ADDITIVE SYNTHESIS

Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier demonstrated around 1800 that any continuous function can be perfectly described as a sum of sine waves. This in fact means that you can create any sound, no matter how complex, if you know which sine waves to add together.

This concept really excited the early pioneers of electronic music, who imagined that sine waves would give them the power to create any sound imaginable and previously unimagined. Unfortunately, they soon realized that while adding sine waves is easy, interesting sounds must have a large number of sine waves which are constantly varying in frequency and amplitude, which turns out to be a hugely impractical task.

However, additive synthesis can provide unusual and interesting sounds. Moreover both, the power of modern computers, and the ability of managing data in a programming language offer new dimensions of working with this old tool. As with most things in Csound there are several ways to go about it. We will try to show some of them, and see how they are connected with different programming paradigms.

What are the main parameters of Additive Synthesis?

Before going into different ways of implementing additive synthesis in Csound, we shall think about the parameters to consider. As additive synthesis is the addition of several sine generators, the parameters are on two different levels:

It is not always the aim of additive synthesis to imitate natural sounds, but it can definitely be  learned a lot through the task of first analyzing and then attempting to imitate a sound using additive synthesis techniques. This is what a guitar note looks like when spectrally analyzed:

 

Spectral analysis of a guitar tone in time (courtesy of W. Fohl, Hamburg) 

Each partial has its own movement and duration. We may or may not be able to achieve this successfully in additive synthesis. Let us begin with some simple sounds and consider ways of programming this with Csound; later we will look at some more complex sounds and advanced ways of programming this.

Simple Additions of Sinusoids inside an Instrument

If additive synthesis amounts to the adding sine generators, it is straightforward to create multiple oscillators in a single instrument and to add the resulting audio signals together. In the following example, instrument 1 shows a harmonic spectrum, and instrument 2 an inharmonic one. Both instruments share the same amplitude multipliers: 1, 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, ... and receive the base frequency in Csound's pitch notation (octave.semitone) and the main amplitude in dB.

EXAMPLE 04A01_AddSynth_simple.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-o dac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;example by Andrés Cabrera
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

giSine    ftgen     0, 0, 2^10, 10, 1

    instr 1 ;harmonic additive synthesis
;receive general pitch and volume from the score
ibasefrq  =         cpspch(p4) ;convert pitch values to frequency
ibaseamp  =         ampdbfs(p5) ;convert dB to amplitude
;create 8 harmonic partials
aOsc1     poscil    ibaseamp, ibasefrq, giSine
aOsc2     poscil    ibaseamp/2, ibasefrq*2, giSine
aOsc3     poscil    ibaseamp/3, ibasefrq*3, giSine
aOsc4     poscil    ibaseamp/4, ibasefrq*4, giSine
aOsc5     poscil    ibaseamp/5, ibasefrq*5, giSine
aOsc6     poscil    ibaseamp/6, ibasefrq*6, giSine
aOsc7     poscil    ibaseamp/7, ibasefrq*7, giSine
aOsc8     poscil    ibaseamp/8, ibasefrq*8, giSine
;apply simple envelope
kenv      linen     1, p3/4, p3, p3/4
;add partials and write to output
aOut = aOsc1 + aOsc2 + aOsc3 + aOsc4 + aOsc5 + aOsc6 + aOsc7 + aOsc8
          outs      aOut*kenv, aOut*kenv
    endin

    instr 2 ;inharmonic additive synthesis
ibasefrq  =         cpspch(p4)
ibaseamp  =         ampdbfs(p5)
;create 8 inharmonic partials
aOsc1     poscil    ibaseamp, ibasefrq, giSine
aOsc2     poscil    ibaseamp/2, ibasefrq*1.02, giSine
aOsc3     poscil    ibaseamp/3, ibasefrq*1.1, giSine
aOsc4     poscil    ibaseamp/4, ibasefrq*1.23, giSine
aOsc5     poscil    ibaseamp/5, ibasefrq*1.26, giSine
aOsc6     poscil    ibaseamp/6, ibasefrq*1.31, giSine
aOsc7     poscil    ibaseamp/7, ibasefrq*1.39, giSine
aOsc8     poscil    ibaseamp/8, ibasefrq*1.41, giSine
kenv      linen     1, p3/4, p3, p3/4
aOut = aOsc1 + aOsc2 + aOsc3 + aOsc4 + aOsc5 + aOsc6 + aOsc7 + aOsc8
          outs aOut*kenv, aOut*kenv
    endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
;          pch       amp
i 1 0 5    8.00      -10
i 1 3 5    9.00      -14
i 1 5 8    9.02      -12
i 1 6 9    7.01      -12
i 1 7 10   6.00      -10
s
i 2 0 5    8.00      -10
i 2 3 5    9.00      -14
i 2 5 8    9.02      -12
i 2 6 9    7.01      -12
i 2 7 10   6.00      -10
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

Simple Additions of Sinusoids via the Score

A typical paradigm in programming: If you find some almost identical lines in your code, consider to abstract it. For the Csound Language this can mean, to move parameter control to the score. In our case, the lines

aOsc1     poscil    ibaseamp, ibasefrq, giSine
aOsc2     poscil    ibaseamp/2, ibasefrq*2, giSine
aOsc3     poscil    ibaseamp/3, ibasefrq*3, giSine
aOsc4     poscil    ibaseamp/4, ibasefrq*4, giSine
aOsc5     poscil    ibaseamp/5, ibasefrq*5, giSine
aOsc6     poscil    ibaseamp/6, ibasefrq*6, giSine
aOsc7     poscil    ibaseamp/7, ibasefrq*7, giSine
aOsc8     poscil    ibaseamp/8, ibasefrq*8, giSine

can be abstracted to the form

aOsc     poscil    ibaseamp*iampfactor, ibasefrq*ifreqfactor, giSine

with the parameters iampfactor (the relative amplitude of a partial) and ifreqfactor (the frequency multiplier) transferred to the score.

The next version simplifies the instrument code and defines the variable values as score parameters:

EXAMPLE 04A02_AddSynth_score.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-o dac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;example by Andrés Cabrera and Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

giSine    ftgen     0, 0, 2^10, 10, 1

    instr 1
iBaseFreq =         cpspch(p4)
iFreqMult =         p5 ;frequency multiplier
iBaseAmp  =         ampdbfs(p6)
iAmpMult  =         p7 ;amplitude multiplier
iFreq     =         iBaseFreq * iFreqMult
iAmp      =         iBaseAmp * iAmpMult
kEnv      linen     iAmp, p3/4, p3, p3/4
aOsc      poscil    kEnv, iFreq, giSine
          outs      aOsc, aOsc
    endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
;          freq      freqmult  amp       ampmult
i 1 0 7    8.09      1         -10       1
i . . 6    .         2         .         [1/2]
i . . 5    .         3         .         [1/3]
i . . 4    .         4         .         [1/4]
i . . 3    .         5         .         [1/5]
i . . 3    .         6         .         [1/6]
i . . 3    .         7         .         [1/7]
s
i 1 0 6    8.09      1.5       -10       1
i . . 4    .         3.1       .         [1/3]
i . . 3    .         3.4       .         [1/6]
i . . 4    .         4.2       .         [1/9]
i . . 5    .         6.1       .         [1/12]
i . . 6    .         6.3       .         [1/15]
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

You might say: Okay, where is the simplification? There are even more lines than before! - This is true, and this is certainly just a step on the way to a better code. The main benefit now is flexibility. Now our code is capable of realizing any number of partials, with any amplitude, frequency and duration ratios. Using the Csound score abbreviations (for instance a dot for repeating the previous value in the same p-field), you can do a lot of copy-and-paste, and focus on what is changing from line to line.

Note also that you are now calling one instrument in multiple instances at the same time for performing additive synthesis. In fact, each instance of the instrument contributes just one partial for the additive synthesis. This call of multiple and simultaneous instances of one instrument is also a typical procedure for situations like this, and for writing clean and effective Csound code. We will discuss later how this can be done in a more elegant way than in the last example.

Creating Function Tables for Additive Synthesis

Before we continue on this road, let us go back to the first example and discuss a classical and abbreviated method of playing a number of partials. As we mentioned at the beginning, Fourier stated that any periodic oscillation can be described as a sum of simple sinusoids. If the single sinusoids are static (no individual envelope or duration), the resulting waveform will always be the same.



You see four sine generators, each with fixed frequency and amplitude relations, and mixed together. At the bottom of the illustration you see the composite waveform which repeats itself at each period. So - why not just calculate this composite waveform first, and then read it with just one oscillator?

This is what some Csound GEN routines do. They compose the resulting shape of the periodic wave, and store the values in a function table. GEN10 can be used for creating a waveform consisting of harmonically related partials. After the common GEN routine p-fields

<table number>, <creation time>, <size in points>, <GEN number>

you have just to determine the relative strength of the harmonics. GEN09 is more complex and allows you to also control the frequency multiplier and the phase (0-360°) of each partial. We are able to reproduce the first example in a shorter (and computational faster) form:

EXAMPLE 04A03_AddSynth_GEN.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-o dac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;example by Andrés Cabrera and Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

giSine    ftgen     0, 0, 2^10, 10, 1
giHarm    ftgen     1, 0, 2^12, 10, 1, 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/5, 1/6, 1/7, 1/8
giNois    ftgen     2, 0, 2^12, 9, 100,1,0,  102,1/2,0,  110,1/3,0, \
                 123,1/4,0,  126,1/5,0,  131,1/6,0,  139,1/7,0,  141,1/8,0

    instr 1
iBasFreq  =         cpspch(p4)
iTabFreq  =         p7 ;base frequency of the table
iBasFreq  =         iBasFreq / iTabFreq
iBaseAmp  =         ampdb(p5)
iFtNum    =         p6
aOsc      poscil    iBaseAmp, iBasFreq, iFtNum
aEnv      linen     aOsc, p3/4, p3, p3/4
          outs      aEnv, aEnv
    endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
;          pch       amp       table      table base (Hz)
i 1 0 5    8.00      -10       1          1
i . 3 5    9.00      -14       .          .
i . 5 8    9.02      -12       .          .
i . 6 9    7.01      -12       .          .
i . 7 10   6.00      -10       .          .
s
i 1 0 5    8.00      -10       2          100
i . 3 5    9.00      -14       .          .
i . 5 8    9.02      -12       .          .
i . 6 9    7.01      -12       .          .
i . 7 10   6.00      -10       .          .
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

As you can see, for non-harmonically related partials, the construction of a table must be done with a special care. If the frequency multipliers in our first example started with 1 and 1.02, the resulting period is acually very long. For a base frequency of 100 Hz, you will have the frequencies of 100 Hz and 102 Hz overlapping each other. So you need 100 cycles from the 1.00 multiplier and 102 cycles from the 1.02 multiplier to complete one period and to start again both together from zero. In other words, we have to create a table which contains 100 respectively 102 periods, instead of 1 and 1.02. Then the table values are not related to 1 - as usual - but to 100. That is the reason we have to introduce a new parameter iTabFreq for this purpose.

This method of composing waveforms can also be used for generating the four standard historical shapes used in a synthesizer. An impulse wave can be created by adding a number of harmonics of the same strength. A sawtooth has the amplitude multipliers 1, 1/2, 1/3, ... for the harmonics. A square has the same multipliers, but just for the odd harmonics. A triangle can be calculated as 1 divided by the square of the odd partials, with swaping positive and negative values. The next example creates function tables with just ten partials for each standard form.

EXAMPLE 04A04_Standard_waveforms.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-o dac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

giImp  ftgen  1, 0, 4096, 10, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1
giSaw  ftgen  2, 0, 4096, 10, 1,1/2,1/3,1/4,1/5,1/6,1/7,1/8,1/9,1/10
giSqu  ftgen  3, 0, 4096, 10, 1, 0, 1/3, 0, 1/5, 0, 1/7, 0, 1/9, 0
giTri  ftgen  4, 0, 4096, 10, 1, 0, -1/9, 0, 1/25, 0, -1/49, 0, 1/81, 0

instr 1
asig   poscil .2, 457, p4
       outs   asig, asig
endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 3 1
i 1 4 3 2
i 1 8 3 3
i 1 12 3 4
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

Triggering Sub-instruments for the Partials 

Performing additive synthesis by designing partial strengths into function tables has the disadvantage that once a note has begun there is no way of varying the relative strengths of individual partials. There are various methods to circumvent the inflexibility of table-based additive synthesis such as morphing between several tables (using for example the ftmorf opcode). Next we will consider another approach: triggering one instance of a sub-instrument for each partial, and exploring the possibilities of creating a spectrally dynamic sound using this technique.

Let us return to the second instrument (05A02.csd) which already made some abstractions and triggered one instrument instance for each partial. This was done in the score; but now we will trigger one complete note in one score line, not just one partial. The first step is to assign the desired number of partials via a score parameter. The next example triggers any number of partials using this one value:

EXAMPLE 04A05_Flexible_number_of_partials.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-o dac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

giSine    ftgen     0, 0, 2^10, 10, 1

instr 1 ;master instrument
inumparts =         p4 ;number of partials
ibasfreq  =         200 ;base frequency
ipart     =         1 ;count variable for loop
;loop for inumparts over the ipart variable
;and trigger inumpartss instanes of the subinstrument
loop:
ifreq     =         ibasfreq * ipart
iamp      =         1/ipart/inumparts
          event_i   "i", 10, 0, p3, ifreq, iamp
          loop_le   ipart, 1, inumparts, loop
endin

instr 10 ;subinstrument for playing one partial
ifreq     =         p4 ;frequency of this partial
iamp      =         p5 ;amplitude of this partial
aenv      transeg   0, .01, 0, iamp, p3-0.1, -10, 0
apart     poscil    aenv, ifreq, giSine
          outs      apart, apart
endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
;         number of partials
i 1 0 3   10
i 1 3 3   20
i 1 6 3   2
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

This instrument can easily be transformed to be played via a midi keyboard. The next example connects the number of synthesized partials with the midi velocity. So if you play softly, the sound will have fewer partials than if a key is struck with force.

EXAMPLE 04A06_Play_it_with_Midi.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-o dac -Ma
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

giSine    ftgen     0, 0, 2^10, 10, 1
          massign   0, 1 ;all midi channels to instr 1

instr 1 ;master instrument
ibasfreq  cpsmidi       ;base frequency
iampmid   ampmidi   20 ;receive midi-velocity and scale 0-20
inparts   =         int(iampmid)+1 ;exclude zero
ipart     =         1 ;count variable for loop
;loop for inparts over the ipart variable
;and trigger inparts instances of the sub-instrument
loop:
ifreq     =         ibasfreq * ipart
iamp      =         1/ipart/inparts
          event_i   "i", 10, 0, 1, ifreq, iamp
          loop_le   ipart, 1, inparts, loop
endin

instr 10 ;subinstrument for playing one partial
ifreq     =         p4 ;frequency of this partial
iamp      =         p5 ;amplitude of this partial
aenv      transeg   0, .01, 0, iamp, p3-.01, -3, 0
apart     poscil    aenv, ifreq, giSine
          outs      apart/3, apart/3
endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
f 0 3600
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

Although this instrument is rather primitive it is useful to be able to control the timbre in this way using key velocity. Let us continue to explore some other methods of creating parameter variation in additive synthesis.

User-controlled Random Variations in Additive Synthesis

In natural sounds, there is movement and change all the time. Even the best player or singer will not be able to play a note in the exact same way twice. And within a tone, the partials have some unsteadiness all the time: slight excitations in the amplitudes, uneven durations, slight frequency fluctuations. In an audio programming environment like Csound, we can achieve these movements with random deviations. It is not so important whether we use randomness or not, rather in which way. The boundaries of random deviations must be adjusted as carefully as with any other parameter in electronic composition. If sounds using random deviations begin to sound like mistakes then it is probably less to do with actually using random functions but instead more to do with some poorly chosen boundaries.

Let us start with some random deviations in our subinstrument. These parameters can be affected:

The following example shows the effect of these variations. As a base - and as a reference to its author - we take the "bell-like sound" which Jean-Claude Risset created in his Sound Catalogue.1  

EXAMPLE 04A07_Risset_variations.csd    

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-o dac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

;frequency and amplitude multipliers for 11 partials of Risset's bell
giFqs     ftgen     0, 0, -11,-2,.56,.563,.92, .923,1.19,1.7,2,2.74, \
                     3,3.74,4.07
giAmps    ftgen     0, 0, -11, -2, 1, 2/3, 1, 1.8, 8/3, 1.46, 4/3, 4/3, 1, 4/3
giSine    ftgen     0, 0, 2^10, 10, 1
          seed      0

instr 1 ;master instrument
ibasfreq  =         400
ifqdev    =         p4 ;maximum freq deviation in cents
iampdev   =         p5 ;maximum amp deviation in dB
idurdev   =         p6 ;maximum duration deviation in %
indx      =         0 ;count variable for loop
loop:
ifqmult   tab_i     indx, giFqs ;get frequency multiplier from table
ifreq     =         ibasfreq * ifqmult
iampmult  tab_i     indx, giAmps ;get amp multiplier
iamp      =         iampmult / 20 ;scale
          event_i   "i", 10, 0, p3, ifreq, iamp, ifqdev, iampdev, idurdev
          loop_lt   indx, 1, 11, loop
endin

instr 10 ;subinstrument for playing one partial
;receive the parameters from the master instrument
ifreqnorm =         p4 ;standard frequency of this partial
iampnorm  =         p5 ;standard amplitude of this partial
ifqdev    =         p6 ;maximum freq deviation in cents
iampdev   =         p7 ;maximum amp deviation in dB
idurdev   =         p8 ;maximum duration deviation in %
;calculate frequency
icent     random    -ifqdev, ifqdev ;cent deviation
ifreq     =         ifreqnorm * cent(icent)
;calculate amplitude
idb       random    -iampdev, iampdev ;dB deviation
iamp      =         iampnorm * ampdb(idb)
;calculate duration
idurperc  random    -idurdev, idurdev ;duration deviation (%)
iptdur    =         p3 * 2^(idurperc/100)
p3        =         iptdur ;set p3 to the calculated value
;play partial
aenv      transeg   0, .01, 0, iamp, p3-.01, -10, 0
apart     poscil    aenv, ifreq, giSine
          outs      apart, apart
endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
;         frequency   amplitude   duration
;         deviation   deviation   deviation
;         in cent     in dB       in %
;;unchanged sound (twice)
r 2
i 1 0 5   0           0           0
s
;;slight variations in frequency
r 4
i 1 0 5   25          0           0
;;slight variations in amplitude
r 4
i 1 0 5   0           6           0
;;slight variations in duration
r 4
i 1 0 5   0           0           30
;;slight variations combined
r 6
i 1 0 5   25          6           30
;;heavy variations
r 6
i 1 0 5   50          9           100
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer> 

For a midi-triggered descendant of the instrument, we can - as one of many possible choices - vary the amount of possible random variation on the key velocity. So a key pressed softly plays the bell-like sound as described by Risset but as a key is struck with increasing force the sound produced will be increasingly altered.

EXAMPLE 04A08_Risset_played_by_Midi.csd    

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-o dac -Ma
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

;frequency and amplitude multipliers for 11 partials of Risset's bell
giFqs     ftgen     0, 0, -11, -2, .56,.563,.92,.923,1.19,1.7,2,2.74,3,\
                    3.74,4.07
giAmps    ftgen     0, 0, -11, -2, 1, 2/3, 1, 1.8, 8/3, 1.46, 4/3, 4/3, 1,\
                    4/3
giSine    ftgen     0, 0, 2^10, 10, 1
          seed      0
          massign   0, 1 ;all midi channels to instr 1

instr 1 ;master instrument
;;scale desired deviations for maximum velocity
;frequency (cent)
imxfqdv   =         100
;amplitude (dB)
imxampdv  =         12
;duration (%)
imxdurdv  =         100
;;get midi values
ibasfreq  cpsmidi       ;base frequency
iampmid   ampmidi   1 ;receive midi-velocity and scale 0-1
;;calculate maximum deviations depending on midi-velocity
ifqdev    =         imxfqdv * iampmid
iampdev   =         imxampdv * iampmid
idurdev   =         imxdurdv * iampmid
;;trigger subinstruments
indx      =         0 ;count variable for loop
loop:
ifqmult   tab_i     indx, giFqs ;get frequency multiplier from table
ifreq     =         ibasfreq * ifqmult
iampmult  tab_i     indx, giAmps ;get amp multiplier
iamp      =         iampmult / 20 ;scale
          event_i   "i", 10, 0, 3, ifreq, iamp, ifqdev, iampdev, idurdev
          loop_lt   indx, 1, 11, loop
endin

instr 10 ;subinstrument for playing one partial
;receive the parameters from the master instrument
ifreqnorm =         p4 ;standard frequency of this partial
iampnorm  =         p5 ;standard amplitude of this partial
ifqdev    =         p6 ;maximum freq deviation in cents
iampdev   =         p7 ;maximum amp deviation in dB
idurdev   =         p8 ;maximum duration deviation in %
;calculate frequency
icent     random    -ifqdev, ifqdev ;cent deviation
ifreq     =         ifreqnorm * cent(icent)
;calculate amplitude
idb       random    -iampdev, iampdev ;dB deviation
iamp      =         iampnorm * ampdb(idb)
;calculate duration
idurperc  random    -idurdev, idurdev ;duration deviation (%)
iptdur    =         p3 * 2^(idurperc/100)
p3        =         iptdur ;set p3 to the calculated value
;play partial
aenv      transeg   0, .01, 0, iamp, p3-.01, -10, 0
apart     poscil    aenv, ifreq, giSine
          outs      apart, apart
endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
f 0 3600
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer> 

It will depend on the power of your computer whether you can play examples like this in realtime. Have a look at chapter 2D (Live Audio) for tips on getting the best possible performance from your Csound orchestra. 

In the next example we will use additive synthesis to make a kind of a wobble bass. It starts as a bass, then evolve to something else, and then ends as a bass again. We will first generate all the inharmonic partials with a loop. Ordinary partials are arithmetic, we add the same value to one partial to get to the next. In this example we will instead use geometric partials, we will multiplicate one partial with a certain number (kfreqmult) to get the next partial frequency. This number is not constant, but is generated by a sine oscilator. This is frequency modulation. Then some randomness is added to make a more interesting sound, and chorus effect to make the sound more "fat". The exponential function, exp, is used because if we move upwards in common musical scales, then the frequencies grow exponentially.

   EXAMPLE 04A09_Wobble_bass.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer> ; Wobble bass made with additive synthesis

<CsOptions> ; and frequency modulation
-odac
</CsOptions>

<CsInstruments>
; Example by Bjørn Houdorf, March 2013
sr = 44100
ksmps = 1
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

instr 1
kamp       =          24 ; Amplitude
kfreq      expseg     p4, p3/2, 50*p4, p3/2, p4 ; Base frequency
iloopnum   =          p5 ; Number of all partials generated
alyd1      init       0
alyd2      init       0
           seed       0
kfreqmult  oscili     1, 2, 1
kosc       oscili     1, 2.1, 1
ktone      randomh    0.5, 2, 0.2 ; A random input
icount     =          1

loop: ; Loop to generate partials to additive synthesis
kfreq      =          kfreqmult * kfreq
atal       oscili     1, 0.5, 1
apart      oscili     1, icount*exp(atal*ktone) , 1 ; Modulate each partials
anum       =          apart*kfreq*kosc
asig1      oscili     kamp, anum, 1
asig2      oscili     kamp, 1.5*anum, 1 ; Chorus effect to make the sound more "fat"
asig3      oscili     kamp, 2*anum, 1
asig4      oscili     kamp, 2.5*anum, 1
alyd1      =          (alyd1 + asig1+asig4)/icount ;Sum of partials
alyd2      =          (alyd2 + asig2+asig3)/icount
           loop_lt    icount, 1, iloopnum, loop ; End of loop

           outs       alyd1, alyd2 ; Output generated sound
endin
</CsInstruments>

<CsScore>
f1 0 128 10 1
i1 0 60 110 50
e
</CsScore>

</CsoundSynthesizer>

gbuzz, buzz and GEN11

gbuzz is useful for creating additive tones made of of harmonically related cosine waves. Rather than define attributes for every partial individually gbuzz allows us to define global aspects for the additive tone, specifically, the number of partials in the tone, the partial number of the lowest partial present and an amplitude coefficient multipler which shifts the peak of spectral energy in the tone. Number of harmonics (knh) and lowest hamonic (klh) although k-rate arguments are only interpreted as integers by the opcode therefore changes from integer to integer will result in discontinuities in the output signal. The amplitude coefficient multiplier allows smooth modulations.

In the following example a 100Hz tone is created in which the number of partials it contains rises from 1 to 20 across its 8 second duration. A spectrogram/sonogram displays how this manifests spectrally. A linear frequency scale is employed so that partials appear equally spaced.

   EXAMPLE 04A10_gbuzz.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>

<CsOptions>
-o dac
</CsOptions>

<CsInstruments>
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

; a cosine wave
gicos ftgen 0, 0, 2^10, 11, 1

 instr 1
knh  line  1, p3, 20  ; number of harmonics
klh  =     1          ; lowest harmonic
kmul =     1          ; amplitude coefficient multiplier
asig gbuzz 1, 100, knh, klh, kmul, gicos
     outs  asig, asig
 endin

</CsInstruments>

<CsScore>
i 1 0 8
e
</CsScore>

</CsoundSynthesizer>


The total number of partials only reaches 19 because the line function only reaches 20 at the very conclusion of the note. 

In the next example the number of partials contained within the tone remains constant but the partial number of the lowest partial rises from 1 to 20.

   EXAMPLE 04A11_gbuzz_partials_rise.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>

<CsOptions>
-o dac
</CsOptions>

<CsInstruments>
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

; a cosine wave
gicos ftgen 0, 0, 2^10, 11, 1

 instr 1
knh  =     20
klh  line  1, p3, 20
kmul =     1
asig gbuzz 1, 100, knh, klh, kmul, gicos
     outs  asig, asig
 endin

</CsInstruments>

<CsScore>
i 1 0 8
e
</CsScore>

</CsoundSynthesizer>

 

In the sonogram it can be seen how, as lowermost partials are removed, additional partials are added at the top ot the spectrum. This is because the total number of partials remains constant at 20.

In the final gbuzz example the amplitude coefficient multiplier rises from 0 to 2. It can be heard (and seen in the sonogram) how, when this value is zero greatest emphasis is placed on the lowermost partial and when this value is 2 the uppermost partial has the greatest emphasis.

   EXAMPLE 04A12_gbuzz_amp_coeff_rise.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>

<CsOptions>
-o dac
</CsOptions>

<CsInstruments>
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

; a cosine wave
gicos ftgen 0, 0, 2^10, 11, 1

 instr 1
knh  =     20
klh  =     1
kmul line  0, p3, 2
asig gbuzz 1, 100, knh, klh, kmul, gicos
fout "gbuzz3.wav",4,asig
 endin

</CsInstruments>

<CsScore>
i 1 0 8
e
</CsScore>

</CsoundSynthesizer>

 

buzz is a simplified version of gbuzz with fewer parameters – it does not provide for modulation of the lowest partial number and amplitude coefficient multiplier.

GEN11 creates a function table waveform using the same parameters as gbuzz. When a gbuzz tone is required but no performance time modulation of its parameters is needed GEN11 may provide a more efficient option. GEN11 also opens the possibility of using its waveforms in a variety of other opcodes. gbuzz, buzz and GEN11 may prove useful as a source in subtractive synthesis.

Additive synthesis can still be an exciting way of producing sounds. The nowadays computational power and programming structures open the way for new discoveries and ideas. The later examples were intended to show some of these potentials of additive synthesis in Csound. 

  1. Jean-Claude Risset, Introductory Catalogue of Computer Synthesized Sounds (1969), cited after Dodge/Jerse, Computer Music, New York / London 1985, p.94^

DIGITAL AUDIO

At a purely physical level, sound is simply a mechanical disturbance of a medium. The medium in question may be air, solid, liquid, gas or a mixture of several of these. This disturbance to the medium causes molecules to move to and fro in a spring-like manner. As one molecule hits the next, the disturbance moves through the medium causing sound to travel. These so called compressions and rarefactions in the medium can be described as sound waves. The simplest type of waveform, describing what is referred to as 'simple harmonic motion', is a sine wave.

SineWave

Each time the waveform signal goes above 0 the molecules are in a state of compression meaning they are pushing towards each other. Every time the waveform signal drops below 0 the molecules are in a state of rarefaction meaning they are pulling away from each other. When a waveform shows a clear repeating pattern, as in the case above, it is said to be periodic. Periodic sounds give rise to the sensation of pitch.

Elements of a Sound Wave

Periodic waves have four common parameters, and each of the four parameters affects the way we perceive sound.

Therefore the frequency is the inverse of the period, so a wave of 100 Hz frequency has a period of 1/100 or 0.01 secs, likewise a frequency of 256Hz has a period of 1/256, or 0.004 secs. To calculate the wavelength of a sound in any given medium we can use the following equation:

 Wavelength = Velocity/Frequency

Humans can hear frequencies from 20Hz to 20000Hz (although this can differ dramatically from individual to individual). You can read more about frequency in the next chapter.

Transduction

The analogue sound waves we hear in the world around us need to be converted into an electrical signal in order to be amplified or sent to a soundcard for recording. The process of converting acoustical energy in the form of pressure waves into an electrical signal is carried out by a device known as a a transducer.

A transducer, which is usually found in microphones, produces a changing electrical voltage that mirrors the changing compression and rarefaction of the air molecules caused by the sound wave. The continuous variation of pressure is therefore 'transduced' into continuous variation of voltage. The greater the variation of pressure the greater the variation of voltage that is sent to the computer.

Ideally, the transduction process should be as transparent and clean as possible: i.e., whatever goes in comes out as a perfect voltage representation. In the real world however this is never the case. Noise and distortion are always incorporated into the signal. Every time sound passes through a transducer or is transmitted electrically a change in signal quality will result. When we talk of 'noise' we are talking specifically about any unwanted signal captured during the transduction process. This normally manifests itself as an unwanted 'hiss'.

Sampling

The analogue voltage that corresponds to an acoustic signal changes continuously so that at each instant in time it will have a different value. It is not possible for a computer to receive the value of the voltage for every instant because of the physical limitations of both the computer and the data converters (remember also that there are an infinite number of instances between every two instances!).

What the soundcard can do however is to measure the power of the analogue voltage at intervals of equal duration. This is how all digital recording works and is known as 'sampling'. The result of this sampling process is a discrete or digital signal which is no more than a sequence of numbers corresponding to the voltage at each successive sample time.

Below left is a diagram showing a sinusoidal waveform. The vertical lines that run through the diagram represents the points in time when a snapshot is taken of the signal. After the sampling has taken place we are left with what is known as a discrete signal consisting of a collection of audio samples, as illustrated in the diagram on the right hand side below. If one is recording using a typical audio editor the incoming samples will be stored in the computer RAM (Random Access Memory). In Csound one can process the incoming audio samples in real time and output a new stream of samples, or write them to disk in the form of a sound file.

waveFormSampling.png

It is important to remember that each sample represents the amount of voltage, positive or negative, that was present in the signal at the point in time the sample or snapshot was taken.

The same principle applies to recording of live video. A video camera takes a sequence of pictures of something in motion for example. Most video cameras will take between 30 and 60 still pictures a second. Each picture is called a frame. When these frames are played we no longer perceive them as individual pictures. We perceive them instead as a continuous moving image.

Analogue versus Digital

In general, analogue systems can be quite unreliable when it comes to noise and distortion. Each time something is copied or transmitted, some noise and distortion is introduced into the process. If this is done many times, the cumulative effect can deteriorate a signal quite considerably. It is because of this, the music industry has turned to digital technology, which so far offers the best solution to this problem. As we saw above, in digital systems sound is stored as numbers, so a signal can be effectively "cloned". Mathematical routines can be applied to prevent errors in transmission, which could otherwise introduce noise into the signal.

Sample Rate and the Sampling Theorem

The sample rate describes the number of samples (pictures/snapshots) taken each second. To sample an audio signal correctly it is important to pay attention to the sampling theorem:

"To represent digitally a signal containing frequencies up to X Hz, it is necessary to use a sampling rate of at least 2X samples per second"  

According to this theorem, a soundcard or any other digital recording device will not be able to represent any frequency above 1/2 the sampling rate. Half the sampling rate is also referred to as the Nyquist frequency, after the Swedish physicist Harry Nyquist who formalized the theory in the 1920s. What it all means is that any signal with frequencies above the Nyquist frequency will be misrepresented. Furthermore it will result in a frequency lower than the one being sampled. When this happens it results in what is known as aliasing or foldover.

Aliasing

Here is a graphical representation of aliasing.

Aliasing.png
The sinusoidal wave form in blue is being sampled at each arrow. The line that joins the red circles together is the captured waveform. As you can see the captured wave form and the original waveform have different frequencies. Here is another example:

Aliasing2.png

We can see that if the sample rate is 40,000 there is no problem sampling a signal that is 10KHz. On the other hand, in the second example it can be seen that a 30kHz waveform is not going to be correctly sampled. In fact we end up with a waveform that is 10kHz, rather than 30kHz.

The following Csound instrument plays a 1000 Hz tone first directly, and then because the frequency is 1000 Hz lower than the sample rate of 44100 Hz:

EXAMPLE 01A01_Aliasing.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

instr 1
asig    oscils  .2, p4, 0
        outs    asig, asig
endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 2 1000 ;1000 Hz tone
i 1 3 2 43100 ;43100 Hz tone sounds like 1000 Hz because of aliasing
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

The same phenomenon takes places in film and video too. You may recall having seen wagon wheels apparently move backwards in old Westerns. Let us say for example that a camera is taking 60 frames per second of a wheel moving. If the wheel is completing one rotation in exactly 1/60th of a second, then every picture looks the same. - as a result the wheel appears to stand still. If the wheel speeds up, i.e., increases frequency, it will appear as if the wheel is slowly turning backwards. This is because the wheel will complete more than a full rotation between each snapshot. This is the most ugly side-effect of aliasing - wrong information.

As an aside, it is worth observing that a lot of modern 'glitch' music intentionally makes a feature of the spectral distortion that aliasing induces in digital audio.

Audio-CD Quality uses a sample rate of 44100Kz (44.1 kHz). This means that CD quality can only represent frequencies up to 22050Hz. Humans typically have an absolute upper limit of hearing of about 20Khz thus making 44.1KHz a reasonable standard sampling rate.

Bits, Bytes and Words. Understanding Binary.

All digital computers represent data as a collection of bits (short for binary digit). A bit is the smallest possible unit of information. One bit can only be one of two states - off or on, 0 or 1. The meaning of the bit, which can represent almost anything, is unimportant at this point. The thing to remember is that all computer data - a text file on disk, a program in memory, a packet on a network - is ultimately a collection of bits.

Bits in groups of eight are called bytes, and one byte usually represents a single character of data in the computer. It's a little used term, but you might be interested in knowing that a nibble is half a byte (usually 4 bits).


The Binary System

All digital computers work in a environment that has only two variables, 0 and 1. All numbers in our decimal system therefore must be translated into 0's and 1's in the binary system. If you think of
binary numbers in terms of switches. With one switch you can represent up to two different numbers.

0 (OFF) = Decimal 0
1 (ON) = Decimal 1

Thus, a single bit represents 2 numbers, two bits can represent 4 numbers, three bits represent 8 numbers, four bits represent 16 numbers, and so on up to a byte, or eight bits, which represents 256 numbers. Therefore each added bit doubles the amount of possible numbers that can be represented. Put simply, the more bits you have at your disposal the more information you can store.


Bit-depth Resolution

Apart from the sample rate, another important parameter which can affect the fidelity of a digital signal is the accuracy with which each sample is known, in other words knowing how strong each voltage is. Every sample obtained is set to a specific amplitude (the measure of strength for each voltage) level. The number of levels depends on the precision of the measurement in bits, i.e., how many binary digits are used to store the samples. The number of bits that a system can use is normally referred to as the bit-depth resolution.

If the bit-depth resolution is 3 then there are 8 possible levels of amplitude that we can use for each sample. We can see this in the diagram below. At each sampling period the soundcard plots an amplitude. As we are only using a 3-bit system the resolution is not good enough to plot the correct amplitude of each sample. We can see in the diagram that some vertical lines stop above or below the real signal. This is because our bit-depth is not high enough to plot the amplitude levels with sufficient accuracy at each sampling period.

bitdepth.png

example here for 4, 6, 8, 12, 16 bit of a sine signal ...
... coming in the next release

The standard resolution for CDs is 16 bit, which allows for 65536 different possible amplitude levels, 32767 either side of the zero axis. Using bit rates lower than 16 is not a good idea as it will result in noise being added to the signal. This is referred to as quantization noise and is a result of amplitude values being excessively rounded up or down when being digitized. Quantization noise becomes most apparent when trying to represent low amplitude (quiet) sounds. Frequently a tiny amount of noise, known as a dither signal, will be added to digital audio before conversion back into an analogue signal. Adding this dither signal will actually reduce the more noticeable noise created by quantization. As higher bit depth resolutions are employed in the digitizing process the need for dithering is reduced. A general rule is to use the highest bit rate available.

Many electronic musicians make use of deliberately low bit depth quantization in order to add noise to a signal. The effect is commonly known as 'bit-crunching' and is relatively easy to do in Csound.

ADC / DAC

The entire process, as described above, of taking an analogue signal and converting it into a digital signal is referred to as analogue to digital conversion or ADC. Of course digital to analogue conversion, DAC, is also possible. This is how we get to hear our music through our PC's headphones or speakers. For example, if one plays a sound from Media Player or iTunes the software will send a series of numbers to the computer soundcard. In fact it will most likely send 44100 numbers a second. If the audio that is playing is 16 bit then these numbers will range from -32768 to +32767.

When the sound card receives these numbers from the audio stream it will output corresponding voltages to a loudspeaker. When the voltages reach the loudspeaker they cause the loudspeakers magnet to move inwards and outwards. This causes a disturbance in the air around the speaker resulting in what we perceive as sound.

ENVELOPES

Envelopes are used to define how a value changes over time. In early synthesizers, envelopes were used to define the changes in amplitude in a sound across its duration thereby imbuing sounds characteristics such as 'percussive', or 'sustaining'. Of course envelopes can be applied to any parameter and not just amplitude.

Csound offers a wide array of opcodes for generating envelopes including ones which emulate the classic ADSR (attack-decay-sustain-release) envelopes found on hardware and commercial software synthesizers. A selection of these opcodes, which represent the basic types, shall be introduced here

The simplest opcode for defining an envelope is line. line describes a single envelope segment as a straight line between a start value and an end value which has a given duration.

ares line ia, idur, ib
kres line ia, idur, ib

In the following example line is used to create a simple envelope which is then used as the amplitude control of a poscil oscillator. This envelope starts with a value of 0.5 then over the course of 2 seconds descends in linear fashion to zero.

   EXAMPLE 05A01_line.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>

<CsOptions>
-odac ; activates real time sound output
</CsOptions>

<CsInstruments>
; Example by Iain McCurdy
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 1
0dbfs = 1

giSine   ftgen    0, 0, 2^12, 10, 1 ; a sine wave

  instr 1
aEnv     line     0.5, 2, 0         ; amplitude envelope
aSig     poscil   aEnv, 500, giSine ; audio oscillator
         out      aSig              ; audio sent to output
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 2 ; instrument 1 plays a note for 2 seconds
e
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

The envelope in the above example assumes that all notes played by this instrument will be 2 seconds long. In practice it is often beneficial to relate the duration of the envelope to the duration of the note (p3) in some way. In the next example the duration of the envelope is replaced with the value of p3 retrieved from the score, whatever that may be. The envelope will be stretched or contracted accordingly.

   EXAMPLE 05A02_line_p3.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>

<CsOptions>
-odac ;activates real time sound output
</CsOptions>

<CsInstruments>
;Example by Iain McCurdy
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 1
0dbfs = 1

giSine   ftgen    0, 0, 2^12, 10, 1 ; a sine wave

  instr 1
; A single segment envelope. Time value defined by note duration.
aEnv     line     0.5, p3, 0
aSig     poscil   aEnv, 500, giSine ; an audio oscillator
         out      aSig              ; audio sent to output
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
; p1 p2  p3
i 1  0    1
i 1  2  0.2
i 1  3    4
e
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

It may not be disastrous if a envelope's duration does not match p3 and indeed there are many occasions when we want an envelope duration to be independent of p3 but we need to remain aware that if p3 is shorter than an envelope's duration then that envelope will be truncated before it is allowed to complete and if p3 is longer than an envelope's duration then the envelope will complete before the note ends (the consequences of this latter situation will be looked at in more detail later on in this section).

line (and most of Csound's envelope generators) can output either k or a-rate variables. k-rate envelopes are computationally cheaper than a-rate envelopes but in envelopes with fast moving segments quantization can occur if they output a k-rate variable, particularly when the control rate is low, which in the case of amplitude envelopes can lead to clicking artefacts or distortion.

linseg is an elaboration of line and allows us to add an arbitrary number of segments by adding further pairs of time durations followed envelope values. Provided we always end with a value and not a duration we can make this envelope as long as we like.

In the next example a more complex amplitude envelope is employed by using the linseg opcode. This envelope is also note duration (p3) dependent but in a more elaborate way. A attack-decay stage is defined using explicitly declared time durations. A release stage is also defined with an explicitly declared duration. The sustain stage is the p3 dependent stage but to ensure that the duration of the entire envelope still adds up to p3, the explicitly defined durations of the attack, decay and release stages are subtracted from the p3 dependent sustain stage duration. For this envelope to function correctly it is important that p3 is not less than the sum of all explicitly defined envelope segment durations. If necessary, additional code could be employed to circumvent this from happening.

   EXAMPLE 05A03_linseg.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>

<CsOptions>
-odac ; activates real time sound output
</CsOptions>

<CsInstruments>
; Example by Iain McCurdy

sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 1
0dbfs = 1

giSine   ftgen    0, 0, 2^12, 10, 1 ; a sine wave

  instr 1
; a more complex amplitude envelope:
;                 |-attack-|-decay--|---sustain---|-release-|
aEnv     linseg   0, 0.01, 1, 0.1, 0.1, p3-0.21, 0.1, 0.1, 0
aSig     poscil   aEnv, 500, giSine
         out      aSig
  endin

</CsInstruments>

<CsScore>
i 1 0 1
i 1 2 5
e
</CsScore>

</CsoundSynthesizer>

The next example illustrates an approach that can be taken whenever it is required that more than one envelope segment duration be p3 dependent. This time each segment is a fraction of p3. The sum of all segments still adds up to p3 so the envelope will complete across the duration of each each note regardless of duration.

   EXAMPLE 05A04_linseg_p3_fractions.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>

<CsOptions>
-odac ;activates real time sound output
</CsOptions>

<CsInstruments>
;Example by Iain McCurdy

sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 1
0dbfs = 1

giSine   ftgen    0, 0, 2^12, 10, 1; a sine wave

  instr 1
aEnv     linseg   0, p3*0.5, 1, p3*0.5, 0 ; rising then falling envelope
aSig     poscil   aEnv, 500, giSine
         out      aSig
  endin

</CsInstruments>

<CsScore>
; 3 notes of different durations are played
i 1 0   1
i 1 2 0.1
i 1 3   5
e
</CsScore>

</CsoundSynthesizer>

The next example highlights an important difference in the behaviours of line and linseg when p3 exceeds the duration of an envelope.

When a note continues beyond the end of the final value of a linseg defined envelope the final value of that envelope is held. A line defined envelope behaves differently in that instead of holding its final value it continues in a trajectory defined by the last segment.

This difference is illustrated in the following example. The linseg and line envelopes of instruments 1 and 2 appear to be the same but the difference in their behaviour as described above when they continue beyond the end of their final segment is clear when listening to the example.

Note that information given in the Csound Manual in regard to this matter is incorrect at the time of writing.

   EXAMPLE 05A05_line_vs_linseg.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>

<CsOptions>
-odac ; activates real time sound output
</CsOptions>

<CsInstruments>
; Example by Iain McCurdy
sr = 44100 ksmps = 32 nchnls = 1 0dbfs = 1 giSine ftgen 0, 0, 2^12, 10, 1 ; a sine wave instr 1 ; linseg envelope aCps linseg 300, 1, 600 ; linseg holds its last value aSig poscil 0.2, aCps, giSine out aSig endin instr 2 ; line envelope aCps line 300, 1, 600 ; line continues its trajectory aSig poscil 0.2, aCps, giSine out aSig endin </CsInstruments> <CsScore> i 1 0 5 ; linseg envelope i 2 6 5 ; line envelope e </CsScore> </CsoundSynthesizer>

expon and expseg are versions of line and linseg that instead produce envelope segments with concave exponential rather than linear shapes. expon and expseg can often be more musically useful for envelopes that define amplitude or frequency as they will reflect the logarithmic nature of how these parameters are perceived. On account of the mathematics that is used to define these curves, we cannot define a value of zero at any node in the envelope and an envelope cannot cross the zero axis. If we require a value of zero we can instead provide a value very close to zero. If we still really need zero we can always subtract the offset value from the entire envelope in a subsequent line of code.

The following example illustrates the difference between line and expon when applied as amplitude envelopes.

   EXAMPLE 05A06_line_vs_expon.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>

<CsOptions>
-odac ; activates real time sound output
</CsOptions>

<CsInstruments>
; Example by Iain McCurdy

sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 1
0dbfs = 1

giSine   ftgen    0, 0, 2^12, 10, 1 ; a sine wave

  instr 1 ; line envelope
aEnv     line     1, p3, 0
aSig     poscil   aEnv, 500, giSine
         out      aSig
  endin

  instr 2 ; expon envelope
aEnv     expon    1, p3, 0.0001
aSig     poscil   aEnv, 500, giSine
         out      aSig
  endin

</CsInstruments>

<CsScore>
i 1 0 2 ; line envelope
i 2 2 1 ; expon envelope
e
</CsScore>

</CsoundSynthesizer> 

The nearer our 'near-zero' values are to zero the quicker the curve will appear to reach 'zero'. In the next example smaller and smaller envelope end values are passed to the expon opcode using p4 values in the score. The percussive 'ping' sounds are perceived to be increasingly short.

   EXAMPLE 05A07_expon_pings.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>

<CsOptions>
-odac ; activates real time sound output
</CsOptions>

<CsInstruments>
; Example by Iain McCurdy

sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 1
0dbfs = 1

giSine   ftgen    0, 0, 2^12, 10, 1 ; a sine wave

  instr 1; expon envelope
iEndVal  =        p4 ; variable 'iEndVal' retrieved from score
aEnv     expon    1, p3, iEndVal
aSig     poscil   aEnv, 500, giSine
         out      aSig
  endin

</CsInstruments>

<CsScore>
;p1  p2 p3 p4
i 1  0  1  0.001
i 1  1  1  0.000001
i 1  2  1  0.000000000000001
e
</CsScore>

</CsoundSynthesizer>

Note that expseg does not behave like linseg in that it will not hold its last final value if p3 exceeds its entire duration, instead it continues its curving trajectory in a manner similar to line (and expon). This could have dangerous results if used as an amplitude envelope.

When dealing with notes with an indefinite duration at the time of initiation (such as midi activated notes or score activated notes with a negative p3 value), we do not have the option of using p3 in a meaningful way. Instead we can use one of Csound's envelopes that sense the ending of a note when it arrives and adjust their behaviour according to this. The opcodes in question are linenr, linsegr, expsegr, madsr, mxadsr and envlpxr. These opcodes wait until a held note is turned off before executing their final envelope segment. To facilitate this mechanism they extend the duration of the note so that this final envelope segment can complete.

