Avid Audio Extension – Digidesign’s proprietary, cross-platform plug-in format for Pro Tools.
Audio Unit
Apple introduced the Audio Unit (AU) plugin specification in macOS. Since this plug-in standard is native to macOS and not to any specific host or platform (like TDM or VST), Apple has encouraged companies to adopt it as a standard for all Mac audio applications. Although it’s not cross-platform, many host applications like Logic, GarageBand, Digital Performer, Abelton Live and others have adopted the Audio Unit plug-in standard.

Abbreviation for Audio Unit.

As you manipulate controls on the Keyscape interface with Host Automation enabled for a parameter in Spectrasonics plug-ins, the host’s automation records your movements and plays them back. These recorded movements can also be edited from inside the host application. You can use a hardware control surface to manipulate some of Keyscape’s parameters, as well.

A vertical line on a musical staff that indicates the beginning or end of a measure. Synonymous with measure.

Bi-Polar Control
This kind of control has more than one function within its range. Usually, there’s a center detent position where the control is OFF. Moving one direction from the detent position activates one function and moving the other way from the detent position activates a different function. The Master Filter on the Edit Page is an example of this. In the center position, the filter is OFF. Moving the slider to the left of center activates a Low Pass Filter. Moving the same slider to the right of center activates a High Pass Filter.

The dynamic, searchable area of Keyscape that offers access to the Factory and User Patch libraries.

A path which routes audio from one or more sources to a particular destination.

Disengaging an FX Unit so that it no longer affects the audio. Doing this saves CPU power.

One Cycle has been completed when something runs from its start point to its end point. This can refer to things like grooves or LFO waveforms.

A vertical list of available choices in the Browser. Keyscape’s Columns can be changed to list a variety of Attributes.

A device for reducing the effective dynamic range of an input signal by preventing it from exceeding or falling below a selected amplitude threshold. The first part of a compander, it is used to make loud parts of a signal softer and soft parts louder. Beyond the threshold, the ratio of the signal’s input level to its output level (e.g., 2:1, 4:1) is user-selectable. A compressor is commonly used to keep levels within an acceptable range, but because it can slow a signal’s rate of decay below the threshold, compressors are also used to add sustain to instruments such as electric guitar and bass. The limiter acts like a compressor, but operates only at the top end of the dynamic range. The limiter has a faster attack time (1µs to 1ms) than the compressor alone (1ms to 10ms). A compressor/limiter is traditionally inserted between the outputs of a device and the inputs of the mixer or recorder.

Center Detent
This is the neutral position of a parameter’s knob or slider, especially in reference to bi-polar controls. When in this position, the function is disengaged.

These are predetermined settings that Keyscape recalls when it is first instantiated, cleared, reverted, or when a global mode is changed. Spectrasonics provides factory defaults, but you can replace them with your own settings.

Used in reference to a folder on the computer’s drive.

Drop-Down Menu
One of these menus appears )drops down) when you click on a Keyscape display window with a downward arrow. Once the menu appears, you can select an option. Synonymous with pop-up menu.

Digital Signal Processing – refers to the manipulation of digital audio in a computer and is CPU-dependent.

The core software code that structures the operation of audio functions in a plug-in. The engine developed by Spectrasonics that is responsible for running Keyscape is STEAM (Spectrasonics-Team), and Stylus RMXs’ engine is S.A.G.E (Spectrasonics Advanced Groove Engine).

A signal processing device which is the inverse of a compressor, providing the attenuation of signals that fall below a user-defined threshold. This process, known as expansion, reduces background noise and at the same time increases the dynamic range of the input signal.

A controller in the form of a slider that usually affects the loudness/softness of audio levels. Placing a fader at Unity or 0 gain means that the audio channel is outputting the same audio level as was input to the channel. Most faders allow you to make the volume louder and softer than the original input signal. Synonymous with Slider.

An organizational tool on a computer that allows grouping of files. Also known as a Directory. A sub-folder is a folder inside another folder. Also known as a sub-directory.

The section at the bottom of the Keyscape Browser.

Anything that affects the status of the entire plug-in.

Graphic User Interface — in Keyscape this is the plug-in window and all the pages that you see and manipulate.

Host/Host Application
A computer application or hardware device capable of loading Virtual Instrument software plug-ins. Also known as a Sequencer or DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). Logic, Digital Performer, Pro Tools, Cubase, Nuendo, GarageBand, Live, and Fruity Loops are all examples of software hosts that work with Keyscape.

When you open (instantiate) a Keyscape plug-in your host, that is one instance of it in your session. Most computers are powerful enough to run several instances of Keyscape at once.

The process of opening/closing plug-ins from your host. Synonymous with Loading/Unloading, Opening/Closing, Loading/Deleting, etc.

Reversed or negative-polarity modulation.

