In the last decade, a number of software-based virtual studio environments have emerged. Todays advances in communications provide viable and cost-effective alternatives to typical hardware-based production studios, and thanks to advances in microprocessor technology, it is now possible to create high quality music using little more than a single laptop computer. Such advances have democratized music creation leading to a massive increase in the amount of home-produced electronic music available to the general public via the internet. Artists can now also individualize their production practices by creating personalized software synthesizers, effects modules, and various composition environments. Devices that once existed exclusively in the hardware domain can easily have virtual counterparts.
MIDI messages are made up of 8-bit words (commonly called bytes) that are transmitted serially at a rate of 31.25 kbit/s. This rate was chosen because it is an exact division of 1 MHz, the operational speed of many early microprocessors. The first bit of each word identifies whether the word is a status byte or a data byte and is followed by seven bits of information.
Clock synchronization is a topic in computer science and engineering that aims to coordinate otherwise independent clocks. Even when initially set accurately, real clocks will differ after some amount of time due to clock drift, caused by clocks counting time at slightly different rates. There are several problems that occur as a result of clock rate differences and several solutions, some being more appropriate than others in certain contexts.