The recording process at present can be broken up into distinct stages, as shown in Diagram 1. Through the rapid advancement of computer technology, elements of this process are already beginning to merge. Multi-effects processors and mixing consoles with in-built effects are two examples of this integration. At the sound generation stage there are tape-based and computer-based recording devices. The computer-based systems can be divided into those systems that sequence audio from external devices, systems using hard disk as the storage device and those that use RAM. The common factor between these two types of system is their random access capabilities. This similarity and the obvious fact that each deals with sound, suggests that the integration of all three systems would be an essential step in the integration of the entire recording process. At this point in time, sequencing and RAM-based devices tend to be integrated, at least to the extent that, for our purposes, sequencing need not be looked upon as a separate entity. It is important, then to discuss the merits of RAM and disk-based systems in terms of their place in the recording process within specific applications. The applications we will focus on here are music and post-production. It is also necessary to create a context in which these advantages can be best presented and understood.
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