The following example uses midi input (either hardware or virtual) to activate notes. The use of the linsegr envelope means that after the short attack stage lasting 0.1 seconds, the penultimate value of 1 will be held as long as the note is sustained but as soon as the note is released the note will be extended by 0.5 seconds in order to allow the final envelope segment to decay to zero.

   EXAMPLE 05A08_linsegr.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>

<CsOptions>
-odac -+rtmidi=virtual -M0
; activate real time audio and MIDI (virtual midi device)
</CsOptions>

<CsInstruments>
; Example by Iain McCurdy

sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 1
0dbfs = 1

giSine   ftgen    0, 0, 2^12, 10, 1        ; a sine wave

  instr 1
icps     cpsmidi
;                 attack-|sustain-|-release
aEnv     linsegr  0, 0.01,  0.1,     0.5,0 ; envelope that senses note releases
aSig     poscil   aEnv, icps, giSine       ; audio oscillator
         out      aSig                     ; audio sent to output
  endin

</CsInstruments>

<CsScore>
f 0 240 ; csound performance for 4 minutes
e
</CsScore>

</CsoundSynthesizer>

Sometimes designing our envelope shape in a function table can provide us with shapes that are not possible using Csound's envelope generating opcodes. In this case the envelope can be read from the function table using an oscillator and if the oscillator is given a frequency of 1/p3 then it will read though the envelope just once across the duration of the note.

The following example generates an amplitude envelope which is the shape of the first half of a sine wave.

   EXAMPLE 05A09_sine_env.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>

<CsOptions>
-odac ; activate real time sound output
</CsOptions>

<CsInstruments>
; Example by Iain McCurdy

sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 1
0dbfs = 1

giSine   ftgen    0, 0, 2^12, 10, 1        ; a sine wave
giEnv    ftgen    0, 0, 2^12, 9, 0.5, 1, 0 ; envelope shape: a half sine

  instr 1
; read the envelope once during the note's duration:
aEnv     poscil   1, 1/p3, giEnv
aSig     poscil   aEnv, 500, giSine        ; audio oscillator
         out      aSig                     ; audio sent to output
  endin

</CsInstruments>

<CsScore>
; 7 notes, increasingly short
i 1 0 2
i 1 2 1
i 1 3 0.5
i 1 4 0.25
i 1 5 0.125
i 1 6 0.0625
i 1 7 0.03125
f 0 7.1
e
</CsScore>

</CsoundSynthesizer>

lpshold, loopseg and looptseg - A Csound TB303

The next example introduces three of Csound's looping opcodes, lpshold, loopseg and looptseg.

These opcodes generate envelopes which are looped at a rate corresponding to a defined frequency. What they each do could also be accomplished using the 'envelope from table' technique outlined in an earlier example but these opcodes provides the added convenience of encapsulating all the required code in one line without the need of any function tables. Furthermore all of the input arguments for these opcodes can be modulated at k-rate.

lpshold generates an envelope with in which each break point is held constant until a new break point is encountered. The resulting envelope will contain horizontal line segments. In our example this opcode will be used to generate a looping bassline in the fashion of a Roland TB303. Because the duration of the entire envelope is wholly dependent upon the frequency with which the envelope repeats - in fact it is the reciprocal – values for the durations of individual envelope segments are defining times in seconds but represent proportions of the entire envelope duration. The values given for all these segments do not need to add up to any specific value as Csound rescales the proportionality according to the sum of all segment durations. You might find it convenient to contrive to have them all add up to 1, or to 100 – either is equally valid. The other looping envelope opcodes discussed here use the same method for defining segment durations.

loopseg allows us to define a looping envelope with linear segements. In this example it is used to define the amplitude envelope of each individual note. Take note that whereas the lpshold envelope used to define the pitches of the melody repeats once per phrase the amplitude envelope repeats once for each note of the melody therefore its frequency is 16 times that of the melody envelope (there are 16 notes in our melodic phrase).

looptseg is an elaboration of loopseg in that is allows us to define the shape of each segment individually whether that be convex, linear of concave. This aspect is defined using the 'type' parameters. A 'type' value of 0 denotes a linear segement, a positive value denotes a convex segment with higher positive values resulting in increasingly convex curves. Negative values denote concave segments with increasing negative values resulting in increasingly concave curves. In this example looptseg is used to define a filter envelope which, like the amplitude envelope, repeats for every note. The addition of the 'type' parameter allows us to modulate the sharpness of the decay of the filter envelope. This is a crucial element of the TB303 design. Note that looptseg is only available in Csound 5.12 or later.

Other crucial features of this instrument such as 'note on/off' and 'hold' for each step are also implemented using lpshold.

A number of the input parameters of this example are modulated automatically using the randomi opcodes in order to keep it interesting. It is suggested that these modulations could be replaced by linkages to other controls such as CsoundQt widgets, FLTK widgets or MIDI controllers. Suggested ranges for each of these values are given in the .csd.

[Note that corrections were made to the implementations of the loopseg and lpshold opcodes in Csound version 5.13; therefore the following example will not run on earlier versions.] 

  EXAMPLE 05A10_lpshold_loopseg.csd
<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac ;activates real time sound output
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
; Example by Iain McCurdy

sr = 44100
ksmps = 4
nchnls = 1
0dbfs = 1

seed 0; seed random number generators from system clock

  instr 1; Bassline instrument
kTempo    =            90          ; tempo in beats per minute
kCfBase   randomi      1,4, 0.2    ; base filter frequency (oct format)
kCfEnv    randomi      0,4,0.2     ; filter envelope depth
kRes      randomi      0.5,0.9,0.2 ; filter resonance
kVol      =            0.5         ; volume control
kDecay    randomi      -10,10,0.2  ; decay shape of the filter.
kWaveform =            0           ; oscillator waveform. 0=sawtooth 2=square
kDist     randomi      0,1,0.1     ; amount of distortion
kPhFreq   =            kTempo/240  ; freq. to repeat the entire phrase
kBtFreq   =            (kTempo)/15 ; frequency of each 1/16th note
; -- Envelopes with held segments  --
; The first value of each pair defines the relative duration of that segment,
; the second, the value itself.
; Note numbers (kNum) are defined as MIDI note numbers.
; Note On/Off (kOn) and hold (kHold) are defined as on/off switches, 1 or zero
;                    note:1      2     3     4     5     6     7     8
;                         9     10    11    12    13    14    15    16    0
kNum  lpshold kPhFreq, 0, 0,40,  1,42, 1,50, 1,49, 1,60, 1,54, 1,39, 1,40, \
                       1,46, 1,36, 1,40, 1,46, 1,50, 1,56, 1,44, 1,47,1
kOn   lpshold kPhFreq, 0, 0,1,   1,1,  1,1,  1,1,  1,1,  1,1,  1,0,  1,1,  \
                       1,1,  1,1,  1,1,  1,1,  1,1,  1,1,  1,0,  1,1,  1
kHold lpshold kPhFreq, 0, 0,0,   1,1,  1,1,  1,0,  1,0,  1,0,  1,0,  1,1,  \
                       1,0,  1,0,  1,1,  1,1,  1,1,  1,1,  1,0,  1,0,  1
kHold     vdel_k       kHold, 1/kBtFreq, 1 ; offset hold by 1/2 note duration
kNum      portk        kNum, (0.01*kHold)  ; apply portamento to pitch changes
                                           ; if note is not held: no portamento
kCps      =            cpsmidinn(kNum)     ; convert note number to cps
kOct      =            octcps(kCps)        ; convert cps to oct format
; amplitude envelope                  attack    sustain       decay  gap
kAmpEnv   loopseg      kBtFreq, 0, 0, 0,0.1, 1, 55/kTempo, 1, 0.1,0, 5/kTempo,0,0
kAmpEnv   =            (kHold=0?kAmpEnv:1)  ; if a held note, ignore envelope
kAmpEnv   port         kAmpEnv,0.001

; filter envelope
kCfOct    looptseg      kBtFreq,0,0,kCfBase+kCfEnv+kOct,kDecay,1,kCfBase+kOct
; if hold is off, use filter envelope, otherwise use steady state value:
kCfOct    =             (kHold=0?kCfOct:kCfBase+kOct)
kCfOct    limit        kCfOct, 4, 14 ; limit the cutoff frequency (oct format)
aSig      vco2         0.4, kCps, i(kWaveform)*2, 0.5 ; VCO-style oscillator
aFilt      lpf18        aSig, cpsoct(kCfOct), kRes, (kDist^2)*10 ; filter audio
aSig      balance       aFilt,aSig             ; balance levels
kOn       port         kOn, 0.006              ; smooth on/off switching
; audio sent to output, apply amp. envelope,
; volume control and note On/Off status
aAmpEnv   interp       kAmpEnv*kOn*kVol
          out          aSig * aAmpEnv
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 3600 ; instr 1 plays for 1 hour
e
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

INITIALIZATION AND PERFORMANCE PASS

Not only for beginners, but also for experienced Csound users, many problems result from the misunderstanding of the so-called i-rate and k-rate. You want Csound to do something just once, but Csound does it continuously. You want Csound to do something continuously, but Csound does it just once. If you experience such a case, you will most probably have confused i- and k-rate-variables.

The concept behind this is actually not complicated. But it is something which is more implicitly mentioned when we think of a program flow, whereas Csound wants to know it explicitely. So we tend to forget it when we use Csound, and we do not notice that we ordered a stone to become a wave, and a wave to become a stone. This chapter tries to explicate very carefully the difference between stones and waves, and how you can profit from them, after you understood and accepted both qualities.

The Init Pass

Whenever a Csound instrument is called, all variables are set to initial values. This is called the initialization pass.

There are certain variables, which stay in the state in which they have been put by the init-pass. These variables start with an i if they are local (= only considered inside an instrument), or with a gi if they are global (= considered overall in the orchestra). This is a simple example:

   EXAMPLE 03A01_Init-pass.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsInstruments>

giGlobal   =          1/2

instr 1
iLocal     =          1/4
           print      giGlobal, iLocal
endin

instr 2
iLocal     =          1/5
           print      giGlobal, iLocal
endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 0
i 2 0 0
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>
;example by joachim heintz

The output should include these lines:
SECTION 1:
new alloc for instr 1:
instr 1:  giGlobal = 0.500  iLocal = 0.250
new alloc for instr 2:
instr 2:  giGlobal = 0.500  iLocal = 0.200

As you see, the local variables iLocal do have different meanings in the context of their instrument, whereas giGlobal is known everywhere and in the same way. It is also worth mentioning that the performance time of the instruments (p3) is zero. This makes sense, as the instruments are called, but only the init-pass is performed.1

The Performance Pass

After having assigned initial values to all variables, Csound starts the actual performance. As music is a variation of values in time,2  audio signals are producing values which vary in time. In all digital audio, the time unit is given by the sample rate, and one sample is the smallest possible time atom. For a sample rate of 44100 Hz,3  one sample comes up to the duration of 1/44100 = 0.0000227 seconds.

So, performance for an audio application means basically: calculate all the samples which are finally being written to the output. You can imagine this as the cooperation of a clock and a calculator. For each sample, the clock ticks, and for each tick, the next sample is calculated.

Most audio applications do not perform this calculation sample by sample. It is much more efficient to collect some amount of samples in a "block" or "vector", and calculate them all together. This means in fact, to introduce another internal clock in your application; a clock which ticks less frequently than the sample clock. For instance, if (always assumed your sample rate is 44100 Hz) your block size consists of 10 samples, your internal calculation time clock ticks every 1/4410 (0.000227) seconds. If your block size consists of 441 samples, the clock ticks every 1/100 (0.01) seconds.

The following illustration shows an example for a block size of 10 samples. The samples are shown at the bottom line. Above are the control ticks, one for each ten samples. The top two lines show the times for both clocks in seconds. In the upmost line you see that the first control cycle has been finished at 0.000227 seconds, the second one at 0.000454 seconds, and so on.4 



The rate (frequency) of these ticks is called the control rate in Csound. By historical reason,5  it is called "kontrol rate" instead of control rate, and abbreviated as "kr" instead of cr. Each of the calculation cycles is called a "k-cycle". The block size or vector size is given by the ksmps parameter, which means: how many samples (smps) are collected for one k-cycle.6

Let us see some code examples to illustrate these basic contexts.

Implicit Incrementation

   EXAMPLE 03A02_Perf-pass_incr.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsInstruments>
sr = 44100
ksmps = 4410

instr 1
kCount    init      0; set kcount to 0 first
kCount    =         kCount + 1; increase at each k-pass
          printk    0, kCount; print the value
endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 1
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>
;example by joachim heintz

Your output should contain the lines:
i   1 time     0.10000:     1.00000
i   1 time     0.20000:     2.00000
i   1 time     0.30000:     3.00000
i   1 time     0.40000:     4.00000
i   1 time     0.50000:     5.00000
i   1 time     0.60000:     6.00000
i   1 time     0.70000:     7.00000
i   1 time     0.80000:     8.00000
i   1 time     0.90000:     9.00000
i   1 time     1.00000:    10.00000

A counter (kCount) is set here to zero as initial value. Then, in each control cycle, the counter is increased by one. What we see here, is the typical behaviour of a loop. The loop has not been set explicitely, but works implicitely because of the continuous recalculation of all k-variables. So we can also speak about the k-cycles as an implicit (and time-triggered) k-loop.7  Try changing the ksmps value from 4410 to 8820 and to 2205 and observe the difference.

The next example reads the incrementation of kCount as rising frequency. The first instrument, called Rise, sets the k-rate frequency kFreq to the initial value of 100 Hz, and then adds 10 Hz in every new k-cycle. As ksmps=441, one k-cycle takes 1/100 second to perform. So in 3 seconds, the frequency rises from 100 to 3100 Hz. At the last k-cycle, the final frequency value is printed out.8  - The second instrument, Partials, increments the counter by one for each k-cycle, but only sets this as new frequency for every 100 steps. So the frequency stays at 100 Hz for one second, then at 200 Hz for one second, and so on. As the resulting frequencies are in the ratio 1 : 2 : 3 ..., we hear partials based on a 100 Hz fundamental, from the first partial up to the 31st. The opcode printk2 prints out the frequency value whenever it has changed.

   EXAMPLE 03A03_Perf-pass_incr_listen.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-o dac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
sr = 44100
ksmps = 441
0dbfs = 1
nchnls = 2

;build a table containing a sine wave
giSine     ftgen      0, 0, 2^10, 10, 1

instr Rise
kFreq      init       100
aSine      poscil     .2, kFreq, giSine
           outs       aSine, aSine
;increment frequency by 10 Hz for each k-cycle
kFreq      =          kFreq + 10
;print out the frequency for the last k-cycle
kLast      release
 if kLast == 1 then
           printk     0, kFreq
 endif
endin

instr Partials
;initialize kCount
kCount     init       100
;get new frequency if kCount equals 100, 200, ...
 if kCount % 100 == 0 then
kFreq      =          kCount
 endif
aSine      poscil     .2, kFreq, giSine
           outs       aSine, aSine
;increment kCount
kCount     =          kCount + 1
;print out kFreq whenever it has changed
           printk2    kFreq
endin
</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i "Rise" 0 3
i "Partials" 4 31
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

;example by joachim heintz

Init versus Equals

A frequently occuring error is that instead of setting the k-variable as kCount init 0, it is set as kCount = 0. The meaning of both statements has one significant difference. kCount init 0 sets the value for kCount to zero only in the init pass, without affecting it during the performance pass. kCount = 1 sets the value for kCount to zero again and again, in each performance cycle. So the increment always starts from the same point, and nothing really happens:

   EXAMPLE 03A04_Perf-pass_no_incr.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsInstruments>
sr = 44100
ksmps = 4410

instr 1
kcount    =         0; sets kcount to 0 at each k-cycle
kcount    =         kcount + 1; does not really increase ...
          printk    0, kcount; print the value
endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 1
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>
;example by joachim heintz

Outputs:
 i   1 time     0.10000:     1.00000
 i   1 time     0.20000:     1.00000
 i   1 time     0.30000:     1.00000
 i   1 time     0.40000:     1.00000
 i   1 time     0.50000:     1.00000
 i   1 time     0.60000:     1.00000
 i   1 time     0.70000:     1.00000
 i   1 time     0.80000:     1.00000
 i   1 time     0.90000:     1.00000
 i   1 time     1.00000:     1.00000

A Look at the Audio Vector

There are different opcodes to print out k-variables.9 There is no opcode in Csound to print out the audio vector directly, but you can use the vaget opcode to see what is happening inside one control cycle with the audio samples.

   EXAMPLE 03A05_Audio_vector.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsInstruments>
sr = 44100
ksmps = 5
0dbfs = 1

instr 1
aSine      oscils     1, 2205, 0
kVec1      vaget      0, aSine
kVec2      vaget      1, aSine
kVec3      vaget      2, aSine
kVec4      vaget      3, aSine
kVec5      vaget      4, aSine
           printks    "kVec1 = % f, kVec2 = % f, kVec3 = % f, kVec4 = % f, kVec5 = % f\n",\
                      0, kVec1, kVec2, kVec3, kVec4, kVec5
endin
</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 [1/2205]
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>
;example by joachim heintz

The output shows these lines:
kVec1 =  0.000000, kVec2 =  0.309017, kVec3 =  0.587785, kVec4 =  0.809017, kVec5 =  0.951057
kVec1 =  1.000000, kVec2 =  0.951057, kVec3 =  0.809017, kVec4 =  0.587785, kVec5 =  0.309017
kVec1 = -0.000000, kVec2 = -0.309017, kVec3 = -0.587785, kVec4 = -0.809017, kVec5 = -0.951057
kVec1 = -1.000000, kVec2 = -0.951057, kVec3 = -0.809017, kVec4 = -0.587785, kVec5 = -0.309017

In this example, the number of audio samples in one k-cycle is set to five by the statement ksmps=5. The first argument to vaget specifies which sample of the block you get. For instance,

kVec1      vaget      0, aSine

gets the first value of the audio vector and writes it into the variable kVec1. For a frequency of 2205 Hz at a sample rate of 44100 Hz, you need 20 samples to write one complete cycle of the sine. So we call the instrument for 1/2205 seconds, and we get 4 k-cycles. The printout shows exactly one period of the sine wave.

A Summarizing Example

After having put so much attention to the different single aspects of initialization, performance and audio vectors, the next example tries to summarize and illustrate all the aspects in their practical mixture.

   EXAMPLE 03A06_Init_perf_audio.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-o dac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
sr = 44100
ksmps = 441
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1
instr 1
iAmp      =       p4 ;amplitude taken from the 4th parameter of the score line
iFreq     =       p5 ;frequency taken from the 5th parameter
; --- move from 0 to 1 in the duration of this instrument call (p3)
kPan      line      0, p3, 1
aNote     oscils  iAmp, iFreq, 0 ;create an audio signal
aL, aR    pan2    aNote, kPan ;let the signal move from left to right
          outs    aL, aR ;write it to the output
endin
</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 3 0.2 443
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>
;example by joachim heintz

As ksmps=441, each control cycle is 0.01 seconds long (441/44100). So this happens when the instrument call is performed:

InitAndPerfPass3 

 

Accessing the Initialization Value of a k-Variable

It has been said that the init pass sets initial values to all variables. It must be emphasized that this indeed concerns all variables, not only the i-variables. It is only the matter that i-variables are not affected by anything which happens later, in the performance. But also k- and a-variables get their initial values.

As we saw, the init opcode is used to set initial values for k- or a-variables explicitely. On the other hand, you can get the initial value of a k-variable which has not been set explicitely, by the i() facility. This is a simple example:

   EXAMPLE 03A07_Init-values_of_k-variables.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-o dac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
instr 1
gkLine line 0, p3, 1
endin
instr 2
iInstr2LineValue = i(gkLine)
print iInstr2LineValue
endin
instr 3
iInstr3LineValue = i(gkLine)
print iInstr3LineValue
endin
</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 5
i 2 2 0
i 3 4 0
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>
;example by joachim heintz

Outputs:
new alloc for instr 1:
B  0.000 ..  2.000 T  2.000 TT  2.000 M:      0.0
new alloc for instr 2:
instr 2:  iInstr2LineValue = 0.400
B  2.000 ..  4.000 T  4.000 TT  4.000 M:      0.0
new alloc for instr 3:
instr 3:  iInstr3LineValue = 0.800
B  4.000 ..  5.000 T  5.000 TT  5.000 M:      0.0

Instrument 1 produces a rising k-signal, starting at zero and ending at one, over a time of five seconds. The values of this line rise are written to the global variable gkLine. After two seconds, instrument 2 is called, and examines the value of gkLine at its init-pass via i(gkLine). The value at this time (0.4), is printed out at init-time as iInstr2LineValue. The same happens for instrument 3, which prints out iInstr3LineValue = 0.800, as it has been started at 4 seconds.

The i() feature is particularily useful if you need to examine the value of any control signal from a widget or from midi, at the time when an instrument starts.

Reinitialization

As we saw above, an i-value is not affected by the performance loop. So you cannot expect this to work as an incrementation:

   EXAMPLE 03A08_Init_no_incr.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsInstruments>
sr = 44100
ksmps = 4410

instr 1
iCount    init      0          ;set iCount to 0 first
iCount    =         iCount + 1 ;increase
          print     iCount     ;print the value
endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 1
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>
;example by joachim heintz

The output is nothing but:
instr 1:  iCount = 1.000

But you can advise Csound to repeat the initialization of an i-variable. This is done with the reinit opcode. You must mark a section by a label (any name followed by a colon). Then the reinit statement will cause the i-variable to refresh. Use rireturn to end the reinit section.

   EXAMPLE 03A09_Re-init.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsInstruments>
sr = 44100
ksmps = 4410

instr 1
iCount    init      0          ; set icount to 0 first
          reinit    new        ; reinit the section each k-pass
new:
iCount    =         iCount + 1 ; increase
          print     iCount     ; print the value
          rireturn
endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 1
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>
;example by joachim heintz

Outputs:
instr 1:  iCount = 1.000
instr 1:  iCount = 2.000
instr 1:  iCount = 3.000
instr 1:  iCount = 4.000
instr 1:  iCount = 5.000
instr 1:  iCount = 6.000
instr 1:  iCount = 7.000
instr 1:  iCount = 8.000
instr 1:  iCount = 9.000
instr 1:  iCount = 10.000
instr 1:  iCount = 11.000


What happens here more in detail, is the following. In the actual init-pass, iCount is set to zero via iCount init 0. Still in this init-pass, it is incremented by one (iCount = iCount+1) and the value is printed out as iCount = 1.000. Now starts the first performance pass. The statement reinit new advices Csound to initialise again the section labeled as "new". So the statement iCount = iCount + 1 is executed again. As the current value of iCount at this time is 1, the result is 2. So the printout at this first performance pass is iCount = 2.000. The same happens in the next nine performance cycles, so the final count is 11.

Order Of Calculation

In this context, it can be very important to observe the order in which the instruments of a Csound orchestra are evaluated. This order is determined by the instrument numbers. So, if you want to use during the same performance pass a value in instrument 10 which is generated by another instrument, you must not give this instrument the number 11 or higher. In the following example, first instrument 10 uses a value of instrument 1, then a value of instrument 100.

   EXAMPLE 03A10_Order_of_calc.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsInstruments>
sr = 44100
ksmps = 4410

instr 1
gkcount   init      0 ;set gkcount to 0 first
gkcount   =         gkcount + 1 ;increase
endin

instr 10
          printk    0, gkcount ;print the value
endin

instr 100
gkcount   init      0 ;set gkcount to 0 first
gkcount   =         gkcount + 1 ;increase
endin


</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
;first i1 and i10
i 1 0 1
i 10 0 1
;then i100 and i10
i 100 1 1
i 10 1 1
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>
;Example by Joachim Heintz

The output shows the difference:
new alloc for instr 1:
new alloc for instr 10:
 i  10 time     0.10000:     1.00000
 i  10 time     0.20000:     2.00000
 i  10 time     0.30000:     3.00000
 i  10 time     0.40000:     4.00000
 i  10 time     0.50000:     5.00000
 i  10 time     0.60000:     6.00000
 i  10 time     0.70000:     7.00000
 i  10 time     0.80000:     8.00000
 i  10 time     0.90000:     9.00000
 i  10 time     1.00000:    10.00000
B  0.000 ..  1.000 T  1.000 TT  1.000 M:      0.0
new alloc for instr 100:
 i  10 time     1.10000:     0.00000
 i  10 time     1.20000:     1.00000
 i  10 time     1.30000:     2.00000
 i  10 time     1.50000:     4.00000
 i  10 time     1.60000:     5.00000
 i  10 time     1.70000:     6.00000
 i  10 time     1.80000:     7.00000
 i  10 time     1.90000:     8.00000
 i  10 time     2.00000:     9.00000
B  1.000 ..  2.000 T  2.000 TT  2.000 M:      0.0

Instrument 10 can use the values which instrument 1 has produced in the same control cycle, but it can only refer to values of instrument 100 which are produced in the previous control cycle. By this reason, the printout shows values which are one less in the latter case.

Named Instruments

It has been said in chapter 02B (Quick Start) that instead of a number you can also use a name for an instrument. This is mostly preferable, because you can give meaningful names, leading to a better readable code. But what about the order of calculation in named instruments?

The answer is simple: Csound calculates them in the same order as they are written in the orchestra. So if your instrument collection is like this ...

   EXAMPLE 03A11_Order_of_calc_named.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-nd
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>

instr Grain_machine
prints " Grain_machine\n"
endin

instr Fantastic_FM
prints "  Fantastic_FM\n"
endin

instr Random_Filter
prints "   Random_Filter\n"
endin

instr Final_Reverb
prints "    Final_Reverb\n"
endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i "Final_Reverb" 0 1
i "Random_Filter" 0 1
i "Grain_machine" 0 1
i "Fantastic_FM" 0 1
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>
;example by joachim heintz

... you can count on this output:
new alloc for instr Grain_machine:
 Grain_machine
new alloc for instr Fantastic_FM:
  Fantastic_FM
new alloc for instr Random_Filter:
   Random_Filter
new alloc for instr Final_Reverb:
    Final_Reverb

Note that the score has not the same order. But internally, Csound transforms all names to numbers, in the order they are written from top to bottom. The numbers are reported on the top of Csound's output:10 
instr Grain_machine uses instrument number 1
instr Fantastic_FM uses instrument number 2
instr Random_Filter uses instrument number 3
instr Final_Reverb uses instrument number 4

About "i-time" And "k-rate" Opcodes

It is often confusing for the beginner that there are some opcodes which only work at "i-time" or "i-rate", and others which only work at "k-rate" or "k-time". For instance, if the user wants to print the value of any variable, (s)he thinks: "OK - print it out." But Csound replies: "Please, tell me first if you want to print an i- or a k-variable".11

The print opcode just prints variables which are updated at each initialization pass ("i-time" or "i-rate"). If you want to print a variable which is updated at each control cycle ("k-rate" or "k-time"), you need its counterpart printk. (As the performance pass is usually updated some thousands times per second, you have an additional parameter in printk, telling Csound how often you want to print out the k-values.)

So, some opcodes are just for i-rate variables, like filelen or ftgen. Others are just for k-rate variables like metro or max_k. Many opcodes have variants for either i-rate-variables or k-rate-variables, like printf_i and printf, sprintf and sprintfk, strindex and strindexk.

Most of the Csound opcodes are able to work either at i-time or at k-time or at audio-rate, but you have to think carefully what you need, as the behaviour will be very different if you choose the i-, k- or a-variante of an opcode. For example, the random opcode can work at all three rates:

ires      random    imin, imax : works at "i-time"
kres      random    kmin, kmax : works at "k-rate"
ares      random    kmin, kmax : works at "audio-rate"

If you use the i-rate random generator, you will get one value for each note. For instance, if you want to have a different pitch for each note you are generating, you will use this one.

If you use the k-rate random generator, you will get one new value on every control cycle. If your sample rate is 44100 and your ksmps=10, you will get 4410 new values per second! If you take this as pitch value for a note, you will hear nothing but a noisy jumping. If you want to have a moving pitch, you can use the randomi variant of the k-rate random generator, which can reduce the number of new values per second, and interpolate between them.

If you use the a-rate random generator, you will get as many new values per second as your sample rate is. If you use it in the range of your 0 dB amplitude, you produce white noise.

   EXAMPLE 03A12_Random_at_ika.csd  

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
0dbfs = 1
nchnls = 2

          seed      0 ;each time different seed
giSine    ftgen     0, 0, 2^10, 10, 1 ;sine table

instr 1 ;i-rate random
iPch      random    300, 600
aAmp      linseg    .5, p3, 0
aSine     poscil    aAmp, iPch, giSine
          outs      aSine, aSine
endin

instr 2 ;k-rate random: noisy
kPch      random    300, 600
aAmp      linseg    .5, p3, 0
aSine     poscil    aAmp, kPch, giSine
          outs      aSine, aSine
endin

instr 3 ;k-rate random with interpolation: sliding pitch
kPch      randomi   300, 600, 3
aAmp      linseg    .5, p3, 0
aSine     poscil    aAmp, kPch, giSine
          outs      aSine, aSine
endin

instr 4 ;a-rate random: white noise
aNoise    random    -.1, .1
          outs      aNoise, aNoise
endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0   .5
i 1 .25 .5
i 1 .5  .5
i 1 .75 .5
i 2 2   1
i 3 4   2
i 3 5   2
i 3 6   2
i 4 9   1
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>
;example by joachim heintz

Possible Problems with k-Rate Tick Size

It has been said that usually the k-rate clock ticks much slower than the sample (a-rate) clock. For a common size of ksmps=32, one k-value remains the same for 32 samples. This can lead to problems, for instance if you use k-rate envelopes. Let us assume that you want to produce a very short fade-in of 3 milliseconds, and you do it with the following line of code:

kFadeIn linseg 0, .003, 1

Your envelope will look like this:



Such a "staircase-envelope" is what you hear in the next example as zipper noise. The transeg opcode produces a non-linear envelope with a sharp peak:

 

The rise and the decay are each 1/100 seconds long. If this envelope is produced at k-rate with a blocksize of 128 (instr 1), the noise is clearly audible. Try changing ksmps to 64, 32 or 16 and compare the amount of zipper noise. - Instrument 2 uses an envelope at audio-rate instead. Regardless the blocksize, each sample is calculated seperately, so the envelope will always be smooth.

   EXAMPLE 03A13_Zipper.csd   

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-o dac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
sr = 44100
;--- increase or decrease to hear the difference more or less evident
ksmps = 128
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

instr 1 ;envelope at k-time
aSine     oscils    .5, 800, 0
kEnv      transeg   0, .1, 5, 1, .1, -5, 0
aOut      =         aSine * kEnv
          outs      aOut, aOut
endin

instr 2 ;envelope at a-time
aSine     oscils    .5, 800, 0
aEnv      transeg   0, .1, 5, 1, .1, -5, 0
aOut      =         aSine * aEnv
          outs      aOut, aOut
endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
r 5 ;repeat the following line 5 times
i 1 0 1
s ;end of section
r 5
i 2 0 1
e
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>
;example by joachim heintz

Time Impossible

There are two internal clocks in Csound. The sample rate (sr) determines the audio-rate, whereas the control rate (kr) determines the rate, in which a new control cycle can be started and a new block of samples can be performed. In general, Csound can not start any event in between two control cycles, nor end.12  The next example chooses an extreme small control rate (only 10 k-cycles per second) to illustrate this.

   EXAMPLE 03A14_Time_Impossible.csd   

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-o test.wav -d
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
sr = 44100
ksmps = 4410
nchnls = 1
0dbfs = 1

  instr 1
aPink oscils .5, 430, 0
out aPink
  endin
</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0.05 0.1
i 1 0.4 0.15
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

The first call advices instrument 1 to start performance at time 0.05. But this is impossible as it lies between two control cycles. The second call starts at a possible time, but the duration of 0.15 again does not coincident with the control rate. So the result starts the first call at time 0.1 and extends the second call to 0.2 seconds:

 


When to Use i- or k- Rate

When you code on your Csound instrument, you may sometimes wonder whether you shall use an i-rate or a k-rate opcode. From what is said, the general answer is clear: Use i-rate if something has to be done only once, or in a somehow punctual manner. Use k-rate if something has to be done continuously, or if you must regard what happens during the performance.


  1. You would not get any other result if you set p3 to 1 or any other value, as nothing is done here except initialization.^
  2. For the physical result which comes out of the loudspeakers or headphones, the variation is the variation of air pressure.^
  3. 44100 samples per second^
  4. These are by the way the times which Csound reports if you ask for the control cycles. The first control cycle in this example (sr=44100, ksmps=10) would be reported as 0.00027 seconds, not as 0.00000 seconds.^
  5. As Richard Boulanger explains, in early Csound a line starting with 'c' was a comment line. So it was not possible to abbreviate control variables as cAnything (http://csound.1045644.n5.nabble.com/OT-why-is-control-rate-called-kontrol-rate-td5720858.html#a5720866). ^
  6. As the k-rate is directly depending on sample rate (sr) and ksmps (kr = sr/ksmps), it is probably the best style to specify sr and ksmps in the header, but not kr. ^
  7. This must not be confused with a 'real' k-loop where inside one single k-cycle a loop is performed. See chapter 03C (section Loops) for examples.^
  8. The value is 3110 instead of 3100 because it has already been incremented by 10.^
  9. See the manual page for printk, printk2, printks, printf to know more about the differences.^
  10. If you want to know the number in an instrument, use the nstrnum opcode. ^
  11. See the following section 03B about the variable types for more on this subject.^
  12. In csound 6, the possibilities of these "in between" will be enlarged via the --sample-accurate option.^

MAKE CSOUND RUN

Csound and Frontends

The core element of Csound is an audio engine for the Csound language. It has no graphical interface and it is designed to take Csound text files (called ".csd" files) and produce audio, either in realtime, or by writing to a file. It can still be used in this way, but most users nowadays prefer to use Csound via a frontend. A frontend is an application which assists you in writing code and running Csound. Beyond the functions of a simple text editor, a frontend environment will offer colour coded highlighting of language specific keywords and quick access to an integrated help system. A frontend can also expand possibilities by providing tools to build interactive interfaces as well, sometimes, as advanced compositional tools.

In 2009 the Csound developers decided to include CsoundQt as the standard frontend to be included with the Csound distribution, so you will already have this frontend if you have installed any of the recent pre-built versions of Csound. Conversely if you install a frontend you will require a separate installation of Csound in order for it to function. If you experience any problems with CsoundQt, or simply prefer another frontend design, try WinXound, Cabbage or Blue as alternative. 

Which version of Csound should I choose?

Spring 2013 has been an exciting time for Csound users with the release of Csound6. Csound6 has a lot of new features like on-the-fly recompilation of Csound code (enabling forms of live-coding), arrays, new syntax for using opcodes, a redesigned C/C++ API, better threading for usage with multi-core processors, better real-time performance, etc... but one must bear in mind that Csound6 is still a work-in-progress and may have stability issues.

If you are proficient with compiling software for your computer, know how to use git, are already a programmer wanting to learn an audio-specific language, then Csound6 might be for you as it offers a few features that resemble general purpose languages like functional-style syntax, increment/decrement operators, better means of data abstraction (arrays), etc...

On the other hand, if you are new to Csound or to programming in general, your best bet would be to install Csound5, as most documentation still refers to that version. Everything you will learn about Csound5 will work in Csound6, but you will benefit from the added stability and better documentation (including this manual) that Csound5 still provides over Csound6.

Of course, it is possible to have Csound5 installed as the main package and still install a local copy of Csound6 for testing purposes, but then again, certain skills are required pertaining to compiling software from source code1 so beginners should really consider learning Csound5 and then move to Csound6 once it has become the official version.

How to Download and Install Csound

To get Csound you first need to download the package for your system from the SourceForge page: http://sourceforge.net/projects/csound/files/csound5 (or http://sourceforge.net/projects/csound/files/csound6 if you have decided to use Csound6).

There are many files here, so here are some guidelines to help you choose the appropriate version.

Windows

Windows installers are the ones ending in .exe. Look for the latest version of Csound, and find a file which should be called something like: Csound5.17-gnu-win32-d.exe. The important thing to note is the final letter of the installer name, which can be "d" or "f". This specifies the computation precision of the Csound engine. Float precision (32-bit float) is marked with "f" and double precision (64-bit float) is marked "d". This is important to bear in mind, as a frontend which works with the "floats" version will not run if you have the "doubles" version installed. More recent versions of the pre-built Windows installer have only been released in the "doubles" version.

After you have downloaded the installer, you might find it easiest just to launch the executable installer and follow the instructions accepting the defaults. You can, however, modify the components that will be installed during the installation process (utilities, front-ends, documentation etc.) creating either a fully-featured installation or a super-light installation with just the bare bones.


You may also find it useful to install the Python opcodes at the this stage - selected under "Csound interfaces". If you choose to do this however you will have to separately install Python itself. You will need to install Python in any case if you plan to use the CsoundQt front end, as the current version of CsoundQt requires Python. (As of March 2013, Version 2.7 of Python is the correct choice.)

Csound will, by default, install into your Program Files folder, but you may prefer to install directly into a folder in the root directory of your C: drive.

Once installation has completed, you can find a Csound folder in your Start Menu containing short-cuts to various items of documentation and Csound front-ends.


The Windows installer will not create any desktop shortcuts but you can easily do this yourself  by right-clicking the CsoundQt executable (for example) and selecting "create shortcut". Drag the newly created shortcut onto your desktop.

Mac OS X

The Mac OS X installers are the files ending in .dmg. Look for the latest version of Csound for your particular system, for example a Universal binary for 10.8 will be called something like: csound5.19.02-OSX10.8-universal.dmg. When you double click the downloaded file, you will have a disk image on your desktop, with the Csound installer, CsoundQt and a readme file. Double-click the installer and follow the instructions. Csound and the basic Csound utilities will be installed. To install the CsoundQt frontend, you only need to move it to your Applications folder.

Linux and others

Csound is available from the official package repositories for many distributions like OpenSuse, Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, Archlinux and Gentoo. If there are no binary packages for your platform, or you need a more recent version, you can get the source package from the SourceForge page and build from source. You will find the most recent build instructions in the Csound MediaWiki on Sourceforge (Csound5) and in the new Sourceforge Wiki (Csound6). Detailed (but perhaps outdated) information can also be found in the Building Csound Manual Page.

Note that the Csound repository has moved from cvs to git. After installing git, you can use this command to clone the Csound6 repository, if you like to have access to the latest (perhaps unstable) sources:

git clone git://git.code.sf.net/p/csound/csound6-git

You will find the last release on the master branch, and the latest sources on the develop branch.

iOS

Thanks to Steven Yi and Victor Lazzarini, Csound has been ported to Android and iOS.2  

The iOS files for Csound are found in a subfolder of the Csound files on SourceForge. The location is http://sourceforge.net/projects/csound/files/csound5/iOS/ for Csound5. For Csound6, you will find the iOS files in the version folder in http://sourceforge.net/projects/csound/files/csound6/.

The file of interest (in the Csound5 folder) is csound-iOS-X.XX.XX.X.zip where (X.XX.XX.X is the version number). The archive file contains the CSound programming library, sample code, and a PDF introduction to programming CSound for iOS devices, written by Victor Lazzarini and Steven Yi.

This distribution is aimed at iOS programmers, there are no apps that can be installed directly: this is due to the fact that iOS apps cannot be installed directly. iOS apps have to be downloaded and installed from Apple's app store.

On Apple's app store, there are some examples of apps that use Csound. Below, is a a small sample of apps that make use of Csound:


This is an on-going situation, and we can expect to see more apps made available as time goes by. 

Android

The Android files for Csound are found in a subfolder of the Csound files on SourceForge. At the time of writing the location is http://sourceforge.net/projects/csound/files/csound5/Android/  for Csound5. For Csound6, you will find the Android files in the version folder in http://sourceforge.net/projects/csound/files/csound6/.

Two files are of interest here (in the Csound5 folder). One is a CSD player which executes Csound files on an Android device (the CSD player app is called CsoundApp-XXX.apk where XXX is the version number of the app).

The other file of possible interest to is csound-android-X.XX.XX.zip (where X.XX.XX is the version number), this file contains an Android port of the Csound programming library and sample Android projects. The source code for the CSD player mentioned above, is one of the sample projects. This file should not be installed on an Android device.

To install the CsoundApp-XXX.apk on an Android device the following steps are taken:

  1. The CsoundApp-XXX.apk file is copied onto the Android device, for example /mnt/sdcard/download or something similar.
  2. One or more CSD files (not included in the distribution) should be copied to the device's shared storage location: this is usually anywhere in or below /mnt/sdcard
  3. Launch a file explorer app on the device and navigate to the folder containing the file CsoundApp-XXX.apk (copied in step 1). Select the apk file and when prompted, select to install it. The app is installed as "CSD Player".
  4. In the device's app browser (the screen which is used to launch all the apps on the device) run the "CSD Player" app.
  5. CSD Player displays its initial screen. Tap the "Browse" button to find a CSD file to play on your device: CSD Player displays a file browser starting at the device's shared storage location (usually /mnt/sdcard). Select a csd file that you have copied to the device (step 2).
  6. Tap the play toggle to play the selected CSD.

If you want to use Csound6 on Android, have a look at chapter 12F in this manual, which describes everything in detail.

On Google's Play Store there are some apps that use Csound. Below is a small sample of such apps:

Install Problems?

If, for any reason, you can't find the CsoundQt (formerly QuteCsound) frontend on your system after install, or if you want to install the most recent version of CsoundQt, or if you prefer another frontend altogether: see the CSOUND FRONTENDS section of this manual for further information. If you have any install problems, consider joining the Csound Mailing List to report your issues, or write a mail to one of the maintainers (see ON THIS RELEASE).

The Csound Reference Manual

The Csound Reference Manual is an indispensable companion to Csound. It is available in various formats from the same place as the Csound installers, and it is installed with the packages for OS X and Windows. It can also be browsed online at The Csound Manual Section at Csounds.com. Many frontends will provide you with direct and easy access to it.

How to Execute a Simple Example

Using CsoundQt

Run CsoundQt. Go into the CsoundQt menubar and choose: Examples->Getting started...-> Basics-> HelloWorld

You will see a very basic Csound file (.csd) with a lot of comments in green.

Click on the "RUN" icon in the CsoundQt control bar to start the realtime Csound engine. You should hear a 440 Hz sine wave.

You can also run the Csound engine in the terminal from within QuteCsound. Just click on "Run in Term". A console will pop up and Csound will be executed as an independent process. The result should be the same - the 440 Hz "beep".

Using the Terminal / Console

1. Save the following code in any plain text editor as HelloWorld.csd.

   EXAMPLE 02A01_HelloWorld.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Alex Hofmann
instr 1
aSin      oscils    0dbfs/4, 440, 0
          out       aSin
endin
</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 1
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

2. Open the Terminal / Prompt / Console

3. Type: csound /full/path/HelloWorld.csd

where /full/path/HelloWorld.csd is the complete path to your file. You also execute this file by just typing csound then dragging the file into the terminal window and then hitting return.

You should hear a 440 Hz tone.
  1. for Windows users in particular, compiling Csound can be tedious. On linux systems it may be easier to do, but one would still need to learn how to use cmake to configure Csound6.^
  2. Steven Yi and Victor Lazzarini: Csound on Android (Paper at the Linux Audio Conference 2012); Brian Redfern: Introducing the Android CSD Player (Csound Journal Issue 17 - Fall 2012) ^

RECEIVING EVENTS BY MIDIIN

Csound provides a variety of opcodes, such as cpsmidi, ampmidi and ctrl7 which allow for transparent interpretation of incoming midi data. These opcodes allow us to read in midi information without us having to worry about parsing status bytes and so on. Occasionally when we are involved in more complex midi interaction, it might be advantageous for us to scan all raw midi information that is coming into Csound. The midiin opcode allows us to do this.

In the next example a simple midi monitor is constructed. Incoming midi events are printed to the terminal with some formatting to make them readable. We can disable Csound's default instrument triggering mechanism (which in this example we don't want) by giving the line:

massign 0,0 

just after the header statement (sometimes referred to as instrument 0).

For this example to work you will need to ensure that you have activated live midi input within Csound, either by using the -M flag or from within the QuteCsound configuration menu, and that you have a midi keyboard or controller connected. You may also want to include the -m0 flag which will disable some of Csound's additional messaging output and therefore allow our midi printout to be presented more clearly.

The status byte tells us what sort of midi information has been received. For example, a value of 144 tells us that a midi note event has been received, a value of 176 tells us that a midi controller event has been received, a value of 224 tells us that pitch bend has been received and so on.

The meaning of the two data bytes depends on what sort of status byte has been received. For example if a midi note event has been received then data byte 1 gives us the note velocity and data byte 2 gives us the note number, if a midi controller event has been received then data byte 1 gives us the controller number and data byte 2 gives us the controller value. 

   EXAMPLE 07A01_midiin_print.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>

<CsOptions>
-Ma -m0
; activates all midi devices, suppress note printings
</CsOptions>

<CsInstruments>
; Example by Iain McCurdy

; no audio so 'sr' or 'nchnls' aren't relevant
ksmps = 32

; using massign with these arguments disables default instrument triggering
massign 0,0

  instr 1
kstatus, kchan, kdata1, kdata2  midiin            ;read in midi
ktrigger  changed  kstatus, kchan, kdata1, kdata2 ;trigger if midi data changes
 if ktrigger=1 && kstatus!=0 then          ;if status byte is non-zero...
; -- print midi data to the terminal with formatting --
 printks "status:%d%tchannel:%d%tdata1:%d%tdata2:%d%n"\
                                    ,0,kstatus,kchan,kdata1,kdata2
 endif
  endin

</CsInstruments>

<CsScore>
i 1 0 3600 ; instr 1 plays for 1 hour
</CsScore>

</CsoundSynthesizer>

The principle advantage of the midiin opcode is that, unlike opcodes such as cpsmidi, ampmidi and ctrl7 which only receive specific midi data types on a specific channel, midiin 'listens' to all incoming data including system exclusive. In situations where elaborate Csound instrument triggering mappings that are beyond the default triggering mechanism's capabilities, are required then the use for midiin might be beneficial.

RECORD AND PLAY SOUNDFILES

Playing Soundfiles From Disk - diskin21 

The simplest way of playing a sound file from Csound is to use the diskin2 opcode. This opcode reads audio directly from the hard drive location where it is stored, i.e. it does not pre-load the sound file at initialisation time. This method of sound file playback is therefore good for playing back very long, or parts of very long, sound files. It is perhaps less well suited to playing back sound files where dense polyphony, multiple iterations and rapid random access to the file is required. In these situations reading from a function table or buffer is preferable.

diskin2 has additional parameters for speed of playback, and interpolation.

   EXAMPLE 06A01_Play_soundfile.csd  

<CsoundSynthesizer>

<CsOptions>
-odac ; activate real-time audio output
</CsOptions>

<CsInstruments>
; example written by Iain McCurdy

sr      =       44100
ksmps   =       32
nchnls  =       1       

  instr 1 ; play audio from disk
kSpeed  init     1           ; playback speed
iSkip   init     0           ; inskip into file (in seconds)
iLoop   init     0           ; looping switch (0=off 1=on)
; read audio from disk using diskin2 opcode
a1      diskin2  "loop.wav", kSpeed, iSkip, iLoop
        out      a1          ; send audio to outputs
  endin

</CsInstruments>

<CsScore>
i 1 0 6
e
</CsScore>

</CsoundSynthesizer>

Writing Audio to Disk

The traditional method of rendering Csound's audio to disk is to specify a sound file as the audio destination in the Csound command or under <CsOptions>, in fact before real-time performance became a possibility this was the only way in which Csound was used. With this method, all audio that is piped to the output using out, outs etc. will be written to this file. The number of channels that the file will conatain will be determined by the number of channels specified in the orchestra header using 'nchnls'. The disadvantage of this method is that we cannot simultaneously listen to the audio in real-time.

