to a precise location on the timeline. The result is a recording with more beat-accurate timing.


The "temporary" memory a computer uses to perform immediate tasks such as loading files, opening programs, and executing operations in them. DAWs used by beat makers and music producers typically require more RAM to run, because they manipulate large amounts of data (multiple audio streams, sound effects, filters, etc.)

Similar to: Computer Memory, Random Access Memory