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hardware, music A type of sound generator often built in a
sound card. A wavetable contains digitised samples of real
instrument sounds or effect (FX) sounds. A wavetable chip
often also contains a drum kit sound to faciliate rhythm
A recorded wavetable sound may be edited and enhanced by
various effects (reverb, chorus) and layered with other
waveforms before writing it to ROM or RAM. The latter
type serves as user sound memory.
A wavetable generator is typically controlled by MIDI input.
When a MIDI note-on signal is detected, the output part of a
wavetable generator generates a sound with definitive pitch,
typically a musical note.
Wavetable sounds are used in games and music. The more
realistic wavetable sounds have all but replaced the earlier
synthetic FM (frequency modulation) sound generation in sound
cards but to ensure compatibility with older games etc., an FM
part is usually included.
The best known wavetable sound generators includes the E-mu8000 chip, used in Creative Labs' Sound Blaster AWE-32
card family and in E-mu keyboards. Other wavetable cards are
Gravis Ultra-Sound (GUS), ESS Cards, Opti, Zoltrix and many
Roland cards.