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Beat Making with Drum Machines

In music production terms, a DJ refers to an artist that uses turntables to manipulate pre-recorded music on records by stopping the record with his fingers and pushing it forward or dragging it backward to alter the sound or repeat a certain passage (called "scratching"). DJs often utilize two turntables connected together with a small mixer that allow the DJ to control with faders how much of each record is being output. In addition to mixing, .

Beat
A musical interval of time. In terms of timing songs are broken into measures, which are further subdivided into beats. While beats can certainly be subdivided into smaller timing increments it is generally considered to be the most basic element of timing in music.

The beat is generally what people will tap their foot to in music. It is also used to measure the tempo or speed of music in terms of beats per minute. There may be different numbers of beats per measure in a song, depending upon the style and phrasing desired, and this number can even change many times during a song. Five beats per measure has a distinctly different 'feel' than three beats per measure.

Beat matching
Beat matching is the method of blending the end of one record into the beginning of another record, creating a seamless transition between the two and providing a consistent beat even though a new song is playing. Most commonly, this is used by DJs in dance or rave clubs so that music is playing continuously and the beat doesn't change.

In order for beat matching to work, the DJ must make sure that the tempo of the two songs is the same, and he must monitor the incoming song to ensure that when the new song begins the beat lines up with the outgoing song. A DJ can also use the pitch control on the turntable to speed up or slow down a record to match the beats of two records.

Sample
A frequently used word these days. In music/audio production a sample is a digitally recorded piece of audio. To sample (sampling) is the act of recording said samples. In order to take (record) a sample, a device known as an A/D converter measures the instantaneous amplitude (voltage) of an analog waveform at periodic intervals known as the sample rate.

Each of these samples is converted into a digital "word" that is represented by some number of digital bits (ones and zeros), with the number of bits per sample (known as bit depth) determining the resolution of the sample, or how closely it matches the exact voltage value of the waveform at the time of the sample.

The bit depth also determines the theoretical dynamic range that can be captured per sample (with more bits allowing greater dynamic range). The sample rate, however, determines the frequency range that can be captured per sample. Both bit depth and sample rate have a significant impact on the overall accuracy of the sample as compared to the analog waveform.

 

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