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What's VST, MOD, etc.

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I've searched google and this site for 20 minutes and I still don't have a single clue about what either of those are. Or what a tracker is for that matter. Could somebody help me out? and don't get angry if I missed a post explaining this... it's 12:24 and I'm tired... I might have stared directly at it and not recognised it...

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I wrote a guide to terminology on this kind of thing but I guess it's not here any more. Can't blame ya. However, Googling for 'VST definition music' (w/o the ') came up with relevant hits. Might want to try a little harder on the searching next time. I'll explain anyway.

VST is a plugin format developed by Steinberg. It stands for Virtual Studio Technology. There are VST effects (equalizers, compressors, reverbs, distortion units, overdrives, delays, anything else) as well as VST instruments (VSTis - synths, samples, drum machines, what-have-you). It's a universal technology meaning that if your host is VST compatible, it is pretty much guaranteed to load 99% of the VSTs out there. It's also capable of being cross platform. Cubase for Mac runs VSTs as well as Cubase for Windows does (might require some slight alterations but just about all VSTs are compatible that way). It's really an amazing technology.

MOD is a tracker format. Trackers are a kind of music sequencing software, though they are considered by many to be obsolete, and they never really gained popularity with the majority of audio professionals. Rather than using a piano roll or score notation, an odd method of input was used, involving the typing keyboard and an almost mathematical method of defining note start times, pitches, and durations. The sounds themselves came from small samples (eg. WAVs) loaded into the tracker. The resultant MOD (or XM, S3M, etc) files were bundled with all of the note data as well as the samples themselves. The MOD player would then basically assemble the piece on the fly.

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