   EXAMPLE 06A02_Write_soundfile.csd   

<CsoundSynthesizer>

<CsOptions>
; audio output destination is given as a sound file (wav format specified)
; this method is for deferred time performance,
; simultaneous real-time audio will not be possible
-oWriteToDisk1.wav -W
</CsOptions>

<CsInstruments>
; example written by Iain McCurdy

sr     =  44100
ksmps  =  32
nchnls =  1     
0dbfs  =  1

giSine  ftgen  0, 0, 4096, 10, 1             ; a sine wave

  instr 1 ; a simple tone generator
aEnv    expon    0.2, p3, 0.001              ; a percussive envelope
aSig    poscil   aEnv, cpsmidinn(p4), giSine ; audio oscillator
        out      aSig                        ; send audio to output
  endin

</CsInstruments>

<CsScore>
; two chords
i 1   0 5 60
i 1 0.1 5 65
i 1 0.2 5 67
i 1 0.3 5 71

i 1   3 5 65
i 1 3.1 5 67
i 1 3.2 5 73
i 1 3.3 5 78
e
</CsScore>

</CsoundSynthesizer>

Writing Audio to Disk with Simultaneous Real-time Audio Output - fout and monitor

Recording audio output to disk whilst simultaneously monitoring in real-time is best achieved through combining the opcodes monitor and fout. 'monitor' can be used to create an audio signal that consists of a mix of all audio output from all instruments. This audio signal can then be rendered to a sound file on disk using 'fout'. 'monitor' can read multi-channel outputs but its number of outputs should correspond to the number of channels defined in the header using 'nchnls'. In this example it is reading just in mono. 'fout' can write audio in a number of formats and bit depths and it can also write multi-channel sound files. 

   EXAMPLE 06A03_Write_RT.csd   

<CsoundSynthesizer>

<CsOptions>
-odac ; activate real-time audio output
</CsOptions>

<CsInstruments>
;example written by Iain McCurdy

sr      =       44100
ksmps   =       32
nchnls  =       1       
0dbfs   =       1

giSine  ftgen  0, 0, 4096, 10, 1 ; a sine wave
gaSig   init   0; set initial value for global audio variable (silence)

  instr 1 ; a simple tone generator
aEnv    expon    0.2, p3, 0.001              ; percussive amplitude envelope
aSig    poscil   aEnv, cpsmidinn(p4), giSine ; audio oscillator
        out      aSig
  endin

  instr 2 ; write to a file (always on in order to record everything)
aSig    monitor                              ; read audio from output bus
        fout     "WriteToDisk2.wav",4,aSig   ; write audio to file (16bit mono)
  endin

</CsInstruments>

<CsScore>
; activate recording instrument to encapsulate the entire performance
i 2 0 8.3

; two chords
i 1   0 5 60
i 1 0.1 5 65
i 1 0.2 5 67
i 1 0.3 5 71

i 1   3 5 65
i 1 3.1 5 67
i 1 3.2 5 73
i 1 3.3 5 78
e
</CsScore>

</CsoundSynthesizer
  1. diskin2 is an improved version of diskin. In Csound 6, both will use the same code, so it should make no difference whether you use diskin or diskin2.^

ARRAYS

One of the principal new features of Csound 6 is the support of arrays. This chapter wants to describe how to use arrays with the methods which are implemented right now (september 2013). More methds will come, and we will try to add some more musically interesting examples in future releases.

This is the outline of this chapter:

Types of Arrays

Dimensions

One-dimensional arrays - also called vectors - are the most commonly used sort of arrays. But you can also use arrays with two or more dimensions in Csound 6. The way to designate the number of dimensions is very similar to other programming languages.

This denotes the second element of a one-dimensional array (as usual, indexing an element starts at zero, so kArr[0] would be the first element):

kArr[1]

This denotes the second column in the third row of a two-dimensional array:

kArr[2][1]

Note that the square brackets are not used everywhere. This is explained more in detail below under Naming Conventions.

i- or k-Rate

Like most other variables in Csound, arrays can be either i-rate or k-rate. An i-array can only be modified at init-time, and any operation on it is only performed once, at init-time. A k-array can be modified during the performance, and any (k-) operation on it will be performed in every k-cycle (!). This is a very simple example:

   EXAMPLE 03E01_i_k_arrays.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-nm128 ;no sound and reduced messages
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
sr = 44100
ksmps = 4410 ;10 k-cycles per second

instr 1
iArr[] array 1, 2, 3
iArr[0] = iArr[0] + 10
prints "   iArr[0] = %d\n\n", iArr[0]
endin

instr 2
kArr[] array 1, 2, 3
kArr[0] = kArr[0] + 10
printks "   kArr[0] = %d\n", 0, kArr[0]
endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 1
i 2 1 1
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>
;example by joachim heintz

The output shows this:

iArr[0] = 11

kArr[0] = 11
kArr[0] = 21
kArr[0] = 31
kArr[0] = 41
kArr[0] = 51
kArr[0] = 61
kArr[0] = 71
kArr[0] = 81
kArr[0] = 91
kArr[0] = 101

Although both instruments run for one second, the operation to increment the first array value by ten is executed only once in the i-rate version of the array. But in the k-rate version, the incrementation is repeated in each k-cycle - in this case every 1/10 second, but usually something around every 1/1000 second. A good opportunity to throw off rendering power for useless repetations, or to produce errors if you intentionally wanted to operate something only once ...

Currently most of the operations on arrays are k-rate only. So we will discuss mostly k-arrays in this chapter. The examples show how you can to work with k-rate arrays but avoid to senselessly repeat an operation in every k-cycle.

Local or Global

Like any other variable in Csound, an array has usually a local scope. This means that it is only recognized in the scope of the instrument in which it has been defined. If you want to use arrays in a global meaning, you have to start the variable name with the character g, as usual in Csound. The next example shows local and global arrays both for i- and k-rate.

   EXAMPLE 03E02_Local_vs_global_arrays.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-nm128 ;no sound and reduced messages
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>

instr i_local
iArr[] array  1, 2, 3
       prints "   iArr[0] = %d   iArr[1] = %d   iArr[2] = %d\n",
              iArr[0], iArr[1], iArr[2]
endin

instr i_local_diff ;same name, different content
iArr[] array  4, 5, 6
       prints "   iArr[0] = %d   iArr[1] = %d   iArr[2] = %d\n",
              iArr[0], iArr[1], iArr[2]
endin

instr i_global
giArr[] array 11, 12, 13
endin

instr i_global_read ;understands giArr though not defined here
       prints "   giArr[0] = %d   giArr[1] = %d   giArr[2] = %d\n",
              giArr[0], giArr[1], giArr[2]
endin

instr k_local
kArr[] array  -1, -2, -3
       printks "   kArr[0] = %d   kArr[1] = %d   kArr[2] = %d\n",
               0, kArr[0], kArr[1], kArr[2]
       turnoff
endin

instr k_local_diff
kArr[] array  -4, -5, -6
       printks "   kArr[0] = %d   kArr[1] = %d   kArr[2] = %d\n",
               0, kArr[0], kArr[1], kArr[2]
       turnoff
endin

instr k_global
gkArr[] array -11, -12, -13
       turnoff
endin

instr k_global_read
       printks "   gkArr[0] = %d   gkArr[1] = %d   gkArr[2] = %d\n",
               0, gkArr[0], gkArr[1], gkArr[2]
       turnoff
endin
</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i "i_local" 0 0
i "i_local_diff" 0 0
i "i_global" 0 0
i "i_global_read" 0 0
i "k_local" 0 1
i "k_local_diff" 0 1
i "k_global" 0 1
i "k_global_read" 0 1
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>
;example by joachim heintz

Arrays of Strings

So far we have discussed only arrays of numbers. It is also possible to have arrays of strings, which can be very useful in many situations, for instance while working with file paths.1   Here comes a very simple example first, followed by a more extended one.

   EXAMPLE 03E03_String_arrays.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-nm128 ;no sound and reduced messages
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>

instr 1
String   =       "onetwothree"
S_Arr[]  init    3
S_Arr[0] strsub  String, 0, 3
S_Arr[1] strsub  String, 3, 6
S_Arr[2] strsub  String, 6
         printf_i "S_Arr[0] = '%s'\nS_Arr[1] = '%s'\nS_Arr[2] = '%s'\n", 1,
                  S_Arr[0], S_Arr[1], S_Arr[2]
endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 1
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>
;example by joachim heintz

   EXAMPLE 03E04_Anagram.csd  

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-dnm0
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>

giArrLen  =        5
gSArr[]   init     giArrLen

  opcode StrAgrm, S, Sj
  ;changes the elements in Sin randomly, like in an anagram
Sin, iLen  xin
 if iLen == -1 then
iLen       strlen     Sin
 endif
Sout       =          ""
;for all elements in Sin
iCnt       =          0
iRange     =          iLen
loop:
;get one randomly
iRnd       rnd31      iRange-.0001, 0
iRnd       =          int(abs(iRnd))
Sel        strsub     Sin, iRnd, iRnd+1
Sout       strcat     Sout, Sel
;take it out from Sin
Ssub1      strsub     Sin, 0, iRnd
Ssub2      strsub     Sin, iRnd+1
Sin        strcat     Ssub1, Ssub2
;adapt range (new length)
iRange     =          iRange-1
           loop_lt    iCnt, 1, iLen, loop
           xout       Sout
  endop


instr 1
           prints     "Filling gSArr[] in instr %d at init-time!\n", p1
iCounter   =          0
  until      (iCounter == giArrLen) do
S_new      StrAgrm    "csound"
gSArr[iCounter] =     S_new
iCounter   +=         1
  od
endin

instr 2
           prints     "Printing gSArr[] in instr %d at init-time:\n  [", p1
iCounter   =          0
  until      (iCounter == giArrLen) do
           printf_i   "%s ", iCounter+1, gSArr[iCounter]
iCounter   +=         1
  od
           prints     "]\n"
endin

instr 3
          printks   "Printing gSArr[] in instr %d at perf-time:\n  [", 0, p1
kcounter  =        0
  until (kcounter == giArrLen) do
          printf   "%s ", kcounter+1, gSArr[kcounter]
kcounter  +=       1
  od
          printks  "]\n", 0
          turnoff
endin

instr 4
           prints     "Modifying gSArr[] in instr %d at init-time!\n", p1
iCounter   =          0
  until      (iCounter == giArrLen) do
S_new      StrAgrm    "csound"
gSArr[iCounter] =     S_new
iCounter   +=         1
  od
endin

instr 5
           prints     "Printing gSArr[] in instr %d at init-time:\n  [", p1
iCounter   =          0
  until (iCounter == giArrLen) do
           printf_i   "%s ", iCounter+1, gSArr[iCounter]
iCounter   +=         1
  od
           prints     "]\n"
endin

instr 6
kCycle     timeinstk
           printks    "Modifying gSArr[] in instr %d at k-cycle %d!\n", 0,
                      p1, kCycle
kCounter   =          0
  until (kCounter == giArrLen) do
kChar      random     33, 127
S_new      sprintfk   "%c ", int(kChar)
gSArr[kCounter] strcpyk S_new ;'=' should work but does not
kCounter   +=         1
  od
  if kCycle == 3 then
           turnoff
  endif
endin

instr 7
kCycle     timeinstk
           printks    "Printing gSArr[] in instr %d at k-cycle %d:\n  [",
                      0, p1, kCycle
kCounter   =          0
  until (kCounter == giArrLen) do
           printf     "%s ", kCounter+1, gSArr[kCounter]
kCounter   +=         1
  od
           printks    "]\n", 0
  if kCycle == 3 then
           turnoff
  endif
endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 1
i 2 0 1
i 3 0 1
i 4 1 1
i 5 1 1
i 6 1 1
i 7 1 1
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>
;example by joachim heintz

Prints:

Filling gSArr[] in instr 1 at init-time!
Printing gSArr[] in instr 2 at init-time:
[nudosc coudns dsocun ocsund osncdu ]
Printing gSArr[] in instr 3 at perf-time:
[nudosc coudns dsocun ocsund osncdu ]
Modifying gSArr[] in instr 4 at init-time!
Printing gSArr[] in instr 5 at init-time:
[ousndc uocdns sudocn usnocd ouncds ]
Modifying gSArr[] in instr 6 at k-cycle 1!
Printing gSArr[] in instr 7 at k-cycle 1:
[s < x + ! ]
Modifying gSArr[] in instr 6 at k-cycle 2!
Printing gSArr[] in instr 7 at k-cycle 2:
[P Z r u U ]
Modifying gSArr[] in instr 6 at k-cycle 3!
Printing gSArr[] in instr 7 at k-cycle 3:
[b K c " h ]

Arrays of Audio Signals

Collecting audio signals in an array simplifies working with multiple channels, as one of many possible use cases. Here are two simple examples, one for local and the other for global audio.

   EXAMPLE 03E05_Local_audio_array.csd  

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac -d
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>

sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

instr 1
aArr[]     init       2
a1         oscils     .2, 400, 0
a2         oscils     .2, 500, 0
kEnv       transeg    1, p3, -3, 0
aArr[0]    =          a1 * kEnv
aArr[1]    =          a2 * kEnv
           outch      1, aArr[0], 2, aArr[1]
endin

instr 2 ;to test identical names
aArr[]     init       2
a1         oscils     .2, 600, 0
a2         oscils     .2, 700, 0
kEnv       transeg    0, p3-p3/10, 3, 1, p3/10, -6, 0
aArr[0]    =          a1 * kEnv
aArr[1]    =          a2 * kEnv
           outch      1, aArr[0], 2, aArr[1]
endin
</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 3
i 2 0 3
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>
;example by joachim heintz

   EXAMPLE 03E06_Global_audio_array.csd  

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac -d
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>

sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

gaArr[]    init       2

  instr 1 ; left channel
kEnv       loopseg    0.5, 0, 0, 1,0.003, 1,0.0001, 0,0.9969
aSig       pinkish    kEnv
gaArr[0]   =          aSig
  endin

  instr 2 ; right channel
kEnv       loopseg    0.5, 0, 0.5, 1,0.003, 1,0.0001, 0,0.9969
aSig       pinkish    kEnv
gaArr[1]   =          aSig
  endin

  instr 3 ; reverb
aInSigL    =          gaArr[0] / 3
aInSigR    =          gaArr[1] / 2
aRvbL,aRvbR reverbsc  aInSigL, aInSigR, 0.88, 8000
gaArr[0]   =          gaArr[0] + aRvbL
gaArr[1]   =          gaArr[1] + aRvbR
           outs       gaArr[0]/4, gaArr[1]/4
gaArr[0]   =          0
gaArr[1]   =          0
  endin
</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 10
i 2 0 10
i 3 0 12
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>
;example by joachim heintz, using code by iain mccurdy

Naming Conventions

An array must be created (via init or array / fillarray2) as kMyArrayName plus ending brackets. The brackets determine the dimensions of the array. So

kArr[] init 10

creates a one-dimensional array of length 10, whereas

kArr[][] init 10, 10

creates a two-dimensional array with 10 rows and 10 columns.

After the initialization of the array, referring to the array as a whole is done without any brackets. Brackets are only used if an element is indexed:

kArr[]   init   10             ;with brackets because of initialization
kLen     =      lenarray(kArr) ;without brackets
kFirstEl =      kArr[0]        ;with brackets because of indexing

The same syntax is used for a simple copy via the '=' operator:

kArr1[]  array  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  ;creates kArr1
kArr2[]  =      kArr1          ;creates kArr2 as copy of kArr1

Creating an Array

An array can currently be created by four methods: with the init opcode, with array/fillarray, with genarray, or as a copy of an already existing array with the '=' operator.

init

The most general method, which works for arrays of any number of dimensions, is to use the init opcode. Here you require a certain space for the array:

kArr[]   init 10     ;creates a one-dimensional array with length 10
kArr[][] init 10, 10 ;creates a two-dimensional array

array / fillarray

If you want to fill an array with any distinct values, you can use the (fill)array opcode. This line creates a vector with length 4 and puts in the numbers [1, 2, 3, 4]:

kArr[] array 1, 2, 3, 4

You can also use this opcode for filling multi-dimensional arrays:

   EXAMPLE 03E07_Fill_multidim_array.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-nm0
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>

instr 1
iArr[][] init   2,3
iArr     array  1,2,3,7,6,5
iRow     =      0
until iRow == 2 do
iColumn  =      0
  until iColumn == 3 do
  prints "iArr[%d][%d] = %d\n", iRow, iColumn, iArr[iRow][iColumn]
  iColumn +=    1
  od
iRow      +=    1
od
endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 0
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>
;example by joachim heintz

genarray

This opcode creates an array which is filled by a series of numbers from a starting value to an (included) ending value. Here are some examples:

iArr[] genarray   1, 5 ; creates i-array with [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
kArr[] genarray_i 1, 5 ; creates k-array at init-time with [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
iArr[] genarray   -1, 1, 0.5 ; i-array with [-1, -0.5, 0, 0.5, 1]
iArr[] genarray   1, -1, -0.5 ; [1, 0.5, 0, -0.5, -1]
iArr[] genarray   -1, 1, 0.6 ; [-1, -0.4, 0.2, 0.8]  

Basic Operations: len, slice

The opcode lenarray reports the length of an i- or k-array. As many opcodes now in Csound 6, it can be used either in the traditional way (Left-hand-side <- Opcode <- Right-hand-side), or as a function. The next example shows both usages, for i- and k-arrays.

   EXAMPLE 03E08_lenarray.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-nm0
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>

instr 1 ;simple i-rate example
iArr[]   array    1, 3, 5, 7, 9
iLen     lenarray iArr
         prints   "Length of iArr = %d\n", iLen
endin

instr 2 ;simple k-rate example
kArr[]   array    2, 4, 6, 8
kLen     lenarray kArr
         printks  "Length of kArr = %d\n", 0, kLen
         turnoff
endin

instr 3 ;i-rate with functional syntax
iArr[]   genarray 1, 9, 2
iIndx    =        0
  until iIndx == lenarray(iArr) do
         prints   "iArr[%d] = %d\n", iIndx, iArr[iIndx]
iIndx    +=       1
  od
endin

instr 4 ;k-rate with functional syntax
kArr[]   genarray_i -2, -8, -2
kIndx    =        0
  until kIndx == lenarray(kArr) do
         printf   "kArr[%d] = %d\n", kIndx+1, kIndx, kArr[kIndx]
kIndx    +=       1
  od
         turnoff
endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 0
i 2 0 .1
i 3 0 0
i 4 0 .1
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>
;example by joachim heintz

The opcode slicearray takes a slice of a (one-dimensional) array:

  slicearray kArr, iStart, iEnd 

returns a slice of kArr from index iStart to index iEnd (included).

The array for receiving the slice must have been created in advance:

  kArr[]  fillarray  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
  kArr1[] init       5
  kArr2[] init       4
  kArr1   slicearray kArr, 0, 4        ;[1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
  kArr2   slicearray kArr, 5, 8        ;[6, 7, 8, 9]

   EXAMPLE 03E09_slicearray.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-n
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>

instr 1

;create and fill an array
kArr[]  genarray_i 1, 9

;print the content
        printf  "%s", 1, "kArr = whole array\n"
kndx    =       0
  until kndx == lenarray(kArr) do
        printf  "kArr[%d] = %f\n", kndx+1, kndx, kArr[kndx]
kndx    +=      1
  od

;build new arrays for the slices
kArr1[] init    5
kArr2[] init    4

;put in first five and last four elements
kArr1   slicearray kArr, 0, 4
kArr2   slicearray kArr, 5, 8

;print the content
        printf  "%s", 1, "\nkArr1 = slice from index 0 to index 4\n"
kndx    =       0
  until kndx == lenarray(kArr1) do
        printf  "kArr1[%d] = %f\n", kndx+1, kndx, kArr1[kndx]
kndx    +=      1
  od
        printf  "%s", 1, "\nkArr2 = slice from index 5 to index 8\n"
kndx    =       0
  until kndx == lenarray(kArr2) do
        printf  "kArr2[%d] = %f\n", kndx+1, kndx, kArr2[kndx]
kndx    +=      1
  od

        turnoff
endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 1
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>
;example by joachim heintz

Copy Arrays from/to Tables

As function tables have been the classical way of working with arrays in Csound, switching between them and the new array facility in Csound is a basic operation. Copying data from a function table to a vector is done by copyf2array, whereas copya2ftab copies data from a vector to a function table:

copyf2array kArr, kfn ;from a function table to an array
copya2ftab  kArr, kfn ;from an array to a function table

Following now one simple example for each operation.

   EXAMPLE 03E10_copyf2array.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-nm0
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>

;8 points sine wave function table
giSine  ftgen   0, 0, 8, 10, 1


  instr 1
;create array
kArr[]  init    8

;copy table values in it
        copyf2array kArr, giSine

;print values
kndx    =       0
  until kndx == lenarray(kArr) do
        printf  "kArr[%d] = %f\n", kndx+1, kndx, kArr[kndx]
kndx    +=      1
  od

;turn instrument off
        turnoff
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 0.1
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>
;example by joachim heintz

   EXAMPLE 03E11_copya2ftab.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-nm0
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>

;an 'empty' function table with 10 points
giTable ftgen   0, 0, -10, 2, 0


  instr 1

;print inital values of giTable
        puts    "\nInitial table content:", 1
indx    =       0
  until indx == ftlen(giTable) do
iVal    table   indx, giTable
        printf_i "Table index %d = %f\n", 1, indx, iVal
indx += 1
  od

;create array with values 1..10
kArr[]  genarray_i 1, 10

;print array values
        printf  "%s", 1, "\nArray content:\n"
kndx    =       0
  until kndx == lenarray(kArr) do
        printf  "kArr[%d] = %f\n", kndx+1, kndx, kArr[kndx]
kndx    +=      1
  od

;copy array values to table
        copya2ftab kArr, giTable

;print modified values of giTable
        printf  "%s", 1, "\nModified table content after copya2ftab:\n"
kndx    =       0
  until kndx == ftlen(giTable) do
kVal    table   kndx, giTable
        printf  "Table index %d = %f\n", kndx+1, kndx, kVal
kndx += 1
  od

;turn instrument off
        turnoff
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 0.1
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>
;example by joachim heintz

Copy Arrays from/to FFT Data

You can copy the data of an f-signal - which contains the results of a Fast Fourier Transform - into an array with the opcode pvs2array. The counterpart pvsfromarray copies then back the content of an array to a f-signal.

kFrame  pvs2array    kArr, fSigIn ;from f-signal fSig to array kArr
fSigOut pvsfromarray kArr [,ihopsize, iwinsize, iwintype]

Some care is needed to use these opcodes correctly:

This is an example which implements a spectral high-pass filter. The f-signal is written in an array. The amplitudes of the first 40 bins are then zeroed.3  This is only done when a new frame writes its values to the array, not to waste rendering power.

   EXAMPLE 03E12_pvs_to_from_array.csd  

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-o dac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>

sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs  = 1

gifil    ftgen     0, 0, 0, 1, "fox.wav", 0, 0, 1

instr 1
ifftsize =         2048 ;fft size set to pvstanal default
fsrc     pvstanal  1, 1, 1, gifil ;create fsig stream from function table
kArr[]   init      ifftsize+2 ;create array for bin data
kflag    pvs2array kArr, fsrc ;export data to array     

;if kflag has reported a new write action ...
knewflag changed   kflag
if knewflag == 1 then
 ; ... set amplitude of first 40 bins to zero:
kndx     =         0 ;even array index = bin amplitude
kstep    =         2 ;change only even indices
kmax     =         80
loop:
kArr[kndx] =       0
         loop_le   kndx, kstep, kmax, loop
endif

fres     pvsfromarray kArr ;read modified data back to fres
aout     pvsynth   fres ;and resynth
         outs      aout, aout

endin
</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 2.7
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>
;example by joachim heintz

Basically, with the opcodes pvs2array and pvsfromarray, you have complete access to every operation in the spectral domain. You could re-write the existing pvs transformations, you could change them, but you can also simply use the spectral data to do anything else. The next example looks for the most prominent amplitudes in a frame, and triggers then another instrument.

   EXAMPLE 03E13_fft_peaks_arpegg.csd  

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac -d -m128
; Example by Tarmo Johannes
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>

sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

giSine     ftgen      0, 0, 4096, 10, 1

instr getPeaks

;generate signal to analyze
kfrcoef    jspline    60, 0.1, 1 ; change the signal in time a bit for better testing
kharmcoef  jspline    4, 0.1, 1
kmodcoef   jspline    1, 0.1, 1
kenv       linen      0.5, 0.05, p3, 0.05
asig       foscil     kenv, 300+kfrcoef, 1, 1+kmodcoef, 10, giSine
           outs       asig*0.05, asig*0.05 ; original sound in backround

;FFT analysis
ifftsize   =          1024
ioverlap   =          ifftsize / 4
iwinsize   =          ifftsize
iwinshape  =          1
fsig       pvsanal    asig, ifftsize, ioverlap, iwinsize, iwinshape
ithresh    =          0.001 ; detect only peaks over this value

;FFT values to array
kFrames[]  init       iwinsize+2 ; declare array
kframe     pvs2array  kFrames, fsig ; even member = amp of one bin, odd = frequency

;detect peaks
kindex     =          2 ; start checking from second bin
kcounter   =          0
iMaxPeaks  =          13 ; track up to iMaxPeaks peaks
ktrigger   metro      1/2 ; check after every 2 seconds
 if ktrigger == 1 then
loop:
; check with neigbouring amps - if higher or equal than previous amp
; and more than the coming one, must be peak.
   if (kFrames[kindex-2]<=kFrames[kindex] &&
      kFrames[kindex]>kFrames[kindex+2] &&
      kFrames[kindex]>ithresh &&
      kcounter<iMaxPeaks) then
kamp        =         kFrames[kindex]
kfreq       =         kFrames[kindex+1]
; play sounds with the amplitude and frequency of the peak as in arpeggio
            event     "i", "sound", kcounter*0.1, 1, kamp, kfreq
kcounter = kcounter+1
    endif
            loop_lt   kindex, 2,  ifftsize, loop
  endif
endin

instr sound
iamp       =          p4
ifreq      =          p5
kenv       adsr       0.1,0.1,0.5,p3/2
kndx       line       5,p3,1
asig       foscil     iamp*kenv, ifreq,1,0.75,kndx,giSine
           outs       asig, asig
endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i "getPeaks" 0 60
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

 

Math Operations

+, -, *, / on a Number

If the four basic math operators are used between an array and a scalar (number), the operation is applied to each element. The safest way to do this is to store the result in a new array:

kArr1[] fillarray 1, 2, 3
kArr2[] = kArr1 + 10    ;(kArr2 is now [11, 12, 13])

Here is an example of array-scalar operations.

   EXAMPLE 03E14_array_scalar_math.csd  

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-n -m128
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>


  instr 1

;create array and fill with numbers 1..10
kArr1[] fillarray 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

;print content
        printf  "%s", 1, "\nInitial content:\n"
kndx    =       0
  until kndx == lenarray(kArr1) do
        printf  "kArr[%d] = %f\n", kndx+1, kndx, kArr1[kndx]
kndx    +=      1
  od

;add 10
kArr2[] =       kArr1 + 10

;print content
        printf  "%s", 1, "\nAfter adding 10:\n"
kndx    =       0
  until kndx == lenarray(kArr2) do
        printf  "kArr[%d] = %f\n", kndx+1, kndx, kArr2[kndx]
kndx    +=      1
  od

;subtract 5
kArr3[] =       kArr2 - 5

;print content
        printf  "%s", 1, "\nAfter subtracting 5:\n"
kndx    =       0
  until kndx == lenarray(kArr3) do
        printf  "kArr[%d] = %f\n", kndx+1, kndx, kArr3[kndx]
kndx    +=      1
  od

;multiply by -1.5
kArr4[] =       kArr3 * -1.5

;print content
        printf  "%s", 1, "\nAfter multiplying by -1.5:\n"
kndx    =       0
  until kndx == lenarray(kArr4) do
        printf  "kArr[%d] = %f\n", kndx+1, kndx, kArr4[kndx]
kndx    +=      1
  od

;divide by -3/2
kArr5[] =       kArr4 / -(3/2)

;print content
        printf  "%s", 1, "\nAfter dividing by -3/2:\n"
kndx    =       0
  until kndx == lenarray(kArr5) do
        printf  "kArr[%d] = %f\n", kndx+1, kndx, kArr5[kndx]
kndx    +=      1
  od

;turnoff
        turnoff
  endin


</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 .1
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>
;example by joachim heintz

+, -, *, / on a Second Array

If the four basic math operators are used between two arrays, the operation is applied element by element. The result can be straightforward stored in a new array:

kArr1[] fillarray 1, 2, 3
kArr2[] fillarray 10, 20, 30
kArr3[] = kArr1 + kArr2    ;(kArr3 is now [11, 22, 33])

Here is an example of array-array operations.

   EXAMPLE 03E15_array_array_math.csd   

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-n -m128
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>

  instr 1

;create array and fill with numbers 1..10 resp .1..1
kArr1[] fillarray 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
kArr2[] fillarray 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89

;print contents
        printf  "%s", 1, "\nkArr1:\n"
kndx    =       0
  until kndx == lenarray(kArr1) do
        printf  "kArr1[%d] = %f\n", kndx+1, kndx, kArr1[kndx]
kndx    +=      1
  od
        printf  "%s", 1, "\nkArr2:\n"
kndx    =       0
  until kndx == lenarray(kArr2) do
        printf  "kArr2[%d] = %f\n", kndx+1, kndx, kArr2[kndx]
kndx    +=      1
  od

;add arrays
kArr3[] =       kArr1 + kArr2

;print content
        printf  "%s", 1, "\nkArr1 + kArr2:\n"
kndx    =       0
  until kndx == lenarray(kArr3) do
        printf  "kArr3[%d] = %f\n", kndx+1, kndx, kArr3[kndx]
kndx    +=      1
  od

;subtract arrays
kArr4[] =       kArr1 - kArr2

;print content
        printf  "%s", 1, "\nkArr1 - kArr2:\n"
kndx    =       0
  until kndx == lenarray(kArr4) do
        printf  "kArr4[%d] = %f\n", kndx+1, kndx, kArr4[kndx]
kndx    +=      1
  od

;multiply arrays
kArr5[] =       kArr1 * kArr2

;print content
        printf  "%s", 1, "\nkArr1 * kArr2:\n"
kndx    =       0
  until kndx == lenarray(kArr5) do
        printf  "kArr5[%d] = %f\n", kndx+1, kndx, kArr5[kndx]
kndx += 1
  od

;divide arrays
kArr6[] =       kArr1 / kArr2

;print content
        printf  "%s", 1, "\nkArr1 / kArr2:\n"
kndx    =       0
  until kndx == lenarray(kArr6) do
        printf  "kArr5[%d] = %f\n", kndx+1, kndx, kArr6[kndx]
kndx += 1
  od

;turnoff
        turnoff

  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 .1
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>
;example by joachim heintz

min, max, sum, scale

minarray and maxarray return the smallest / largest value in an array, and optionally its index:

kMin [,kMinIndx] minarray kArr
kMax [,kMaxIndx] maxarray kArr 

This is a simple example for these operations:

   EXAMPLE 03E16_min_max_array.csd   

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-nm0
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>

           seed       0

instr 1
;create an array with 10 elements
kArr[]     init       10
;fill in random numbers and print them out
kIndx      =          0
  until kIndx == 10 do
kNum       random     -100, 100
kArr[kIndx] =         kNum
           printf     "kArr[%d] = %10f\n", kIndx+1, kIndx, kNum
kIndx      +=         1
  od
;investigate minimum and maximum number and print them out
kMin, kMinIndx minarray kArr
kMax, kMaxIndx maxarray kArr
           printf     "Minimum of kArr = %f at index %d\n", kIndx+1, kMin, kMinIndx
           printf     "Maximum of kArr = %f at index %d\n\n", kIndx+1, kMax, kMaxIndx
           turnoff
endin
</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i1 0 0.1
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>
;example by joachim heintz 

This would create a different output each time you run it; for instance:

kArr[0] =  -2.071383
kArr[1] =  97.150272
kArr[2] =  21.187835
kArr[3] =  72.199983
kArr[4] = -64.908241
kArr[5] =  -7.276434
kArr[6] = -51.368650
kArr[7] =  41.324552
kArr[8] =  -8.483235
kArr[9] =  77.560219
Minimum of kArr = -64.908241 at index 4
Maximum of kArr = 97.150272 at index 1

sumarray simply returns the sum of all values in an (numerical) array. This is a simple example:

   EXAMPLE 03E17_sumarray.csd   

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-nm0
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>

           seed       0

instr 1
;create an array with 10 elements
kArr[]     init       10
;fill in random numbers and print them out
kIndx      =          0
  until kIndx == 10 do
kNum       random     0, 10
kArr[kIndx] =         kNum
           printf     "kArr[%d] = %10f\n", kIndx+1, kIndx, kNum
kIndx      +=         1
  od
;calculate sum of all values and print it out
kSum       sumarray   kArr
           printf     "Sum of all values in kArr = %f\n", kIndx+1, kSum
           turnoff
endin
</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i1 0 0.1
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>
;example by joachim heintz

Finally, scalearray scales the values of a given numerical array between a minimum and a maximum value. These lines ...

kArr[] fillarray  1, 3, 9, 5, 6
       scalearray kArr, 1, 3  

... change kArr from [1, 3, 9, 5, 6] to [1, 1.5, 3, 2, 2.25]. This is a simple example:

   EXAMPLE 03E18_scalearray.csd   

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-nm0
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>

           seed       0

instr 1
;create an array with 10 elements
kArr[]     init       10
;fill in random numbers and print them out
           printks    "kArr in maximum range 0..100:\n", 0
kIndx      =          0
  until kIndx == 10 do
kNum       random     0, 100
kArr[kIndx] =         kNum
           printf     "kArr[%d] = %10f\n", kIndx+1, kIndx, kNum
kIndx      +=         1
  od
;scale numbers 0...1 and print them out again
           scalearray kArr, 0, 1
kIndx      =          0
           printks    "kArr in range 0..1\n", 0
  until kIndx == 10 do
           printf     "kArr[%d] = %10f\n", kIndx+1, kIndx, kArr[kIndx]
kIndx      +=         1
  od
           turnoff
endin
</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i1 0 0.1
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>
;example by joachim heintz

One possible output:

kArr in maximum range 0..100:
kArr[0] =  93.898027
kArr[1] =  98.554934
kArr[2] =  37.244273
kArr[3] =  58.581820
kArr[4] =  71.195263
kArr[5] =  11.948356
kArr[6] =   3.493777
kArr[7] =  13.688537
kArr[8] =  24.875835
kArr[9] =  52.205258
kArr in range 0..1
kArr[0] =   0.951011
kArr[1] =   1.000000
kArr[2] =   0.355040
kArr[3] =   0.579501
kArr[4] =   0.712189
kArr[5] =   0.088938
kArr[6] =   0.000000
kArr[7] =   0.107244
kArr[8] =   0.224929
kArr[9] =   0.512423

Function Mapping on an Array: maparray

maparray applies the function "fun" (which must have one input and one output argument) to each element of the vector kArrSrc and stores the result in kArrRes (which must have been created before):

kArrRes  maparray kArrSrc, "fun" 

Possible functions are for instance abs, ceil, exp, floor, frac, int, log, log10, round, sqrt. The following example applies different functions sequentially to the source array:

   EXAMPLE 03E19_maparray.csd   

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-nm0
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>

instr 1

;create an array and fill with numbers
kArrSrc[] array 1.01, 2.02, 3.03, 4.05, 5.08, 6.13, 7.21

;print source array
        printf  "%s", 1, "\nSource array:\n"
kndx    =       0
  until kndx == lenarray(kArrSrc) do
        printf  "kArrSrc[%d] = %f\n", kndx+1, kndx, kArrSrc[kndx]
kndx    +=      1
  od

;create an empty array for the results
kArrRes[] init  7

;apply the sqrt() function to each element
kArrRes maparray kArrSrc, "sqrt"

;print the result
        printf  "%s", 1, "\nResult after applying sqrt() to source array\n"
kndx    =       0
  until kndx == lenarray(kArrRes) do
        printf  "kArrRes[%d] = %f\n", kndx+1, kndx, kArrRes[kndx]
kndx    +=      1
  od

;apply the log() function to each element
kArrRes maparray kArrSrc, "log"

;print the result
        printf  "%s", 1, "\nResult after applying log() to source array\n"
kndx    =       0
  until kndx == lenarray(kArrRes) do
        printf  "kArrRes[%d] = %f\n", kndx+1, kndx, kArrRes[kndx]
kndx    +=      1
  od

;apply the int() function to each element
kArrRes maparray kArrSrc, "int"

;print the result
        printf  "%s", 1, "\nResult after applying int() to source array\n"
kndx    =       0
  until kndx == lenarray(kArrRes) do
        printf  "kArrRes[%d] = %f\n", kndx+1, kndx, kArrRes[kndx]
kndx     +=     1
  od

;apply the frac() function to each element
kArrRes maparray kArrSrc, "frac"

;print the result
        printf  "%s", 1, "\nResult after applying frac() to source array\n"
kndx    =       0
  until kndx == lenarray(kArrRes) do
        printf  "kArrRes[%d] = %f\n", kndx+1, kndx, kArrRes[kndx]
kndx += 1
  od

;turn instrument instance off
        turnoff

endin


</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 0.1
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>
;example by joachim heintz

Prints:

Source array:
kArrSrc[0] = 1.010000
kArrSrc[1] = 2.020000
kArrSrc[2] = 3.030000
kArrSrc[3] = 4.050000
kArrSrc[4] = 5.080000
kArrSrc[5] = 6.130000
kArrSrc[6] = 7.210000

Result after applying sqrt() to source array
kArrRes[0] = 1.004988
kArrRes[1] = 1.421267
kArrRes[2] = 1.740690
kArrRes[3] = 2.012461
kArrRes[4] = 2.253886
kArrRes[5] = 2.475884
kArrRes[6] = 2.685144

Result after applying log() to source array
kArrRes[0] = 0.009950
kArrRes[1] = 0.703098
kArrRes[2] = 1.108563
kArrRes[3] = 1.398717
kArrRes[4] = 1.625311
kArrRes[5] = 1.813195
kArrRes[6] = 1.975469

Result after applying int() to source array
kArrRes[0] = 1.000000
kArrRes[1] = 2.000000
kArrRes[2] = 3.000000
kArrRes[3] = 4.000000
kArrRes[4] = 5.000000
kArrRes[5] = 6.000000
kArrRes[6] = 7.000000

Result after applying frac() to source array
kArrRes[0] = 0.010000
kArrRes[1] = 0.020000
kArrRes[2] = 0.030000
kArrRes[3] = 0.050000
kArrRes[4] = 0.080000
kArrRes[5] = 0.130000
kArrRes[6] = 0.210000
 

Arrays in UDOs

The dimension of an input array must be declared in two places:

For Instance:

opcode FirstEl, k, k[]
;returns the first element of vector kArr
kArr[] xin
       xout   kArr[0]
endop

This is a simple example using this code:

   EXAMPLE 03E20_array_UDO.csd   

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-nm128
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>

  opcode FirstEl, k, k[]
  ;returns the first element of vector kArr
kArr[] xin
xout kArr[0]
  endop

  instr 1
kArr[] array   6, 3, 9, 5, 1
kFirst FirstEl kArr
       printf  "kFirst = %d\n", 1, kFirst
       turnoff
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 .1
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>
;example by joachim heintz

As there is no built-in opcode for printing the content of an array, it is a good task for an array. Let us finish with this example:

   EXAMPLE 03E21_print_array.csd    

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-n -m0
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>

           seed       0

  opcode PrtArr1k, 0, k[]POVVO
kArr[], ktrig, kstart, kend, kprec, kppr xin
kprint     init       0
if ktrig > 0 then
kppr       =          (kppr == 0 ? 10 : kppr)
kend       =          (kend == -1 || kend == .5 ? lenarray(kArr) : kend)
kprec      =          (kprec == -1 || kprec == .5 ? 3 : kprec)
kndx       =          kstart
Sformat    sprintfk   "%%%d.%df, ", kprec+3, kprec
Sdump      sprintfk   "%s", "["
loop:
Snew       sprintfk   Sformat, kArr[kndx]
Sdump      strcatk    Sdump, Snew
kmod       =          (kndx+1-kstart) % kppr
 if kmod == 0 && kndx != kend-1 then
           printf     "%s\n", kprint+1, Sdump
Sdump      strcpyk    " "
 endif
kprint     =          kprint + 1
           loop_lt    kndx, 1, kend, loop
klen       strlenk    Sdump
Slast      strsubk    Sdump, 0, klen-2
           printf     "%s]\n", kprint+1, Slast
endif
  endop


  instr SimplePrinting
kArr[]     fillarray  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
kPrint     metro      1
           prints     "\nSimple Printing with defaults, once a second:\n"
           PrtArr1k   kArr, kPrint
  endin

  instr EatTheHead
kArr[]     fillarray  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
kPrint     metro      1
kStart     init       0
           prints     "\nChanging the start index:\n"
 if kPrint == 1 then
           PrtArr1k   kArr, 1, kStart
kStart     +=         1
 endif
  endin

  instr EatTheTail
kArr[]     fillarray  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
kPrint     metro      1
kEnd       init       7
           prints     "\nChanging the end index:\n"
 if kPrint == 1 then
           PrtArr1k   kArr, 1, 0, kEnd
kEnd       -=         1
 endif
  endin

  instr PrintFormatted
;create an array with 24 elements
kArr[] init 24

;fill with random values
kndx = 0
until kndx == lenarray(kArr) do
kArr[kndx] rnd31 10, 0
kndx += 1
od

;print
           prints     "\nPrinting with precision=5 and 4 elements per row:\n"
           PrtArr1k   kArr, 1, 0, -1, 5, 4
           printks    "\n", 0

;turnoff after first k-cycle
turnoff
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i "SimplePrinting" 0 5
i "EatTheHead" 6 5
i "EatTheTail" 12 5
i "PrintFormatted" 18 1
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>
;example by joachim heintz

Prints:

Simple Printing with defaults, once a second:
[ 1.000,  2.000,  3.000,  4.000,  5.000,  6.000,  7.000]
[ 1.000,  2.000,  3.000,  4.000,  5.000,  6.000,  7.000]
[ 1.000,  2.000,  3.000,  4.000,  5.000,  6.000,  7.000]
[ 1.000,  2.000,  3.000,  4.000,  5.000,  6.000,  7.000]
[ 1.000,  2.000,  3.000,  4.000,  5.000,  6.000,  7.000]

Changing the start index:
[ 1.000,  2.000,  3.000,  4.000,  5.000,  6.000,  7.000]
[ 2.000,  3.000,  4.000,  5.000,  6.000,  7.000]
[ 3.000,  4.000,  5.000,  6.000,  7.000]
[ 4.000,  5.000,  6.000,  7.000]
[ 5.000,  6.000,  7.000]

Changing the end index:
[ 1.000,  2.000,  3.000,  4.000,  5.000,  6.000,  7.000]
[ 1.000,  2.000,  3.000,  4.000,  5.000,  6.000]
[ 1.000,  2.000,  3.000,  4.000,  5.000]
[ 1.000,  2.000,  3.000,  4.000]
[ 1.000,  2.000,  3.000]

Printing with precision=5 and 4 elements per row:
[-6.02002,  1.55606, -7.25789, -3.43802,
 -2.86539,  1.35237,  9.26686,  8.13951,
  0.68799,  3.02332, -7.03470,  7.87381,
 -4.86597, -2.42907, -5.44999,  2.07420,
  1.00121,  7.33340, -7.53952,  3.23020,
  9.93770,  2.84713, -8.23949, -1.12326]




  1. You cannot have currently a mixture of numbers and strings in an array, but you can convert a string to a number with the strtod opcode.^
  2. array and fillarray are only different names for the same opcode.^
  3. As sample rate is here 44100, and fftsize is 2048, each bin has a frequency range of 44100 / 2048 = 21.533 Hz. Bin 0 looks for frequencies around 0 Hz, bin 1 for frequencies around 21.533 Hz, bin 2 around 43.066 Hz, and so on. So setting the first 40 bin amplitudes to 0 means that no frequencies will be resynthesized which are lower than bin 40 which is centered at 40 * 21.533 = 861.328 Hz. ^

CSOUND SYNTAX

Orchestra and Score

In Csound, you must define "instruments", which are units which "do things", for instance playing a sine wave. These instruments must be called or "turned on" by a "score". The Csound "score" is a list of events which describe how the instruments are to be played in time. It can be thought of as a timeline in text.

A Csound instrument is contained within an Instrument Block, which starts with the keyword instr and ends with the keyword endin. All instruments are given a number (or a name) to identify them.

instr 1
... instrument instructions come here...
endin

Score events in Csound are individual text lines, which can turn on instruments for a certain time. For example, to turn on instrument 1, at time 0, for 2 seconds you will use:

i 1 0 2

The Csound Document Structure

A Csound document is structured into three main sections:

Each of these sections is opened with a <xyz> tag and closed with a </xyz> tag. Every Csound file starts with the <CsoundSynthesizer> tag, and ends with </CsoundSynthesizer>. Only the text in-between will be used by Csound.

   EXAMPLE 02B01_DocStruct.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>; START OF A CSOUND FILE

<CsOptions> ; CSOUND CONFIGURATION
-odac
</CsOptions>

<CsInstruments> ; INSTRUMENT DEFINITIONS GO HERE

; Set the audio sample rate to 44100 Hz
sr = 44100

instr 1
; a 440 Hz Sine Wave
aSin      oscils    0dbfs/4, 440, 0
          out       aSin
endin
</CsInstruments>

<CsScore> ; SCORE EVENTS GO HERE
i 1 0 1
</CsScore>

</CsoundSynthesizer> ; END OF THE CSOUND FILE
; Anything after is ignored by Csound

Comments, which are lines of text that Csound will ignore, are started with the ";" character. Multi-line comments can be made by encasing them between "/*" and  "*/".

Opcodes

"Opcodes" or "Unit generators" are the basic building blocks of Csound. Opcodes can do many things like produce oscillating signals, filter signals, perform mathematical functions or even turn on and off instruments. Opcodes, depending on their function, will take inputs and outputs. Each input or output is called, in programming terms, an "argument". Opcodes always take input arguments on the right and output their results on the left, like this:

output    OPCODE    input1, input2, input3, .., inputN

For example the oscils opcode has three inputs: amplitude, frequency and phase, and produces a sine wave signal:

aSin      oscils    0dbfs/4, 440, 0

In this case, a 440 Hertz oscillation starting at phase 0 radians, with an amplitude of 0dbfs/4 (a quarter of 0 dB as full scale) will be created and its output will be stored in a container called aSin. The order of the arguments is important: the first input to oscils will always be amplitude, the second, frequency and the third, phase.

Many opcodes include optional input arguments and occasionally optional output arguments. These will always be placed after the essential arguments. In the Csound Manual documentation they are indicated using square brackets "[]". If optional input arguments are omitted they are replaced with the default values indicated in the Csound Manual. The addition of optional output arguments normally initiates a different mode of that opcode: for example, a stereo as opposed to mono version of the opcode.

Variables

A "variable" is a named container. It is a place to store things like signals or values from where they can be recalled by using their name. In Csound there are various types of variables. The easiest way to deal with variables when getting to know Csound is to imagine them as cables.

If you want to patch this together: Oscillator->Filter->Output,

you need two cables, one going out from the oscillator into the filter and one from the filter to the output. The cables carry audio signals, which are variables beginning with the letter "a".

aSource    buzz       0.8, 200, 10, 1
aFiltered  moogladder aSource, 400, 0.8
           out        aFiltered

In the example above, the buzz opcode produces a complex waveform as signal aSource. This signal is fed into the moogladder opcode, which in turn produces the signal aFiltered. The out opcode takes this signal, and sends it to the output whether that be to the speakers or to a rendered file.