1)  An external MIDI controller capable of triggering notes via piano-style keys.
2)  Also a text-entry ASCII computer keyboard. There are several key commands and keyboard-mouse combinations that provide access to Keyscape’s features.

A control that can be turned clockwise and counterclockwise. A knob can be used to control a variety of parameters.

MIDI Learn is capable of mating an external physical controller with parameters inside Keyscape for remote performance control and automation applications.

Low Frequency Oscillator – a continuous, cyclical modulator that can be used to affect a sound in many ways. For example, you can use it to “auto-pan” audio, produce tremolo, vibrato, or filter sweeps.

See Compressor/Limiter.

A display menu of available options. Usually they are presented vertically.

Two different meanings:
1. Refers to a collection of sounds or grooves that are mapped on a single keyboard layout for easy access.
2. Refers to a user interface software pop-up/drop down list of options.

Menu Item
Refers to the items in the list of a pop-up/drop-down menu in the software interface.

MIDI Continuous Controller. MIDI has 128 possible controllers. Keyscape can respond to any of them using MIDI Learn.

Through the MIDI Learn function, Keyscape is capable of responding to any incoming MIDI CC messages on any channel.

A Keyscape control that can be manipulated to affect the audio. 

A pre-saved set of parameters. Also known as a Preset. A Factory Patch is a patch created by Spectrasonics. A User Patch is a patch that you can save and name yourself. The name comes from early synthesizer days when physical patch cords were used to create the path for sounds by connecting parts of the synthesizer together.

Peak value is the maximum instantaneous excursion from zero of an audio waveform, as measured by a Peak Meter (PPM). The peak value of a sound is also the maximum instantaneous pressure of the sound.

An electronic device that converts the acoustic vibrations of musical sound sources — such as a tine, reed, or string — into an electric signal that can be amplified.

Pitch Shift
The process of changing the frequency of a sound. Pitch can be changed so that it is higher or lower.

A software application that runs within a host application to provide additional functionality.

The rolloff slope of Filters is measured in db. For every 6db of rolloff, the filter has an additional Pole. A two-pole filter has a rolloff slope of 12db and a four-pole filter has a rolloff slope of 24db. Keyscape has filters with 6db, 12db, 18db and 24db rolloff slopes.

Pop-up Menu
One of these menus appears )drops down) when you click on a Keyscape display window with a downward arrow. Once the menu appears, you can select an option. Synonymous with drop-down menu.

An electronic device that captures a very low-level signal, such as that from a pickup or microphone, and boosts it so it can be sent to an amplifier without adding noise. Different preamps have a variety of sonic qualities.

A set of parameters that has been previously saved and is available for recall. Synonymous with Patch.

A small, flat, tuned metal blade used for a sound source in certain electro-mechanical keyboards, such as Wurlitzer electric pianos or Hohner Pianets. Reeds vibrate at tuned frequencies when they are either struck or plucked.

Release Noise
The sound made by the action of an acoustic instrument when you lift your hands from the keys or strings.

RMS Compression
Root Mean Square. A formula for describing the level of a signal. RMS is derived by squaring all of the instantaneous voltages along a waveform, averaging the squared values and taking the square root of that number. For sine-like signals, average power = RMS RMS

Round Robin
Term referring to a multi-sampling technique that allows a repeated note to trigger a different take each time it’s played, providing a natural-sounding result and eliminating the “machine gun” effect.

A computer file saved by a sequencer/DAW that contains tracks of MIDI notes and audio files.

A computer application (DAW) that allows recording, entry, and editing of MIDI notes and audio files. Also known as a host if the sequencer is compatible with plug-ins.

A control that you move back and forth or up and down, depending on its orientation. Moving a slider can control a wide variety of parameters. Synonymous with Fader.

Sound Directory
The sub-directory of a Master Directory that contains Suites.

A software plug-in that is capable of running on its own without a host application / DAW. All Spectrasonics plug-ins come with Standalones, as well.

STEAM stands for SpectrasonicsTEAM and is the engine for Keyscape. Omnisphere, Trilian, along with many future instruments and innovations.

A thin metal rod, fixed at one end, and used for a sound source in certain electro-mechanical keyboards, such as Rhodes electric pianos. Tines vibrate at tuned frequencies when they are struck with the keyboard’s hammers.

When a parameter is set so that it does not make any changes to the level when passing signal.

Unity Gain
The attribute of a device which neither attenuates nor amplifies a signal. Most signal processing devices have Unity Gain, which means that they neither amplify sound nor cause insertion loss, and therefore can be added into an audio path at various stages without changing the overall gain.

Parameters that have been mated with a physical controller can be unattached via this feature of the MIDI Learn section.

Acronym for “Virtual Studio Technology” — a cross-platform plug-in platform created by Steinberg.