Orinj Audio formats

Orinj version 7.0.0

Wave files used in recording and playback

A wave file (file with extension ".wav") contains sampled sound data – many of the values of the signal taken at different points in time. See Wave file format for more detail.

In the multitrack session, Orinj uses:

  • Microsoft PCM (uncompressed) wave files with compression code 1 (see Format chunk (of a Wave file)), in which data is stored with 8-bit unsigned integers, 16-bit signed integers, or 24-bit signed integers.
  • Microsoft IEEE float wave files (wave files with compression code 3) and data stored in 32-bit floating point values.

Both file types contain uncompressed digital sampled audio data. In both file types, the values of the analog sound signal are taken (sampled) at uniform intervals and the amplitude of the signal at each interval is recorded with numbers that use the same representation. Both types are therefore PCM files per the definition of PCM on this site.

  • The rate at which the signal is sampled (the number of times the signal is sampled per unit of time) is the sampling rate.
  • The representation of the numbers used to record the value at each sample is the sampling resolution. Usually, the sampling resolution is determined by the number of bits in used in the computer representation of the recorded numbers (for example, "16-bit").

Sound quality and dynamic range (the range of values used to record the signal) improve as sampling rates and sampling resolutions increase, but this happens at the expense of speed and disk space.

When storing and processing sound data, Orinj supports various sampling rates (up to 99.2 kHz) and various sampling resolutions (8, 16, 24, and 32-bit). Orinj also supports these sampling rates and sampling resolutions when playing and recording sound data. However, Orinj may not be able to play and record these if they are not supported by the audio device (i.e., the computer soundcard).

Wave samples in the loop building view

The wave files used in the Orinj loop building view are PCM waves (compression code 1), recorded with 16-bit signed data at 44.1 KHz.

The wave samples included in Downloadable Sounds (DLS) files and the PCM data in SoundFont files in the loop building view can use any sampling rate and resolution permitted by the two corresponding formats.

Other wave files

Orinj can open wave files with other compression codes, such as AIF, AU, A-law, and U-law wave files. Orinj will convert these files to wave PCM files and will use these newly created wave PCM files instead. The original files will not be changed.

Wave files have been in use for a while and there are many extensions of the wave file formats. Wave formats usually differ in two main aspects: how and where audio data is stored and what other data is allowed in the file. It is always possible to stumble upon a wave file (or a wave file chunk) that will not be recognized by Orinj.

MIDI files

MIDI files (files with extension ".mid") contain notes, instruments, and controllers, but not sampled audio data. While the MIDI standard defines how notes, instruments, and controllers should be described in the file, it does not define how these will sound on different devices. This choice is left to the manufacturer of the device or to the underlying (usually sampled PCM) data used to play the note. This means that one and the same MIDI file may sound differently on different soundcards.

Orinj can play all MIDI files. However, when modifying and creating files, Orinj treats all MIDI files as type 1 MIDI files. This means that one file can contain multiple tracks, but that all tracks would be considered a part of the same MIDI sequence and will be played together.

Orinj does not support the full General MIDI standard (see General MIDI 1 and General MIDI 2). Orinj supports the standard General MIDI 1 instruments, including percussion instruments, and some of the controllers (volume, pan, pitch shift, key pressure, channel pressure).

As of version 6, MIDI files inserted in an Orinj recording session are always converted to wave files. A temporary wave file is created for each MIDI file. The original MIDI file is preserved and can be modified in the MIDI roll view.

The conversion of MIDI to wave requires a DLS or an SF2 file (see below). This conversion allows two things.

  • The Orinj effects, which are designed to process wave data, can be applied to MIDI data.
  • MIDI files will sound the same on different devices, if the same DLS or SF2 file is used.

DLS and SF2 files

Downloadable Sounds (DLS) files (with extension ".dls") and SoundFont (SF2) files (with extension ".sf2") are used by MIDI synthesizers. These files contain sampled audio data in multiple samples and directions for MIDI synthesizers that state which wave sample should be played when the synthesizer must play a specific note on a specific instrument and how this wave sample should be played.

DLS and SF2 files in Orinj are used in two places:

  • In the loop building view, to add various instruments and notes to Orinj loops (see Preferences, Sound Fonts in the menu). Multiple DLS and SF2 files can be used and these files do not have to conform to a specific standard (other than the DLS and SF2 file formats).
  • In the multitrack session view, to convert MIDI files to wave files (see Preferences, Synthesizer Base in the menu). A single DLS or SF2 file can be used. This file should conform to the General MIDI 1 standard, so that all MIDI instruments and their notes are supported (if not, Orinj will omit notes that cannot be played when converting MIDI to wave).

Other files

The Orinj session files and loop files are specific to Orinj and are not files with a common audio format.

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