HighC Glossary

Envelope: Envelopes define the loudness profile of a sound (attack, sustain, decay...)

Library: A library is a piece referenced within another piece.

Pattern: Patterns are group of sounds that you have organized in a certain way, and that you may want to reuse (with variations) throughout a piece or a bigger composition. Patterns can correspond to a few bars of rhythm, a chord or simple chord sequence, or a even a single but richly modulated sound that you want to manipulate as a whole instead of handling its separate parts one by one.

Piece: a piece is a set of sounds. It has a duration, measured in seconds, and can hold some envelopes and waveforms used by sounds in the piece. It can also reference other pieces (Libraries) that contain some of the envelopes and waveforms used by sounds in the piece.

Pitch Scale: the vertical axis of the score defines the pitch of sounds. This pitch scale is logarithmic and spans about 12 octaves. The regular score is shown as a point of reference to allow quick identification of the pitch of each sound. A few predefined scales are provided to allow you to tune your piece to other instruments. You can also try different tuning systems by defining new pitch scales. Note that at the right of the view, the note corresponding to each line is displayed, to allow you to use a proper tuning for the sounds you create.

Sound: a sound is a temporal line that describes the evolution of a pitched sound in time. It has an associated envelope, that describes its relative loudness (attack, sustain, decay...), a waveform that describes its timbre, and a level that describes its loudness relative to the other sounds in the same piece. A sound has a set of tags that are keywords chosen by the user that describe this sound in qualitative terms.

Sound Level: Each sound as a global level that defines its loudness relative to other sounds in the same piece.

Tag: a keyword that can be attached to one or many sounds. Multiple tags can be attached to a sound. Tags are useful to help you organize your piece, group together, retrieve or edit sounds that share common properties. For instance, if you create a bass line made of multiple sounds, you will want to tag all those sounds with the keyword "bass". After that, you can edit the bass line separately by hiding all the sounds that do not have the "bass" tag.

Time Scale: the horizontal axis of the score defines a timeline. This timeline can be divided in regular intervals and subintervals, which can be set at will. A few predefined scales are provided that define bar groups, bars, and beats per bar. In a future version, it will be possible to define other subdivision of time.

Waveform: Waveforms define the timbre of a particular sound, or its major constituents, the relative intensity of the harmonics of the fundamental. The Sine waveform is a pure frequency (it has no harmonics), while the other "simple" waveforms have richer harmonic profiles (in order of "richness": Triangle, SawTooth, PulseSquare and Square). Other waveforms such as "band", "noise" and "crazy" can be added by program. The "band" waveform is a tight band of random frequencies centered around a fundamental.