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A small flat plastic device, usually about the size of a credit card, that contains some form of data memory. The memory card has connectors at one end and plugs into a slot in the device that uses it. Some synthesizers use memory cards as a means of providing additional patch memory, or memory for samples or wavetables. Memory cards are used to expand available memory, allow patches, samples or other information to be exchanged between synths of the same model, or as a means for vendors (either the factory or third party vendors) to sell patches and samples.

A memory card may contain either RAM or ROM. A memory card containing ROM is most commonly used as a means for a synth or software vendor to provide additional samples or wavetables for a synth of a given model. A memory card containing RAM provides additional memory, or a means for a user to copy or back up data from the synth's internal memory, or a means for users to exchange data.

RAM memory cards manufactured prior to about 1995 contained a backup battery to maintain the card's memory when the synth was off, or when the card was removed. Usually there is no means of discerning the state of the battery without removing it, which of course causes power to the memory to be lost, erasing the memory. For this reason, users of older memory cards are advised to back up the contents of the card to some other media (such as by copying it into the synth's internal memory, and then dumping it via MIDI), and then change the battery in the card if they wish to continue using it. Newer memory cards contain flash memory, which retains its contents without power.

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