Other common variable types are "k" variables which store control signals, which are updated less frequently than audio signals, and "i" variables which are constants within each instrument note.

You can find more information about variable types here in this manual, or here in the Csound Journal.

Using the Manual

The Csound Reference Manual is a comprehensive source regarding Csound's syntax and opcodes. All opcodes have their own manual entry describing their syntax and behavior, and the manual contains a detailed reference on the Csound language and options.

In CsoundQt you can find the Csound Manual in the Help Menu. You can quickly go to a particular opcode entry in the manual by putting the cursor on the opcode and pressing Shift+F1. WinXsound , Cabbage and Blue also provide easy access to the manual.

  1. Find all options ("flags") in alphabetical order at www.csounds.com/manual/html/CommandFlags.html or sorted by category at www.csounds.com/manual/html/CommandFlagsCategory.html .^
  2. It is not obligatory to include Orchestra Header Statements (sr, kr, ksmps, nchnls, etc.) in the section. If they are omitted, then the default value will be used:
    sr (audio sampling rate, default value is 44100)
    kr (control rate, default value is 4410, but overwritten if ksmps is specified, as kr=sr/ksmps)
    ksmps (number of samples in a control period, default value is 10)
    nchnls (number of channels of audio output, default value is 1 (mono))
    0dbfs (value of 0 decibels using full scale amplitude, default is 32767)
    Modern audio software normal uses 0dbfs = 1

    Read chapter 01 to know more about these terms from a general perspective. Read chapter 03A to know more in detail about ksmps and friends. ^

LOCAL AND GLOBAL VARIABLES

Variable Types

In Csound, there are several types of variables. It is important to understand the differences between these types. There are

Except these four standard types, there are two other variable types which are used for spectral processing:

The following example exemplifies all the variable types (except the w-type):

   EXAMPLE 03B01_Variable_types.csd   

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-o dac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
0dbfs = 1
nchnls = 2

          seed      0; random seed each time different

  instr 1; i-time variables
iVar1     =         p2; second parameter in the score
iVar2     random    0, 10; random value between 0 and 10
iVar      =         iVar1 + iVar2; do any math at i-rate
          print     iVar1, iVar2, iVar
  endin

  instr 2; k-time variables
kVar1     line       0, p3, 10; moves from 0 to 10 in p3
kVar2     random     0, 10; new random value each control-cycle
kVar      =          kVar1 + kVar2; do any math at k-rate
; --- print each 0.1 seconds
printks   "kVar1 = %.3f, kVar2 = %.3f, kVar = %.3f%n", 0.1, kVar1, kVar2, kVar
  endin

  instr 3; a-variables
aVar1     oscils     .2, 400, 0; first audio signal: sine
aVar2     rand       1; second audio signal: noise
aVar3     butbp      aVar2, 1200, 12; third audio signal: noise filtered
aVar      =          aVar1 + aVar3; audio variables can also be added
          outs       aVar, aVar; write to sound card
  endin

  instr 4; S-variables
iMyVar    random     0, 10; one random value per note
kMyVar    random     0, 10; one random value per each control-cycle
 ;S-variable updated just at init-time
SMyVar1   sprintf   "This string is updated just at init-time:
                     kMyVar = %d\n", iMyVar
          printf_i  "%s", 1, SMyVar1
 ;S-variable updates at each control-cycle
          printks   "This string is updated at k-time:
                     kMyVar = %.3f\n", .1, kMyVar
  endin

  instr 5; f-variables
aSig      rand       .2; audio signal (noise)
; f-signal by FFT-analyzing the audio-signal
fSig1     pvsanal    aSig, 1024, 256, 1024, 1
; second f-signal (spectral bandpass filter)
fSig2     pvsbandp   fSig1, 350, 400, 400, 450
aOut      pvsynth    fSig2; change back to audio signal
          outs       aOut*20, aOut*20
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
; p1    p2    p3
i 1     0     0.1
i 1     0.1   0.1
i 2     1     1
i 3     2     1
i 4     3     1
i 5     4     1
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

You can think of variables as named connectors between opcodes. You can connect the output from an opcode to the input of another. The type of connector (audio, control, etc.) is determined by the first letter of its name.

For a more detailed discussion, see the article An overview Of Csound Variable Types by Andrés Cabrera in the Csound Journal, and the page about Types, Constants and Variables in the Canonical Csound Manual.

Local Scope

The scope of these variables is usually the instrument in which they are defined. They are local variables. In the following example, the variables in instrument 1 and instrument 2 have the same names, but different values.

   EXAMPLE 03B02_Local_scope.csd    

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 4410; very high because of printing
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

  instr 1
;i-variable
iMyVar    init      0
iMyVar    =         iMyVar + 1
          print     iMyVar
;k-variable
kMyVar    init      0
kMyVar    =         kMyVar + 1
          printk    0, kMyVar
;a-variable
aMyVar    oscils    .2, 400, 0
          outs      aMyVar, aMyVar
;S-variable updated just at init-time
SMyVar1   sprintf   "This string is updated just at init-time:
                     kMyVar = %d\n", i(kMyVar)
          printf    "%s", kMyVar, SMyVar1
;S-variable updated at each control-cycle
SMyVar2   sprintfk  "This string is updated at k-time:
                     kMyVar = %d\n", kMyVar
          printf    "%s", kMyVar, SMyVar2
  endin

  instr 2
;i-variable
iMyVar    init      100
iMyVar    =         iMyVar + 1
          print     iMyVar
;k-variable
kMyVar    init      100
kMyVar    =         kMyVar + 1
          printk    0, kMyVar
;a-variable
aMyVar    oscils    .3, 600, 0
          outs      aMyVar, aMyVar
;S-variable updated just at init-time
SMyVar1   sprintf   "This string is updated just at init-time:
                     kMyVar = %d\n", i(kMyVar)
          printf    "%s", kMyVar, SMyVar1
;S-variable updated at each control-cycle
SMyVar2   sprintfk  "This string is updated at k-time:
                     kMyVar = %d\n", kMyVar
          printf    "%s", kMyVar, SMyVar2
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 .3
i 2 1 .3
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

This is the output (first the output at init-time by the print opcode, then at each k-cycle the output of printk and the two printf opcodes):
new alloc for instr 1:
instr 1:  iMyVar = 1.000
 i   1 time     0.10000:     1.00000
This string is updated just at init-time: kMyVar = 0
This string is updated at k-time: kMyVar = 1
 i   1 time     0.20000:     2.00000
This string is updated just at init-time: kMyVar = 0
This string is updated at k-time: kMyVar = 2
 i   1 time     0.30000:     3.00000
This string is updated just at init-time: kMyVar = 0
This string is updated at k-time: kMyVar = 3
 B  0.000 ..  1.000 T  1.000 TT  1.000 M:  0.20000  0.20000
new alloc for instr 2:
instr 2:  iMyVar = 101.000
 i   2 time     1.10000:   101.00000
This string is updated just at init-time: kMyVar = 100
This string is updated at k-time: kMyVar = 101
 i   2 time     1.20000:   102.00000
This string is updated just at init-time: kMyVar = 100
This string is updated at k-time: kMyVar = 102
 i   2 time     1.30000:   103.00000
This string is updated just at init-time: kMyVar = 100
This string is updated at k-time: kMyVar = 103
B  1.000 ..  1.300 T  1.300 TT  1.300 M:  0.29998  0.29998


Global Scope

If you need variables which are recognized beyond the scope of an instrument, you must define them as global. This is done by prefixing the character g before the types i, k, a or S. See the following example:

   EXAMPLE 03B03_Global_scope.csd    

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 4410; very high because of printing
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

 ;global scalar variables should be inititalized in the header
giMyVar   init      0
gkMyVar   init      0

  instr 1
 ;global i-variable
giMyVar   =         giMyVar + 1
          print     giMyVar
 ;global k-variable
gkMyVar   =         gkMyVar + 1
          printk    0, gkMyVar
 ;global S-variable updated just at init-time
gSMyVar1  sprintf   "This string is updated just at init-time:
                     gkMyVar = %d\n", i(gkMyVar)
          printf    "%s", gkMyVar, gSMyVar1
 ;global S-variable updated at each control-cycle
gSMyVar2  sprintfk  "This string is updated at k-time:
                     gkMyVar = %d\n", gkMyVar
          printf    "%s", gkMyVar, gSMyVar2
  endin

  instr 2
 ;global i-variable, gets value from instr 1
giMyVar   =         giMyVar + 1
          print     giMyVar
 ;global k-variable, gets value from instr 1
gkMyVar   =         gkMyVar + 1
          printk    0, gkMyVar
 ;global S-variable updated just at init-time, gets value from instr 1
          printf    "Instr 1 tells: '%s'\n", gkMyVar, gSMyVar1
 ;global S-variable updated at each control-cycle, gets value from instr 1
          printf    "Instr 1 tells: '%s'\n\n", gkMyVar, gSMyVar2
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 .3
i 2 0 .3
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

The output shows the global scope, as instrument 2 uses the values which have been changed by instrument 1 in the same control cycle:new alloc for instr 1:
instr 1:  giMyVar = 1.000
new alloc for instr 2:
instr 2:  giMyVar = 2.000
 i   1 time     0.10000:     1.00000
This string is updated just at init-time: gkMyVar = 0
This string is updated at k-time: gkMyVar = 1
 i   2 time     0.10000:     2.00000
Instr 1 tells: 'This string is updated just at init-time: gkMyVar = 0'
Instr 1 tells: 'This string is updated at k-time: gkMyVar = 1'

 i   1 time     0.20000:     3.00000
This string is updated just at init-time: gkMyVar = 0
This string is updated at k-time: gkMyVar = 3
 i   2 time     0.20000:     4.00000
Instr 1 tells: 'This string is updated just at init-time: gkMyVar = 0'
Instr 1 tells: 'This string is updated at k-time: gkMyVar = 3'

 i   1 time     0.30000:     5.00000
This string is updated just at init-time: gkMyVar = 0
This string is updated at k-time: gkMyVar = 5
 i   2 time     0.30000:     6.00000
Instr 1 tells: 'This string is updated just at init-time: gkMyVar = 0'
Instr 1 tells: 'This string is updated at k-time: gkMyVar = 5'


How To Work With Global Audio Variables

Some special considerations must be taken if you work with global audio variables. Actually, Csound behaves basically the same whether you work with a local or a global audio variable. But usually you work with global audio variables if you want to add several audio signals to a global signal, and that makes a difference.

The next few examples are going into a bit more detail. If you just want to see the result (= global audio usually must be cleared), you can skip the next examples and just go to the last one of this section.

It should be understood first that a global audio variable is treated the same by Csound if it is applied like a local audio signal:

   EXAMPLE 03B04_Global_audio_intro.csd     

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

  instr 1; produces a 400 Hz sine
gaSig     oscils    .1, 400, 0
  endin

  instr 2; outputs gaSig
          outs      gaSig, gaSig
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 3
i 2 0 3
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

Of course there is no need to use a global variable in this case. If you do it, you risk your audio will be overwritten by an instrument with a higher number using the same variable name. In the following example, you will just hear a 600 Hz sine tone, because the 400 Hz sine of instrument 1 is overwritten by the 600 Hz sine of instrument 2:

   EXAMPLE 03B05_Global_audio_overwritten.csd      

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-o dac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

  instr 1; produces a 400 Hz sine
gaSig     oscils    .1, 400, 0
  endin

  instr 2; overwrites gaSig with 600 Hz sine
gaSig     oscils    .1, 600, 0
  endin

  instr 3; outputs gaSig
          outs      gaSig, gaSig
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 3
i 2 0 3
i 3 0 3
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

In general, you will use a global audio variable like a bus to which several local audio signal can be added. It's this addition of a global audio signal to its previous state which can cause some trouble. Let's first see a simple example of a control signal to understand what is happening:

   EXAMPLE 03B06_Global_audio_added.csd       

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 4410; very high because of printing
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

  instr 1
kSum      init      0; sum is zero at init pass
kAdd      =         1; control signal to add
kSum      =         kSum + kAdd; new sum in each k-cycle
          printk    0, kSum; print the sum
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 1
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

In this case, the "sum bus" kSum increases at each control cycle by 1, because it adds the kAdd signal (which is always 1) in each k-pass to its previous state. It is no different if this is done by a local k-signal, like here, or by a global k-signal, like in the next example:

   EXAMPLE 03B07_Global_control_added.csd        

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 4410; very high because of printing
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

gkSum     init      0; sum is zero at init

  instr 1
gkAdd     =         1; control signal to add
  endin

  instr 2
gkSum     =         gkSum + gkAdd; new sum in each k-cycle
          printk    0, gkSum; print the sum
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 1
i 2 0 1
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

What happens when working with audio signals instead of control signals in this way, repeatedly adding a signal to its previous state? Audio signals in Csound are a collection of numbers (a vector). The size of this vector is given by the ksmps constant. If your sample rate is 44100, and ksmps=100, you will calculate 441 times in one second a vector which consists of 100 numbers, indicating the amplitude of each sample.

So, if you add an audio signal to its previous state, different things can happen, depending on the vector's present and previous states. If both previous and present states (with ksmps=9) are [0 0.1 0.2 0.1 0 -0.1 -0.2 -0.1 0] you will get a signal which is twice as strong: [0 0.2 0.4 0.2 0 -0.2 -0.4 -0.2 0]. But if the present state is opposite [0 -0.1 -0.2 -0.1 0 0.1 0.2 0.1 0], you will only get zeros when you add them. This is shown in the next example with a local audio variable, and then in the following example with a global audio variable.

   EXAMPLE 03B08_Local_audio_add.csd         

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-o dac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 4410; very high because of printing
            ;(change to 441 to see the difference)
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

  instr 1
 ;initialize a general audio variable
aSum      init      0
 ;produce a sine signal (change frequency to 401 to see the difference)
aAdd      oscils    .1, 400, 0
 ;add it to the general audio (= the previous vector)
aSum      =         aSum + aAdd
kmax      max_k     aSum, 1, 1; calculate maximum
          printk    0, kmax; print it out
          outs      aSum, aSum
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 1
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

 prints:
 i   1 time     0.10000:     0.10000
 i   1 time     0.20000:     0.20000
 i   1 time     0.30000:     0.30000
 i   1 time     0.40000:     0.40000
 i   1 time     0.50000:     0.50000
 i   1 time     0.60000:     0.60000
 i   1 time     0.70000:     0.70000
 i   1 time     0.80000:     0.79999
 i   1 time     0.90000:     0.89999
 i   1 time     1.00000:     0.99999

   EXAMPLE 03B09_Global_audio_add.csd         

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-o dac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 4410; very high because of printing
            ;(change to 441 to see the difference)
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

 ;initialize a general audio variable
gaSum     init      0

  instr 1
 ;produce a sine signal (change frequency to 401 to see the difference)
aAdd      oscils    .1, 400, 0
 ;add it to the general audio (= the previous vector)
gaSum     =         gaSum + aAdd
  endin

  instr 2
kmax      max_k     gaSum, 1, 1; calculate maximum
          printk    0, kmax; print it out
          outs      gaSum, gaSum
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 1
i 2 0 1
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

In both cases, you get a signal which increases each 1/10 second, because you have 10 control cycles per second (ksmps=4410), and the frequency of 400 Hz can be evenly divided by this. If you change the ksmps value to 441, you will get a signal which increases much faster and is out of range after 1/10 second. If you change the frequency to 401 Hz, you will get a signal which increases first, and then decreases, because each audio vector has 40.1 cycles of the sine wave. So the phases are shifting; first getting stronger and then weaker. If you change the frequency to 10 Hz, and then to 15 Hz (at ksmps=44100), you cannot hear anything, but if you render to file, you can see the whole process of either enforcing or erasing quite clear:

Add_Freq10Hz_1

Self-reinforcing global audio signal on account of its state in one control cycle being the same as in the previous one 


Add_Freq15Hz_1 

Partly self-erasing global audio signal because of phase inversions in two subsequent control cycles


So the result of all is: If you work with global audio variables in a way that you add several local audio signals to a global audio variable (which works like a bus), you must clear this global bus at each control cycle. As in Csound all the instruments are calculated in ascending order, it should be done either at the beginning of the first, or at the end of the last instrument. Perhaps it is the best idea to declare all global audio variables in the orchestra header first, and then clear them in an "always on" instrument with the highest number of all the instruments used. This is an example of a typical situation:

   EXAMPLE 03B10_Global_with_clear.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-o dac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

 ;initialize the global audio variables
gaBusL    init      0
gaBusR    init      0
 ;make the seed for random values each time different
          seed      0

  instr 1; produces short signals
 loop:
iDur      random    .3, 1.5
          timout    0, iDur, makenote
          reinit    loop
 makenote:
iFreq     random    300, 1000
iVol      random    -12, -3; dB
iPan      random    0, 1; random panning for each signal
aSin      oscil3    ampdb(iVol), iFreq, 1
aEnv      transeg   1, iDur, -10, 0; env in a-rate is cleaner
aAdd      =         aSin * aEnv
aL, aR    pan2      aAdd, iPan
gaBusL    =         gaBusL + aL; add to the global audio signals
gaBusR    =         gaBusR + aR
  endin

  instr 2; produces short filtered noise signals (4 partials)
 loop:
iDur      random    .1, .7
          timout    0, iDur, makenote
          reinit    loop
 makenote:
iFreq     random    100, 500
iVol      random    -24, -12; dB
iPan      random    0, 1
aNois     rand      ampdb(iVol)
aFilt     reson     aNois, iFreq, iFreq/10
aRes      balance   aFilt, aNois
aEnv      transeg   1, iDur, -10, 0
aAdd      =         aRes * aEnv
aL, aR    pan2      aAdd, iPan
gaBusL    =         gaBusL + aL; add to the global audio signals
gaBusR    =         gaBusR + aR
  endin

  instr 3; reverb of gaBus and output
aL, aR    freeverb  gaBusL, gaBusR, .8, .5
          outs      aL, aR
  endin

  instr 100; clear global audios at the end
          clear     gaBusL, gaBusR
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
f 1 0 1024 10 1 .5 .3 .1
i 1 0 20
i 2 0 20
i 3 0 20
i 100 0 20
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

The chn Opcodes For Global Variables

Instead of using the traditional g-variables for any values or signals which are to transfer between several instruments, it is also possible to use the chn opcodes. An i-, k-, a- or S-value or signal can be set by chnset and received by chnget. One advantage is to have strings as names, so that you can choose intuitive names.

For audio variables, instead of performing an addition, you can use the chnmix opcode. For clearing an audio variable, the chnclear opcode can be used.

   EXAMPLE 03B11_Chn_demo.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-o dac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

  instr 1; send i-values
          chnset    1, "sio"
          chnset    -1, "non"
  endin

  instr 2; send k-values
kfreq     randomi   100, 300, 1
          chnset    kfreq, "cntrfreq"
kbw       =         kfreq/10
          chnset    kbw, "bandw"
  endin

  instr 3; send a-values
anois     rand      .1
          chnset    anois, "noise"
 loop:
idur      random    .3, 1.5
          timout    0, idur, do
          reinit    loop
 do:
ifreq     random    400, 1200
iamp      random    .1, .3
asig      oscils    iamp, ifreq, 0
aenv      transeg   1, idur, -10, 0
asine     =         asig * aenv
          chnset    asine, "sine"
  endin

  instr 11; receive some chn values and send again
ival1     chnget    "sio"
ival2     chnget    "non"
          print     ival1, ival2
kcntfreq  chnget    "cntrfreq"
kbandw    chnget    "bandw"
anoise    chnget    "noise"
afilt     reson     anoise, kcntfreq, kbandw
afilt     balance   afilt, anoise
          chnset    afilt, "filtered"
  endin

  instr 12; mix the two audio signals
amix1     chnget     "sine"
amix2     chnget     "filtered"
          chnmix     amix1, "mix"
          chnmix     amix2, "mix"
  endin

  instr 20; receive and reverb
amix      chnget     "mix"
aL, aR    freeverb   amix, amix, .8, .5
          outs       aL, aR
  endin

  instr 100; clear
          chnclear   "mix"
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 20
i 2 0 20
i 3 0 20
i 11 0 20
i 12 0 20
i 20 0 20
i 100 0 20
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

PANNING AND SPATIALIZATION

Simple Stereo Panning 

Csound provides a large number of opcodes designed to assist in the distribution of sound amongst two or more speakers. These range from opcodes that merely balance a sound between two channel to ones that include algorithms to simulate the doppler shift that occurs when sound moves, algorithms that simulate the filtering and inter-aural delay that occurs as sound reaches both our ears and algorithms that simulate distance in an acoustic space.

First we will look at some 'first principles' methods of panning a sound between two speakers.

The simplest method that is typically encountered is to multiply one channel of audio (aSig) by a panning variable (kPan) and to multiply the other side by 1 minus the same variable like this:

aSigL  =  aSig * kPan
aSigR  =  aSig * (1 – kPan)
          outs aSigL, aSigR

where kPan is within the range zero to 1. If kPan is 1 all the signal will be in the left channel, if it is zero all the signal will be in the right channel and if it is 0.5 there will be signal of equal amplitide in both the left and the right channels. This way the signal can be continuously panned between the left and right channels.

The problem with this method is that the overall power drops as the sound is panned to the middle.

One possible solution to this problem is to take the square root of the panning variable for each channel before multiplying it to the audio signal like this:

aSigL  =     aSig * sqrt(kPan)
aSigR  =     aSig * sqrt((1 – kPan))
       outs  aSigL, aSigR

By doing this, the straight line function of the input panning variable becomes a convex curve so that less power is lost as the sound is panned centrally.

Using 90º sections of a sine wave for the mapping produces a more convex curve and a less immediate drop in power as the sound is panned away from the extremities. This can be implemented using the code shown below.

aSigL  =     aSig * sin(kPan*$M_PI_2)
aSigR  =     aSig * cos(kPan*$M_PI_2)
       outs  aSigL, aSigR

(Note that '$M_PI_2' is one of Csound's built in macros and is equivalent to pi/2.)

A fourth method, devised by Michael Gogins, places the point of maximum power for each channel slightly before the panning variable reaches its extremity. The result of this is that when the sound is panned dynamically it appears to move beyond the point of the speaker it is addressing. This method is an elaboration of the previous one and makes use of a different 90 degree section of a sine wave. It is implemented using the following code:

aSigL  =     aSig * sin((kPan + 0.5) * $M_PI_2)
aSigR  =     aSig * cos((kPan + 0.5) * $M_PI_2)
       outs  aSigL, aSigR

The following example demonstrates all three methods one after the other for comparison. Panning movement is controlled by a slow moving LFO. The input sound is filtered pink noise.

   EXAMPLE 05B01_Pan_stereo.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>

<CsOptions>
-odac ; activates real time sound output
</CsOptions>

<CsInstruments>
; Example by Iain McCurdy

sr = 44100
ksmps = 10
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

  instr 1
imethod  =         p4; read panning method variable from score (p4)

;---------------- generate a source sound -------------------
a1       pinkish   0.3; pink noise
a1       reson     a1, 500, 30, 1; bandpass filtered
aPan     lfo       0.5, 1, 1; panning controlled by an lfo
aPan     =         aPan + 0.5; offset shifted +0.5
;------------------------------------------------------------

 if imethod=1 then
;------------------------ method 1 --------------------------
aPanL    =         aPan
aPanR    =         1 - aPan
;------------------------------------------------------------
 endif

 if imethod=2 then
;------------------------ method 2 --------------------------
aPanL    =       sqrt(aPan)
aPanR    =       sqrt(1 - aPan)
;------------------------------------------------------------
 endif

 if imethod=3 then
;------------------------ method 3 --------------------------
aPanL    =       sin(aPan*$M_PI_2)
aPanR    =       cos(aPan*$M_PI_2)
;------------------------------------------------------------
 endif

 if imethod=4 then
;------------------------ method 4 --------------------------
aPanL   =  sin((aPan + 0.5) * $M_PI_2)
aPanR   =  cos((aPan + 0.5) * $M_PI_2)
;------------------------------------------------------------
 endif

         outs    a1*aPanL, a1*aPanR ; audio sent to outputs
  endin

</CsInstruments>

<CsScore>
; 4 notes one after the other to demonstrate 4 different methods of panning
;p1 p2  p3   p4(method)
i 1 0   4.5  1
i 1 5   4.5  2
i 1 10  4.5  3
i 1 15  4.5  4
e
</CsScore>

</CsoundSynthesizer>

An opcode called pan2 exist which makes panning slightly easier for us to implement simple panning employing various methods. The following example demonstrates the three methods that this opcode offers one after the other. The first is the 'equal power' method, the second 'square root' and the third is simple linear. The Csound Manual alludes to fourth method but this does not seem to function currently.

   EXAMPLE 05B02_pan2.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>

<CsOptions>
-odac ; activates real time sound output
</CsOptions>

<CsInstruments>
; Example by Iain McCurdy

sr = 44100
ksmps = 10
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

  instr 1
imethod        =         p4 ; read panning method variable from score (p4)
;----------------------- generate a source sound ------------------------
aSig           pinkish   0.5              ; pink noise
aSig           reson     aSig, 500, 30, 1 ; bandpass filtered
;------------------------------------------------------------------------

;---------------------------- pan the signal ----------------------------
aPan           lfo       0.5, 1, 1        ; panning controlled by an lfo
aPan           =         aPan + 0.5       ; DC shifted + 0.5
aSigL, aSigR   pan2      aSig, aPan, imethod; create stereo panned output
;------------------------------------------------------------------------

               outs      aSigL, aSigR     ; audio sent to outputs
  endin

</CsInstruments>

<CsScore>
; 3 notes one after the other to demonstrate 3 methods used by pan2
;p1 p2  p3   p4
i 1  0  4.5   0 ; equal power (harmonic)
i 1  5  4.5   1 ; square root method
i 1 10  4.5   2 ; linear
e
</CsScore>

</CsoundSynthesizer> 

In the next example we will generate some sounds as the primary signal. We apply some delay and reverb to this signal to produce a secondary signal. A random function will pan the primary signal between the channels, but the secondary signal remains panned in the middle all the time.

   EXAMPLE 05B03_Different_pan_layers.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>

<CsOptions>
-o dac -d
</CsOptions>

<CsInstruments>
; Example by Bjorn Houdorf, March 2013

sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1
           seed       0

instr 1
ktrig      metro      0.8; Trigger frequency, instr. 2
           scoreline  "i 2 0 4", ktrig
endin

instr 2
ital       random     60, 72; random notes
ifrq       =          cpsmidinn(ital)
knumpart1  oscili     4, 0.1, 1
knumpart2  oscili     5, 0.11, 1
; Generate primary signal.....
asig       buzz       0.1, ifrq, knumpart1*knumpart2+1, 1
ipan       random     0, 1; ....make random function...
asigL, asigR pan2     asig, ipan, 1; ...pan it...
           outs       asigL, asigR ;.... and output it..
kran1      randomi    0,4,3
kran2      randomi    0,4,3
asigdel1   delay      asig, 0.1+i(kran1)
asigdel2   delay      asig, 0.1+i(kran2)
; Make secondary signal...
aL, aR     reverbsc   asig+asigdel1, asig+asigdel2, 0.9, 15000
           outs       aL, aR; ...and output it
endin
</CsInstruments>

<CsScore>
f1 0 8192 10 1
i1 0 60
</CsScore>

</CsoundSynthesizer>

3-d Binaural Encoding 

3-D binaural simulation is availalable in a number of opcodes that make use of spectral data files that provide information about the filtering and inter-aural delay effects of the human head. The older one of these is hrtfer. The newer ones are hrtfmove, hrtfmove2 and hrftstat. The main parameters for control of the opcodes are azimuth (the direction of the source expressed as an angle formed from the direction in which we are facing) and elevation (the angle by which the sound deviates from this horizontal plane, either above or below). Both these parameters are defined in degrees. 'Binaural' infers that the stereo output of this opcode should be listened to using headphones so that no mixing in the air of the two channels occurs before they reach our ears.

The following example take a monophonic source sound of noise impulses and processes it using the hrtfmove2 opcode. First of all the sound is rotated around us in the horizontal plane then it is raised above our head then dropped below us and finally returned to be straight and level in front of us.For this example to work you will need to download the files hrtf-44100-left.dat and hrtf-44100-right.dat and place them in your SADIR (see setting environment variables) or in the same directory as the .csd.

   EXAMPLE 05B04_hrtfmove.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>

<CsOptions>
-odac ; activates real time sound output
</CsOptions>

<CsInstruments>
; Example by Iain McCurdy

sr = 44100
ksmps = 10
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

giSine         ftgen       0, 0, 2^12, 10, 1             ; sine wave
giLFOShape     ftgen       0, 0, 131072, 19, 0.5,1,180,1 ; U-shape parabola

  instr 1
; create an audio signal (noise impulses)
krate          oscil       30,0.2,giLFOShape            ; rate of impulses
; amplitude envelope: a repeating pulse
kEnv           loopseg     krate+3,0, 0,1, 0.05,0, 0.95,0,0
aSig           pinkish     kEnv                             ; noise pulses

; -- apply binaural 3d processing --
; azimuth (direction in the horizontal plane)
kAz            linseg      0, 8, 360
; elevation (held horizontal for 8 seconds then up, then down, then horizontal
kElev          linseg      0, 8,   0, 4, 90, 8, -40, 4, 0
; apply hrtfmove2 opcode to audio source - create stereo ouput
aLeft, aRight  hrtfmove2   aSig, kAz, kElev, \
                               "hrtf-44100-left.dat","hrtf-44100-right.dat"
               outs        aLeft, aRight                 ; audio to outputs
endin

</CsInstruments>

<CsScore>
i 1 0 24 ; instr 1 plays a note for 24 seconds
e
</CsScore>

</CsoundSynthesizer>

Going Multichannel

So far we have only considered working in 2-channels/stereo but Csound is extremely flexible at working in more that 2 channels. By changing nchnls in the orchestra header we can specify any number of channels but we also need to ensure that we choose an audio hardware device using -odac that can handle multichannel audio. Audio channels send from Csound that do not address hardware channels will simply not be reproduced. There may be some need to make adjustments to the software settings of your soundcard using its own software or the operating system's software but due to the variety of sound hardware options available it would be impossible to offer further specific advice here.

Sending Multichannel Sound to the Loudspeakers

In order to send multichannel audio we must use opcodes designed for that task. So far we have used outs to send stereo sound to a pair of loudspeakers. (The 's' actually stands for 'stereo'.) Correspondingly there exist opcodes for quadophonic (outq), hexaphonic (outh), octophonic (outo), 16-channel sound (outx) and 32-channel sound (out32).

For example

 outq  a1, a2, a3, a4

sends four independent audio streams to four hardware channels. Any unneeded channels still have to be given an audio signal. A typical workaround would be to give them 'silence'. For example if only 5 channels were required:

nchnls   =  6

; --snip--

aSilence =    0
         outh a1, a2, a3, a4, a5, aSilence

These opcodes only address very specific loudspeaker arrangements (although workarounds are possible) and have been superseded to a large extent by newer opcodes that allow greater flexibility in the number and routing of audio to a multichannel output.

outc allows us to address any number of output audio channels, but they still need to be addressed sequentially. For example our 5-channel audio could be design as follows:

nchnls   =  5

; --snip--

    outc a1, a2, a3, a4, a5

outch allows us to direct audio to a specific channel or list of channels and takes the form:

outch kchan1, asig1 [, kchan2] [, asig2] [...]

For example, our 5-channel audio system could be designed using outch as follows:

nchnls   =  5

; --snip--

    outch 1,a1, 2,a2, 3,a3, 4,a4, 5,a5

Note that channel numbers can be changed at k-rate thereby opening the possibility of changing the speaker configuration dynamically during performance. Channel numbers do not need to be sequential and unneeded channels can be left out completely. This can make life much easier when working with complex systems employing many channels.

Rendering Multichannel Audio Streams as Sound Files

So far we have referred to outs, outo etc. as a means to send audio to the speakers but strictly speaking they are only sending audio to Csound's output (as specified by nchnls) and the final destination will be defined using a command line flag in <CsOptions>. -odac will indeed instruct Csound to send audio to the audio hardware and then onto the speakers but we can alternatively send audio to a sound file using -oSoundFile.wav. Provided a file type that supports multichannel interleaved data is chosen (wav will work), a multichannel file will be created that can be used in some other audio applications or can be re-read by Csound later on by using, for example diskin2. This method is useful for rendering audio that is too complex to be monitored in real-time. Only single interleaved sound files can be created , separate mono files cannot be created using this method. Simultaneously monitoring the audio generated by Csound whilst rendering will not be possible when using this method; we must choose one or the other.

An alternative method of rendering audio in Csound, and one that will allow simulatenous monitoring in real-time is to use the fout opcode. For example:

fout  "FileName.wav", 8, a1, a2, a3, a4
outq  a1, a2, a3, a4

will render an interleaved, 24-bit, 4-channel sound file whilst simultaneously sending the quadrophonic audio to the loudspeakers.

If we wanted to de-interleave an interleaved sound file into multiple mono sound files we could use the code:

a1, a2, a3, a4   soundin   "4ChannelSoundFile.wav"
                 fout      "Channel1.wav", 8, a1
                 fout      "Channel2.wav", 8, a2
                 fout      "Channel3.wav", 8, a3
                 fout      "Channel4.wav", 8, a4 

VBAP

Vector Base Amplitude Panning1  can be described as a method which extends stereo panning to more than two speakers. The number of speakers is, in general, arbitrary. You can configure for standard layouts such as quadrophonic, octophonic or 5.1 configuration, but in fact any number of speakers can be positioned even in irregular distances from each other. If you are fortunate enough to have speakers arranged at different heights, you can even configure VBAP for three dimensions.

Basic Steps

First you must tell VBAP where your loudspeakers are positioned. Let us assume you have seven speakers in the positions and numberings outlined below (M = middle/centre):


The opcode vbaplsinit, which is usually placed in the header of a Csound orchestra, defines these positions as follows:

vbaplsinit 2, 7, -40, 40, 70, 140, 180, -110, -70

The first number determines the number of dimensions (here 2). The second number states the overall number of speakers, then followed by the positions in degrees (clockwise).

All that is required now is to provide vbap with a monophonic sound source to be distributed amongst the speakers according to information given about the position. Horizontal position (azimuth) is expressed in degrees clockwise just as the initial locations of the speakers were. The following would be the Csound code to play the sound file "ClassGuit.wav" once while moving it counterclockwise:

   EXAMPLE 05B05_VBAP_circle.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac -d ;for the next line, change to your folder
--env:SSDIR+=/home/jh/Joachim/Csound/FLOSS/audio
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32      
0dbfs = 1
nchnls = 7

vbaplsinit 2, 7, -40, 40, 70, 140, 180, -110, -70

  instr 1
Sfile      =          "ClassGuit.wav"
iFilLen    filelen    Sfile
p3         =          iFilLen
aSnd, a0   soundin    Sfile
kAzim      line       0, p3, -360 ;counterclockwise
a1, a2, a3, a4, a5, a6, a7, a8 vbap8 aSnd, kAzim
outch 1, a1, 2, a2, 3, a3, 4, a4, 5, a5, 6, a6, 7, a7
  endin
</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 1
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>
;example by joachim heintz

In the CsOptions tag, you see the option --env:SSDIR+= ... as a possibility to add a folder to the path in which Csound usually looks for your samples (SSDIR = Sound Sample Directory) if you call them only by name, without the full path. To play the full length of the sound file (without prior knowledge of its duration) the filelen opcode is used to derive this duration, and then the duration of this instrument (p3) is set to this value. The p3 given in the score section (here 1) is overwritten by this value.

The circular movement is a simple k-rate line signal, from 0 to -360 across the duration of the sound file (in this case the same as p3). Note that we have to use the opcode vbap8 here, as there is no vbap7. Just give the eighth channel a variable name (a8) and thereafter ignore it.

The Spread Parameter

As VBAP derives from a panning paradigm, it has one problem which becomes more serious as the number of speakers increases. Panning between two speakers in a stereo configuration means that all speakers are active. Panning between two speakers in a quadro configuration means that half of the speakers are active. Panning between two speakers in an octo configuration means that only a quarter of the speakers are active. And so on --- so that the actual perceived extend of the sound source becomes unintentionally smaller and smaller.

To alleviate this tendency, Ville Pulkki has introduced an additional parameter, called "spread", in a range from zero to hundred percent.2  The 'ascetic' form of VBAP we have seen in the previous example, means: no spread (0%). A spread of 100% means that all speakers are active, and the information about where the sound comes from is nearly lost.

As the kspread input to the vbap8 opcode is the second of two optional parameters, we first have to provide the first one. kelev defines the elevation of the sound - it is always zero for two dimensions, as in the speaker configuration in our example. The next example adds a spread movement to the previous one. The spread starts at zero percent, then increases up to hundred percent, and then decreases back down again to zero.

   EXAMPLE 05B06_VBAP_spread.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac -d ;for the next line, change to your folder
--env:SSDIR+=/home/jh/Joachim/Csound/FLOSS/audio
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32      
0dbfs = 1
nchnls = 7

vbaplsinit 2, 7, -40, 40, 70, 140, 180, -110, -70

  instr 1
Sfile      =          "ClassGuit.wav"
iFilLen    filelen    Sfile
p3         =          iFilLen
aSnd, a0   soundin    Sfile
kAzim      line       0, p3, -360
kSpread    linseg     0, p3/2, 100, p3/2, 0
a1, a2, a3, a4, a5, a6, a7, a8 vbap8 aSnd, kAzim, 0, kSpread
outch 1, a1, 2, a2, 3, a3, 4, a4, 5, a5, 6, a6, 7, a7
  endin
</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 1
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>
;example by joachim heintz

New VBAP Opcodes

As a reaction to a number of requests, John fFitch has written new VBAP opcodes in 2012. Their main goal is to allow more than one loudspeaker configuration within a single orchestra (so that you can "switch" between them) and to give more flexibility to the number of output channels. This is an example for three different configurations which are called in three instruments:

   EXAMPLE 05B07_VBAP_new.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac -d ;for the next line, change to your folder
--env:SSDIR+=/home/jh/Joachim/Csound/FLOSS/audio
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32      
0dbfs = 1
nchnls = 7

vbaplsinit 2.01, 7, -40, 40, 70, 140, 180, -110, -70
vbaplsinit 2.02, 2, -40, 40
vbaplsinit 2.03, 3, -70, 180, 70

  instr 1
aSnd, a0   soundin    "ClassGuit.wav"
kAzim      line       0, p3, -360
a1, a2, a3, a4, a5, a6, a7 vbap aSnd, kAzim, 0, 0, 1
outch 1, a1, 2, a2, 3, a3, 4, a4, 5, a5, 6, a6, 7, a7
  endin

  instr 2
aSnd, a0   soundin    "ClassGuit.wav"
kAzim      line       0, p3, -360
a1, a2     vbap       aSnd, kAzim, 0, 0, 2
           outch      1, a1, 2, a2
  endin

  instr 3
aSnd, a0   soundin    "ClassGuit.wav"
kAzim      line       0, p3, -360
a1, a2, a3 vbap       aSnd, kAzim, 0, 0, 3
           outch      7, a1, 3, a2, 5, a3
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 6
i 2 6 6
i 3 12 6
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>
;example by joachim heintz

Instead of just one loudspeaker configuration as in the previous examples, there are now three configurations:

vbaplsinit 2.01, 7, -40, 40, 70, 140, 180, -110, -70
vbaplsinit 2.02, 2, -40, 40
vbaplsinit 2.03, 3, -70, 180, 70

The first parameter (the number of dimensions) now has an additional fractional part, with a range from .01 to .99, specifying the number of the speaker layout. So 2.01 means: two dimensions, layout number one, 2.02 is layout number two, and 2.03 is layout number three. The new vbap opcode has now these parameters:

 ar1[, ar2...] vbap asig, kazim [, kelev] [, kspread] [, ilayout]

The last parameter ilayout refers to the speaker layout number. In the example above, instrument 1 uses layout 1, instrument 2 uses layout 2, and instrument 3 uses layout 3. Even if you do not have more than two speakers you should see in Csound's output that instrument 1 goes to all seven speakers, instrument 2 only to the first two, and instrument 3 goes to speaker 3, 5, and 7.

In addition to the new vbap opcode, vbapg has been written. The idea is to have an opcode which returns the gains (amplitudes) of the speakers instead of the audio signal:

k1[, k2...] vbapg kazim [,kelev] [, kspread] [, ilayout]

Ambisonics

Ambisonics is another technique to distribute a virtual sound source in space. Although the practical use has some similarities to VBAP, Ambisonics follows a rather different approach. It has nothing to do with amplitude panning but establishs a sound field. So by default all speakers are active, and localisation results from effects other than just amplitude. 

There are excellent sources for the discussion of Ambisonics online.3  We will focus here just on the basic practicalities of using Ambisonics in Csound, without going into too much detail of the concepts behind them.

Ambisonics works in two basic steps. In the first step you encode the spacial information of a virtual sound source (its localisation) in a so-called B-format. In the second step you decode the B-format to match your loudspeaker setup.

It is possible to save the B-format as its own audio file, to conserve the spacial information or you can immediately do the decoding after the encoding thereby dealing directly only with audio signals instead of Ambisonic files. The next example takes the latter approach by implementing a transformation of the VBAP circle example to Ambisonics.

   EXAMPLE 05B08_Ambi_circle.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac -d ;for the next line, change to your folder
--env:SSDIR+=/home/jh/Joachim/Csound/FLOSS/Release01/Csound_Floss_Release01/audio
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32      
0dbfs = 1
nchnls = 8

  instr 1
Sfile      =          "ClassGuit.wav"
iFilLen    filelen    Sfile
p3         =          iFilLen
aSnd, a0   soundin    Sfile
kAzim      line       0, p3, 360 ;counterclockwise (!)
iSetup     =          4 ;octogon
aw, ax, ay, az bformenc1 aSnd, kAzim, 0
a1, a2, a3, a4, a5, a6, a7, a8 bformdec1 iSetup, aw, ax, ay, az
outch 1, a1, 2, a2, 3, a3, 4, a4, 5, a5, 6, a6, 7, a7, 8, a8
  endin
</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 1
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>
;example by joachim heintz

First to note is that for a counterclockwise circle, the azimuth now has the line 0 -> 360, instead of 0 -> -360 as was in the VBAP example. This is because Ambisonics usually reads the angle in the mathematical way: a positive angle is counterclockwise. Next, the encoding process is carried out in the line:

aw, ax, ay, az bformenc1 aSnd, kAzim, 0

Input arguments are the monophonic sound source aSnd, the xy-angle kAzim, and the elevation angle which is set to zero. Output signals are the spacial informations in x-, y- and z- direction (ax, ay, az), and also an omnidirectional signal called aw

Decoding is performed by the line

a1, a2, a3, a4, a5, a6, a7, a8 bformdec1 iSetup, aw, ax, ay, az

The inputs for the decoder are the same aw, ax, ay, az, which were the results of the encoding process, and an additional iSetup parameter. Currently the Csound decoder only works with some standard setups for the speaker: iSetup = 4 refers to an octogon.4 So the final eight audio signals a1, ..., a8 are being produced using this decoder, and are then sent to the speakers in the same way using the outch opcode.

Different Orders

What we have seen in this example is called "first order" ambisonics. This means that the encoding process leads to the four basic dimensions w, x, y, z as described above.5 In "second order" ambisonics, there are additional directions called r, s, t, u, v. And in "third order" ambisonics again the additional k, l, m, n, o, p, q. The final example in this section shows the three orders, each of them in one instrument. If you have eight speakers in octo setup, you can compare the results.

   EXAMPLE 05B09_Ambi_orders.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac -d ;for the next line, change to your folder
--env:SSDIR+=/home/jh/Joachim/Csound/FLOSS/Release01/Csound_Floss_Release01/audio
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32      
0dbfs = 1
nchnls = 8

  instr 1 ;first order
aSnd, a0   soundin    "ClassGuit.wav"
kAzim      line       0, p3, 360
iSetup     =          4 ;octogon
aw, ax, ay, az bformenc1 aSnd, kAzim, 0
a1, a2, a3, a4, a5, a6, a7, a8 bformdec1 iSetup, aw, ax, ay, az
outch 1, a1, 2, a2, 3, a3, 4, a4, 5, a5, 6, a6, 7, a7, 8, a8
  endin

  instr 2 ;second order
aSnd, a0   soundin    "ClassGuit.wav"
kAzim      line       0, p3, 360
iSetup     =          4 ;octogon
aw, ax, ay, az, ar, as, at, au, av bformenc1 aSnd, kAzim, 0
a1, a2, a3, a4, a5, a6, a7, a8 bformdec1 iSetup, aw, ax, ay, az, ar, as, at, au, av
outch 1, a1, 2, a2, 3, a3, 4, a4, 5, a5, 6, a6, 7, a7, 8, a8
  endin

  instr 3 ;third order
aSnd, a0   soundin    "ClassGuit.wav"
kAzim      line       0, p3, 360
iSetup     =          4 ;octogon
aw, ax, ay, az, ar, as, at, au, av, ak, al, am, an, ao, ap, aq bformenc1 aSnd, kAzim, 0
a1, a2, a3, a4, a5, a6, a7, a8 bformdec1 iSetup, aw, ax, ay, az, ar, as, at, au, av, ak, al, am, an, ao, ap, aq
outch 1, a1, 2, a2, 3, a3, 4, a4, 5, a5, 6, a6, 7, a7, 8, a8
  endin
</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 6
i 2 6 6
i 3 12 6
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>
;example by joachim heintz

In theory, first-order ambisonics needs at least 4 speakers to be projected correctly. Second-order ambisonics needs at least 6 speakers (9, if 3 dimensions are employed). Third-order ambisonics needs at least 8 speakers (or 16 for 3d). So, although higher order should in general lead to a better result in space, you cannot expect it to work unless you have a sufficient number of speakers. Of course practice may prove a preferable means of judgement to theory in many cases.

VBAP or Ambisonics?

Csound offers a simple and reliable way to access two standard methods for multi-channel spatialisation. Both have different qualities and follow different aesthetics. VBAP can perhaps be described as clear, rational, direct. It combines simplicity with flexibility. It gives a reliable sound projection even for rather asymmetric speaker setups. Ambisonics on the other hand offers a very soft sound image, in which the single speaker becomes part of a coherent sound field. The B-format offers the possibility to store the spatial information independently from any particular speaker configuration. 

The composer, or spatial interpreter, can choose one or the other technique depending on the music and the context. Or (s)he can design a personal appraoch to spatialisation by combining the different techniques described in this chapter.


  1. First described by Ville Pulkki in 1997: Ville Pulkki, Virtual source positioning using vector base amplitude panning, in: Journal of the Audio Engeneering Society, 45(6), 456-466^
  2. Ville Pulkki, Uniform spreading of amplitude panned virtual sources, in: Proceedings of the 1999 IEEE Workshop on Applications of Signal Processing to Audio and Acoustics, Mohonk Montain House, New Paltz^
  3. For instance www.ambisonic.net or www.icst.net/research/projects/ambisonics-theory^
  4. See www.csounds.com/manual/html/bformdec1.html for more details.^
  5. Which in turn then are taken by the decoder as input.^

FREQUENCIES

As mentioned in the previous section frequency is defined as the number of cycles or periods per second. Frequency is measured in Hertz. If a tone has a frequency of 440Hz it completes 440 cycles every second. Given a tone's frequency, one can easily calculate the period of any sound. Mathematically, the period is the reciprocal of the frequency and vice versa. In equation form, this is expressed as follows.

