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Making music from the ground up

We're talking CD- quality right out of the box! Basically, what I wanted was a tool that gave me complete control of the sound generation process. I was going to write one but then stumbled onto csound. Great scott! This is exactly what I was looking for. Right here in my ftp-thingy. N.E.Way, I got a copy & started learning it. I was totally bowled over by it's power! Lemme tell you, all the stuff I've done so far is based on sounds created using additive synthesis techniques (the most basic way to do it - old analog synthesisers used this method) I mean, I haven't TOUCHED a tenth of the program's features & I am well & truly satisfied (Oh yes, I use it's sampling capabilities as well, but anyhow..). Csound is it man, csound is definitely it. The first thing you need to do is to learn how SoftWare Sound Synthesis (SWSS) works & for that, you would need some good documentation (well that was the way I wanted to go.. ). I very highly recommend the Amsterdam Catalog of Csound Computer Instruments. It is EXACTLY what the doctor ordered ! You can stop here for now `cause if you do this, you're going to have your hands FULL for a while ! When you've @ least gotten some way into the catalog (very slowly-make sure you understand the things the good doctor's presenting to you) you're going to want a tool to help with... Okay, lemme start you off on a little csound theory.

Csound Basics

Now, the fundamental csound paradigm is much like writing a computer program using a compiled language. You create a source file, feed it to the compiler, & collect your finished binary when it's done compiling. Okay, here's how csound works: csound is a command line program that accepts a pair of files, processes them & spits out the sound file you're looking for in any one of a few popular formats. Basically, that's it! The two files you feed it are plain ascii text files; one describing the instruments it's going to use to create your song, & the other the individual note events comprising your song. & THAT'S it! csound in a nutshell!

Further Csound

Now as I was saying.. what you're going to need after that (when you start making actual songs) is something to make the process of generating the INDIVIDUAL note events a little easier. Enter Midi2Cs. Midi2Cs will read a midifile and from that midifile, generate your csound "score" and "orchestra" files. THEN, you use csound on those files to create the soundfile. Oops, gotta go! Think carefully about what I've said, check out the demo (below), and I'll catch you later!

Now here's something we know how to do very well in our part of the world; REGGAE/DANCEHALL Music! The first link here (below in lynx, to the right in most other browsers) is to a basic dancehall version of my primary demo. It very basically shows what you can do with nothing more than a computer & a software synth. It Rocks too! If you need a player, check out winamp (windows) or in here (linux) P.S.. The Phil man is pretty busy right now (as always), but is always hot to talk about new and interesting projects; linux or web related; HINT HINT! Go back to my home page


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