(term) Polyphonic

Discussion in 'Glossary of Terms' started by audiokid, Jun 7, 2010.

  1. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

    Mar 20, 2000
    BC, Canada
    Home Page:
    The ability of an instrument to play more than one note simultaneously. Technically, a piano is 88 note polyphonic, although if the human element were to be taken into consideration, then it would take 8.8 people to fully exploit all 88 notes simultaneous. Likewise, a six-string guitar has a maximum polyphony of six notes. However the term is mostly applied to digital synthesizers to specify the maximum number of voices that are available to the entire instrument. Because synthesizers are often multitimbral, not all voices need to be assigned to a single sound. In the early days of synthesis, voice allocation was often fixed or needed to be user specified. These days voicing is generally allocated in a dynamic manner.

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