 Frequency = 1/Period         Period = 1/Frequency 

Therefore the frequency is the inverse of the period, so a wave of 100 Hz frequency has a period of 1/100 or 0.01 seconds, likewise a frequency of 256Hz has a period of 1/256, or 0.004 seconds. To calculate the wavelength of a sound in any given medium we can use the following equation:

λ = Velocity/Frequency

For instance, a wave of 1000 Hz in air (velocity of diffusion about 340 m/s) has a length of approximately 340/1000 m = 34 cm.

Lower and Higher Borders for Hearing

The human ear can generally hear sounds in the range 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz (20 kHz). This upper limit tends to decrease with age due to a condition known as presbyacusis, or age related hearing loss. Most adults can hear to about 16 kHz while most children can hear beyond this. At the lower end of the spectrum the human ear does not respond to frequencies below 20 Hz, with 40 of 50 Hz being the lowest most people can perceive. 

So, in the following example, you will not hear the first (10 Hz) tone, and probably not the last (20 kHz) one, but hopefully the other ones (100 Hz, 1000 Hz, 10000 Hz):

EXAMPLE 01B01_BordersForHearing.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac -m0
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;example by joachim heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

instr 1
        prints  "Playing %d Hertz!\n", p4
asig    oscils  .2, p4, 0
        outs    asig, asig
endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 2 10
i . + . 100
i . + . 1000
i . + . 10000
i . + . 20000
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

Logarithms, Frequency Ratios and Intervals

A lot of basic maths is about simplification of complex equations. Shortcuts are taken all the time to make things easier to read and equate. Multiplication can be seen as a shorthand of addition, for example, 5x10 = 5+5+5+5+5+5+5+5+5+5. Exponents are shorthand for multiplication, 35 = 3x3x3x3x3. Logarithms are shorthand for exponents and are used in many areas of science and engineering in which quantities vary over a large range. Examples of logarithmic scales include the decibel scale, the Richter scale for measuring earthquake magnitudes and the astronomical scale of stellar brightnesses. Musical frequencies also work on a logarithmic scale, more on this later.

Intervals in music describe the distance between two notes. When dealing with standard musical notation it is easy to determine an interval between two adjacent notes. For example a perfect 5th is always made up of 7 semitones. When dealing with Hz values things are different. A difference of say 100Hz does not always equate to the same musical interval. This is because musical intervals as we hear them are represented in Hz as frequency ratios. An octave for example is always 2:1. That is to say every time you double a Hz value you will jump up by a musical interval of an octave.

Consider the following. A flute can play the note A at 440 Hz. If the player plays another A an octave above it at 880 Hz the difference in Hz is 440. Now consider the piccolo, the highest pitched instrument of the orchestra. It can play a frequency of 2000 Hz but it can also play an octave above this at 4000 Hz (2 x 2000 Hz). While the difference in Hertz between the two notes on the flute is only 440 Hz, the difference between the two high pitched notes on a piccolo is 1000 Hz yet they are both only playing notes one octave apart.

What all this demonstrates is that the higher two pitches become the greater the difference in Hertz needs to be for us to recognize the difference as the same musical interval. The most common ratios found in the equal temperament scale are the unison: (1:1), the octave: (2:1), the perfect fifth (3:2), the perfect fourth (4:3), the major third (5:4) and the minor third (6:5).

The following example shows the difference between adding a certain frequency and applying a ratio. First, the frequencies of 100, 400 and 800 Hz all get an addition of 100 Hz. This sounds very different, though the added frequency is the same. Second, the ratio 3/2 (perfect fifth) is applied to the same frequencies. This sounds always the same, though the frequency displacement is different each time.

EXAMPLE 01B02_Adding_vs_ratio.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac -m0
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;example by joachim heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

instr 1
        prints  "Playing %d Hertz!\n", p4
asig    oscils  .2, p4, 0
        outs    asig, asig
endin

instr 2
        prints  "Adding %d Hertz to %d Hertz!\n", p5, p4
asig    oscils  .2, p4+p5, 0
        outs    asig, asig
endin

instr 3
        prints  "Applying the ratio of %f (adding %d Hertz)
                 to %d Hertz!\n", p5, p4*p5, p4
asig    oscils  .2, p4*p5, 0
        outs    asig, asig
endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
;adding a certain frequency (instr 2)
i 1 0 1 100
i 2 1 1 100 100
i 1 3 1 400
i 2 4 1 400 100
i 1 6 1 800
i 2 7 1 800 100
;applying a certain ratio (instr 3)
i 1 10 1 100
i 3 11 1 100 [3/2]
i 1 13 1 400
i 3 14 1 400 [3/2]
i 1 16 1 800
i 3 17 1 800 [3/2]
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

So what of the algorithms mentioned above. As some readers will know the current preferred method of tuning western instruments is based on equal temperament. Essentially this means that all octaves are split into 12 equal intervals. Therefore a semitone has a ratio of 2(1/12), which is approximately 1.059463.

So what about the reference to logarithms in the heading above? As stated previously, logarithms are shorthand for exponents. 2(1/12)= 1.059463 can also be written as log2(1.059463)= 1/12. Therefore musical frequency works on a logarithmic scale. 

MIDI Notes

Csound can easily deal with MIDI notes and comes with functions that will convert MIDI notes to Hertz values and back again. In MIDI speak A440 is equal to A4 and is MIDI note 69. You can think of A4 as being the fourth A from the lowest A we can hear, well almost hear.

Caution: like many 'standards' there is occasional disagreement about the mapping between frequency and octave number. You may occasionally encounter A440 being described as A3.

RECORD AND PLAY BUFFERS

Playing Audio From RAM - flooper2

Csound offers many opcodes for playing back sound files that have first been loaded into a function table (and therefore are loaded into RAM). Some of these offer higher quality at the expense of computation speed some are simpler and less fully featured.

One of the newer and easier to use opcodes for this task is flooper2. As its name might suggest it is intended for the playback of files with looping. 'flooper2' can also apply a cross-fade between the end and the beginning of the loop in order to smooth the transition where looping takes place.

In the following example a sound file that has been loaded into a GEN01 function table is played back using 'flooper2'. 'flooper2' also includes a parameter for modulating playback speed/pitch. There is also the option of modulating the loop points at k-rate. In this example the entire file is simply played and looped. You can replace the sound file with one of your own or you can download the one used in the example from here:

Some notes about GEN01 and function table sizes:

When storing sound files in GEN01 function tables we must ensure that we define a table of sufficient size to store our sound file. Normally function table sizes should be powers of 2 (2, 4, 8, 16, 32 etc.). If we know the duration of our sound file we can derive the required table size by multiplying this duration by the sample rate and then choosing the next power of 2 larger than this. For example when the sampling rate is 44100, we will require 44100 table locations to store 1 second of audio; but 44100 is not a power of 2 so we must choose the next power of 2 larger than this which is 65536. (Hint: you can discover a sound file's duration by using Csound's 'sndinfo' utility.)

There are some 'lazy' options however: if we underestimate the table size, when we then run Csound it will warn us that this table size is too small and conveniently inform us via the terminal what the minimum size required to store the entire file would be - we can then substitute this value in our GEN01 table. We can also overestimate the table size in which case Csound won't complain at all, but this is a rather inefficient approach.

If we give table size a value of zero we have what is referred to as 'deferred table size'. This means that Csound will calculate the exact table size needed to store our sound file and use this as the table size but this will probably not be a power of 2. Many of Csound's opcodes will work quite happily with non-power of 2 function table sizes, but not all! It is a good idea to know how to deal with power of 2 table sizes. We can also explicitly define non-power of 2 table sizes by prefacing the table size with a minus sign '-'.

All of the above discussion about required table sizes assumed that the sound file was mono, to store a stereo sound file will naturally require twice the storage space, for example, 1 second of stereo audio will require 88200 storage locations. GEN01 will indeed store stereo sound files and many of Csound's opcodes will read from stereo GEN01 function tables, but again not all! We must be prepared to split stereo sound files, either to two sound files on disk or into two function tables using GEN01's 'channel' parameter (p8), depending on the opcodes we are using.

Storing audio in GEN01 tables as mono channels with non-deferred and power of 2 table sizes will ensure maximum compatibility.

   EXAMPLE 06B01_flooper2.csd  

<CsoundSynthesizer>

<CsOptions>
-odac ; activate real-time audio
</CsOptions>

<CsInstruments>
; example written by Iain McCurdy

sr      =       44100
ksmps   =       32
nchnls  =       1       
0dbfs   =       1

; STORE AUDIO IN RAM USING GEN01 FUNCTION TABLE
giSoundFile   ftgen   0, 0, 262144, 1, "loop.wav", 0, 0, 0

  instr 1 ; play audio from function table using flooper2 opcode
kAmp         =         1   ; amplitude
kPitch       =         p4  ; pitch/speed
kLoopStart   =         0   ; point where looping begins (in seconds)
kLoopEnd     =         nsamp(giSoundFile)/sr; loop end (end of file)
kCrossFade   =         0   ; cross-fade time
; read audio from the function table using the flooper2 opcode
aSig         flooper2  kAmp,kPitch,kLoopStart,kLoopEnd,kCrossFade,giSoundFile
             out       aSig ; send audio to output
  endin

</CsInstruments>

<CsScore>
; p4 = pitch
; (sound file duration is 4.224)
i 1 0 [4.224*2] 1
i 1 + [4.224*2] 0.5
i 1 + [4.224*1] 2
e
</CsScore>

</CsoundSynthesizer>

Csound's Built-in Record-Play Buffer - sndloop

Csound has an opcode called sndloop which provides a simple method of recording some audio into a buffer and then playing it back immediately. The duration of audio storage required is defined when the opcode is initialized. In the following example two seconds is provided. Once activated, as soon as two seconds of live audio has been recorded by 'sndloop', it immediately begins playing it back in a loop. 'sndloop' allows us to modulate the speed/pitch of the played back audio as well as providing the option of defining a crossfade time between the end and the beginning of the loop. In the example pressing 'r' on the computer keyboard activates record followed by looped playback, pressing 's' stops record or playback, pressing '+' increases the speed and therefore the pitch of playback and pressing '-' decreases the speed/pitch of playback. If playback speed is reduced below zero it enters the negative domain in which case playback will be reversed.

You will need to have a microphone connected to your computer in order to use this example.

   EXAMPLE 06B02_sndloop.csd  

<CsoundSynthesizer>

<CsOptions>
; real-time audio in and out are both activated
-iadc -odac
</CsOptions>

<CsInstruments>
;example written by Iain McCurdy

sr      =       44100
ksmps   =       32
nchnls  =       1       

  instr 1
; PRINT INSTRUCTIONS
           prints  "Press 'r' to record, 's' to stop playback, "
           prints  "'+' to increase pitch, '-' to decrease pitch.\\n"
; SENSE KEYBOARD ACTIVITY
kKey sensekey; sense activity on the computer keyboard
aIn        inch    1             ; read audio from first input channel
kPitch     init    1             ; initialize pitch parameter
iDur       init    2             ; inititialize duration of loop parameter
iFade      init    0.05          ; initialize crossfade time parameter
 if kKey = 114 then              ; if 'r' has been pressed...
kTrig      =       1             ; set trigger to begin record-playback
 elseif kKey = 115 then          ; if 's' has been pressed...
kTrig      =       0             ; set trigger to turn off record-playback
 elseif kKey = 43 then           ; if '+' has been pressed...
kPitch     =       kPitch + 0.02 ; increment pitch parameter
 elseif kKey = 95 then           ; if '-' has been pressed
kPitch     =       kPitch - 0.02 ; decrement pitch parameter
 endif                           ; end of conditional branches
; CREATE SNDLOOP INSTANCE
aOut, kRec sndloop aIn, kPitch, kTrig, iDur, iFade ; (kRec output is not used)
           out     aOut          ; send audio to output
  endin

</CsInstruments>

<CsScore>
i 1 0 3600 ; instr 1 plays for 1 hour
</CsScore>

</CsoundSynthesizer>

Recording to and Playback from a Function Table

Writing to and reading from buffers can also be achieved through the use of Csound's opcodes for table reading and writing operations. Although the procedure is a little more complicated than that required for 'sndloop' it is ultimately more flexible. In the next example separate instruments are used for recording to the table and for playing back from the table. Another instrument which runs constantly scans for activity on the computer keyboard and activates the record or playback instruments accordingly. For writing to the table we will use the tablew opcode and for reading from the table we will use the table opcode (if we were to modulate the playback speed it would be better to use one of Csound's interpolating variations of 'table' such as tablei or table3. Csound writes individual values to table locations, the exact table locations being defined by an 'index'. For writing continuous audio to a table this index will need to be continuously moving 1 location for every sample. This moving index (or 'pointer') can be created with an a-rate line or a phasor. The next example uses 'line'. When using Csound's table operation opcodes we first need to create that table, either in the orchestra header or in the score. The duration of the audio buffer can be calculated from the size of the table. In this example the table is 2^17 points long, that is 131072 points. The duration in seconds is this number divided by the sample rate which in our example is 44100Hz. Therefore maximum storage duration for this example is 131072/44100 which is around 2.9 seconds.

   EXAMPLE 06B03_RecPlayToTable.csd    

<CsoundSynthesizer>

<CsOptions>
; real-time audio in and out are both activated
-iadc -odac -d -m0
</CsOptions>

<CsInstruments>
; example written by Iain McCurdy

sr      =       44100
ksmps   =       32
nchnls  =       1

giBuffer ftgen  0, 0, 2^17, 7, 0; table for audio data storage
maxalloc 2,1 ; allow only one instance of the recording instrument at a time!

  instr 1 ; Sense keyboard activity. Trigger record or playback accordingly.
           prints  "Press 'r' to record, 'p' for playback.\\n"
iTableLen  =       ftlen(giBuffer)  ; derive buffer function table length
idur       =       iTableLen / sr   ; derive storage time in seconds
kKey sensekey                       ; sense activity on the computer keyboard
  if kKey=114 then                  ; if ASCCI value of 114 ('r') is output
event   "i", 2, 0, idur, iTableLen  ; activate recording instrument (2)
  endif
 if kKey=112 then                   ; if ASCCI value of 112 ('p) is output
event   "i", 3, 0, idur, iTableLen  ; activate playback instrument
 endif
  endin

  instr 2 ; record to buffer
iTableLen  =        p4              ; table/recording length in samples
; -- print progress information to terminal --
           prints   "recording"
           printks  ".", 0.25       ; print '.' every quarter of a second
krelease   release                  ; sense when note is in final k-rate pass...
 if krelease=1 then                 ; then ..
           printks  "\\ndone\\n", 0 ; ... print a message
 endif
; -- write audio to table --
ain        inch     1               ; read audio from live input channel 1
andx       line     0,p3,iTableLen  ; create an index for writing to table
           tablew   ain,andx,giBuffer ; write audio to function table
endin

  instr 3 ; playback from buffer
iTableLen  =        p4              ; table/recording length in samples
; -- print progress information to terminal --
           prints   "playback"
           printks  ".", 0.25       ; print '.' every quarter of a second
krelease   release                  ; sense when note is in final k-rate pass
 if krelease=1 then                 ; then ...
           printks  "\\ndone\\n", 0 ; ... print a message
 endif; end of conditional branch
; -- read audio from table --
aNdx       line     0, p3, iTableLen; create an index for reading from table
a1         table    aNdx, giBuffer  ; read audio to audio storage table
           out      a1              ; send audio to output
  endin

</CsInstruments>

<CsScore>
i 1 0 3600 ; Sense keyboard activity. Start recording - playback.
</CsScore>

</CsoundSynthesizer>

Encapsulating Record and Play Buffer Functionality to a UDO

Recording and playing of buffers can also be encapsulated into a User Defined Opcode. For being flexible in the size of the buffer, the tabw opcode will be used for writing audio data to a buffer. tabw writes to a table of any size and does not need a power-of-two table size like tablew.
An empty table (buffer) of any size can be created with a negative number as size. A table for recording 10 seconds of audio data can be created in this way:

giBuf1    ftgen    0, 0, -(10*sr), 2, 0

The used can decide whether he wants to assign a certain number to the table, or whether he lets Csound do this job, calling the table via its variable, in this case giBuf1. This is a UDO for creating a mono buffer, and another UDO for creating a stereo buffer:

 opcode BufCrt1, i, io
ilen, inum xin
ift       ftgen     inum, 0, -(ilen*sr), 2, 0
          xout      ift
 endop

 opcode BufCrt2, ii, io
ilen, inum xin
iftL      ftgen     inum, 0, -(ilen*sr), 2, 0
iftR      ftgen     inum, 0, -(ilen*sr), 2, 0
          xout      iftL, iftR
 endop 

This simplifies the procedure of creating a record/play buffer, because the user is just asked for the length of the buffer. A number can be given, but by default Csound will assign this number. This statement will create an empty stereo table for 5 seconds of recording:

iBufL,iBufR BufCrt2   5

A first, simple version of a UDO for recording will just write the incoming audio to sequential locations of the table. This can be done by setting the ksmps value to 1 inside this UDO (setksmps 1), so that each audio sample has its own discrete k-value. In this way the write index for the table can be assigned via the statement andx=kndx, and increased by one for the next k-cycle. An additional k-input turns recording on and of:

 opcode BufRec1, 0, aik
ain, ift, krec  xin
          setksmps  1
if krec == 1 then ;record as long as krec=1
kndx      init      0
andx      =         kndx
          tabw      ain, andx, ift
kndx      =         kndx+1
endif
 endop

The reading procedure is simple, too. Actually the same code can be used; it is sufficient just to replace the opcode for writing (tabw) with the opcode for reading (tab):

 opcode BufPlay1, a, ik
ift, kplay  xin
          setksmps  1
if kplay == 1 then ;play as long as kplay=1
kndx      init      0
andx      =         kndx
aout      tab       andx, ift
kndx      =         kndx+1
endif
 endop

So - let's use these first simple UDOs in a Csound instrument. Press the "r" key as long as you want to record, and the "p" key for playing back. Note that you must disable the key repeats on your computer keyboard for this example (in QuteCsound, disable "Allow key repeats" in Configuration -> General).

   EXAMPLE 06B04_BufRecPlay_UDO.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-i adc -o dac -d -m0
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;example written by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 1
0dbfs = 1

  opcode BufCrt1, i, io
ilen, inum xin
ift       ftgen     inum, 0, -(ilen*sr), 2, 0
          xout      ift
  endop

  opcode BufRec1, 0, aik
ain, ift, krec  xin
          setksmps  1
imaxindx  =         ftlen(ift)-1 ;max index to write
knew      changed   krec
if krec == 1 then ;record as long as krec=1
 if knew == 1 then ;reset index if restarted
kndx      =         0
 endif
kndx      =         (kndx > imaxindx ? imaxindx : kndx)
andx      =         kndx
          tabw      ain, andx, ift
kndx      =         kndx+1
endif
  endop

  opcode BufPlay1, a, ik
ift, kplay  xin
          setksmps  1
imaxindx  =         ftlen(ift)-1 ;max index to read
knew      changed   kplay
if kplay == 1 then ;play as long as kplay=1
 if knew == 1 then ;reset index if restarted
kndx      =         0
 endif
kndx      =         (kndx > imaxindx ? imaxindx : kndx)
andx      =         kndx
aout      tab       andx, ift
kndx      =         kndx+1
endif
          xout      aout
  endop

  opcode KeyStay, k, kkk
;returns 1 as long as a certain key is pressed
key, k0, kascii    xin ;ascii code of the key (e.g. 32 for space)
kprev     init      0 ;previous key value
kout      =         (key == kascii || (key == -1 && kprev == kascii) ? 1 : 0)
kprev     =         (key > 0 ? key : kprev)
kprev     =         (kprev == key && k0 == 0 ? 0 : kprev)
          xout      kout
  endop

  opcode KeyStay2, kk, kk
;combines two KeyStay UDO's (this way is necessary
;because just one sensekey opcode is possible in an orchestra)
kasci1, kasci2 xin ;two ascii codes as input
key,k0    sensekey
kout1     KeyStay   key, k0, kasci1
kout2     KeyStay   key, k0, kasci2
          xout      kout1, kout2
  endop


instr 1
ain        inch      1 ;audio input on channel 1
iBuf       BufCrt1   3 ;buffer for 3 seconds of recording
kRec,kPlay KeyStay2  114, 112 ;define keys for record and play
           BufRec1   ain, iBuf, kRec ;record if kRec=1
aout       BufPlay1  iBuf, kPlay ;play if kPlay=1
           out       aout ;send out
endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 1000
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

Let's realize now a more extended and easy to operate version of these two UDO's for recording and playing a buffer. The wishes of a user might be the following:

Recording:

Playing:

The following example provides versions of BufRec and BufPlay which do this job. We will use the table3 opcode instead of the simple tab or table opcodes in this case, because we want to translate any number of samples in the table to any number of output samples by different speed values:

101124table3 

For higher or lower speed values than the original record speed, interpolation must be used in between certain sample values if the original shape of the wave is to be reproduced as accurately as possible. This job is performed with high quality by table3 which employs cubic interpolation.

In a typical application of recording and playing buffer buffers, the ability to interact with the process will be paramount. We can benefit from having interactive access to the following:

These interactions could be carried out via widgets, MIDI, OSC or something else. As we want to provide examples which can be used with any Csound frontend here, we are restricted to triggering the record and play events by hitting the space bar of the computer keyboard. (See the CsoundQt version of this example for a more interactive version.)

   EXAMPLE 06B05_BufRecPlay_complex.csd  

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-i adc -o dac -d
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;example written by joachim heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

  opcode BufCrt2, ii, io ;creates a stereo buffer
ilen, inum xin ;ilen = length of the buffer (table) in seconds
iftL      ftgen     inum, 0, -(ilen*sr), 2, 0
iftR      ftgen     inum, 0, -(ilen*sr), 2, 0
          xout      iftL, iftR
  endop

  opcode BufRec1, k, aikkkk ;records to a buffer
ain, ift, krec, kstart, kend, kwrap xin
                setksmps        1
kendsmps        =               kend*sr ;end point in samples
kendsmps        =               (kendsmps == 0 || kendsmps > ftlen(ift) ? ftlen(ift) : kendsmps)
kfinished       =               0
knew            changed krec ;1 if record just started
 if krec == 1 then
  if knew == 1 then
kndx            =               kstart * sr - 1 ;first index to write
  endif
  if kndx >= kendsmps-1 && kwrap == 1 then
kndx            =               -1
  endif
  if kndx < kendsmps-1 then
kndx            =               kndx + 1
andx            =               kndx
                tabw            ain, andx, ift
  else
kfinished       =               1
  endif
 endif
                xout            kfinished
  endop

  opcode BufRec2, k, aaiikkkk ;records to a stereo buffer
ainL, ainR, iftL, iftR, krec, kstart, kend, kwrap xin
kfin      BufRec1     ainL, iftL, krec, kstart, kend, kwrap
kfin      BufRec1     ainR, iftR, krec, kstart, kend, kwrap
          xout        kfin
  endop

  opcode BufPlay1, ak, ikkkkkk
ift, kplay, kspeed, kvol, kstart, kend, kwrap xin
;kstart = begin of playing the buffer in seconds
;kend = end of playing in seconds. 0 means the end of the table
;kwrap = 0: no wrapping. stops at kend (positive speed) or kstart
;  (negative speed).this makes just sense if the direction does not
;  change and you just want to play the table once
;kwrap = 1: wraps between kstart and kend
;kwrap = 2: wraps between 0 and kend
;kwrap = 3: wraps between kstart and end of table
;CALCULATE BASIC VALUES
kfin            init            0
iftlen          =               ftlen(ift)/sr ;ftlength in seconds
kend            =               (kend == 0 ? iftlen : kend) ;kend=0 means end of table
kstart01        =               kstart/iftlen ;start in 0-1 range
kend01          =               kend/iftlen ;end in 0-1 range
kfqbas          =               (1/iftlen) * kspeed ;basic phasor frequency
;DIFFERENT BEHAVIOUR DEPENDING ON WRAP:
if kplay == 1 && kfin == 0 then
 ;1. STOP AT START- OR ENDPOINT IF NO WRAPPING REQUIRED (kwrap=0)
 if kwrap == 0 then
; -- phasor freq so that 0-1 values match distance start-end
kfqrel          =               kfqbas / (kend01-kstart01)
andxrel phasor  kfqrel ;index 0-1 for distance start-end
; -- final index for reading the table (0-1)
andx            =               andxrel * (kend01-kstart01) + (kstart01)
kfirst          init            1 ;don't check condition below at the first k-cycle (always true)
kndx            downsamp        andx
kprevndx        init            0
 ;end of table check:
  ;for positive speed, check if this index is lower than the previous one
  if kfirst == 0 && kspeed > 0 && kndx < kprevndx then
kfin            =               1
 ;for negative speed, check if this index is higher than the previous one
  else
kprevndx        =               (kprevndx == kstart01 ? kend01 : kprevndx)
   if kfirst == 0 && kspeed < 0 && kndx > kprevndx then
kfin            =               1
   endif
kfirst          =               0 ;end of first cycle in wrap = 0
  endif
 ;sound out if end of table has not yet reached
asig            table3          andx, ift, 1    
kprevndx        =               kndx ;next previous is this index
 ;2. WRAP BETWEEN START AND END (kwrap=1)
 elseif kwrap == 1 then
kfqrel          =               kfqbas / (kend01-kstart01) ;same as for kwarp=0
andxrel phasor  kfqrel
andx            =               andxrel * (kend01-kstart01) + (kstart01)
asig            table3          andx, ift, 1    ;sound out
 ;3. START AT kstart BUT WRAP BETWEEN 0 AND END (kwrap=2)
 elseif kwrap == 2 then
kw2first        init            1
  if kw2first == 1 then ;at first k-cycle:
                reinit          wrap3phs ;reinitialize for getting the correct start phase
kw2first        =               0
  endif
kfqrel          =               kfqbas / kend01 ;phasor freq so that 0-1 values match distance start-end
wrap3phs:
andxrel phasor  kfqrel, i(kstart01) ;index 0-1 for distance start-end
                rireturn        ;end of reinitialization
andx            =               andxrel * kend01 ;final index for reading the table
asig            table3          andx, ift, 1    ;sound out
 ;4. WRAP BETWEEN kstart AND END OF TABLE(kwrap=3)
 elseif kwrap == 3 then
kfqrel          =               kfqbas / (1-kstart01) ;phasor freq so that 0-1 values match distance start-end
andxrel phasor  kfqrel ;index 0-1 for distance start-end
andx            =               andxrel * (1-kstart01) + kstart01 ;final index for reading the table
asig            table3          andx, ift, 1    
 endif
else ;if either not started or finished at wrap=0
asig            =               0 ;don't produce any sound
endif
                xout            asig*kvol, kfin
  endop

  opcode BufPlay2, aak, iikkkkkk ;plays a stereo buffer
iftL, iftR, kplay, kspeed, kvol, kstart, kend, kwrap xin
aL,kfin   BufPlay1     iftL, kplay, kspeed, kvol, kstart, kend, kwrap
aR,kfin   BufPlay1     iftR, kplay, kspeed, kvol, kstart, kend, kwrap
          xout         aL, aR, kfin
  endop

  opcode In2, aa, kk ;stereo audio input
kchn1, kchn2 xin
ain1      inch      kchn1
ain2      inch      kchn2
          xout      ain1, ain2
  endop

  opcode Key, kk, k
;returns '1' just in the k-cycle a certain key has been pressed (kdown)
;  or released (kup)
kascii    xin ;ascii code of the key (e.g. 32 for space)
key,k0    sensekey
knew      changed   key
kdown     =         (key == kascii && knew == 1 && k0 == 1 ? 1 : 0)
kup       =         (key == kascii && knew == 1 && k0 == 0 ? 1 : 0)
          xout      kdown, kup
  endop

instr 1
giftL,giftR BufCrt2   3 ;creates a stereo buffer for 3 seconds
gainL,gainR In2     1,2 ;read input channels 1 and 2 and write as global audio
          prints    "PLEASE PRESS THE SPACE BAR ONCE AND GIVE AUDIO INPUT
                     ON CHANNELS 1 AND 2.\n"
          prints    "AUDIO WILL BE RECORDED AND THEN AUTOMATICALLY PLAYED
                     BACK IN SEVERAL MANNERS.\n"
krec,k0   Key       32
 if krec == 1 then
          event     "i", 2, 0, 10
 endif
endin

instr 2
; -- records the whole buffer and returns 1 at the end
kfin      BufRec2   gainL, gainR, giftL, giftR, 1, 0, 0, 0
  if kfin == 0 then
          printks   "Recording!\n", 1
  endif
 if kfin == 1 then
ispeed    random    -2, 2
istart    random    0, 1
iend      random    2, 3
iwrap     random    0, 1.999
iwrap     =         int(iwrap)
printks "Playing back with speed = %.3f, start = %.3f, end = %.3f,
                    wrap = %d\n", p3, ispeed, istart, iend, iwrap
aL,aR,kf  BufPlay2  giftL, giftR, 1, ispeed, 1, istart, iend, iwrap
  if kf == 0 then
          printks   "Playing!\n", 1
  endif
 endif
krel      release
 if kfin == 1 && kf == 1 || krel == 1 then
          printks   "PRESS SPACE BAR AGAIN!\n", p3
          turnoff
 endif
          outs      aL, aR
endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 1000
e
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>


SUBTRACTIVE SYNTHESIS

Introduction

Subtractive synthesis is, at least conceptually, the inverse of additive synthesis in that instead of building complex sound through the addition of simple cellular materials such as sine waves, subtractive synthesis begins with a complex sound source, such as white noise or a recorded sample, or a rich waveform, such as a sawtooth or pulse, and proceeds to refine that sound by removing partials or entire sections of the frequency spectrum through the use of audio filters.

The creation of dynamic spectra (an arduous task in additive synthesis) is relatively simple in subtractive synthesis as all that will be required will be to modulate a few parameters pertaining to any filters being used. Working with the intricate precision that is possible with additive synthesis may not be as easy with subtractive synthesis but sounds can be created much more instinctively than is possible with additive or FM synthesis.

A Csound Two-Oscillator Synthesizer

The first example represents perhaps the classic idea of subtractive synthesis: a simple two oscillator synth filtered using a single resonant lowpass filter. Many of the ideas used in this example have been inspired by the design of the Minimoog synthesizer (1970) and other similar instruments.

Each oscillator can describe either a sawtooth, PWM waveform (i.e. square - pulse etc.) or white noise and each oscillator can be transposed in octaves or in cents with respect to a fundamental pitch. The two oscillators are mixed and then passed through a 4-pole / 24dB per octave resonant lowpass filter. The opcode 'moogladder' is chosen on account of its authentic vintage character. The cutoff frequency of the filter is modulated using an ADSR-style (attack-decay-sustain-release) envelope facilitating the creation of dynamic, evolving spectra. Finally the sound output of the filter is shaped by an ADSR amplitude envelope.

As this instrument is suggestive of a performance instrument controlled via MIDI, this has been partially implemented. Through the use of Csound's MIDI interoperability opcode, mididefault, the instrument can be operated from the score or from a MIDI keyboard. If a MIDI note is received, suitable default p-field values are substituted for the missing p-fields. MIDI controller 1 can be used to control the global cutoff frequency for the filter.

A schematic for this instrument is shown below:


   EXAMPLE 04B01_Subtractive_Midi.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>

<CsOptions>
-odac -Ma
</CsOptions>

<CsInstruments>
sr = 44100
ksmps = 4
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

initc7 1,1,0.8                 ;set initial controller position

prealloc 1, 10

   instr 1
iNum   notnum                  ;read in midi note number
iCF    ctrl7        1,1,0.1,14 ;read in midi controller 1

; set up default p-field values for midi activated notes
       mididefault  iNum, p4   ;pitch (note number)
       mididefault  0.3, p5    ;amplitude 1
       mididefault  2, p6      ;type 1
       mididefault  0.5, p7    ;pulse width 1
       mididefault  0, p8      ;octave disp. 1
       mididefault  0, p9      ;tuning disp. 1
       mididefault  0.3, p10   ;amplitude 2
       mididefault  1, p11     ;type 2
       mididefault  0.5, p12   ;pulse width 2
       mididefault  -1, p13    ;octave displacement 2
       mididefault  20, p14    ;tuning disp. 2
       mididefault  iCF, p15   ;filter cutoff freq
       mididefault  0.01, p16  ;filter env. attack time
       mididefault  1, p17     ;filter env. decay time
       mididefault  0.01, p18  ;filter env. sustain level
       mididefault  0.1, p19   ;filter release time
       mididefault  0.3, p20   ;filter resonance
       mididefault  0.01, p21  ;amp. env. attack
       mididefault  0.1, p22   ;amp. env. decay.
       mididefault  1, p23     ;amp. env. sustain
       mididefault  0.01, p24  ;amp. env. release

; asign p-fields to variables
iCPS   =            cpsmidinn(p4) ;convert from note number to cps
kAmp1  =            p5
iType1 =            p6
kPW1   =            p7
kOct1  =            octave(p8) ;convert from octave displacement to multiplier
kTune1 =            cent(p9)   ;convert from cents displacement to multiplier
kAmp2  =            p10
iType2 =            p11
kPW2   =            p12
kOct2  =            octave(p13)
kTune2 =            cent(p14)
iCF    =            p15
iFAtt  =            p16
iFDec  =            p17
iFSus  =            p18
iFRel  =            p19
kRes   =            p20
iAAtt  =            p21
iADec  =            p22
iASus  =            p23
iARel  =            p24

;oscillator 1
;if type is sawtooth or square...
if iType1==1||iType1==2 then
 ;...derive vco2 'mode' from waveform type
 iMode1 = (iType1=1?0:2)
 aSig1  vco2   kAmp1,iCPS*kOct1*kTune1,iMode1,kPW1;VCO audio oscillator
else                                   ;otherwise...
 aSig1  noise  kAmp1, 0.5              ;...generate white noise
endif

;oscillator 2 (identical in design to oscillator 1)
if iType2==1||iType2==2 then
 iMode2  =  (iType2=1?0:2)
 aSig2  vco2   kAmp2,iCPS*kOct2*kTune2,iMode2,kPW2
else
  aSig2 noise  kAmp2,0.5
endif

;mix oscillators
aMix       sum          aSig1,aSig2
;lowpass filter
kFiltEnv   expsegr      0.0001,iFAtt,iCPS*iCF,iFDec,iCPS*iCF*iFSus,iFRel,0.0001
aOut       moogladder   aMix, kFiltEnv, kRes

;amplitude envelope
aAmpEnv    expsegr      0.0001,iAAtt,1,iADec,iASus,iARel,0.0001
aOut       =            aOut*aAmpEnv
           outs         aOut,aOut
  endin
</CsInstruments>

<CsScore>
;p4  = oscillator frequency
;oscillator 1
;p5  = amplitude
;p6  = type (1=sawtooth,2=square-PWM,3=noise)
;p7  = PWM (square wave only)
;p8  = octave displacement
;p9  = tuning displacement (cents)
;oscillator 2
;p10 = amplitude
;p11 = type (1=sawtooth,2=square-PWM,3=noise)
;p12 = pwm (square wave only)
;p13 = octave displacement
;p14 = tuning displacement (cents)
;global filter envelope
;p15 = cutoff
;p16 = attack time
;p17 = decay time
;p18 = sustain level (fraction of cutoff)
;p19 = release time
;p20 = resonance
;global amplitude envelope
;p21 = attack time
;p22 = decay time
;p23 = sustain level
;p24 = release time
; p1 p2 p3  p4 p5  p6 p7   p8 p9  p10 p11 p12 p13
;p14 p15 p16  p17  p18  p19 p20 p21  p22 p23 p24
i 1  0  1   50 0   2  .5   0  -5  0   2   0.5 0   \
 5   12  .01  2    .01  .1  0   .005 .01 1   .05
i 1  +  1   50 .2  2  .5   0  -5  .2  2   0.5 0   \
 5   1   .01  1    .1   .1  .5  .005 .01 1   .05
i 1  +  1   50 .2  2  .5   0  -8  .2  2   0.5 0   \
 8   3   .01  1    .1   .1  .5  .005 .01 1   .05
i 1  +  1   50 .2  2  .5   0  -8  .2  2   0.5 -1  \
 8   7  .01   1    .1   .1  .5  .005 .01 1   .05
i 1  +  3   50 .2  1  .5   0  -10 .2  1   0.5 -2  \
 10  40  .01  3    .001 .1  .5  .005 .01 1   .05
i 1  +  10  50 1   2  .01  -2 0   .2  3   0.5 0   \
 0   40  5    5    .001 1.5 .1  .005 .01 1   .05

f 0 3600
e
</CsScore>

</CsoundSynthesizer>

Simulation of Timbres from a Noise Source

The next example makes extensive use of bandpass filters arranged in parallel to filter white noise. The bandpass filter bandwidths are narrowed to the point where almost pure tones are audible. The crucial difference is that the noise source always induces instability in the amplitude and frequency of tones produced - it is this quality that makes this sort of subtractive synthesis sound much more organic than an additive synthesis equivalent. If the bandwidths are widened then more of the characteristic of the noise source comes through and the tone becomes 'airier' and less distinct; if the bandwidths are narrowed the resonating tones become clearer and steadier. By varying the bandwidths interesting metamorphoses of the resultant sound are possible.

22 reson filters are used for the bandpass filters on account of their ability to ring and resonate as their bandwidth narrows. Another reason for this choice is the relative CPU economy of the reson filter, a not inconsiderable concern as so many of them are used. The frequency ratios between the 22 parallel filters are derived from analysis of a hand bell, the data was found in the appendix of the Csound manual here.

In addition to the white noise as a source, noise impulses are also used as a sound source (via the 'mpulse' opcode). The instrument will automatically and randomly slowly crossfade between these two sound sources.

A lowpass and highpass filter are inserted in series before the parallel bandpass filters to shape the frequency spectrum of the source sound. Csound's butterworth filters butlp and buthp are chosen for this task on account of their steep cutoff slopes and lack of ripple at the cutoff point.

The outputs of the reson filters are sent alternately to the left and right outputs in order to create a broad stereo effect.

This example makes extensive use of the 'rspline' opcode, a generator of random spline functions, to slowly undulate the many input parameters. The orchestra is self generative in that instrument 1 repeatedly triggers note events in instrument 2 and the extensive use of random functions means that the results will continually evolve as the orchestra is allowed to perform.

A flow diagram for this instrument is shown below:


   EXAMPLE 04B02_Subtractive_timbres.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>

<CsOptions>
-odac
</CsOptions>

<CsInstruments>
;Example written by Iain McCurdy

sr = 44100
ksmps = 16
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

  instr 1 ; triggers notes in instrument 2 with randomised p-fields
krate  randomi 0.2,0.4,0.1   ;rate of note generation
ktrig  metro  krate          ;triggers used by schedkwhen
koct   random 5,12           ;fundemental pitch of synth note
kdur   random 15,30          ;duration of note
schedkwhen ktrig,0,0,2,0,kdur,cpsoct(koct) ;trigger a note in instrument 2
  endin

  instr 2 ; subtractive synthesis instrument
aNoise  pinkish  1                  ;a noise source sound: pink noise
kGap    rspline  0.3,0.05,0.2,2     ;time gap between impulses
aPulse  mpulse   15, kGap           ;a train of impulses
kCFade  rspline  0,1,0.1,1          ;crossfade point between noise and impulses
aInput  ntrpol   aPulse,aNoise,kCFade;implement crossfade

; cutoff frequencies for low and highpass filters
kLPF_CF  rspline  13,8,0.1,0.4
kHPF_CF  rspline  5,10,0.1,0.4
; filter input sound with low and highpass filters in series -
; - done twice per filter in order to sharpen cutoff slopes
aInput    butlp    aInput, cpsoct(kLPF_CF)
aInput    butlp    aInput, cpsoct(kLPF_CF)
aInput    buthp    aInput, cpsoct(kHPF_CF)
aInput    buthp    aInput, cpsoct(kHPF_CF)

kcf     rspline  p4*1.05,p4*0.95,0.01,0.1 ; fundemental
; bandwidth for each filter is created individually as a random spline function
kbw1    rspline  0.00001,10,0.2,1
kbw2    rspline  0.00001,10,0.2,1
kbw3    rspline  0.00001,10,0.2,1
kbw4    rspline  0.00001,10,0.2,1
kbw5    rspline  0.00001,10,0.2,1
kbw6    rspline  0.00001,10,0.2,1
kbw7    rspline  0.00001,10,0.2,1
kbw8    rspline  0.00001,10,0.2,1
kbw9    rspline  0.00001,10,0.2,1
kbw10   rspline  0.00001,10,0.2,1
kbw11   rspline  0.00001,10,0.2,1
kbw12   rspline  0.00001,10,0.2,1
kbw13   rspline  0.00001,10,0.2,1
kbw14   rspline  0.00001,10,0.2,1
kbw15   rspline  0.00001,10,0.2,1
kbw16   rspline  0.00001,10,0.2,1
kbw17   rspline  0.00001,10,0.2,1
kbw18   rspline  0.00001,10,0.2,1
kbw19   rspline  0.00001,10,0.2,1
kbw20   rspline  0.00001,10,0.2,1
kbw21   rspline  0.00001,10,0.2,1
kbw22   rspline  0.00001,10,0.2,1

imode   =        0 ; amplitude balancing method used by the reson filters
a1      reson    aInput, kcf*1,               kbw1, imode
a2      reson    aInput, kcf*1.0019054878049, kbw2, imode
a3      reson    aInput, kcf*1.7936737804878, kbw3, imode
a4      reson    aInput, kcf*1.8009908536585, kbw4, imode
a5      reson    aInput, kcf*2.5201981707317, kbw5, imode
a6      reson    aInput, kcf*2.5224085365854, kbw6, imode
a7      reson    aInput, kcf*2.9907012195122, kbw7, imode
a8      reson    aInput, kcf*2.9940548780488, kbw8, imode
a9      reson    aInput, kcf*3.7855182926829, kbw9, imode
a10     reson    aInput, kcf*3.8061737804878, kbw10,imode
a11     reson    aInput, kcf*4.5689024390244, kbw11,imode
a12     reson    aInput, kcf*4.5754573170732, kbw12,imode
a13     reson    aInput, kcf*5.0296493902439, kbw13,imode
a14     reson    aInput, kcf*5.0455030487805, kbw14,imode
a15     reson    aInput, kcf*6.0759908536585, kbw15,imode
a16     reson    aInput, kcf*5.9094512195122, kbw16,imode
a17     reson    aInput, kcf*6.4124237804878, kbw17,imode
a18     reson    aInput, kcf*6.4430640243902, kbw18,imode
a19     reson    aInput, kcf*7.0826219512195, kbw19,imode
a20     reson    aInput, kcf*7.0923780487805, kbw20,imode
a21     reson    aInput, kcf*7.3188262195122, kbw21,imode
a22     reson    aInput, kcf*7.5551829268293, kbw22,imode

; amplitude control for each filter output
kAmp1    rspline  0, 1, 0.3, 1
kAmp2    rspline  0, 1, 0.3, 1
kAmp3    rspline  0, 1, 0.3, 1
kAmp4    rspline  0, 1, 0.3, 1
kAmp5    rspline  0, 1, 0.3, 1
kAmp6    rspline  0, 1, 0.3, 1
kAmp7    rspline  0, 1, 0.3, 1
kAmp8    rspline  0, 1, 0.3, 1
kAmp9    rspline  0, 1, 0.3, 1
kAmp10   rspline  0, 1, 0.3, 1
kAmp11   rspline  0, 1, 0.3, 1
kAmp12   rspline  0, 1, 0.3, 1
kAmp13   rspline  0, 1, 0.3, 1
kAmp14   rspline  0, 1, 0.3, 1
kAmp15   rspline  0, 1, 0.3, 1
kAmp16   rspline  0, 1, 0.3, 1
kAmp17   rspline  0, 1, 0.3, 1
kAmp18   rspline  0, 1, 0.3, 1
kAmp19   rspline  0, 1, 0.3, 1
kAmp20   rspline  0, 1, 0.3, 1
kAmp21   rspline  0, 1, 0.3, 1
kAmp22   rspline  0, 1, 0.3, 1

; left and right channel mixes are created using alternate filter outputs.
; This shall create a stereo effect.
aMixL    sum      a1*kAmp1,a3*kAmp3,a5*kAmp5,a7*kAmp7,a9*kAmp9,a11*kAmp11,\
                        a13*kAmp13,a15*kAmp15,a17*kAmp17,a19*kAmp19,a21*kAmp21
aMixR    sum      a2*kAmp2,a4*kAmp4,a6*kAmp6,a8*kAmp8,a10*kAmp10,a12*kAmp12,\
                        a14*kAmp14,a16*kAmp16,a18*kAmp18,a20*kAmp20,a22*kAmp22

kEnv     linseg   0, p3*0.5, 1,p3*0.5,0,1,0       ; global amplitude envelope
outs   (aMixL*kEnv*0.00008), (aMixR*kEnv*0.00008) ; audio sent to outputs
  endin

</CsInstruments>

<CsScore>
i 1 0 3600  ; instrument 1 (note generator) plays for 1 hour
e
</CsScore>

</CsoundSynthesizer>

Vowel-Sound Emulation Using Bandpass Filtering

The final example in this section uses precisely tuned bandpass filters, to simulate the sound of the human voice expressing vowel sounds. Spectral resonances in this context are often referred to as 'formants'. Five formants are used to simulate the effect of the human mouth and head as a resonating (and therefore filtering) body. The filter data for simulating the vowel sounds A,E,I,O and U as expressed by a bass, tenor, counter-tenor, alto and soprano voice were found in the appendix of the Csound manual here. Bandwidth and intensity (dB) information is also needed to accurately simulate the various vowel sounds.

reson filters are again used but butbp and others could be equally valid choices.

Data is stored in GEN07 linear break point function tables, as this data is read by k-rate line functions we can interpolate and therefore morph between different vowel sounds during a note.

The source sound for the filters comes from either a pink noise generator or a pulse waveform. The pink noise source could be used if the emulation is to be that of just the breath whereas the pulse waveform provides a decent approximation of the human vocal chords buzzing. This instrument can however morph continuously between these two sources.

A flow diagram for this instrument is shown below:


   EXAMPLE 04B03_Subtractive_vowels.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>

<CsOptions>
-odac
</CsOptions>

<CsInstruments>
;example by Iain McCurdy

sr = 44100
ksmps = 16
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

;FUNCTION TABLES STORING DATA FOR VARIOUS VOICE FORMANTS

;BASS
giBF1 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2, 600,   400, 250,   400,  350
giBF2 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2, 1040, 1620, 1750,  750,  600
giBF3 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2, 2250, 2400, 2600, 2400, 2400
giBF4 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2, 2450, 2800, 3050, 2600, 2675
giBF5 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2, 2750, 3100, 3340, 2900, 2950

giBDb1 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2,   0,   0,   0,   0,   0
giBDb2 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2,  -7, -12, -30, -11, -20
giBDb3 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2,  -9,  -9, -16, -21, -32
giBDb4 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2,  -9, -12, -22, -20, -28
giBDb5 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2, -20, -18, -28, -40, -36

giBBW1 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2,  60,  40,  60,  40,  40
giBBW2 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2,  70,  80,  90,  80,  80
giBBW3 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2, 110, 100, 100, 100, 100
giBBW4 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2, 120, 120, 120, 120, 120
giBBW5 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2, 130, 120, 120, 120, 120

;TENOR
giTF1 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2,  650,  400,  290,  400,  350
giTF2 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2, 1080, 1700, 1870,  800,  600
giTF3 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2, 2650, 2600, 2800, 2600, 2700
giTF4 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2, 2900, 3200, 3250, 2800, 2900
giTF5 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2, 3250, 3580, 3540, 3000, 3300

giTDb1 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2,   0,   0,   0,   0,   0
giTDb2 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2,  -6, -14, -15, -10, -20
giTDb3 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2,  -7, -12, -18, -12, -17
giTDb4 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2,  -8, -14, -20, -12, -14
giTDb5 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2, -22, -20, -30, -26, -26

giTBW1 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2,  80,  70,  40,  40,  40
giTBW2 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2,  90,  80,  90,  80,  60
giTBW3 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2, 120, 100, 100, 100, 100
giTBW4 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2, 130, 120, 120, 120, 120
giTBW5 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2, 140, 120, 120, 120, 120

;COUNTER TENOR
giCTF1 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2,  660,  440,  270,  430,  370
giCTF2 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2, 1120, 1800, 1850,  820,  630
giCTF3 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2, 2750, 2700, 2900, 2700, 2750
giCTF4 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2, 3000, 3000, 3350, 3000, 3000
giCTF5 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2, 3350, 3300, 3590, 3300, 3400

giTBDb1 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2,   0,   0,   0,   0,   0
giTBDb2 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2,  -6, -14, -24, -10, -20
giTBDb3 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2, -23, -18, -24, -26, -23
giTBDb4 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2, -24, -20, -36, -22, -30
giTBDb5 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2, -38, -20, -36, -34, -30

giTBW1 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2, 80,   70,  40,  40,  40
giTBW2 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2, 90,   80,  90,  80,  60
giTBW3 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2, 120, 100, 100, 100, 100
giTBW4 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2, 130, 120, 120, 120, 120
giTBW5 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2, 140, 120, 120, 120, 120

;ALTO
giAF1 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2,  800,  400,  350,  450,  325
giAF2 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2, 1150, 1600, 1700,  800,  700
giAF3 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2, 2800, 2700, 2700, 2830, 2530
giAF4 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2, 3500, 3300, 3700, 3500, 2500
giAF5 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2, 4950, 4950, 4950, 4950, 4950

giADb1 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2,   0,   0,   0,   0,   0
giADb2 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2,  -4, -24, -20,  -9, -12
giADb3 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2, -20, -30, -30, -16, -30
giADb4 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2, -36, -35, -36, -28, -40
giADb5 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2, -60, -60, -60, -55, -64

giABW1 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2, 50,   60,  50,  70,  50
giABW2 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2, 60,   80, 100,  80,  60
giABW3 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2, 170, 120, 120, 100, 170
giABW4 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2, 180, 150, 150, 130, 180
giABW5 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2, 200, 200, 200, 135, 200

;SOPRANO
giSF1 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2,  800,  350,  270,  450,  325
giSF2 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2, 1150, 2000, 2140,  800,  700
giSF3 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2, 2900, 2800, 2950, 2830, 2700
giSF4 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2, 3900, 3600, 3900, 3800, 3800
giSF5 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2, 4950, 4950, 4950, 4950, 4950

giSDb1 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2,   0,   0,   0,   0,   0
giSDb2 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2,  -6, -20, -12, -11, -16
giSDb3 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2, -32, -15, -26, -22, -35
giSDb4 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2, -20, -40, -26, -22, -40
giSDb5 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2, -50, -56, -44, -50, -60

giSBW1 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2,  80,  60,  60,  70,  50
giSBW2 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2,  90,  90,  90,  80,  60
giSBW3 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2, 120, 100, 100, 100, 170
giSBW4 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2, 130, 150, 120, 130, 180
giSBW5 ftgen 0, 0, -5, -2, 140, 200, 120, 135, 200

instr 1
  kFund    expon     p4,p3,p5               ; fundamental
  kVow     line      p6,p3,p7               ; vowel select
  kBW      line      p8,p3,p9               ; bandwidth factor
  iVoice   =         p10                    ; voice select
  kSrc     line      p11,p3,p12             ; source mix

  aNoise   pinkish   3                      ; pink noise
  aVCO     vco2      1.2,kFund,2,0.02       ; pulse tone
  aInput   ntrpol    aVCO,aNoise,kSrc       ; input mix

  ; read formant cutoff frequenies from tables
  kCF1     tablei    kVow*5,giBF1+(iVoice*15)
  kCF2     tablei    kVow*5,giBF1+(iVoice*15)+1
  kCF3     tablei    kVow*5,giBF1+(iVoice*15)+2
  kCF4     tablei    kVow*5,giBF1+(iVoice*15)+3
  kCF5     tablei    kVow*5,giBF1+(iVoice*15)+4
  ; read formant intensity values from tables
  kDB1     tablei    kVow*5,giBF1+(iVoice*15)+5
  kDB2     tablei    kVow*5,giBF1+(iVoice*15)+6
  kDB3     tablei    kVow*5,giBF1+(iVoice*15)+7
  kDB4     tablei    kVow*5,giBF1+(iVoice*15)+8
  kDB5     tablei    kVow*5,giBF1+(iVoice*15)+9
  ; read formant bandwidths from tables
  kBW1     tablei    kVow*5,giBF1+(iVoice*15)+10
  kBW2     tablei    kVow*5,giBF1+(iVoice*15)+11
  kBW3     tablei    kVow*5,giBF1+(iVoice*15)+12
  kBW4     tablei    kVow*5,giBF1+(iVoice*15)+13
  kBW5     tablei    kVow*5,giBF1+(iVoice*15)+14
  ; create resonant formants byt filtering source sound
  aForm1   reson     aInput, kCF1, kBW1*kBW, 1     ; formant 1
  aForm2   reson     aInput, kCF2, kBW2*kBW, 1     ; formant 2
  aForm3   reson     aInput, kCF3, kBW3*kBW, 1     ; formant 3
  aForm4   reson     aInput, kCF4, kBW4*kBW, 1     ; formant 4
  aForm5   reson     aInput, kCF5, kBW5*kBW, 1     ; formant 5

  ; formants are mixed and multiplied both by intensity values derived from tables and by the on-screen gain controls for each formant
  aMix     sum       aForm1*ampdbfs(kDB1),aForm2*ampdbfs(kDB2),aForm3*ampdbfs(kDB3),aForm4*ampdbfs(kDB4),aForm5*ampdbfs(kDB5)
  kEnv     linseg    0,3,1,p3-6,1,3,0     ; an amplitude envelope
           outs      aMix*kEnv, aMix*kEnv ; send audio to outputs
endin

</CsInstruments>

<CsScore>
; p4 = fundemental begin value (c.p.s.)
; p5 = fundemental end value
; p6 = vowel begin value (0 - 1 : a e i o u)
; p7 = vowel end value
; p8 = bandwidth factor begin (suggested range 0 - 2)
; p9 = bandwidth factor end
; p10 = voice (0=bass; 1=tenor; 2=counter_tenor; 3=alto; 4=soprano)
; p11 = input source begin (0 - 1 : VCO - noise)
; p12 = input source end

;         p4  p5  p6  p7  p8  p9 p10 p11  p12
i 1 0  10 50  100 0   1   2   0  0   0    0
i 1 8  .  78  77  1   0   1   0  1   0    0
i 1 16 .  150 118 0   1   1   0  2   1    1
i 1 24 .  200 220 1   0   0.2 0  3   1    0
i 1 32 .  400 800 0   1   0.2 0  4   0    1
e
</CsScore>

</CsoundSynthesizer>

Conclusion

These examples have hopefully demonstrated the strengths of subtractive synthesis in its simplicity, intuitive operation and its ability to create organic sounding timbres. Further research could explore Csound's other filter opcodes including vcomb, wguide1, wguide2 and the more esoteric phaser1, phaser2 and resony.

TRIGGERING INSTRUMENT INSTANCES

Csound's Default System of Instrument Triggering Via Midi

Csound has a default system for instrument triggering via midi. Provided a midi keyboard has been connected and the appropriate commmand line flags for midi input have been set (see configuring midi for further information) or the appropriate  settings have been made in QuteCsound's configuration menu, then midi notes received on midi channel 1 will trigger instrument 1, notes on channel 2 will trigger instrument 2 and so on. Instruments will turn on and off in sympathy with notes being pressed and released on the midi keyboard and Csound will correctly unravel polyphonic layering and turn on and off only the correct layer of the same instrument begin played. Midi activated notes can be thought of as 'held' notes, similar to notes activated in the score with a negative duration (p3). Midi activated notes will sustain indefinitely as long as the performance time will allow until a corresponding note off has been received - this is unless this infinite p3 duration is overwritten within the instrument itself by p3 begin explicitly defined.

The following example confirms this default mapping of midi channels to instruments. You will need a midi keyboard that allows you to change the midi channel on which it is transmmitting. Besides a written confirmation to the console of which instrument is begin triggered, there is an audible confirmation in that instrument 1 plays single pulses, instrument 2 plays sets of two pulses and instrument 3 plays sets of three pulses. The example does not go beyond three instruments. If notes are received on midi channel 4 and above, because corresonding instruments do not exist, notes on any of these channels will be directed to instrument 1.

   EXAMPLE 07B01_MidiInstrTrigger.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>

<CsOptions>
-Ma -odac -m0
;activates all midi devices, real time sound output, and suppress note printings
</CsOptions>

<CsInstruments>
; Example by Iain McCurdy

sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 1
0dbfs = 1

gisine ftgen 0,0,2^12,10,1

  instr 1 ; 1 impulse (midi channel 1)
prints "instrument/midi channel: %d%n",p1 ; print instrument number to terminal
reset:                                    ; label 'reset'
     timout 0, 1, impulse                 ; jump to 'impulse' for 1 second
     reinit reset                         ; reninitialize pass from 'reset'
impulse:                                  ; label 'impulse'
aenv expon     1, 0.3, 0.0001             ; a short percussive envelope
aSig poscil    aenv, 500, gisine          ; audio oscillator
     out       aSig                       ; audio to output
  endin

  instr 2 ; 2 impulses (midi channel 2)
prints "instrument/midi channel: %d%n",p1
reset:
     timout 0, 1, impulse
     reinit reset
impulse:
aenv expon     1, 0.3, 0.0001
aSig poscil    aenv, 500, gisine
a2   delay     aSig, 0.15                 ; short delay adds another impulse
     out       aSig+a2                    ; mix two impulses at output
  endin

  instr 3 ; 3 impulses (midi channel 3)
prints "instrument/midi channel: %d%n",p1
reset:
     timout 0, 1, impulse
     reinit reset
impulse:
aenv expon     1, 0.3, 0.0001
aSig poscil    aenv, 500, gisine
a2   delay     aSig, 0.15                 ; delay adds a 2nd impulse
a3   delay     a2, 0.15                   ; delay adds a 3rd impulse
     out       aSig+a2+a3                 ; mix the three impulses at output
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
f 0 300
e
</CsScore>
<CsoundSynthesizer>

Using massign to Map MIDI Channels to Instruments

We can use the massign opcode, which is used just after the header statement, to explicitly map midi channels to specific instruments and thereby overrule Csound's default mappings. massign takes two input arguments, the first defines the midi channel to be redirected and the second stipulates which instrument it should be directed to. The following example is identical to the previous one except that the massign statements near the top of the orchestra jumble up the default mappings. Midi notes on channel 1 will be mapped to instrument 3, notes on channel 2 to instrument 1 and notes on channel 3 to instrument 2. Undefined channel mappings will be mapped according to the default arrangement and once again midi notes on channels for which an instrument does not exist will be mapped to instrument 1.

   EXAMPLE 07B02_massign.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>

<CsOptions>
-Ma -odac -m0
; activate all midi devices, real time sound output, and suppress note printing
</CsOptions>

<CsInstruments>
; Example by Iain McCurdy

sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 1
0dbfs = 1

gisine ftgen 0,0,2^12,10,1

massign 1,3  ; channel 1 notes directed to instr 3
massign 2,1  ; channel 2 notes directed to instr 1
massign 3,2  ; channel 3 notes directed to instr 2

  instr 1 ; 1 impulse (midi channel 1)
iChn midichn                                  ; discern what midi channel
prints "channel:%d%tinstrument: %d%n",iChn,p1 ; print instr num and midi channel
reset:                                        ; label 'reset'
     timout 0, 1, impulse                     ; jump to 'impulse' for 1 second
     reinit reset                             ; reninitialize pass from 'reset'
impulse:                                      ; label 'impulse'
aenv expon     1, 0.3, 0.0001                 ; a short percussive envelope
aSig poscil    aenv, 500, gisine              ; audio oscillator
     out       aSig                           ; send audio to output
  endin

  instr 2 ; 2 impulses (midi channel 2)
iChn midichn
prints "channel:%d%tinstrument: %d%n",iChn,p1
reset:
     timout 0, 1, impulse
     reinit reset
impulse:
aenv expon     1, 0.3, 0.0001
aSig poscil    aenv, 500, gisine
a2   delay     aSig, 0.15                      ; delay generates a 2nd impulse
     out       aSig+a2                         ; mix two impulses at the output
  endin

  instr 3 ; 3 impulses (midi channel 3)
iChn midichn
prints "channel:%d%tinstrument: %d%n",iChn,p1
reset:
     timout 0, 1, impulse
     reinit reset
impulse:
aenv expon     1, 0.3, 0.0001
aSig poscil    aenv, 500, gisine
a2   delay     aSig, 0.15                      ; delay generates a 2nd impulse
a3   delay     a2, 0.15                        ; delay generates a 3rd impulse
     out       aSig+a2+a3                      ; mix three impulses at output
  endin

</CsInstruments>

<CsScore>
f 0 300
e
</CsScore>

<CsoundSynthesizer>

massign also has a couple of additional functions that may come in useful. A channel number of zero is interpreted as meaning 'any'. The following instruction will map notes on any and all channels to instrument 1.

massign 0,1

An instrument number of zero is interpreted as meaning 'none' so the following instruction will instruct Csound to ignore triggering for notes received on any and all channels.

massign 0,0

The above feature is useful when we want to scan midi data from an already active instrument using the midiin opcode, as we did in EXAMPLE 0701.csd.

Using Multiple Triggering

Csound's event/event_i opcode (see the Triggering Instrument Events chapter) makes it possible to trigger any other instrument from a midi-triggered one. As you can assign a fractional number to an instrument, you can distinguish the single instances from each other. This is an example for using fractional instrument numbers.

   EXAMPLE 07B03_MidiTriggerChain.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-Ma
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz, using code of Victor Lazzarini
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 1
0dbfs = 1

          massign   0, 1 ;assign all incoming midi to instr 1

  instr 1 ;global midi instrument, calling instr 2.cc.nnn (c=channel, n=note number)
inote     notnum    ;get midi note number
ichn      midichn   ;get midi channel
instrnum  =         2 + ichn/100 + inote/100000 ;make fractional instr number
     ; -- call with indefinite duration
           event_i   "i", instrnum, 0, -1, ichn, inote
kend      release   ;get a "1" if instrument is turned off
 if kend == 1 then
          event     "i", -instrnum, 0, 1 ;then turn this instance off
 endif
  endin

  instr 2
ichn      =         int(frac(p1)*100)
inote     =         round(frac(frac(p1)*100)*1000)
          prints    "instr %f: ichn = %f, inote = %f%n", p1, ichn, inote
          printks   "instr %f playing!%n", 1, p1
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
f 0 36000
e
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

This example merely demonstrates a technique for passing information about MIDI channel and note number from the directly triggered instrument to a sub-instrument. A practical application for this would be in creating keygroups - triggering different instruments by playing in different regions of the keyboard. In this case you could change just the line:

instrnum  =         2 + ichn/100 + inote/100000

to this:

 if inote < 48 then
instrnum  =         2
 elseif inote < 72 then
instrnum  =         3
 else
instrnum  =         4
 endif
instrnum  =         instrnum + ichn/100 + inote/100000

In this case you will call for any key below C3 instrument 2, for any key between C3 and B4 instrument 3, and for any higher key instrument 4.

By this multiple triggering you are also able to trigger more than one instrument at the same time (which is not possible by the massign opcode). This is an example using a User Defined Opcode (see the UDO chapter of this manual):

   EXAMPLE 07B04_MidiMultiTrigg.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-Ma
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz, using code of Victor Lazzarini
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 1
0dbfs = 1

          massign   0, 1 ;assign all incoming midi to instr 1
giInstrs  ftgen     0, 0, -5, -2, 2, 3, 4, 10, 100 ;instruments to be triggered

 opcode MidiTrig, 0, io
;triggers the first inum instruments in the function table ifn by a midi event,
; with fractional numbers containing channel and note number information

; -- if inum=0 or not given, all instrument numbers in ifn are triggered
ifn, inum  xin
inum      =         (inum == 0 ? ftlen(ifn) : inum)
inote     notnum
ichn      midichn
iturnon   =         0
turnon:
iinstrnum tab_i     iturnon, ifn
if iinstrnum > 0 then
ifracnum  =         iinstrnum + ichn/100 + inote/100000
         event_i   "i", ifracnum, 0, -1
endif
         loop_lt   iturnon, 1, inum, turnon
kend      release
if kend == 1 then
kturnoff  =         0
turnoff:
kinstrnum tab       kturnoff, ifn
 if kinstrnum > 0 then
kfracnum  =         kinstrnum + ichn/100 + inote/100000
         event     "i", -kfracnum, 0, 1
         loop_lt   kturnoff, 1, inum, turnoff
 endif
endif
 endop

 instr 1 ;global midi instrument
; -- trigger the first two instruments in the giInstrs table
         MidiTrig  giInstrs, 2
 endin

 instr 2
ichn      =         int(frac(p1)*100)
inote     =         round(frac(frac(p1)*100)*1000)
         prints    "instr %f: ichn = %f, inote = %f%n", p1, ichn, inote
         printks   "instr %f playing!%n", 1, p1
 endin

 instr 3
ichn      =         int(frac(p1)*100)
inote     =         round(frac(frac(p1)*100)*1000)
         prints    "instr %f: ichn = %f, inote = %f%n", p1, ichn, inote
         printks   "instr %f playing!%n", 1, p1
 endin


</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
f 0 36000
e
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>


BLUE

 

General Overview 

Blue is a graphical computer music environment for composition, a versatile front-end to Csound. It is written in Java, platform-independent, and uses Csound as its audio engine. It provides higher level abstractions such as a graphical timeline for composition, GUI-based instruments, score generating SoundObjects like PianoRolls, python scripting, Cmask, Jmask and more.  It is available for free (donation appreciated) at:
http://blue.kunstmusik.com
 

Organization of tabs and windows

Blue organizes all tasks that may arise while working with Csound within a single environment. Each task, be it score generation, instrument design, or composition is done in its own window. All the different windows are organized in tabs so that you can flip through easily and access them quickly.
In several places you will find lists and trees: All of your instruments used in a composition are numbered, named and listed in the Orchestra-window.
You will find the same for UDOs (User Defined Opcodes).
From this list you may export or import Instruments and UDOs from a library to the piece and vice versa. You may also bind several UDOs to a particular Instrument and export this instrument along with the UDOs it needs.
  

Editor

Blue holds several windows where you can enter code in an editor-like window. The editor-like windows are found for example in the Orchestra-window, the window to enter global score or the Tables-window to collect all the functions. There you may type in, import or paste text-based information. It gets displayed with syntax highlighting of Csound code.
 

 Image: The Orchestra-window

 

The Score timeline as a graphical representation of the composition

The Score timeline allows for visual organization of all the used SoundObjects in a composition.
In the Score-window, which is the main graphical window that represents the composition, you may arrange the composition by arranging the various SoundObjects in the timeline. A SoundObject is an object that holds or even generates a certain amount of score-events. SoundObjects are the building blocks within blue's score timeline. SoundObjects can be lists of notes, algorithmic generators, python script code, Csound instrument definitions, PianoRolls, Pattern Editors, Tracker interfaces, and more. These SoundObjects may be text based or GUI-based as well, depending on their facilities and purposes.


Image: The timeline holding several Sound Objects. One SoundObject is selected and opened in the SoundObject-Editor-window

 

SoundObjects 

To enable every kind of music production style and thus every kind of electronic music, blue holds a set of different SoundObjects. SoundObjects in blue can represent many things, whether it is a single sound, a melody, a rhythm, a phrase, a section involving phrases and multiple lines, a gesture, or anything else that is a perceived sound idea.
Just as there are many ways to think about music, each with their own model for describing sound and vocabulary for explaining music, there are a number of different SoundObjects in blue. Each SoundObject in blue is useful for different purposes, with some being more appropriate for expressing certain musical ideas than others. For example, using a scripting object like the PythonObject or RhinoObject would serve a user who is trying to express a musical idea that may require an algorithmic basis, while the PianoRoll would be useful for those interested in notating melodic and harmonic ideas. The variety of different SoundObjects allows for users to choose what tool will be the most appropriate to express their musical ideas.
Since there are many ways to express musical ideas, to fully allow the range of expression that Csound offers, blue's SoundObjects are capable of generating different things that Csound will use. Although most often they are used for generating Csound SCO text, SoundObjects may also generate ftables, instruments, user-defined opcodes, and everything else that would be needed to express a musical idea in Csound.
 

Means of modification of a SoundObject

First, you may set the start time and duration of every SoundObject "by hand" by typing in precise numbers or drag it more intuitively back and fourth on the timeline. This modifies and the position in time of a SoundObject, while stretching it modifies the outer boundaries of it and may even change the density of events it generates inside.
If you want to enter information into a SoundObject, you can open and edit it in a SoundObject editor-window.
But there is also a way to modify the “output” of a SoundObject, without having to change its content. The way to do this is using NoteProcessors.
By using NoteProcessors, several operations may be applied onto the parameters of a SoundObject. NoteProcessors allow for modifying the SoundObjects score results, i.e. adding 2 to all p4 values, multiplying all p5 values by 6, etc. These NoteProcessors can be chained together to manipulate and modify objects to achieve things like transposition, serial processing of scores, and more.
Finally the SoundObjects may be grouped together and organized in larger-scale hierarchy by combining them to PolyObjects.
Polyobject are objects, which hold other SoundObjects, and have timelines in themselves. Working within them on their timelines and outside of them on the parent timeline helps organize and understand the concepts of objective time and relative time between different objects.
 

Instruments with a graphical interface

Instruments and effects with a graphical interface may help to increase musical workflow. Among the instruments with a graphical user interface there are BlueSynthBuilder (BSB)-Instruments, BlueEffects and the blue Mixer.
 

BlueSynthBuilder (BSB)-Instruments

The BlueSynthBuilder (BSB)-Instruments and the BlueEffects work like conventional Csound instruments, but there is an additional opportunity to add and design a GUI that may contain sliders, knobs, textfields, pull-down menus and more. You may convert any conventional Csound Instrument automatically to a BSB-Instrument and then add and design a GUI.

Image: The interface of a BSB-Instrument.
 

blue Mixer

Blue's graphical mixer system allows signals generated by instruments to be mixed together and further processed by Blue Effects. The GUI follows a paradigm commonly found in music sequencers and digital audio workstations.
The mixer UI is divided into channels, sub-channels, and the master channel. Each channel has a fader for applying level adjustments to the channel's signal, as well as bins pre- and post-fader for adding effects. Effects can be created on the mixer, or added from the Effects Library.
Users can modify the values of widgets by manipulating them in real-time, but they can also draw automation curves to compose value changes over time.


Image: The BlueMixer


Automation

For BSB-Instruments, blueMixer and blueEffects it is possible to use Lines and Graphs within the score timeline to enter and edit parameters via a line. In Blue, most widgets in BlueSynthBuilder and Effects can have automation enabled. Faders in the Mixer can also be automated.
Editing automation is done in the Score timeline. This is done by first selecting a parameter for automation from the SoundLayer's “A” button's popup menu, then selecting the Single Line mode in the Score for editing individual line values.
Using Multi-Line mode in the score allows the user to select blocks of SoundObjects and automations and move them as a whole to other parts of the Score.
Thus the parameters of these instruments with a GUI may be automatized and controlled via an editable graph in the Score-window.
 

Libraries

blue features also libraries for instruments, SoundObjects, UDOs, Effects (for the blueMixer) and the CodeRepository for code snippets. All these libraries are organized as lists or trees. Items of the library may be imported to the current composition or exported from it to be used later in other pieces.

The SoundObject library allows for instantiating multiple copies of a SoundObject, which allows for editing the original object and updating all copies. If NoteProcessors are applied to the instances in the composition representing the general structure of the composition you may edit the content of a SoundObject in the library while the structure of the composition remains unchanged. That way you may work on a SoundObject while all the occurrences in the composition of that very SoundObject are updated automatically according the changes done in the library.
The Orchestra manager organizes instruments and functions as an instrument librarian.
There is also an Effects Library and a Library for the UDOs
 

Other Features

-   blueLive - work with SoundObjects in realtime to experiment with musical ideas or performance.
-   SoundObject freezing - frees up CPU cycles by pre-rendering SoundObjects
-   Microtonal support using scales defined in the Scala scale format, including a microtonal PianoRoll, Tracker, NoteProcessors, and more.

BUILDING CSOUND

Currently (April 2012) a collection of build instructions has been started at the Csound Media Wiki at Sourceforge. Please have a look there if you have problems in building Csound. 

Linux

 

Debian

 On Wheezy with an amd64 architecture.

Download a copy of the Csound sources from the Sourceforge. To do so, in the terminal type:

git clone --depth 1 git://csound.git.sourceforge.net/gitroot/csound/csound5

Use aptitude to get (at least) the dependencies for a basic build, which are: libsndfile1-dev, python2.6-dev, scons. To do so, use the following command (with sudo or as root):

aptitude install libsndfile1-dev python2.6-dev scons

There are many more optional dependencies, which are recommended to get in most cases (some are already part of Debian), and which are documented here. I built with the following libraries installed: libportaudiocpp0, alsa, libportmidi0, libfltk1.1, swig2.0, libfluidsynth1 and liblo7. To install them (some might already be in your sistem), type:

aptitude install libportaudiocpp0 alsa libportmidi0 libfltk1.1 swig2.0 libfluidsynth1 liblo7

Go inside the csound5/ folder you downloaded from sourceforge, and edit build-linux-double.sh in order to meet your building needs, once again, read about the options in the Build Csound section of the manual.

On amd64 architectures, it is IMPORTANT to change gcc4opt=atom to gcc4opt=generic (otherwise it will build for single processor). I also used buildNewParser=0, since I could not get to compile with the new parser. To finally build, run the script:

./build-linux-double.sh

If the installation was successful, use the following command to install:

./install.py

Make sure that the following environment
variables are set:

OPCODEDIR64=/usr/local/lib/csound/plugins64
CSSTRNGS=/usr/local/share/locale

If you built the python interface, move the csnd.py and -csnd.so from /usr/lib/python2.6/site-packages/ to /usr/lib/python2.6/dist-packages/ (the standard place for external Python modules since version 2.6). You can do so with the following commands:

/usr/lib/python2.6/site-packages/csnd.py /usr/lib/python2.6/dist-packages/

/usr/lib/python2.6/site-packages/_csnd.so /usr/lib/python2.6/dist-packages/

If you want to un-install, you can do so by running the following command:

/usr/local/bin/uninstall-csound5

Good luck!


Ubuntu

1. Download the sources. Either the last stable release from http://sourceforge.net/projects/csound/files/csound5/ or the latest (possible unstable) sources from git (running the command git clone git://csound.git.sourceforge.net/gitroot/csound/csound5).

2. Open a Terminal window and run the command

 sudo apt-get install csound

This should install all the dependencies which are needed to build Csound.

3. Change the directory to the folder you have downloaded in step 1, using the command cd.

4. Run the command scons. You can start with

scons -h

to check the configuration and choose your options. See the Build Csound section of the manual for more information about the options. If you want to build the standard configuration, just run scons without any options.

If you get an error, these are possible reasons:

There is also a detailed instruction by Menno Knevel at csounds.com which may help.

5. Run

sudo python install.py

You should now be able to run csound by the command /usr/local/bin/csound, or simply by the command csound.

OSX

As mentioned above, have a look at http://sourceforge.net/apps/mediawiki/csound/index.php?title=Main_Page. 

Windows

There is a detailed set of instructions by Michael Gogins, entitled How to Build Csound on Windows in the Csound Sources. The instructions are kept more or less up to date for each release of the Windows installer. You can either download the Csound Sources at http://sourceforge.net/projects/csound/files/csound5 or get the latest version at the Csound Git Repository

 

AMPLITUDE AND RING MODULATION

Introduction

Amplitude-modulation (AM) means, that one oscillator varies the volume/amplitude of an other. If this modulation is done very slowly (1 Hz to 10 Hz) it is recognised as tremolo. Volume-modulation above 10 Hz leads to the effect, that the sound changes its timbre. So called side-bands appear.

Example 04C01_Simple_AM.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-o dac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>

sr = 48000
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 1
0dbfs = 1

instr 1
aRaise expseg 2, 20, 100
aModSine poscil 0.5, aRaise, 1
aDCOffset = 0.5    ; we want amplitude-modulation
aCarSine poscil 0.3, 440, 1
out aCarSine*(aModSine + aDCOffset)
endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
f 1 0 1024 10 1
i 1 0 25
e
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>
; written by Alex Hofmann (Mar. 2011)

Theory, Mathematics and Sidebands

The side-bands appear on both sides of the main frequency. This means (freq1-freq2) and (freq1+freq2) appear.

The sounding result of the following example can be calculated as this: freq1 = 440Hz, freq2 = 40 Hz -> The result is a sound with [400, 440, 480] Hz.

The amount of the sidebands can be controlled by a DC-offset of the modulator.

Example 04C02_Sidebands.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-o dac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>

sr = 48000
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 1
0dbfs = 1

instr 1
aOffset linseg 0, 1, 0, 5, 0.6, 3, 0
aSine1 poscil 0.3, 40 , 1
aSine2 poscil 0.3, 440, 1
out (aSine1+aOffset)*aSine2
endin


</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
f 1 0 1024 10 1
i 1 0 10
e
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>
; written by Alex Hofmann (Mar. 2011)

Ring-modulation is a special-case of AM, without DC-offset (DC-Offset = 0). That means the modulator varies between -1 and +1 like the carrier. The sounding difference to AM is, that RM doesn't contain the carrier frequency.

(If the modulator is unipolar (oscillates between 0 and +1) the effect is called AM.)

More Complex Synthesis using Ring Modulation and Amplitude Modulation

If the modulator itself contains more harmonics, the resulting ring modulated sound becomes more complex.

Carrier freq: 600 Hz
Modulator freqs: 200Hz with 3 harmonics = [200, 400, 600] Hz
Resulting freqs:  [0, 200, 400, <-600->, 800, 1000, 1200]

Example 04C03_RingMod.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-o dac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>

sr = 48000
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 1
0dbfs = 1

instr 1   ; Ring-Modulation (no DC-Offset)
aSine1 poscil 0.3, 200, 2 ; -> [200, 400, 600] Hz
aSine2 poscil 0.3, 600, 1
out aSine1*aSine2
endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
f 1 0 1024 10 1 ; sine
f 2 0 1024 10 1 1 1; 3 harmonics
i 1 0 5
e
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>
; written by Alex Hofmann (Mar. 2011)

Using an inharmonic modulator frequency also makes the result sound inharmonic. Varying the DC-offset makes the sound-spectrum evolve over time.
Modulator freqs: [230, 460, 690]
Resulting freqs:  [ (-)90, 140, 370, <-600->, 830, 1060, 1290]
(negative frequencies become mirrored, but phase inverted)

Example 04C04_Evolving_AM.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-o dac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>

sr = 48000
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 1
0dbfs = 1

instr 1   ; Amplitude-Modulation
aOffset linseg 0, 1, 0, 5, 1, 3, 0
aSine1 poscil 0.3, 230, 2 ; -> [230, 460, 690] Hz
aSine2 poscil 0.3, 600, 1
out (aSine1+aOffset)*aSine2
endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
f 1 0 1024 10 1 ; sine
f 2 0 1024 10 1 1 1; 3 harmonics
i 1 0 10
e
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

CONFIGURING MIDI

Csound can receive MIDI events (like MIDI notes and MIDI control changes) from an external MIDI interface or from another program via a virtual MIDI cable. This information can be used to control any aspect of synthesis or performance.

Csound receives MIDI data through MIDI Realtime Modules. These are special Csound plugins which enable MIDI input using different methods according to platform. They are enabled using the -+rtmidi command line flag in the <CsOptions> section of your .csd file, but can also be set interactively on some front-ends via the configure dialog setups.

There is the universal "portmidi" module. PortMidi is a cross-platform module for MIDI I/O and should be available on all platforms. To enable the "portmidi" module, you can use the flag:

-+rtmidi=portmidi

After selecting the RT MIDI module from a front-end or the command line, you need to select the MIDI devices for input and output. These are set using the flags -M and -Q respectively followed by the number of the interface. You can usually use:

-M999

To get a performance error with a listing of available interfaces.

For the PortMidi module (and others like ALSA), you can specify no number to use the default MIDI interface or the 'a' character to use all devices. This will even work when no MIDI devices are present.

-Ma

So if you want MIDI input using the portmidi module, using device 2 for input and device 1 for output, your <CsOptions> section should contain:

-+rtmidi=portmidi -M2 -Q1

There is a special "virtual" RT MIDI module which enables MIDI input from a virtual keyboard. To enable it, you can use:

 -+rtmidi=virtual -M0

Platform Specific Modules

If the "portmidi" module is not working properly for some reason, you can try other platform specific modules.

Linux

On Linux systems, you might also have an "alsa" module to use the alsa raw MIDI interface. This is different from the more common alsa sequencer interface and will typically require the snd-virmidi module to be loaded.

OS X

On OS X you may have a "coremidi" module available.

Windows

On Windows, you may have a "winmme" MIDI module.

MIDI I/O in CsoundQt

As with Audio I/O, you can set the MIDI preferences in the configuration dialog. In it you will find a selection box for the RT MIDI module, and text boxes for MIDI input and output devices.

 

How to Use a MIDI Keyboard

Once you've set up the hardware, you are ready to receive MIDI information and interpret it in Csound. By default, when a MIDI note is received, it turns on the Csound instrument corresponding to its channel number, so if a note is received on channel 3, it will turn on instrument 3, if it is received on channel 10, it will turn on instrument 10 and so on.

If you want to change this routing of MIDI channels to instruments, you can use the massign opcode. For instance, this statement lets you route your MIDI channel 1 to instrument 10:

 massign 1, 10

On the following example, a simple instrument, which plays a sine wave, is defined in instrument 1. There are no score note events, so no sound will be produced unless a MIDI note is received on channel 1.

   EXAMPLE 02C01_Midi_Keybd_in.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-+rtmidi=portmidi -Ma -odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Andrés Cabrera

sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

        massign   0, 1 ;assign all MIDI channels to instrument 1
giSine  ftgen     0,0,2^10,10,1 ;a function table with a sine wave

instr 1
iCps    cpsmidi   ;get the frequency from the key pressed
iAmp    ampmidi   0dbfs * 0.3 ;get the amplitude
aOut    poscil    iAmp, iCps, giSine ;generate a sine tone
        outs      aOut, aOut ;write it to the output
endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
e 3600
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

Note that Csound has an unlimited polyphony in this way: each key pressed starts a new instance of instrument 1, and you can have any number of instrument instances at the same time.

How to Use a MIDI Controller

To receive MIDI controller events, opcodes like ctrl7 can be used.  In the following example instrument 1 is turned on for 60 seconds. It will receive controller #1 (modulation wheel) on channel 1 and convert MIDI range (0-127) to a range between 220 and 440. This value is used to set the frequency of a simple sine oscillator.

   EXAMPLE 02C02_Midi_Ctl_in.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-+rtmidi=virtual -M1 -odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Andrés Cabrera

sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

giSine ftgen 0,0,2^10,10,1

instr 1
; --- receive controller number 1 on channel 1 and scale from 220 to 440
kFreq ctrl7  1, 1, 220, 440
; --- use this value as varying frequency for a sine wave
aOut  poscil 0.2, kFreq, giSine
      outs   aOut, aOut
endin
</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 60
e
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

Other Type of MIDI Data

Csound can receive other type of MIDI, like pitch bend, and aftertouch through the usage of specific opcodes. Generic MIDI Data can be received using the midiin opcode. The example below prints to the console the data received via MIDI.

   EXAMPLE 02C03_Midi_all_in.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-+rtmidi=portmidi -Ma -odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Andrés Cabrera

sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

instr 1
kStatus, kChan, kData1, kData2 midiin

if kStatus != 0 then ;print if any new MIDI message has been received
    printk 0, kStatus
    printk 0, kChan
    printk 0, kData1
    printk 0, kData2
endif

endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i1 0 3600
e
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

CONTROL STRUCTURES

In a way, control structures are the core of a programming language. The fundamental element in each language is the conditional if branch. Actually all other control structures like for-, until- or while-loops can be traced back to if-statements.1 

So, Csound provides mainly the if-statement; either in the usual if-then-else form, or in the older way of an if-goto statement. These will be covered first. Though all necessary loops can be built just by if-statements, Csound's loop facility offers a more comfortable way of performing loops. They will be introduced later, in the Loop section of this chapter. Finally, time loops are shown, which are particulary important in audio programming languages.

If i-Time Then Not k-Time!

The fundamental difference in Csound between i-time and k-time which has been explained in chapter 03A, must be regarded very carefully when you work with control structures. If you make a conditional branch at i-time, the condition will be tested just once for each note, at the initialization pass. If you make a conditional branch at k-time, the condition will be tested again and again in each control-cycle.

For instance, if you test a soundfile whether it is mono or stereo, this is done at init-time. If you test an amplitude value to be below a certain threshold, it is done at performance time (k-time). If you get user-input by a scroll number, this is also a k-value, so you need a k-condition.

Thus, all if and loop opcodes have an "i" and a "k" descendant. In the next few sections, a general introduction into the different control tools is given, followed by examples both at i-time and at k-time for each tool.

If - then - [elseif - then -] else

The use of the if-then-else statement is very similar to other programming languages. Note that in Csound, "then" must be written in the same line as "if" and the expression to be tested, and that you must close the if-block with an "endif" statement on a new line:

if <condition> then
...
else
...
endif

It is also possible to have no "else" statement:

if <condition> then
...
endif

Or you can have one or more "elseif-then" statements in between:

if <condition1> then
...
elseif <condition2> then
...
else
...
endif

If statements can also be nested. Each level must be closed with an "endif". This is an example with three levels:

if <condition1> then; first condition opened
 if <condition2> then; second condition openend
  if <condition3> then; third condition openend
  ...
  else
  ...
  endif; third condition closed
 elseif <condition2a> then
 ...
 endif; second condition closed
else
...
endif; first condition closed

i-Rate Examples

A typical problem in Csound: You have either mono or stereo files, and want to read both with a stereo output. For the real stereo ones that means: use soundin (diskin / diskin2) with two output arguments. For the mono ones it means: use soundin / diskin / diskin2 with one output argument, and throw it to both output channels:

   EXAMPLE 03C01_IfThen_i.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-o dac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

  instr 1
Sfile     =          "/my/file.wav" ;your soundfile path here
ifilchnls filenchnls Sfile
 if ifilchnls == 1 then ;mono
aL        soundin    Sfile
aR        =          aL
 else   ;stereo
aL, aR    soundin    Sfile
 endif
          outs       aL, aR
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 5
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

If you use CsoundQt, you can browse in the widget panel for the soundfile. See the corresponding example in the CsoundQt Example menu.

k-Rate Examples

The following example establishes a moving gate between 0 and 1. If the gate is above 0.5, the gate opens and you hear a tone.  If the gate is equal or below 0.5, the gate closes, and you hear nothing.

   EXAMPLE 03C02_IfThen_k.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

          seed      0; random values each time different
giTone    ftgen     0, 0, 2^10, 10, 1, .5, .3, .1

  instr 1

; move between 0 and 1 (3 new values per second)
kGate     randomi   0, 1, 3
; move between 300 and 800 hz (1 new value per sec)
kFreq     randomi   300, 800, 1
; move between -12 and 0 dB (5 new values per sec)
kdB       randomi   -12, 0, 5
aSig      oscil3    1, kFreq, giTone
kVol      init      0
 if kGate > 0.5 then; if kGate is larger than 0.5
kVol      =         ampdb(kdB); open gate
 else
kVol      =         0; otherwise close gate
 endif
kVol      port      kVol, .02; smooth volume curve to avoid clicks
aOut      =         aSig * kVol
          outs      aOut, aOut
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 30
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

Short Form: (a v b ? x : y)

If you need an if-statement to give a value to an (i- or k-) variable, you can also use a traditional short form in parentheses: (a v b ? x : y).2  It asks whether the condition a or b is true. If a, the value is set to x; if b, to y. For instance, the last example could be written in this way:

   EXAMPLE 03C03_IfThen_short_form.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

          seed      0
giTone    ftgen     0, 0, 2^10, 10, 1, .5, .3, .1

  instr 1
kGate     randomi   0, 1, 3; moves between 0 and 1 (3 new values per second)
kFreq     randomi   300, 800, 1; moves between 300 and 800 hz
                               ;(1 new value per sec)
kdB       randomi   -12, 0, 5; moves between -12 and 0 dB
                             ;(5 new values per sec)
aSig      oscil3    1, kFreq, giTone
kVol      init      0
kVol      =         (kGate > 0.5 ? ampdb(kdB) : 0); short form of condition
kVol      port      kVol, .02; smooth volume curve to avoid clicks
aOut      =         aSig * kVol
          outs      aOut, aOut
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 20
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

If - goto

An older way of performing a conditional branch - but still useful in certain cases - is an "if" statement which is not followed by a "then", but by a label name. The "else" construction follows (or doesn't follow) in the next line. Like the if-then-else statement, the if-goto works either at i-time or at k-time. You should declare the type by either using igoto or kgoto. Usually you need an additional igoto/kgoto statement for omitting the "else" block if the first condition is true. This is the general syntax:

i-time

if <condition> igoto this; same as if-then
 igoto that; same as else
this: ;the label "this" ...
...
igoto continue ;skip the "that" block
that: ; ... and the label "that" must be found
...
continue: ;go on after the conditional branch
...

k-time

if <condition> kgoto this; same as if-then
 kgoto that; same as else
this: ;the label "this" ...
...
kgoto continue ;skip the "that" block
that: ; ... and the label "that" must be found
...
continue: ;go on after the conditional branch
...

i-Rate Examples

This is the same example as above in the if-then-else syntax for a branch depending on a mono or stereo file. If you just want to know whether a file is mono or stereo, you can use the "pure" if-igoto statement:

   EXAMPLE 03C04_IfGoto_i.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

  instr 1
Sfile     = "/Joachim/Materialien/SamplesKlangbearbeitung/Kontrabass.aif"
ifilchnls filenchnls Sfile
if ifilchnls == 1 igoto mono; condition if true
 igoto stereo; else condition
mono:
          prints     "The file is mono!%n"
          igoto      continue
stereo:
          prints     "The file is stereo!%n"
continue:
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 0
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

But if you want to play the file, you must also use a k-rate if-kgoto, because, not only do you have an event at i-time (initializing the soundin opcode) but also at k-time (producing an audio signal). So the code in this case is much more cumbersome, or obfuscated, than the previous if-then-else example.

   EXAMPLE 03C05_IfGoto_ik.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

  instr 1
Sfile     =          "my/file.wav"
ifilchnls filenchnls Sfile
 if ifilchnls == 1 kgoto mono
  kgoto stereo
 if ifilchnls == 1 igoto mono; condition if true
  igoto stereo; else condition
mono:
aL        soundin    Sfile
aR        =          aL
          igoto      continue
          kgoto      continue
stereo:
aL, aR    soundin    Sfile
continue:
          outs       aL, aR
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 5
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

k-Rate Examples

This is the same example as above (03C02) in the if-then-else syntax for a moving gate between 0 and 1:

   EXAMPLE 03C06_IfGoto_k.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

          seed      0
giTone    ftgen     0, 0, 2^10, 10, 1, .5, .3, .1

  instr 1
kGate     randomi   0, 1, 3; moves between 0 and 1 (3 new values per second)
kFreq     randomi   300, 800, 1; moves between 300 and 800 hz
                              ;(1 new value per sec)
kdB       randomi   -12, 0, 5; moves between -12 and 0 dB
                             ;(5 new values per sec)
aSig      oscil3    1, kFreq, giTone
kVol      init      0
 if kGate > 0.5 kgoto open; if condition is true
  kgoto close; "else" condition
open:
kVol      =         ampdb(kdB)
kgoto continue
close:
kVol      =         0
continue:
kVol      port      kVol, .02; smooth volume curve to avoid clicks
aOut      =         aSig * kVol
          outs      aOut, aOut
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 30
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

Loops

Loops can be built either at i-time or at k-time just with the "if" facility. The following example shows an i-rate and a k-rate loop created using the if-i/kgoto facility:

   EXAMPLE 03C07_Loops_with_if.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz

  instr 1 ;i-time loop: counts from 1 until 10 has been reached
icount    =         1
count:
          print     icount
icount    =         icount + 1
 if icount < 11 igoto count
          prints    "i-END!%n"
  endin

  instr 2 ;k-rate loop: counts in the 100th k-cycle from 1 to 11
kcount    init      0
ktimek    timeinstk ;counts k-cycle from the start of this instrument
 if ktimek == 100 kgoto loop
  kgoto noloop
loop:
          printks   "k-cycle %d reached!%n", 0, ktimek
kcount    =         kcount + 1
          printk2   kcount
 if kcount < 11 kgoto loop
          printks   "k-END!%n", 0
noloop:
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 0
i 2 0 1
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

But Csound offers a slightly simpler syntax for this kind of i-rate or k-rate loops. There are four variants of the loop opcode. All four refer to a label as the starting point of the loop, an index variable as a counter, an increment or decrement, and finally a reference value (maximum or minimum) as comparision:

As always, all four opcodes can be applied either at i-time or at k-time. Here are some examples, first for i-time loops, and then for k-time loops.

i-Rate Examples

The following .csd provides a simple example for all four loop opcodes:

   EXAMPLE 03C08_Loop_opcodes_i.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz

  instr 1 ;loop_lt: counts from 1 upwards and checks if < 10
icount    =         1
loop:
          print     icount
          loop_lt   icount, 1, 10, loop
          prints    "Instr 1 terminated!%n"
  endin

  instr 2 ;loop_le: counts from 1 upwards and checks if <= 10
icount    =         1
loop:
          print     icount
          loop_le   icount, 1, 10, loop
          prints    "Instr 2 terminated!%n"
  endin

  instr 3 ;loop_gt: counts from 10 downwards and checks if > 0
icount    =         10
loop:
          print     icount
          loop_gt   icount, 1, 0, loop
          prints    "Instr 3 terminated!%n"
  endin

  instr 4 ;loop_ge: counts from 10 downwards and checks if >= 0
icount    =         10
loop:
          print     icount
          loop_ge   icount, 1, 0, loop
          prints    "Instr 4 terminated!%n"
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 0
i 2 0 0
i 3 0 0
i 4 0 0
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

The next example produces a random string of 10 characters and prints it out:

   EXAMPLE 03C09_Random_string.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz

  instr 1
icount    =         0
Sname     =         ""; starts with an empty string
loop:
ichar     random    65, 90.999
Schar     sprintf   "%c", int(ichar); new character
Sname     strcat    Sname, Schar; append to Sname
          loop_lt   icount, 1, 10, loop; loop construction
          printf_i  "My name is '%s'!\n", 1, Sname; print result
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
; call instr 1 ten times
r 10
i 1 0 0
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

You can also use an i-rate loop to fill a function table (= buffer) with any kind of values. This table can then be read, or manipulated and then be read again. In the next example, a function table with 20 positions (indices) is filled with random integers between 0 and 10 by instrument 1. Nearly the same loop construction is used afterwards to read these values by instrument 2.

   EXAMPLE 03C10_Random_ftable_fill.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz

giTable   ftgen     0, 0, -20, -2, 0; empty function table with 20 points
          seed      0; each time different seed

  instr 1 ; writes in the table
icount    =         0
loop:
ival      random    0, 10.999 ;random value
; --- write in giTable at first, second, third ... position
          tableiw   int(ival), icount, giTable
          loop_lt   icount, 1, 20, loop; loop construction
  endin

  instr 2; reads from the table
icount    =         0
loop:
; --- read from giTable at first, second, third ... position
ival      tablei    icount, giTable
          print     ival; prints the content
          loop_lt   icount, 1, 20, loop; loop construction
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 0
i 2 0 0
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

k-Rate Examples

The next example performs a loop at k-time. Once per second, every value of an existing function table is changed by a random deviation of 10%. Though there are some vectorial opcodes for this task (and in Csound 6 probably array), it can also be done by a k-rate loop like the one shown here:

   EXAMPLE 03C11_Table_random_dev.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 441
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

giSine    ftgen     0, 0, 256, 10, 1; sine wave
          seed      0; each time different seed

  instr 1
ktiminstk timeinstk ;time in control-cycles
kcount    init      1
 if ktiminstk == kcount * kr then; once per second table values manipulation:
kndx      =         0
loop:
krand     random    -.1, .1;random factor for deviations
kval      table     kndx, giSine; read old value
knewval   =         kval + (kval * krand); calculate new value
          tablew    knewval, kndx, giSine; write new value
          loop_lt   kndx, 1, 256, loop; loop construction
kcount    =         kcount + 1; increase counter
 endif
asig      poscil    .2, 400, giSine
          outs      asig, asig
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 10
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

Time Loops

Until now, we have just discussed loops which are executed "as fast as possible", either at i-time or at k-time. But, in an audio programming language, time loops are of particular interest and importance. A time loop means, repeating any action after a certain amount of time. This amount of time can be equal to or different to the previous time loop. The action can be, for instance: playing a tone, or triggering an instrument, or calculating a new value for the movement of an envelope.

In Csound, the usual way of performing time loops, is the timout facility. The use of timout is a bit intricate, so some examples are given, starting from very simple to more complex ones.

Another way of performing time loops is by using a measurement of time or k-cycles. This method is also discussed and similar examples to those used for the timout opcode are given so that both methods can be compared.

timout Basics

The timout opcode refers to the fact that in the traditional way of working with Csound, each "note" (an "i" score event) has its own time. This is the duration of the note, given in the score by the duration parameter, abbreviated as "p3". A timout statement says: "I am now jumping out of this p3 duration and establishing my own time." This time will be repeated as long as the duration of the note allows it.

Let's see an example. This is a sine tone with a moving frequency, starting at 400 Hz and ending at 600 Hz. The duration of this movement is 3 seconds for the first note, and 5 seconds for the second note:

   EXAMPLE 03C12_Timout_pre.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

giSine    ftgen     0, 0, 2^10, 10, 1

  instr 1
kFreq     expseg    400, p3, 600
aTone     poscil    .2, kFreq, giSine
          outs      aTone, aTone
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 3
i 1 4 5
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

Now we perform a time loop with timout which is 1 second long. So, for the first note, it will be repeated three times, and five times for the second note:

   EXAMPLE 03C13_Timout_basics.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

giSine    ftgen     0, 0, 2^10, 10, 1

  instr 1
loop:
          timout    0, 1, play
          reinit    loop
play:
kFreq     expseg    400, 1, 600
aTone     poscil    .2, kFreq, giSine
          outs      aTone, aTone
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 3
i 1 4 5
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

This is the general syntax of timout:

first_label:
          timout    istart, idur, second_label
          reinit    first_label
second_label:
... <any action you want to have here>

The first_label is an arbitrary word (followed by a colon) to mark the beginning of the time loop section. The istart argument for timout tells Csound, when the second_label section is to be executed. Usually istart is zero, telling Csound: execute the second_label section immediately, without any delay. The idur argument for timout defines for how many seconds the second_label section is to be executed before the time loop begins again. Note that the reinit first_label is necessary to start the second loop after idur seconds with a resetting of all the values. (See the explanations about reinitialization in the chapter Initilalization And Performance Pass.)

As usual when you work with the reinit opcode, you can use a rireturn statement to constrain the reinit-pass. In this way you can have both, the timeloop section and the non-timeloop section in the body of an instrument:

   EXAMPLE 03C14_Timeloop_and_not.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

giSine    ftgen     0, 0, 2^10, 10, 1

  instr 1
loop:
          timout    0, 1, play
          reinit    loop
play:
kFreq1    expseg    400, 1, 600
aTone1    oscil3    .2, kFreq1, giSine
          rireturn  ;end of the time loop
kFreq2    expseg    400, p3, 600
aTone2    poscil    .2, kFreq2, giSine

          outs      aTone1+aTone2, aTone1+aTone2
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 3
i 1 4 5
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

timout Applications

In a time loop, it is very important to change the duration of the loop. This can be done either by referring to the duration of this note (p3) ...

   EXAMPLE 03C15_Timout_different_durations.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

giSine    ftgen     0, 0, 2^10, 10, 1

  instr 1
loop:
          timout    0, p3/5, play
          reinit    loop
play:
kFreq     expseg    400, p3/5, 600
aTone     poscil    .2, kFreq, giSine
          outs      aTone, aTone
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 3
i 1 4 5
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

... or by calculating new values for the loop duration on each reinit pass, for instance by random values:

   EXAMPLE 03C16_Timout_random_durations.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

giSine    ftgen     0, 0, 2^10, 10, 1

  instr 1
loop:
idur      random    .5, 3 ;new value between 0.5 and 3 seconds each time
          timout    0, idur, play
          reinit    loop
play:
kFreq     expseg    400, idur, 600
aTone     poscil    .2, kFreq, giSine
          outs      aTone, aTone
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 20
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

The applications discussed so far have the disadvantage that all the signals inside the time loop must definitely be finished or interrupted, when the next loop begins. In this way it is not possible to have any overlapping of events. To achieve this, the time loop can be used to simply trigger an event. This can be done with event_i or scoreline_i. In the following example, the time loop in instrument 1 triggers a new instance of instrument 2 with a duration of 1 to 5 seconds, every 0.5 to 2 seconds. So in most cases, the previous instance of instrument 2 will still be playing when the new instance is triggered. Random calculations are executed in instrument 2 so that each note will have a different pitch,creating a glissando effect:

   EXAMPLE 03C17_Timout_trigger_events.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

giSine    ftgen     0, 0, 2^10, 10, 1

  instr 1
loop:
idurloop  random    .5, 2 ;duration of each loop
          timout    0, idurloop, play
          reinit    loop
play:
idurins   random    1, 5 ;duration of the triggered instrument
          event_i   "i", 2, 0, idurins ;triggers instrument 2
  endin

  instr 2
ifreq1    random    600, 1000 ;starting frequency
idiff     random    100, 300 ;difference to final frequency
ifreq2    =         ifreq1 - idiff ;final frequency
kFreq     expseg    ifreq1, p3, ifreq2 ;glissando
iMaxdb    random    -12, 0 ;peak randomly between -12 and 0 dB
kAmp      transeg   ampdb(iMaxdb), p3, -10, 0 ;envelope
aTone     poscil    kAmp, kFreq, giSine
          outs      aTone, aTone
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 30
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

The last application of a time loop with the timout opcode which is shown here, is a randomly moving envelope. If you want to create an envelope in Csound which moves between a lower and an upper limit, and has one new random value in a certain time span (for instance, once a second), the time loop with timout is one way to achieve it. A line movement must be performed in each time loop, from a given starting value to a new evaluated final value. Then, in the next loop, the previous final value must be set as the new starting value, and so on. Here is a possible solution:

   EXAMPLE 03C18_Timout_random_envelope.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

giSine    ftgen     0, 0, 2^10, 10, 1
          seed      0

  instr 1
iupper    =         0; upper and ...
ilower    =         -24; ... lower limit in dB
ival1     random    ilower, iupper; starting value
loop:
idurloop  random    .5, 2; duration of each loop
          timout    0, idurloop, play
          reinit    loop
play:
ival2     random    ilower, iupper; final value
kdb       linseg    ival1, idurloop, ival2
ival1     =         ival2; let ival2 be ival1 for next loop
          rireturn  ;end reinit section
aTone     poscil    ampdb(kdb), 400, giSine
          outs      aTone, aTone
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 30
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

Note that in this case the oscillator has been put after the time loop section (which is terminated by the rireturn statement. Otherwise the oscillator would start afresh with zero phase in each time loop, thus producing clicks.

Time Loops by using the metro Opcode

The metro opcode outputs a "1" at distinct times, otherwise it outputs a "0". The frequency of this "banging" (which is in some way similar to the metro objects in PD or Max) is given by the kfreq input argument. So the output of metro offers a simple and intuitive method for controlling time loops, if you use it to trigger a separate instrument which then carries out another job. Below is a simple example for calling a subinstrument twice per second:

   EXAMPLE 03C19_Timeloop_metro.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

  instr 1; triggering instrument
kTrig     metro     2; outputs "1" twice a second
 if kTrig == 1 then
          event     "i", 2, 0, 1
 endif
  endin

  instr 2; triggered instrument
aSig      oscils    .2, 400, 0
aEnv      transeg   1, p3, -10, 0
          outs      aSig*aEnv, aSig*aEnv
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 10
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

The example which is given above (03C17_Timout_trigger_events.csd) as a flexible time loop by timout, can be done with the metro opcode in this way:

   EXAMPLE 03C20_Metro_trigger_events.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

giSine    ftgen     0, 0, 2^10, 10, 1
          seed      0

  instr 1
kfreq     init      1; give a start value for the trigger frequency
kTrig     metro     kfreq
 if kTrig == 1 then ;if trigger impulse:
kdur      random    1, 5; random duration for instr 2
          event     "i", 2, 0, kdur; call instr 2
kfreq     random    .5, 2; set new value for trigger frequency
 endif
  endin

  instr 2
ifreq1    random    600, 1000; starting frequency
idiff     random    100, 300; difference to final frequency
ifreq2    =         ifreq1 - idiff; final frequency
kFreq     expseg    ifreq1, p3, ifreq2; glissando
iMaxdb    random    -12, 0; peak randomly between -12 and 0 dB
kAmp      transeg   ampdb(iMaxdb), p3, -10, 0; envelope
aTone     poscil    kAmp, kFreq, giSine
          outs      aTone, aTone
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 30
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>  

Note the differences in working with the metro opcode compared to the timout feature:

Links

Steven Yi: Control Flow (Part I = Csound Journal Spring 2006, Part 2 = Csound Journal Summer 2006)


  1. While writing on this release (spring 2013) we are in a period of including new control structures in Csound. As a first test, the until loop has been introduced in Csound 5.14. See the example in http://www.csounds.com/manual/html/until.html^
  2. Since the new parser (Csound 5.14) you can also write without parentheses.^

FILTERS

Audio filters can range from devices that subtly shape the tonal characteristics of a sound to ones that dramatically remove whole portions of a sound spectrum to create new sounds. Csound includes several versions of each of the commonest types of filters and some more esoteric ones also. The full list of Csound's standard filters can be found here. A list of the more specialised filters can be found here.

Lowpass Filters

The first type of filter encountered is normally the lowpass filter. As its name suggests it allows lower frequencies to pass through unimpeded and therefore filters higher frequencies. The crossover  frequency is normally referred to as the 'cutoff' frequency. Filters of this type do not really cut frequencies off at the cutoff point like a brick wall but instead attenuate increasingly according to a cutoff slope. Different filters offer cutoff slopes of different of steepness. Another aspect of a lowpass filter that we may be concerned with is a ripple that might emerge at the cutoff point. If this is exaggerated intentionally it is referred to as resonance or 'Q'.

In the following example, three lowpass filters filters are demonstrated: tone, butlp and moogladder. tone offers a quite gentle cutoff slope and therefore is better suited to subtle spectral enhancement tasks. butlp is based on the Butterworth filter design and produces a much sharper cutoff slope at the expense of a slightly greater CPU overhead. moogladder is an interpretation of an analogue filter found in a moog synthesizer – it includes a resonance control.

In the example a sawtooth waveform is played in turn through each filter. Each time the cutoff frequency is modulated using an envelope, starting high and descending low so that more and more of the spectral content of the sound is removed as the note progresses. A sawtooth waveform has been chosen as it contains strong higher frequencies and therefore demonstrates the filters characteristics well; a sine wave would be a poor choice of source sound on account of its lack of spectral richness.

   EXAMPLE 05C01_tone_butlp_moogladder.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>

<CsOptions>
-odac ; activates real time sound output
</CsOptions>

<CsInstruments>
; Example by Iain McCurdy

sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 1
0dbfs = 1

  instr 1
        prints       "tone%n"    ; indicate filter type in console
aSig    vco2         0.5, 150    ; input signal is a sawtooth waveform
kcf     expon        10000,p3,20 ; descending cutoff frequency
aSig    tone         aSig, kcf   ; filter audio signal
        out          aSig        ; filtered audio sent to output
  endin

  instr 2
        prints       "butlp%n"   ; indicate filter type in console
aSig    vco2         0.5, 150    ; input signal is a sawtooth waveform
kcf     expon        10000,p3,20 ; descending cutoff frequency
aSig    butlp        aSig, kcf   ; filter audio signal
        out          aSig        ; filtered audio sent to output
  endin

  instr 3
        prints       "moogladder%n" ; indicate filter type in console
aSig    vco2         0.5, 150       ; input signal is a sawtooth waveform
kcf     expon        10000,p3,20    ; descending cutoff frequency
aSig    moogladder   aSig, kcf, 0.9 ; filter audio signal
        out          aSig           ; filtered audio sent to output
  endin

</CsInstruments>

<CsScore>
; 3 notes to demonstrate each filter in turn
i 1 0  3; tone
i 2 4  3; butlp
i 3 8  3; moogladder
e
</CsScore>

</CsoundSynthesizer>

Highpass Filters

A highpass filter is the converse of a lowpass filter; frequencies higher than the cutoff point are allowed to pass whilst those lower are attenuated. atone and buthp are the analogues of tone and butlp. Resonant highpass filters are harder to find but Csound has one in bqrez. bqrez is actually a multi-mode filter and could also be used as a resonant lowpass filter amongst other things. We can choose which mode we want by setting one of its input arguments appropriately. Resonant highpass is mode 1. In this example a sawtooth waveform is again played through each of the filters in turn but this time the cutoff frequency moves from low to high. Spectral content is increasingly removed but from the opposite spectral direction.

   EXAMPLE 05C02_atone_buthp_bqrez.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>

<CsOptions>
-odac ; activates real time sound output
</CsOptions>

<CsInstruments>
; Example by Iain McCurdy

sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 1
0dbfs = 1

  instr 1
        prints       "atone%n"     ; indicate filter type in console
aSig    vco2         0.2, 150      ; input signal is a sawtooth waveform
kcf     expon        20, p3, 20000 ; define envelope for cutoff frequency
aSig    atone        aSig, kcf     ; filter audio signal
        out          aSig          ; filtered audio sent to output
  endin

  instr 2
        prints       "buthp%n"     ; indicate filter type in console
aSig    vco2         0.2, 150      ; input signal is a sawtooth waveform
kcf     expon        20, p3, 20000 ; define envelope for cutoff frequency
aSig    buthp        aSig, kcf     ; filter audio signal
        out          aSig          ; filtered audio sent to output
  endin

  instr 3
        prints       "bqrez(mode:1)%n" ; indicate filter type in console
aSig    vco2         0.03, 150         ; input signal is a sawtooth waveform
kcf     expon        20, p3, 20000     ; define envelope for cutoff frequency
aSig    bqrez        aSig, kcf, 30, 1  ; filter audio signal
        out          aSig              ; filtered audio sent to output
  endin

</CsInstruments>

<CsScore>
; 3 notes to demonstrate each filter in turn
i 1 0  3 ; atone
i 2 5  3 ; buthp
i 3 10 3 ; bqrez(mode 1)
e
</CsScore>

</CsoundSynthesizer>

Bandpass Filters

A bandpass filter allows just a narrow band of sound to pass through unimpeded and as such is a little bit like a combination of a lowpass and highpass filter connected in series. We normally expect at least one additional parameter of control: control over the width of the band of frequencies allowed to pass through, or 'bandwidth'.

In the next example cutoff frequency and bandwidth are demonstrated independently for two different bandpass filters offered by Csound. First of all a sawtooth waveform is passed through a reson filter and a butbp filter in turn while the cutoff frequency rises (bandwidth remains static). Then pink noise is passed through reson and butbp in turn again but this time the cutoff frequency remains static at 5000Hz while the bandwidth expands from 8 to 5000Hz. In the latter two notes it will be heard how the resultant sound moves from almost a pure sine tone to unpitched noise. butbp is obviously the Butterworth based bandpass filter. reson can produce dramatic variations in amplitude depending on the bandwidth value and therefore some balancing of amplitude in the output signal may be necessary if out of range samples and distortion are to be avoided. Fortunately the opcode itself includes two modes of amplitude balancing built in but by default neither of these methods are active and in this case the use of the balance opcode may be required. Mode 1 seems to work well with spectrally sparse sounds like harmonic tones while mode 2 works well with spectrally dense sounds such as white or pink noise.

   EXAMPLE 05C03_reson_butbp.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>

<CsOptions>
-odac ; activates real time sound output
</CsOptions>

<CsInstruments>
; Example by Iain McCurdy

sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 1
0dbfs = 1

  instr 1
        prints       "reson%n"          ; indicate filter type in console
aSig    vco2         0.5, 150           ; input signal: sawtooth waveform
kcf     expon        20,p3,10000        ; rising cutoff frequency
aSig    reson        aSig,kcf,kcf*0.1,1 ; filter audio signal
        out          aSig               ; send filtered audio to output
  endin

  instr 2
        prints       "butbp%n"          ; indicate filter type in console
aSig    vco2         0.5, 150           ; input signal: sawtooth waveform
kcf     expon        20,p3,10000        ; rising cutoff frequency
aSig    butbp        aSig, kcf, kcf*0.1 ; filter audio signal
        out          aSig               ; send filtered audio to output
  endin

  instr 3
        prints       "reson%n"          ; indicate filter type in console
aSig    pinkish      0.5                ; input signal: pink noise
kbw     expon        10000,p3,8         ; contracting bandwidth
aSig    reson        aSig, 5000, kbw, 2 ; filter audio signal
        out          aSig               ; send filtered audio to output
  endin

  instr 4
        prints       "butbp%n"          ; indicate filter type in console
aSig    pinkish      0.5                ; input signal: pink noise
kbw     expon        10000,p3,8         ; contracting bandwidth
aSig    butbp        aSig, 5000, kbw    ; filter audio signal
        out          aSig               ; send filtered audio to output
  endin

</CsInstruments>

<CsScore>
i 1 0  3 ; reson - cutoff frequency rising
i 2 4  3 ; butbp - cutoff frequency rising
i 3 8  6 ; reson - bandwidth increasing
i 4 15 6 ; butbp - bandwidth increasing
e
</CsScore>

</CsoundSynthesizer>

Comb Filtering

A comb filter is a special type of filter that creates a harmonically related stack of resonance peaks on an input sound file. A comb filter is really just a very short delay effect with feedback. Typically the delay times involved would be less than 0.05 seconds. Many of the comb filters documented in the Csound Manual term this delay time, 'loop time'. The fundamental of the harmonic stack of resonances produced will be 1/loop time. Loop time and the frequencies of the resonance peaks will be inversely proportionsl – as loop time get smaller, the frequencies rise. For a loop time of 0.02 seconds the fundamental resonance peak will be 50Hz, the next peak 100Hz, the next 150Hz and so on. Feedback is normally implemented as reverb time – the time taken for amplitude to drop to 1/1000 of its original level or by 60dB. This use of reverb time as opposed to feedback alludes to the use of comb filters in the design of reverb algorithms. Negative reverb times will result in only the odd numbered partials of the harmonic stack being present.

The following example demonstrates a comb filter using the vcomb opcode. This opcode allows for performance time modulation of the loop time parameter. For the first 5 seconds of the demonstration the reverb time increases from 0.1 seconds to 2 while the loop time remains constant at 0.005 seconds. Then the loop time decreases to 0.0005 seconds over 6 seconds (the resonant peaks rise in frequency), finally over the course of 10 seconds the loop time rises to 0.1 seconds (the resonant peaks fall in frequency). A repeating noise impulse is used as a source sound to best demonstrate the qualities of a comb filter.

   EXAMPLE 05C04_comb.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>

<CsOptions>
-odac ;activates real time sound output
</CsOptions>

<CsInstruments>
;Example by Iain McCurdy

sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 1
0dbfs = 1

  instr 1
; -- generate an input audio signal (noise impulses) --
; repeating amplitude envelope:
kEnv         loopseg   1,0, 0,1,0.005,1,0.0001,0,0.9949,0
aSig         pinkish   kEnv*0.6                     ; pink noise pulses

; apply comb filter to input signal
krvt    linseg  0.1, 5, 2                           ; reverb time
alpt    expseg  0.005,5,0.005,6,0.0005,10,0.1,1,0.1 ; loop time
aRes    vcomb   aSig, krvt, alpt, 0.1               ; comb filter
        out     aRes                                ; audio to output
  endin

</CsInstruments>

<CsScore>
i 1 0 25
e
</CsScore>

</CsoundSynthesizer>

Other Filters Worth Investigating

In addition to a wealth of low and highpass filters Csound several more unique filters. Multimode such as bqrez provide several different filter types within a single opcode. Filter type is normally chosen using an i-rate input argument that functions like a switch. Another multimode filter, clfilt, offers addition filter controls such as 'filter design' and 'number of poles' to create unusual sound filters. unfortunately some parts of this opcode are not implemented yet.

eqfil is essentially a parametric equaliser but multiple iterations could be used as modules in a graphic equaliser bank. In addition to the capabilities of eqfil, pareq adds the possibility of creating low and high shelving filtering which might prove useful in mastering or in spectral adjustment of more developed sounds.

rbjeq offers a quite comprehensive multimode filter including highpass, lowpass, bandpass, bandreject, peaking, low-shelving and high-shelving, all in a single opcode

statevar offers the outputs from four filter types - highpass, lowpass, bandpass and bandreject - simultaneously so that the user can morph between them smoothly. svfilter does a similar thing but with just highpass, lowpass and bandpass filter types. 

phaser1 and phaser2 offer algorithms containing chains of first order and second order allpass filters respectively. These algorithms could conceivably be built from individual allpass filters but these ready-made versions provide convenience and added efficiency

hilbert is a specialist IIR filter that implements the Hilbert transformer.

For those wishing to devise their own filter using coefficients Csound offers filter2 and zfilter2.

INTENSITIES

Real World Intensities and Amplitudes

There are many ways to describe a sound physically. One of the most common is the Sound Intensity Level (SIL). It describes the amount of power on a certain surface, so its unit is Watt per square meter (). The range of human hearing is about at the threshold of hearing to at the threshold of pain. For ordering this immense range, and to facilitate the measurement of one sound intensity based upon its ratio with another, a logarithmic scale is used. The unit Bel describes the relation of one intensity I to a reference intensity I0 as follows:

  Sound Intensity Level in Bel

If, for instance, the ratio  is 10, this is 1 Bel. If the ratio is 100, this is 2 Bel.

For real world sounds, it makes sense to set the reference value to the threshold of hearing which has been fixed as at 1000 Hertz. So the range of hearing covers about 12 Bel. Usually 1 Bel is divided into 10 deci Bel, so the common formula for measuring a sound intensity is:

 

  Sound Intensity Level (SIL) in Decibel (dB) with

 

While the sound intensity level is useful to describe the way in which the human hearing works, the measurement of sound is more closely related to the sound pressure deviations. Sound waves compress and expand the air particles and by this they increase and decrease the localized air pressure. These deviations are measured and transformed by a microphone. So the question arises: what is the relationship between the sound pressure deviations and the sound intensity? The answer is: sound intensity changes are proportional to the square of the sound pressure changes . As a formula:

  Relation between Sound Intensity and Sound Pressure

Let us take an example to see what this means. The sound pressure at the threshold of hearing can be fixed at . This value is the reference value of the Sound Pressure Level (SPL). If we have now a value of , the corresponding sound intensity relation can be calculated as:


So, a factor of 10 at the pressure relation yields a factor of 100 at the intensity relation. In general, the dB scale for the pressure P related to the pressure P0 is:

 

Sound Pressure Level (SPL) in Decibel (dB) with

 

Working with Digital Audio basically means working with amplitudes. What we are dealing with microphones are amplitudes. Any audio file is a sequence of amplitudes. What you generate in Csound and write either to the DAC in realtime or to a sound file, are again nothing but a sequence of amplitudes. As amplitudes are directly related to the sound pressure deviations, all the relations between sound intensity and sound pressure can be transferred to relations between sound intensity and amplitudes:

 

  Relation between Intensity and Ampltitudes

  Decibel (dB) Scale of Amplitudes with any amplitude related to an other amplitude

 

If you drive an oscillator with the amplitude 1, and another oscillator with the amplitude 0.5, and you want to know the difference in dB, you calculate:

 

So, the most useful thing to keep in mind is: when you double the amplitude, you get +6 dB; when you have half of the amplitude as before, you get -6 dB.


What is 0 dB?

As described in the last section, any dB scale - for intensities, pressures or amplitudes - is just a way to describe a relationship. To have any sort of quantitative measurement you will need to know the reference value referred to as "0 dB". For real world sounds, it makes sense to set this level to the threshold of hearing. This is done, as we saw, by setting the SIL to and the SPL to .

But for working with digital sound in the computer, this does not make any sense. What you will hear from the sound you produce in the computer, just depends on the amplification, the speakers, and so on. It has nothing, per se, to do with the level in your audio editor or in Csound. Nevertheless, there is a rational reference level for the amplitudes. In a digital system, there is a strict limit for the maximum number you can store as amplitude. This maximum possible level is called 0 dB.

Each program connects this maximum possible amplitude with a number. Usually it is '1' which is a good choice, because you know that everything above 1 is clipping, and you have a handy relation for lower values. But actually this value is nothing but a setting, and in Csound you are free to set it to any value you like via the 0dbfs opcode. Usually you should use this statement in the orchestra header:

0dbfs = 1

This means: "Set the level for zero dB as full scale to 1 as reference value." Note that because of historical reasons the default value in Csound is not 1 but 32768. So you must have this 0dbfs=1 statement in your header if you want to set Csound to the value probably all other audio applications have.


dB Scale Versus Linear Amplitude

Let's see some practical consequences now of what we have discussed so far. One major point is: for getting smooth transitions between intensity levels you must not use a simple linear transition of the amplitudes, but a linear transition of the dB equivalent. The following example shows a linear rise of the amplitudes from 0 to 1, and then a linear rise of the dB's from -80 to 0 dB, both over 10 seconds.

   EXAMPLE 01C01_db_vs_linear.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;example by joachim heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

instr 1 ;linear amplitude rise
kamp      line    0, p3, 1 ;amp rise 0->1
asig      oscils  1, 1000, 0 ;1000 Hz sine
aout      =       asig * kamp
          outs    aout, aout
endin

instr 2 ;linear rise of dB
kdb       line    -80, p3, 0 ;dB rise -60 -> 0
asig      oscils  1, 1000, 0 ;1000 Hz sine
kamp      =       ampdb(kdb) ;transformation db -> amp
aout      =       asig * kamp
          outs    aout, aout
endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 10
i 2 11 10
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

You will hear how fast the sound intensity increases at the first note with direct amplitude rise, and then stays nearly constant. At the second note you should hear a very smooth and constant increment of intensity.


RMS Measurement

Sound intensity depends on many factors. One of the most important is the effective mean of the amplitudes in a certain time span. This is called the Root Mean Square (RMS) value. To calculate it, you have (1) to calculate the squared amplitudes of number N samples. Then you (2) divide the result by N to calculate the mean of it. Finally (3) take the square root.

Let's see a simple example, and then have a look how getting the rms value works in Csound. Assumeing we have a sine wave which consists of 16 samples, we get these amplitudes:

 

These are the squared amplitudes:


The mean of these values is:

(0+0.146+0.5+0.854+1+0.854+0.5+0.146+0+0.146+0.5+0.854+1+0.854+0.5+0.146)/16=8/16=0.5

And the resulting RMS value is 0.5=0.707

The rms opcode in Csound calculates the RMS power in a certain time span, and smoothes the values in time according to the ihp parameter: the higher this value (the default is 10 Hz), the snappier the measurement, and vice versa. This opcode can be used to implement a self-regulating system, in which the rms opcode prevents the system from exploding. Each time the rms value exceeds a certain value, the amount of feedback is reduced. This is an example1 :

   EXAMPLE 01C02_rms_feedback_system.csd  

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;example by Martin Neukom, adapted by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

giSine    ftgen     0, 0, 2^10, 10, 1 ;table with a sine wave

instr 1
a3        init      0
kamp      linseg    0, 1.5, 0.2, 1.5, 0 ;envelope for initial input
asnd      poscil    kamp, 440, giSine ;initial input
 if p4 == 1 then ;choose between two sines ...
adel1     poscil    0.0523, 0.023, giSine
adel2     poscil    0.073, 0.023, giSine,.5
 else ;or a random movement for the delay lines
adel1     randi     0.05, 0.1, 2
adel2     randi     0.08, 0.2, 2
 endif
a0        delayr    1 ;delay line of 1 second
a1        deltapi   adel1 + 0.1 ;first reading
a2        deltapi   adel2 + 0.1 ;second reading
krms      rms       a3 ;rms measurement
          delayw    asnd + exp(-krms) * a3 ;feedback depending on rms
a3        reson     -(a1+a2), 3000, 7000, 2 ;calculate a3
aout      linen     a1/3, 1, p3, 1 ;apply fade in and fade out
          outs      aout, aout
endin
</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 60 1 ;two sine movements of delay with feedback
i 1 61 . 2 ;two random movements of delay with feedback
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

 

 

Fletcher-Munson Curves

Human hearing is roughly in a range between 20 and 20000 Hz. But inside this range, the hearing is not equally sensitive. The most sensitive region is around 3000 Hz. If you come to the upper or lower border of the range, you need more intensity to perceive a sound as "equally loud". 

These curves of equal loudness are mostly called "Fletcher-Munson Curves" because of the paper of H. Fletcher and W. A. Munson in 1933. They look like this:

 

Try the following test. In the first 5 seconds you will hear a tone of 3000 Hz. Adjust the level of your amplifier to the lowest possible point at which you still can hear the tone. - Then you hear a tone whose frequency starts at 20 Hertz and ends at 20000 Hertz, over 20 seconds. Try to move the fader or knob of your amplification exactly in a way that you still can hear anything, but as soft as possible. The movement of your fader should roughly be similar to the lowest Fletcher-Munson-Curve: starting relatively high, going down and down until 3000 Hertz, and then up again. (As always, this test depends on your speaker hardware. If your speaker do not provide proper lower frequencies, you will not hear anything in the bass region.)

   EXAMPLE 01C03_FletcherMunson.csd   

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

giSine    ftgen     0, 0, 2^10, 10, 1 ;table with a sine wave

instr 1
kfreq     expseg    p4, p3, p5
          printk    1, kfreq ;prints the frequencies once a second
asin      poscil    .2, kfreq, giSine
aout      linen     asin, .01, p3, .01
          outs      aout, aout
endin
</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 5 1000 1000
i 1 6 20 20  20000
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

It is very important to bear in mind that the perceived loudness depends much on the frequencies. You must know that putting out a sine of 30 Hz with a certain amplitude is totally different from a sine of 3000 Hz with the same amplitude - the latter will sound much louder.  


  1. cf Martin Neukom, Signale Systeme Klangsynthese, Zürich 2003, p. 383^

C. PYTHON IN CSOUNDQT1 

If CsoundQt is built with PythonQt support,2  it enables a lot of new possibilities, mostly in three main fields: interaction with the CsoundQt interface, interaction with widgets and using classes from Qt libraries to build custom interfaces in python.

If you start CsoundQt and can open the panels "Python Console" and "Python Scratch Pad", you are ready to go.

The CsoundQt Python Object

As CsoundQt has formerly been called QuteCsound, this name can still be found in the sources. The QuteCsound object (called PyQcsObject in the sources) is the interface for scripting CsoundQt. All declarations of the class can be found in the file pyqcsobject.h in the sources.

It enables the control of a large part of CsoundQt's possibilities from the python interpreter, the python scratchpad, from scripts or from inside of a running Csound file via Csound's python opcodes.3 

By default, a PyQcsObject is already available in the python interpreter of CsoundQt called “q”. To use any of its methods, use form like

q.stopAll()

The methods can be divided into four groups:

File and Control Access 

If you have CsoundQt running on your computer, you should type the following code examples in the Python Console (if only one line) or the Python Scratch Pad (if more than one line of code).4 

Create or Load a csd File

Type q.newDocument('cs_floss_1.csd') in your Python Console and hit the Return key. This will create a new csd file named "cs_floss_1.csd" in your working directory. And it also returns an integer (in the screenshot below: 3) as index for this file.

If you close this file and then execute the line q.loadDocument('cs_floss_1.csd'), you should see the file again as tab in CsoundQt.

Let us have a look how these two methods newDocument and loadDocument are described in the sources:

int newDocument(QString name)
int loadDocument(QString name, bool runNow = false)

The method newDocument needs a name as string ("QString") as argument, and returns an integer. The method loadDocument also takes a name as input string and returns an integer as index for this csd. The additional argument runNow is optional. It expects a boolean value (True/False or 1/0). The default is "false" which means "do not run immediately after loading". So if you type instead q.loadDocument('cs_floss_1.csd', True) or q.loadDocument('cs_floss_1.csd', 1), the csd file should start immediately.

Run, Pause or Stop a csd File

For the next methods, we first need some more code in our csd. So let your "cs_floss_1.csd" look like this:

   EXAMPLE 12C01_run_pause_stop.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
0dbfs = 1
nchnls = 1

giSine     ftgen      0, 0, 1024, 10, 1

instr 1
kPitch     expseg     500, p3, 1000
aSine      poscil     .2, kPitch, giSine
           out        aSine
endin
</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 10
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

This instrument performs a simple pitch glissando from 500 to 1000 Hz in ten seconds. Now make sure that this csd is the currently active tab in CsoundQt, and execute this:

 q.play()

This starts the performance. If you do nothing, the performance will stop after ten seconds. If you type instead after some seconds

 q.pause()

the performance will pause. The same task q.pause() will resume the performance. Note that this is different from executing q.play() after q.pause() ; this will start a new performance. With

q.stop()

you can stop the current performance.

Access to Different csd Tabs via Indices

The play(), pause() and stop() method, as well as other methods in CsoundQt's integrated Python, allow also to access csd file tabs which are not currently active. As we saw in the creation of a new csd file by q.newDocument('cs_floss_1.csd'), each of them gets an index. This index allows universal access to all csd files in a running CsoundQt instance.

First, create a new file "cs_floss_2.csd", for instance with this code:

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
0dbfs = 1
nchnls = 1

giSine     ftgen      0, 0, 1024, 10, 1

instr 1
kPitch     expseg     500, p3, 1000
aSine      poscil     .2, kPitch, giSine
           out        aSine
endin
</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 10
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

Now get the index of these two tabs in executing q.getDocument('cs_floss_1.csd') resp. q.getDocument('cs_floss_2.csd') . This will show something like this:

So in my case the indices are 3 and 4.5  Now you can start, pause and stop any of these files with tasks like these:

q.play(3)
q.play(4)
q.stop(3)
q.stop(4)

If you have checked "Allow simultaneous play" in CsoundQt's Configure->General ...

.. you should be able to run both csds simultaneously. To stop all running files, use:

q.stopAll()

To set a csd as active, use setDocument(index). This will have the same effect as clicking on the tab. 

Send Score Events

Now comment out the score line in the file "cs_floss_2.csd", or simply remove it. When you now start Csound, this tab should run.6 Now execute this command:

q.sendEvent('i 1 0 2')

This should trigger instrument 1 for two seconds. 

Query File Name or Path

In case you need to know the name7  or the path of a csd file, you have these functions:

getFileName()
getFilePath()

Calling the method without any arguments, it refers to the currently active csd. An index as argument links to a specific tab. Here is a Python code snippet which returns indices, file names and file paths of all tabs in CsoundQt:

index = 0
while q.getFileName(index):
    print 'index = %d' % index
    print ' File Name = %s' % q.getFileName(index)
    print ' File Path = %s' % q.getFilePath(index)
    index += 1

Which returns for instance:
index = 0
File Name = /home/jh/Joachim/Stuecke/30Carin/csound/130328.csd
File Path = /home/jh/Joachim/Stuecke/30Carin/csound
index = 1
File Name = /home/jh/src/csoundmanual/examples/transegr.csd
File Path = /home/jh/src/csoundmanual/examples
index = 2
File Name = /home/jh/Arbeitsfläche/test.csd
File Path = /home/jh/Arbeitsfläche
index = 3
File Name = /home/jh/Joachim/Csound/FLOSS/Release03/Chapter_12C_PythonInCsoundQt/cs_floss_1.csd
File Path = /home/jh/Joachim/Csound/FLOSS/Release03/Chapter_12C_PythonInCsoundQt
index = 4
File Name = /home/jh/Joachim/Csound/FLOSS/Release03/Chapter_12C_PythonInCsoundQt/cs_floss_2.csd
File Path = /home/jh/Joachim/Csound/FLOSS/Release03/Chapter_12C_PythonInCsoundQt  

Get and Set csd Text

One of the main features of Python scripting in CsoundQt is the ability to edit any section of a csd file. There are several "get" functions, to query text, and also "set" functions to change or insert text.

Get Text from a csd File

Make sure your "cs_floss_2.csd" is the active tab, and execute the following python code lines:

q.getCsd()
q.getOrc()
q.getSco()

The q.getOrc() task should return this:

u'\nsr = 44100\nksmps = 32\n0dbfs = 1\nnchnls = 1\n\ngiSine     ftgen      0, 0, 1024, 10, 1\n\ninstr 1\nkPitch     expseg     1000, p3, 500\naSine      poscil     .2, kPitch, giSine\n           out        aSine\nendin\n'

The u'...' indicates that a unicode string is returned. As usual in format expressions, newlines are indicated with the '\n' formatter.

You can also get the text for the <CsOptions>, the text for CsoundQt's widgets and presets, or the full text of this csd:

getOptionsText()
getWidgetsText()
getPresetsText()getCsd()
getFullText()

If you select some text or some widgets, you will get the selection with these commands:

getSelectedText()
getSelectedWidgetsText()

As usual, you can specify any of the loaded csds via its index. So calling q.getOrc(3) instead of q.getOrc()will return the orc text of the csd with index 3, instead of the orc text of the currently active csd.

Set Text in a csd File

Set the cursor anywhere in your active csd, and execute the following line in the Python Console:

q.insertText('my nice insertion')

You will see your nice insertion in the csd file. In case you do not like it, you can choose Edit->Undo. It does not make a difference for the CsoundQt editor whether the text has been typed by hand, or by the internal Python script facility.

Text can also be inserted to individual sections using the functions:

setCsd(text)
setFullText(text)
setOrc(text)
setSco(text)
setWidgetsText(text)
setPresetsText(text)
setOptionsText(text)

Note that the whole section will be overwritten with the string text.

Opcode Exists

You can ask whether a string is an opcode name, or not, with the function opcodeExtists, for instance:

py> q.opcodeExists('line')
True
py> q.opcodeExists('OSCsend')
True
py> q.opcodeExists('Line')
False
py> q.opcodeExists('Joe')
NotYet

Example: Score Generation

A typical application for setting text in a csd is to generate a score. There have been numerous tools and programs to do this, and it can be very pleasant to use CsoundQt's Python scripting for this task. Let us modify our previous instrument first to make it more flexible:

EXAMPLE 12C02_score_generated.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
0dbfs = 1
nchnls = 1

giSine     ftgen      0, 0, 1024, 10, 1

instr 1
iOctStart  =          p4 ;pitch in octave notation at start
iOctEnd    =          p5 ;and end
iDbStart   =          p6 ;dB at start
iDbEnd     =          p7 ;and end
kPitch     expseg     cpsoct(iOctStart), p3, cpsoct(iOctEnd)
kEnv       linseg     iDbStart, p3, iDbEnd
aSine      poscil     ampdb(kEnv), kPitch, giSine
iFad       random     p3/20, p3/5
aOut       linen      aSine, iFad, p3, iFad
           out        aOut
endin
</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 10 ;will be overwritten by the python score generator
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

The following code will now insert 30 score events in the score section:

from random import uniform
numScoEvents = 30
sco = ''
for ScoEvent in range(numScoEvents):
    start = uniform(0, 40)
    dur = 2**uniform(-5, 3)
    db1, db2 = [uniform(-36, -12) for x in range(2)]
    oct1, oct2 = [uniform(6, 10) for x in range(2)]
    scoLine = 'i 1 %f %f %f %f %d %d\n' % (start, dur, oct1, oct2, db1, db2)
    sco = sco + scoLine
q.setSco(sco)

This generates a texture with either falling or rising gliding pitches. The durations are set in a way that shorter durations are more frequently than larger ones. The volume and pitch ranges allow many variations in the simple shape.

Widgets

Creating a Label

Click on the "Widgets" button to see the widgets panel. Then execute this command in the Python Console:

q.createNewLabel()

The properties dialog of the label pops up. Type "Hello Label!" or something like this as text.


When you click "Ok", you will see the label widget in the panel, and a strange unicode string as return value in the Python Console:

The string u'{3a171aa2-4cf8-4f05-9f30-172863909f56}' is a "universally unique identifier" (uuid). Each widget can be accessed by this ID.

Specifying the Common Properties as Arguments

Instead of having a live talk with the properties dialog, we can specify all properties as arguments for the createNewLabel method:

q.createNewLabel(200, 100, "second_label")

This should be the result:

A new label has been created—without opening the properties dialog—at position x=200 y=1008 with the name "second_label". If you want to create a widget not in the active document, but in another tab, you can also specify the tab index. This command will create a widget at the same position and with the same name in the first tab:

q.createNewLabel(200, 100, "second_label", 0)

Setting the Specific Properties

Each widget has a xy position and a channel name.9  But the other properties depend on the type of widget. A Display has name, width and height, but no resolution like a SpinBox. The function setWidgetProperty refers to a widget via its ID and sets a property. Let us try this for a Display widget. This command creates a Display widget with channel name "disp_chan_01" at position x=50 y=150:

q.createNewDisplay(50, 150, "disp_chan_01")

And this sets the text to a new string:10 

q.setWidgetProperty("disp_chan_01", "QCS_label", "Hey Joe!")

The setWidgetProperty method needs the ID of a widget first. This can be expressed either as channel name ("disp_chan_01") as in the command above, or as uuid. As I got the string u'{a71c0c67-3d54-4d4a-88e6-8df40070a7f5}' as uuid, I can also write:

q.setWidgetProperty(u'{a71c0c67-3d54-4d4a-88e6-8df40070a7f5}', "QCS_label", "Hey Joeboe!")

For humans, referring to the channel name as ID is probably preferable ...11  - But as the createNew... method returns the uuid, you can use it implicitely, for instance in this command:

q.setWidgetProperty(q.createNewLabel(70, 70, "WOW"), "QCS_fontsize", 18)

Getting the Property Names and Values

You may have asked how to know that the visible text of a Display widget is called "QCS_label" and the fontsize "QCS_fontsize". If you do not know the name of a property, ask CsoundQt for it via the function listWidgetProperties:
py> q.listWidgetProperties("disp_chan_01")
(u'QCS_x', u'QCS_y', u'QCS_uuid', u'QCS_visible', u'QCS_midichan', u'QCS_midicc', u'QCS_label', u'QCS_alignment', u'QCS_precision', u'QCS_font', u'QCS_fontsize', u'QCS_bgcolor', u'QCS_bgcolormode', u'QCS_color', u'QCS_bordermode', u'QCS_borderradius', u'QCS_borderwidth', u'QCS_width', u'QCS_height', u'QCS_objectName')

As you see, listWidgetProperties returns all properties in a tuple. You can query the value of a single property with the function getWidgetProperty, which takes the uuid and the property as inputs, and returns the property value. So this code snippet asks for all property values of our Display widget:

widgetID = "disp_chan_01"
properties = q.listWidgetProperties(widgetID)
for property in properties:
    propVal = q.getWidgetProperty(widgetID, property)
    print property + ' = ' + str(propVal)

Returns:
QCS_x = 50
QCS_y = 150
QCS_uuid = {a71c0c67-3d54-4d4a-88e6-8df40070a7f5}
QCS_visible = True
QCS_midichan = 0
QCS_midicc = -3
QCS_label = Hey Joeboe!
QCS_alignment = left
QCS_precision = 3
QCS_font = Arial
QCS_fontsize = 10
QCS_bgcolor = #ffffff
QCS_bgcolormode = False
QCS_color = #000000
QCS_bordermode = border
QCS_borderradius = 1
QCS_borderwidth = 1
QCS_width = 80
QCS_height = 25
QCS_objectName = disp_chan_01

Get the UUIDs of all Widgets 

For getting the uuid strings of all widgets in the active csd tab, type

q.getWidgetUuids()

As always, the uuid strings of other csd tabs can be accessed via the index.

Some Examples for Creating and Modifying Widgets

Create a new slider with the channel name "level" at position 10,10 in the (already open but not necessarily active) document "test.csd":

q.createNewSlider(10, 10, "level", q.getDocument("test.csd"))

Create ten knobs with the channel names "partial_1", "partial_2" etc, and the according labels "amp_part_1", "amp_part_2" etc in the currently active document:

for no in range(10):
        q.createNewKnob(100*no, 5, "partial_"+str(no+1))
        q.createNewLabel(100*no+5, 90, "amp_part_"+str(no+1))
Alternatively, you can store the uuid strings while creating:
knobs, labels = [], []
for no in range(10):
        knobs.append(q.createNewKnob(100*no, 5, "partial_"+str(no+1)))
        labels.append(q.createNewLabel(100*no+5, 90, "amp_part_"+str(no+1)))

The variables knobs and labels now contain the IDs:

py> knobs
[u'{8d10f9e3-70ce-4953-94b5-24cf8d6f6adb}', u'{d1c98b52-a0a1-4f48-9bca-bac55dad0de7}', u'{b7bf4b76-baff-493f-bc1f-43d61c4318ac}', u'{1332208d-e479-4152-85a8-0f4e6e589d9d}', u'{428cc329-df4a-4d04-9cea-9be3e3c2a41c}', u'{1e691299-3e24-46cc-a3b6-85fdd40eac15}', u'{a93c2b27-89a8-41b2-befb-6768cae6f645}', u'{26931ed6-4c28-4819-9b31-4b9e0d9d0a68}', u'{874beb70-b619-4706-a465-12421c6c8a85}', u'{3da687a9-2794-4519-880b-53c2f3b67b1f}']
py> labels
[u'{9715ee01-57d5-407d-b89a-bae2fc6acecf}', u'{71295982-b5e7-4d64-9ac5-b8fbcffbd254}', u'{09e924fa-2a7c-47c6-9e17-e710c94bd2d1}', u'{2e31dbfb-f3c2-43ab-ab6a-f47abb4875a3}', u'{adfe3aef-4499-4c29-b94a-a9543e54e8a3}', u'{b5760819-f750-411d-884c-0bad16d68d09}', u'{c3884e9e-f0d8-4718-8fcb-66e82456f0b5}', u'{c1401878-e7f7-4e71-a097-e92ada42e653}', u'{a7d14879-1601-4789-9877-f636105b552c}', u'{ec5526c4-0fda-4963-8f18-1c7490b0a667}'

Move the first knob 200 pixels downwards:

q.setWidgetProperty( knobs[0], "QCS_y", q.getWidgetProperty(knobs[0], "QCS_y")+200)

Modify the maximum of each knob so that the higher partials have less amplitude range (set maximum to 1, 0.9, 0.8, ..., 0.1):

for knob in range(10):
        q.setWidgetProperty(knobs[knob], "QCS_maximum", 1-knob/10.0)

Deleting widgets

You can delete a widget using the method destroyWidget. You have to pass the widget's ID, again either as channel name or (better) as uuid string. This will remove the first knob in the example above:

q.destroyWidget("partial_1")

This will delete all knobs:

for w in knobs:
    q.destroyWidget(w)

And this will delete all widgets of the active document:

for w in q.getWidgetUuids():
    q.destroyWidget(w)

Getting and Setting Channel Names and Values

After this cruel act of destruction, let us again create a slider and a display:

py> q.createNewSlider(10, 10, "level")
u'{b0294b09-5c87-4607-afda-2e55a8c7526e}'
py> q.createNewDisplay(50, 10, "message")
u'{a51b438f-f671-4108-8cdb-982387074e4d}'

Now we will ask for the values of these widgets12  with the methods getChannelValue and getChannelString:

py> q.getChannelValue('level')
0.0
py> q.getChannelString("level")
u''
py> q.getChannelValue('message')
0.0
py> q.getChannelString('message')
u'Display'

As you see, it depends on the type of the widget whether to query its value by getChannelValue or getChannelString. Although CsoundQt will not return an error, it makes no sense to ask a slider for its string (as its value is a number), and a display for its number (as its value is a string).

With the methods setChannelValue and setChannelString we can change the main content of a widget very easily:

py> q.setChannelValue("level", 0.5)
py> q.setChannelString("message", "Hey Joe again!")

This is much more handy than the general method using setWidgetProperty:

py> q.setWidgetProperty("level", "QCS_value", 1)
py> q.setWidgetProperty("message", "QCS_label", "Nono")

Presets

Now right-click in the widget panel and choose Store Preset -> New Preset:

 

You can (but need not) enter a name for the preset. The important thing here is the number of the preset (here 0). - Now change the value of the slider and the text of the display widget. Save again as preset, now being preset 1. - Now execute this:

q.loadPreset(0)

You will see the content of the widgets reloaded to the first preset. Again, with

q.loadPreset(1)

you can switch to the second one.

Like all python scripting functions in CsoundQt, you can not only use these methods from the Python Console or the Python Cratch Pad, but also from inside any csd. This is an example how to switch all the widgets to other predefined states, in this case controlled by the score. You will see the widgets for the first three seconds in Preset 0, then for the next three seconds in Preset 1, and finally again in Preset 0:

EXAMPLE 12C03_presets.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>

pyinit

instr loadPreset
        index = p4
        pycalli "q.loadPreset", index
endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i "loadPreset" 0 3 0
i "loadPreset" + . 1
i "loadPreset" + . 0
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>
;example by tarmo johannes and joachim heintz 

Csound Functions

Several functions can interact with the Csound engine, for example to query information about it. Note that the functions getSampleRate, getKsmps, getNumChannels and getCurrentCsound refer to a running instance of Csound.

py> q.getVersion() # CsoundQt API version
u'1.0'
py> q.getSampleRate()
44100.0
py> q.getKsmps()
32
py> q.getNumChannels()
1
py> q.getCurrentCsound()
CSOUND (C++ object at: 0x2fb5670)

With getCsChannel, getCsStringChannel and setCsChannel you can access csound channels directly, independently from widgets. They are useful when testing a csd for use with the Csound API (in another application, a csLapdsa or Cabbage plugin, Android application) or similar. These are some examples, executed on a running csd instance:

py> q.getCsChannel('my_num_chn')
0.0
py> q.getCsStringChannel('my_str_chn')
u''

py> q.setCsChannel('my_num_chn', 1.1)
py> q.setCsChannel('my_str_chn', 'Hey Csound')

py> q.getCsChannel('my_num_chn')
1.1
py> q.getCsStringChannel('my_str_chn')
u'Hey Csound'

If you have a function table in your running Csound instance which has for instance been created with the line giSine ftgen 1, 0, 1024, 10, 1, you can query getTableArray like this: 

py> q.getTableArray(1)
MYFLT (C++ object at: 0x35d1c58)

Finally, you can register a Python function as a callback to be executed in between processing blocks for Csound. The first argument should be the text that should be called on every pass. It can include arguments or variables which will be evaluated every time. You can also set a number of periods to skip to avoid.

registerProcessCallback(QString func, int skipPeriods = 0)

You can register the python text to be executed on every Csound control block callback, so you can execute a block of code, or call any function which is already defined.

Creating Own GUIs with PythonQt

One of the very powerful features of using Python inside CsoundQt is the ability to build own GUIs. This is done via the PythonQt library which gives you access to the Qt toolkit via Python. We will show some examples here. Have a look in the "Scripts" menu in CsoundQt to find much more (you will find the code in the "Editor" submenu).

Dialog Box

Sometimes it is practical to ask from user just one question - number or name of something and then execute the rest of the code (it can be done also inside a csd with python opcodes). In Qt, the class to create a dialog for one question is called QInputDialog.

To use this or any other Qt classes, it is necessary to import the PythonQt and its Qt submodules. In most cases it is enough to add this line:

from PythonQt.Qt import *

or

from PythonQt.QtGui import *

At first an object of QInputDialog must be defined, then you can use its methods getInt, getDouble, getItem or getText to read the input in the form you need. This is a basic example:

from PythonQt.Qt import *

inpdia = QInputDialog()
myInt = inpdia.getInt(inpdia,"Example 1","How many?")
print myInt
# example by tarmo johannes

Note that the variable myInt is now set to a value which remains in your Python interpreter. Your Python Console may look like this when executing the code above, and then ask for the value of myInt:

py>
12
Evaluated 5 lines.
py> myInt
12

Depending on the value of myInt, you can do funny or serious things. This code re-creates the Dialog Box whenever the user enters the number 1:

from PythonQt.Qt import *

def again():
    inpdia = QInputDialog()
    myInt = inpdia.getInt(inpdia,"Example 1","How many?")
    if myInt == 1:
        print "If you continue to enter '1' I will come back again and again."
        again()
    else:
        print "Thanks - Leaving now."
again()
# example by joachim heintz

This is a simple example showing how you can embed an own GUI in your Csound code. Here, Csound waits for the user input, and the prints out the entered value as the Csound variable giNumber:

    EXAMPLE 12C04_dialog.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-n
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>

pyinit
pyruni {{
from PythonQt.Qt import *
dia = QInputDialog()
dia.setDoubleDecimals(4)
}}

giNumber pyevali {{
dia.getDouble(dia,"CS question","Enter number: ")
}} ; get the number from Qt dialog

instr 1
        print giNumber
endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 0
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>
;example by tarmo johannes

Simple GUI with Buttons

The next example takes the user input (as a string) and transforms it to a sounding sequence of notes. First, make sure that the following csd is your active tab in CsoundQt:

    EXAMPLE 12C05_string_sound.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsInstruments>

sr = 44100
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1
ksmps = 32

giSine ftgen 1, 0, 4096, 10, 1 ; sine


#define MAINJOB(INSTNO) #
        Sstr strget p4
        ilen strlen Sstr
        ipos = 0
marker:   ; convert every character in the string to pitch
    ichr strchar Sstr, ipos
    icps = cpsmidinn(ichr)-$INSTNO*8
    ;print icps
    event_i "i", "sound", 0+ipos/8, p3, ichr,icps, $INSTNO ; chord with arpeggio
    loop_lt ipos, 1, ilen, marker
#

instr 1
        $MAINJOB(1)     
endin

instr 2
        $MAINJOB(2)     
endin

instr 3
        $MAINJOB(3)     
endin

instr sound
        ichar = p4
        ifreq = p5
        itype = p6
        kenv linen 0.1,0.1, p3,0.5      
        if itype== 1 then
                asig pluck kenv,ifreq,ifreq,0, 3, 0
        elseif itype==2 then
                kenv adsr 0.05,0.1,0.5,1
                asig poscil kenv*0.1,ifreq,giSine
        else
                asig    buzz kenv,ifreq,10, giSine
        endif
        outs asig,asig
endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
f0 3600
i 1 0 4 "huhuu"
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>
;example by tarmo johannes

Now copy this Python code into your Python Scratch Pad and evaluate it. Then type anything in the "type here" box and push the "insert" button. After pushing "play", the string will be played. You can also send the string as real-time event, to different instruments, in different durations.

from PythonQt.Qt import *

# FUNCTIONS==============================

def insert(): # read input from UI and insert a line to score of csd file, open in CsoundQt with index csdIndex
    scoreLine = "f0 3600\n" + "i " + instrSpinBox.text + " 0 " + durSpinBox.text + ' "' + par1LineEdit.text + "\""
    print scoreLine
    q.setSco(scoreLine, csdIndex)
        
def play(): # play file with index csdIndex
    print "PLAY"
    q.play(csdIndex)    

def send(): # read input from UI send live event
    scoreLine = "i " + instrSpinBox.text + " 0 " + durSpinBox.text + ' "' + par1LineEdit.text + "\""
    print scoreLine
    q.sendEvent(csdIndex, scoreLine)

def stopAndClose(): #stop csdIndex, close UI
    print "STOP"
    q.stop(csdIndex)
    window.delete()


# MAIN ====================================

window = QWidget() # window as main widget
layout = QGridLayout(window) # use gridLayout - the most flexible one - to place the widgets in a table-like structure
window.setLayout(layout)
window.setWindowTitle("PythonQt inteface example")

instrLabel = QLabel("Select instrument")
layout.addWidget(instrLabel,0,0) # first row, first column

instrSpinBox = QSpinBox(window)
instrSpinBox.setMinimum(1)
instrSpinBox.setMaximum(3)
layout.addWidget(instrSpinBox, 0, 1) # first row, second column

durLabel = QLabel("Duration: ")
layout.addWidget(durLabel,1,0)  # etc

durSpinBox = QSpinBox(window)
durSpinBox.setMinimum(1)
durSpinBox.setMaximum(20)
durSpinBox.setValue(3)
layout.addWidget(durSpinBox, 1, 1)

par1Label = QLabel("Enter string for parameter 1: ")
layout.addWidget(par1Label,2,0)

par1LineEdit = QLineEdit(window)
par1LineEdit.setMaxLength(30) # don't allow too long strings
par1LineEdit.setText("type here")
layout.addWidget(par1LineEdit,2,1)

insertButton = QPushButton("Insert",window)
layout.addWidget(insertButton, 3,0)

playButton = QPushButton("Play",window)
layout.addWidget(playButton, 3,1)

sendButton = QPushButton("Send event",window)
layout.addWidget(sendButton, 4,0)

closeButton = QPushButton("Close",window)
layout.addWidget(closeButton, 4,1)

# connect buttons and functions  ================
#NB! function names must be  without parenthesis!
# number and type of arguments of the signal and slot (called function) must match

insertButton.connect(SIGNAL("clicked()"),insert ) # when clicked, run function insert()
playButton.connect(SIGNAL("clicked()"),play)  #etc
sendButton.connect(SIGNAL("clicked()"),send)
closeButton.connect(SIGNAL("clicked()"),stopAndClose)

window.show() # show the window and wait for clicks on buttons

A Color Controller

To illustrate how to use power of Qt together with CsoundQt, the following example uses the color picking dialog of Qt. When user moves the cursor around in the RGB palette frame, the current red-green-blue values are forwarded to CsoundQt as floats in 0..1, visualized as colored meters and used as controlling parameters for sound.

Qt's object QColorDialog emits the signal currentColorChanged(QColor) every time when any of the RGB values in the colorbox has changed. The script connects the signal to a function that forwards the color values to Csound. So with one mouse movement, three parameters can be controlled instantly.

In the Csound implementation of this example I used - thinking on the colors - three instruments from Richard Boulanger's "Trapped in convert" - red, green and blue. The RGB values of the dialog box control the mix between these three instruments.

As usual, let the following csd be your active tab in CsoundQt, then run the Python code in the Python Scratch Pad.13 

    EXAMPLE 12C06_color_controller.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsInstruments>
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2

garvb  init     0
alwayson "_reverb"

;============================================================================;
;==================================== RED ===================================;
;============================================================================;
; parameters from original score
;i 8   15.5   3.1     3      50       4000   129    8      2.6    0.3
       instr   red
ifuncl =       16

p4 = 2.2 ; amp
p5 = 50 ; FilterSweep StartFreq
p6 = 4000 ; FilterSweep EndFreq
p7= 129 ; bandwidth
p8 = 8 ; cps of rand1
p9 = 2.6 ; cps of rand2
p10 = 0.3 ; reverb send factor

k1     expon   p5, p3, p6
k2     line    p8, p3, p8 * .93
k3     phasor  k2
k4     table   k3 * ifuncl, 20
anoise rand    8000
aflt1  reson   anoise, k1, 20 + (k4 * k1 / p7), 1

k5     linseg  p6 * .9, p3 * .8, p5 * 1.4, p3 * .2, p5 * 1.4
k6     expon   p9 * .97, p3, p9
k7     phasor  k6
k8     tablei  k7 * ifuncl, 21
aflt2  reson   anoise, k5, 30 + (k8 * k5 / p7 * .9), 1

abal   oscil   1000, 1000, 1
a3     balance aflt1, abal
a5     balance aflt2, abal


k11    linen   p4, .15, p3, .5
a3     =       a3 * k11
a5     =       a5 * k11

k9     randh   1, k2
aleft  =       ((a3 * k9) * .7) + ((a5 * k9) * .3)
k10    randh   1, k6
aright =       ((a3 * k10) * .3)+((a5 * k10) * .7)
klevel invalue "red"
klevel port klevel,0.05 
       outs    aleft*klevel, aright*klevel
garvb  =       garvb + (a3 * p10)*klevel
endin

;============================================================================;
;==================================== BLUE ==================================;
;============================================================================;
;i 2   80.7   8       0      8.077    830    0.7    24     19     0.13
       instr blue                               ; p6 = amp

p5 = 8.077 ; pitch
p6 = 830 ; amp
p7 = 0.7 ; reverb send factor
p8 = 24 ; lfo freq
p9 = 19 ; number of harmonic
p10 = 0.1+rnd(0.2) ;0.5 ; sweep rate

ifreq  random 500,1000;cpspch(p5)
k1     randi    1, 30
k2     linseg   0, p3 * .5, 1, p3 * .5, 0
k3     linseg   .005, p3 * .71, .015, p3 * .29, .01
k4     oscil    k2, p8, 1,.2
k5     =        k4 + 2

ksweep linseg   p9, p3 * p10, 1, p3 * (p3 - (p3 * p10)), 1

kenv   expseg   .001, p3 * .01, p6, p3 * .99, .001
asig   gbuzz    kenv, ifreq + k3, k5, ksweep, k1, 15

klevel invalue "blue"
klevel port klevel,0.05 
asig = asig*klevel
       outs     asig, asig
garvb  =        garvb + (asig * p7)
       endin


;============================================================================;
;==================================== GREEN =================================;
;============================================================================;
; i 5   43     1.1     9.6    3.106    2500   0.4    1.0    8      3    17  34

        instr  green                             ; p6 = amp
p5 = 3.106 ; pitch
p6 = 2500 ; amp
p7 = 0.4 ; reverb send
p8 = 0.5 ; pan direction
p9 = 8 ; carrier freq
p10 = 3 ; modulator freq
p11 = 17 ; modulation index
p12 = 34 ; rand freq

ifreq   =      cpspch(p5)                    ; p7 = reverb send factor
                                             ; p8 = pan direction
k1     line    p9, p3, 1                     ; ... (1.0 = L -> R, 0.1 = R -> L)
k2     line    1, p3, p10                    ; p9 = carrier freq
k4     expon   2, p3, p12                    ; p10 = modulator freq
k5     linseg  0, p3 * .8, 8, p3 * .2, 8     ; p11 = modulation index
k7     randh   p11, k4                       ; p12 = rand freq
k6     oscil   k4, k5, 1, .3

kenv1  linen   p6, .03, p3, .2
a1     foscil  kenv1, ifreq + k6, k1, k2, k7, 1

kenv2  linen   p6, .1, p3, .1
a2     oscil   kenv2, ifreq * 1.001, 1

amix   =       a1 + a2
kpan   linseg  int(p8), p3 * .7, frac(p8), p3 * .3, int(p8)
klevel invalue "green"
klevel port klevel,0.05
amix = amix*klevel
       outs    amix * kpan, amix * (1 - kpan)
garvb  =       garvb + (amix * p7)
       endin


 instr   _reverb
p4 = 1/10                          ; p4 = panrate
k1     oscil   .5, p4, 1
k2     =       .5 + k1
k3     =       1 - k2   
asig   reverb  garvb, 2.1
       outs    asig * k2, (asig * k3) * (-1)
garvb  =       0
       endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
;============================================================================;
;========================= FUNCTIONS ========================================;
;============================================================================;
f1   0  8192  10   1
; 15 - vaja
f15  0  8192  9    1   1   90
;kasutusel red
f16  0  2048  9    1   3   0   3   1   0   6   1   0
f20  0  16   -2    0   30  40  45  50  40  30  20  10  5  4  3  2  1  0  0  0
f21  0  16   -2    0   20  15  10  9   8   7   6   5   4  3  2  1  0  0

r 3 COUNT
i "red" 0 20
i "green" 0 20
i "blue" 0 6
i . + 3
i . + 4
i . + 7
s

f 0 1800

</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>
;example by tarmo johannes, after richard boulanger
from PythonQt.Qt import *

# write the current RGB values as floats 0..1 to according channels of "rgb-widgets.csd"
def getColors(currentColor):
    q.setChannelValue("red",currentColor.redF(),csd)
    q.setChannelValue("green",currentColor.greenF(),csd)
    q.setChannelValue("blue",currentColor.blueF(),csd)

# main-----------
cdia = QColorDialog() #create QColorDiaog object
cdia.connect(SIGNAL("currentColorChanged(QColor)"),getColors) # create connection between  color changes in the dialog window and function getColors
cdia.show() # show the dialog window,
q.play(csd) # and play the csd

List of PyQcsObject Methods in CsoundQt

Load/Create/Activate a csd File

int loadDocument(QString name, bool runNow = false)
int getDocument(QString name = "")
int newDocument(QString name)
void setDocument(int index) 

Play/Pause/Stop a csd File

void play(int index = -1, bool realtime = true)
void pause(int index = -1)
void stop(int index = -1)
void stopAll() 

Send Score Events

void sendEvent(int index, QString events)
void sendEvent(QString events)
void schedule(QVariant time, QVariant event) 

Query File Name/Path

QString getFileName(int index = -1)
QString getFilePath(int index = -1) 

Get csd Text

QString getSelectedText(int index = -1, int section = -1)
QString getCsd(int index = -1)
QString getFullText(int index = -1)
QString getOrc(int index = -1)
QString getSco(int index = -1)
QString getWidgetsText(int index = -1)
QString getSelectedWidgetsText(int index = -1)
QString getPresetsText(int index = -1)
QString getOptionsText(int index = -1) 

Set csd Text

void insertText(QString text, int index = -1, int section = -1)
void setCsd(QString text, int index = -1)
void setFullText(QString text, int index = -1)
void setOrc(QString text, int index = -1)
void setSco(QString text, int index = -1)
void setWidgetsText(QString text, int index = -1)
void setPresetsText(QString text, int index = -1)
void setOptionsText(QString text, int index = -1) 

Opcode Exists

bool opcodeExists(QString opcodeName) 

Create Widgets

QString createNewLabel(int x = 0, int y = 0, QString channel = QString(), int index = -1)
QString createNewDisplay(int x = 0, int y = 0, QString channel = QString(), int index = -1)
QString createNewScrollNumber(int x = 0, int y = 0, QString channel = QString(), int index = -1)
QString createNewLineEdit(int x = 0, int y = 0, QString channel = QString(), int index = -1)
QString createNewSpinBox(int x = 0, int y = 0, QString channel = QString(), int index = -1)
QString createNewSlider(QString channel, int index = -1)
QString createNewSlider(int x = 0, int y = 0, QString channel = QString(), int index = -1)
QString createNewButton(int x = 0, int y = 0, QString channel = QString(), int index = -1)
QString createNewKnob(int x = 0, int y = 0, QString channel = QString(), int index = -1)
QString createNewCheckBox(int x = 0, int y = 0, QString channel = QString(), int index = -1)
QString createNewMenu(int x = 0, int y = 0, QString channel = QString(), int index = -1)
QString createNewMeter(int x = 0, int y = 0, QString channel = QString(), int index = -1)
QString createNewConsole(int x = 0, int y = 0, QString channel = QString(), int index = -1)
QString createNewGraph(int x = 0, int y = 0, QString channel = QString(), int index = -1)
QString createNewScope(int x = 0, int y = 0, QString channel = QString(), int index = -1)

Query Widgets

QVariant getWidgetProperty(QString widgetid, QString property, int index= -1)
double getChannelValue(QString channel, int index = -1)
QString getChannelString(QString channel, int index = -1)
QStringList listWidgetProperties(QString widgetid, int index = -1)
QStringList getWidgetUuids(int index = -1) 

Modify Widgets

void setWidgetProperty(QString widgetid, QString property, QVariant value, int index= -1)
void setChannelValue(QString channel, double value, int index = -1)
void setChannelString(QString channel, QString value, int index = -1) 

Delete Widgets

bool destroyWidget(QString widgetid) 

Presets

void loadPreset(int presetIndex, int index = -1) 

Live Event Sheet

QuteSheet* getSheet(int index = -1, int sheetIndex = -1)
QuteSheet* getSheet(int index, QString sheetName) 

Csound / API

QString getVersion()
void refresh()
void setCsChannel(QString channel, double value, int index = -1)
void setCsChannel(QString channel, QString value, int index = -1)
double getCsChannel(QString channel, int index = -1)
QString getCsStringChannel(QString channel, int index = -1)
CSOUND* getCurrentCsound()
double getSampleRate(int index = -1)
int getKsmps(int index = -1)
int getNumChannels(int index = -1)
MYFLT *getTableArray(int ftable, int index = -1)
void registerProcessCallback(QString func, int skipPeriods = 0, int index = -1) 

 

  1. This chapter is based on Andrés Cabrera's paper Python Scripting in QuteCsound at the Csound Conference in Hannover (2011).^
  2. This should be the case for CsoundQt 0.7 or higher on OSX. On Windows, the corrent version 0.7.0 is built with PythonQt support. You must have installed Python 2.7, too. For building CsoundQt with Python support, have a look at the descriptions in http://sourceforge.net/apps/mediawiki/qutecsound.^
  3. See chapter 12B for more information on these.^
  4. To evaluate multiple lines of Python code in the Scratch Pad, choose either Edit->Evaluate Section (Alt+E), or select and choose Edit->Evaluate Selection (Alt+Shift+E).^
  5. If you have less or more csd tabs already while creating the new files, the index will be lower or higher.^
  6. If not, you are probably using an older version of Csound. In this case, insert the scoreline "f 0 99999", and this csd will run and wait for your real-time score events for 99999 seconds.^
  7. Different to most usages, 'name' means here the full path including the file name.^
  8. Pixels from left resp. from top.^
  9. Only a label does not have a channel name. So as we saw, in case of a label the name is its displayed text.^
  10. For the main property of a widget (text for a Display, number for Sliders, SpinBoxes etc) you can also use the setChannelString and setChannelValue method. See below at "Getting and Setting Channel Values" ^
  11. Note that two widgets can share the same channel name (for instance a slider and a spinbox). In this case, referring to a widget via its channel name is not possible at all.^
  12. Here again accessed by the channel name. Of course accessing by uuid would also be possible (and more safe, as explained above).^
  13. The example should also be availiable in CsoundQt's Scripts menu.^

WORKING WITH CONTROLLERS

Scanning MIDI Continuous Controllers

The most useful opcode for reading in midi continuous controllers is ctrl7. 'ctrl7's input arguments allow us to specify midi channel and controller number of the controller to be scanned in addition to giving us the option to rescale the received midi values between a new minimum and maximum value as defined by the 3rd and 4th input arguments. Further possibilities for modifying the data output are provided by the 5th (optional) argument which is used to point to a function table that reshapes the controllers output response to something other than linear. This can be useful when working with parameters which are normally expressed on a  logarithmic scale such as frequency.

The following example scans midi controller 1 on channel 1 and prints values received to the console. The minimum and maximum values are given as 0 and 127 therefore they are not rescaled at all. (Controller 1 is also the modulation wheel on a midi keyboard.)

  EXAMPLE 07C01_ctrl7_print.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>

<CsOptions>
-Ma -odac
; activate all MIDI devices
</CsOptions>

<CsInstruments>
; Example by Iain McCurdy

; 'sr' and 'nchnls' are irrelevant so are omitted
ksmps = 32

  instr 1
kCtrl    ctrl7    1,1,0,127    ; read in controller 1 on channel 1
kTrigger changed  kCtrl        ; if 'kCtrl' changes generate a trigger ('bang')
 if kTrigger=1 then
; Print kCtrl to console with formatting, but only when its value changes.
printks "Controller Value: %d%n", 0, kCtrl
 endif
  endin

</CsInstruments>

<CsScore>
i 1 0 3600
e
</CsScore>

<CsoundSynthesizer>

There are also 14 bit and 21 bit versions of ctrl7 (ctrl14 and ctrl21) which improve upon the 7 bit resolution of 'ctrl7' but hardware that outputs 14 or 21 bit controller information is rare so these opcodes are seldom used.

Scanning Pitch Bend and Aftertouch

We can scan pitch bend and aftertouch in a similar way using the opcodes pchbend and aftouch. Once again we can specify minimum and maximum values with which to re-range the output. In the case of 'pchbend' we specify the value it outputs when the pitch bend wheel is at rest followed by a value which defines the entire range from when it is pulled to its minimum to when it is pushed to its maximum. In this example playing a key on the keyboard will play a note, the pitch of which can be bent up or down two semitones using the pitch bend wheel. Aftertouch can be used to modify the amplitude of the note while it is playing. Pitch bend and aftertouch data is also printed at the terminal whenever it changes. One thing to bear in mind is that for 'pchbend' to function the Csound instrument that contains it needs to have been activated by a MIDI event: you will need to play a midi note on your keyboard and then move the pitch bend wheel.

  EXAMPLE 07C02_pchbend_aftouch.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>

<CsOptions>
-odac -Ma
</CsOptions>

<CsInstruments>
;Example by Iain McCurdy

sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 1
0dbfs = 1

giSine  ftgen  0,0,2^10,10,1  ; a sine wave

  instr 1
; -- pitch bend --
kPchBnd  pchbend  0,4                ; read in pitch bend (range -2 to 2)
kTrig1   changed  kPchBnd            ; if 'kPchBnd' changes generate a trigger
 if kTrig1=1 then
printks "Pitch Bend:%f%n",0,kPchBnd  ; print kPchBnd to console when it changes
 endif

; -- aftertouch --
kAfttch  aftouch 0,0.9               ; read in aftertouch (range 0 to 0.9)
kTrig2   changed kAfttch             ; if 'kAfttch' changes generate a trigger
 if kTrig2=1 then
printks "Aftertouch:%d%n",0,kAfttch  ; print kAfttch to console when it changes
 endif

; -- create a sound --
iNum     notnum                      ; read in MIDI note number
; MIDI note number + pitch bend are converted to cycles per seconds
aSig     poscil   0.1,cpsmidinn(iNum+kPchBnd),giSine
         out      aSig               ; audio to output
  endin

</CsInstruments>

<CsScore>
f 0 300
e
</CsScore>

<CsoundSynthesizer>

Initializing MIDI Controllers

It may be useful to be able to define the beginning value of a midi controller that will be used in an orchestra - that is, the value it will adopt until its corresponding hardware control has been moved. Until a controller has been moved its value in Csound defaults to its minimum setting unless additional initialization has been carried out. It is important to be aware that midi controllers only send out information when they are moved, when lying idle they send out no information. As an example, if we imagine we have an Csound instrument in which the output volume is controlled by a midi controller it might prove to be slightly frustrating that each time the orchestra is launched, this instrument will remain silent until the volume control is moved. This frustration might become greater when many midi controllers are begin utilized. It would be more useful to be able to define the starting value for each of these controllers. The initc7 opcode allows us to define the starting value of a midi controller until its hardware control has been moved. If 'initc7' is placed within the instrument itself it will be re-initialized each time the instrument is called, if it is placed in instrument 0 (just after the header statements) then it will only be initialized when the orchestra is first launched. The latter case is probably most useful.

In the following example a simple synthesizer is implemented. Midi controller 1 controls the output volume of this instrument but the 'initc7' statement near the top of the orchestra ensures that this control does not default to its minimum setting. The arguments that 'initc7' takes are for midi channel, controller number and initial value. Initial value is defined within the range 0-1, therefore a value of 1 set this controller to its maximum value (midi value 127), and a value of 0.5 sets it to its halfway value (midi value 64) and so on.

Additionally this example uses the cpsmidi opcode to scan in midi pitch and the ampmidi opcode to scan in note velocity.

  EXAMPLE 07C03_cpsmidi_ampmidi.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>

<CsOptions>
-Ma -odac
; activate all midi inputs and real-time audio output
</CsOptions>

<CsInstruments>
; Example by Iain McCurdy

sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 1
0dbfs = 1

giSine ftgen 0,0,2^12,10,1 ; a sine wave
initc7 1,1,1               ; initialize CC 1 on chan. 1 to its max level

  instr 1
iCps cpsmidi               ; read in midi pitch in cycles-per-second
iAmp ampmidi 1             ; read in note velocity - re-range to be from 0 to 1
kVol ctrl7   1,1,0,1       ; read in CC 1, chan. 1. Re-range to be from 0 to 1
aSig poscil  iAmp*kVol, iCps, giSine ; an audio oscillator
     out     aSig          ; send audio to output
  endin

</CsInstruments>

<CsScore>
f 0 3600
e
</CsScore>

<CsoundSynthesizer>

You will maybe hear that this instrument produces 'clicks' as notes begin and end. To find out how to prevent this please see the section on envelopes with release sensing in the chapter Sound Modification: Envelopes.

Smoothing 7-bit Quantization in MIDI Controllers

A problem we encounter with 7 bit midi controllers is the poor resolution that they offer us. 7 bit means that we have 2 to the power of 7 possible values; therefore 128 possible values, which is rather inadequate for defining the frequency of an oscillator over a number of octaves, the cutoff frequency of a filter or a volume control. We quickly become aware of the parameter that is being controlled moving up in steps - not so much of a 'continuous' control. We may also experience clicking artefacts, sometimes called 'zipper noise', as the value changes. There are some things we can do to address this problem. We can filter the controller signal within Csound so that the sudden changes that occur between steps along the controller's travel are smoothed using additional interpolating values - we must be careful not to smooth excessively otherwise the response of the controller will become sluggish. Any k-rate compatible lowpass filter can be used for this task but the portk opcode is particularly useful as it allows us to define the amount of smoothing as a time taken to glide to half the required value rather than having to specify a cutoff frequency. Additionally this 'half time' value can be varied as a k-rate value which provides an advantage availed of in the following example.

This example takes the simple synthesizer of the previous example as its starting point. The volume control which is controlled by midi controller 1 on channel 1 is passed through a 'portk' filter. The 'half time' for 'portk' ramps quickly up to its required value of 0.01 through the use of a linseg statement in the previous line. This is done so that when a new note begins the volume control jumps immediately to its required value rather than gliding up from zero on account of the effect of the 'portk' filter. Try this example with the 'portk' half time defined as a constant to hear the difference. To further smooth the volume control, it is converted to an a-rate variable through the use of the interp opcode which, as well as performing this conversion, interpolates values in the gaps between k-cycles.

  EXAMPLE 07C04_smoothing.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-Ma -odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Iain McCurdy

sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 1
0dbfs = 1

giSine   ftgen    0,0,2^12,10,1
         initc7   1,1,1          ; initialize CC 1 to its max. level

  instr 1
iCps      cpsmidi                ; read in midi pitch in cycles-per-second
iAmp      ampmidi 1              ; read in note velocity - re-range 0 to 1
kVol      ctrl7   1,1,0,1        ; read in CC 1, chan. 1. Re-range from 0 to 1
kPortTime linseg  0,0.001,0.01   ; create a value that quickly ramps up to 0.01
kVol      portk   kVol,kPortTime ; create a filtered version of kVol
aVol      interp  kVol           ; create an a-rate version of kVol
aSig      poscil  iAmp*aVol,iCps,giSine
          out     aSig
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
f 0 300
e
</CsScore>
<CsoundSynthesizer>

All of the techniques introduced in this section are combined in the final example which includes a 2-semitone pitch bend and tone control which is controlled by aftertouch. For tone generation this example uses the gbuzz opcode.

  EXAMPLE 07C05_MidiControlComplex.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>

<CsOptions>
-Ma -odac
</CsOptions>

<CsInstruments>
;Example by Iain McCurdy

sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 1
0dbfs = 1

giCos   ftgen    0,0,2^12,11,1 ; a cosine wave
         initc7   1,1,1        ; initialize controller to its maximum level

  instr 1
iNum      notnum                   ; read in midi note number
iAmp      ampmidi 0.1              ; read in note velocity - range 0 to 0.2
kVol      ctrl7   1,1,0,1          ; read in CC 1, chan. 1. Re-range from 0 to 1
kPortTime linseg  0,0.001,0.01     ; create a value that quickly ramps up to 0.01
kVol      portk   kVol, kPortTime  ; create filtered version of kVol
aVol      interp  kVol             ; create an a-rate version of kVol.
iRange    =       2                ; pitch bend range in semitones
iMin      =       0                ; equilibrium position
kPchBnd   pchbend iMin, 2*iRange   ; pitch bend in semitones (range -2 to 2)
kPchBnd   portk   kPchBnd,kPortTime; create a filtered version of kPchBnd
aEnv      linsegr 0,0.005,1,0.1,0  ; amplitude envelope with release stage
kMul      aftouch 0.4,0.85         ; read in aftertouch
kMul      portk   kMul,kPortTime   ; create a filtered version of kMul
; create an audio signal using the 'gbuzz' additive synthesis opcode
aSig      gbuzz   iAmp*aVol*aEnv,cpsmidinn(iNum+kPchBnd),70,0,kMul,giCos
          out     aSig             ; audio to output
  endin

</CsInstruments>

<CsScore>
f 0 300
e
</CsScore>

<CsoundSynthesizer>


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cabbage is a software for prototyping and developing audio plugins with the Csound audio synthesis language. It provides Csound programmers with a simple albeit powerful toolkit for the development of cross-platform audio software. Pre-built binaries for Microsoft Windows and Apple OSX(Built on OSX 10.6) are available from the Cabbage google code homepage. 

This document will take you through the basics of using Cabbage. It starts with a look at features provided by the host and then moves on to some simple examples. The text concludes with a reference section for the various GUI controls available in Cabbage. It’s assumed that the reader has some prior knowledge of Csound.

In order to use Cabbage you MUST have Csound installed. Cabbage is only available for the doubles version of Csound. This is the version that comes with the various platform installers so there shouldn't be any problems. If however you build your own version of Csound don't forget to use the 'useDouble=1' option or Cabbage will not work properly.

The Cabbage standalone player

Most prototyping will be done in the Cabbage standalone host. This host lets you load and run Cabbage instruments, as seen in the screenshot above. Clicking on the options button will give you access to the following commands:

Open Cabbage Instrument

Use this command to open a cabbage instrument(Unified Csound file with a dedicated <Cabbage></Cabbage> section). You may open any .csd file you wish and add a Cabbage section yourself once it’s open. If opening existing Csound instrument you will need to use the-n command line options to tell Csound not to open any audio devices, as these are handled directly by Cabbage. On OSX users can open .csd files contained within plugins. Just select a .vst file instaed of a .csd file when opening. See the sections on exporting plugins for more information.

New Cabbage…

This command will help you create a new Cabbage instrument/effect. Cabbage instruments are synthesisers capable of creating sounds from scratch while effects process incoming audio. Effects can access the incoming audio by using the inch or ins opcodes. All effects have stereo inputs and stereo outputs. Instruments can access the incoming MIDI data in a host of different ways but the easiest is to pipe the MIDI data directly to instrument p-fields using the MIDI inter-op command line flags. Examples can be found in the examples folder.

View Source Editor

This command will launch the integrated text editor. The text editor will always contain the text which corresponds to the instrument that is currently open. Each time a file is saved in the editor(Ctrl+S), Cabbage will automatically recompile the underlying Csound instrument and update any changes that have been made to the instruments GUI. The editor also features a Csound message console that can prove useful when debugging instruments.

Audio Settings

Clicking on the audio settings command will open the audio settings window. Here you can choose your audio/MIDI input/output devices. You can also select the sampling rate and audio buffer sizes. Small buffer sizes will reduce latency but might cause some clicks in the audio. Keep testing buffer sizes until you find a setting that works best for your PC.

Cabbage hosts Csound instruments. It uses its own audio IO callbacks which will override any IO settings specified in the <CsOptions> sections of your Csound file.

Export…

This command will export your Cabbage instrument as a plugin. Clicking synth or plugin will cause Cabbage to create a plugin file(with a .dll file extension) into teh same directory as teh csd file you are using. When exporting as Cabbage will prompt you to save your plugin in a set location, under a specific name. Once Cabbage has created the plugin it will make a copy of the current .csd file and locate it in the same folder as the plugin. This new .csd file will have the same name as the plugin and should ALWAYS be in the same directory as the plugin.

You do not need to keep exporting instruments as plugins every time you modify them. You need only modify the associated source code. To simplify this task, Cabbage will automatically load the associated .csd file whenever you export as a plugin. On OSX Cabbage can open a plugin’s .csd file directly by selecting the plugin when prompted to select a file to open.

Always on Top

This command lets you toggle Always on top mode. By default it is turned on. This means your Cabbage instrument will always appear on top of any other applications that are currently open.

Update Instrument

This command updates Cabbage. This is useful if you decide to use another editor rather the one provided. Just remember to save any changes made to your Cabbage instrument before hitting update.

Auto-update

 


Checking this will cause Cabbage to continuously check whether changes have been made to the file it has open. If you wish to use a different source code editor with Cabbage than the one provided, you can check this option. Whenever you save changes to the .csd file that Cabbage currently has open, it will automatically update according to the changes made. Although it’s not as quick as the integrated editor, it does give you scope to use some feature rich source code editors with Cabbage.

Use Cabbage IO

 

 


This will turn on or off Cabbage audio and MIDI input/output and is only applicable to standalone instruments. When Cabbage IO is turned off Cabbage will let Csound take control of the audio and MIDI IO. This means that users will need to use standard Csound IO flags in the <CsOptions> section of their .csd file.

 

Batch Convert

This command will let you convert a selection of Cabbage .csd files into plugins so you don’t have to manually open and export each one.

This feature is currently only available on Windows.

Your first Cabbage instruments

The following section describes the steps involved in building a simple Cabbage instrument. It’s assumed that the user has some prior knowledge of Csound. When creating a Cabbage patch users must provide special xml-style tags at the top of a unified Csound file. The Cabbage specific code should be placed between an opening <Cabbage> and a closing </Cabbage> tag. You can create a new instrument by using the New Cabbage Instrument menu command. Select either a synth or an effect and Cabbage will automatically generate a basic template for you to work with.

Each line of Cabbage specific code relates to one graphical user interface(GUI) control only. Lines must start with the type of GUI control you wish to use, i.e, vslider, button, xypad, etc. Users then add identifiers to indicate how the control will look and behave. All parameters passed to identifiers are either strings denoted with double quotes or numerical values. Information on different identifiers and their parameters is given below in the reference section. Long lines can be broken up with a \ placed at the end of a line.

This section does not go into details about each Cabbage control, nor does it show all available identifiers. Details about the various Cabbage controls can be found in reference section below.

A basic Cabbage synthesiser

Code to create the most basic of Cabbage synthesisers is presented below. This instrument uses the MIDI interop command line flags to pipe MIDI data directly to p-fields in instrument 1. In this case all MIDI pitch data is sent directly to p4, and all MIDI amplitude data is sent to p5. MIDI data been sent on channel 1 will cause instrument 1 to play. Data being sent on channel 2 will cause instrument 2 to play. It has been reported that the massign opcode does not work as expected with Cabbage. This is currently under investigation.

<Cabbage>
form size(400, 120), caption("Simple Synth"), pluginID("plu1")
keyboard bounds(0, 0, 380, 100)
</Cabbage>
<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-n -d -+rtmidi=NULL -M0 --midi-key-cps=4 --midi-velocity-amp=5
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
sr = 44100
ksmps = 64
nchnls = 2
0dbfs=1

instr 1
kenv linenr p5, 0.1, .25, 0.01
a1 oscil kenv*k1, p4, 1
outs a1, a1
endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
f1 0 1024 10 1
f0 3600
</CsScore>

</CsoundSynthesizer> 
        

You’ll notice that a -n and -d are passed to Csound in the CsOptions section. -n stops Csound from writing audio to disk. This must be used as Cabbage manages its own audio IO callbacks. The -d prevents any FLTK widgets from displaying. You will also notice that our instrument is stereo. ALL Cabbage instruments operate in stereo.

Controlling your Cabbage patch

The most obvious limitation to the above instrument is that users cannot interact directly with Csound. In order to do this one can use a Csound channel opcode and a Cabbage control such as a slider. Any control that is to interact with Csound must have a channel identifier.

When one supplies a channel name to the channel() identifier Csound will listen for data being sent on that channel through the use of the named channel opcodes. There are a few ways of retrieving data from the named channel bus in Csound, the most straightforward one being the chnget opcode. It’s defined in the Csound reference manual as:

kval chnget Sname

Sname is the name of the channel. This same name must be passed to the channel() identifier in the corresponding <Cabbage> section.

At present Cabbage only works with the chnget/chnset method of sending and receiving channel data. invalue and outvalue won't work. 

Our previous example can be modified so that a slider now controls the volume of our oscillator.

 

<Cabbage>
form size(400, 170), caption("Simple Synth"), pluginID("plu1")
hslider  bounds(0, 110, 380, 50), channel("gain"), range(0, 1, .5), textBox(1)
keyboard bounds(0, 0, 380, 100)
</Cabbage>
<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-n -d -+rtmidi=NULL -M0 --midi-key-cps=4 --midi-velocity-amp=5
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments> 
sr = 44100
ksmps = 64
nchnls = 2
0dbfs=1

instr 1
k1 chnget "gain"
kenv linenr p5, 0.1, 1, 0.1
a1 oscil kenv*k1, p4, 1
outs a1, a1
endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
f1 0 1024 10 1
f0 3600
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

In the example above we use a hslider control which is a horizontal slider. The bounds() identifier sets up the position and size of the widget. The most important identifier is channel("gain"). It is passed a string called gain. This is the same string we pass to chnget in our Csound code. When a user moves the slider, the current position of the slider is sent to Csound on a channel named "gain". Without the channel() identifier no communication would take place between the Cabbage control and Csound. The above example also uses a MIDI keyboard that can be used en lieu of a real MIDI keyboard when testing plugins.

A basic Cabbage effect

Cabbage effects are used to process incoming audio. To do so one must make sure they can access the incoming audio stream. Any of Csound's signal input opcodes can be used for this. The examples that come with Cabbage use both the ins and inch opcodes to retreive the incoming audio signal. The following code is for a simple reverb unit. It accepts a stereo input and outputs a stereo signal.

 <Cabbage>
form caption("Reverb") size(230, 130)
groupbox text("Stereo Reverb"), bounds(0, 0, 200, 100)
rslider channel("size"), bounds(10, 25, 70, 70), text("Size"), range(0, 2, 0.2)
rslider channel("fco"), bounds(70, 25, 70, 70), text("Cut-off"), range(0, 22000, 10000)
rslider channel("gain"), bounds(130, 25, 70, 70), text("Gain"), range(0, 1, 0.5)
</Cabbage>
<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-d -n
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
; Initialize the global variables.
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2

instr 1
kfdback chnget "size"
kfco chnget "fco"
kgain chnget "gain"
ainL inch 1
ainR inch 2
aoutL, aoutR reverbsc ainL, ainR, kfdback, kfco
outs aoutL*kgain, aoutR*kgain
endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
f1 0 4096 10 1
i1 0 1000
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer> 

The above instrument uses 3 sliders to control

  • the reverb size

  • the cut-off frequency for the internal low-pass filters set up on the different delay lines

  • overall gain. 

The range() identifier is used with each slider to specify the min, max and starting value of the sliders.

If you compare the two score sections in the above instruments you’ll notice that the synth instrument doesn't use any i-statement. Instead it uses an f0 3600. This tells Csound to wait for 3600 seconds before exiting. Because the instrument is to be controlled via MIDI we don’t need to use an i-statement in the score. In the other example we use an i-statement with a long duration so that the effect runs without stopping for a long time.

Exporting your instruments as plugins

Once you have created your instruments you will need to export them as plugins if you want them to be seen by other host applications. When you export in Cabbage it will create a plugin file that will have the same name as the csd file you are currently working on. In your plugin host you will need to add the directory that contains your Cabbage plugins and csd files.

In order to make future changes to the instrument you only need to edit the associated .csd file. For instance, if you have a plugin called "SavageCabbage.dll" and you wish to make some changes, you only have to edit the corresponding "SavageCabbage.csd" file. In order to see the changes in your plugin host you will need to delete and re-instantiate the plugin from the track. Your changes will be seen once you re-instantiate the plugin.

Cabbage Reference

Each and every Cabbage control has a numbers of possible identifiers that can be used to tell Cabbage how it will look and behave. Identifiers with parameters enclosed in quote marks must be passed a quoted string. Identifiers containing parameters without quotes must be passed numerical values. All parameters except pos() have default values and are therefore optional. In the reference tables below any identifiers enclosed in square brackets are optional.

As pos() and size() are used so often they can be set in one go using the bounds() identifier:

bounds(x, y, width, height): bounds takes integer values that set position and size on screen(in pixels)

Below is a list of the different GUI controls currently available in Cabbage. Controls can be split into two groups, interactive controls and non-interactive controls. The non-interactive controls such as group boxes and images don’t interact in any way with either Csound or plugin hosts. The interactive controls such as sliders and buttons do interact with Csound. Each interactive control that one inserts into a Cabbage instrument will be accessible in a plugin host if the instrument has been exported as a plugin. The name that appears beside each native slider in the plugin host will be the assigned channel name for that control.

In order to save space in the following reference section bounds() will be used instead of pos() and size() wherever applicable.

Form

 

 


form caption("title"), size(Width, Height), pluginID("plug")

Form creates the main application window. pluginID() is the only required identifier. The default values for size are 600x300.

caption: The string passed to caption will be the string that appears on the main application window.

size(Width, Height): integer values denoted the width and height of the form.

pluginID("plug"): this unique string must be four characters long. It is the ID given to your plugin when loaded by plugin hosts.

Every plugin must have a unique pluginID. If two plugins share the same ID there will be conflicts when trying to load them into a plugin host.

Example:
form caption("Simple Synth"), pluginID("plu1")


GroupBox

 

 

groupbox bounds(x, y, width, height), text("Caption")

 

Groupbox creates a container for other GUI controls. They do not communicate with Csound but can be useful for organising widgets into panels.

bounds(x, y, width, height): integer values that set position and size on screen(in pixels)

text("caption"): "caption" will be the string to appear on the group box

 

Example:
groupbox bounds(0, 0, 200, 100), text("Group box")

Keyboard

 

 

 

keyboard bounds(x, y, width, height)

 

Keyboard create a piano keyboard that will send MIDI information to your Csound instrument. This component can be used together with a hardware controller. Pressing keys on the actual MIDI keyboard will cause the on-screen keys to light up.

bounds(x, y, width, height): integer values that set position and size on screen(in pixels)

You can only use one MIDI keyboard component with each Cabbage instrument. Also note that the keyboard can be played at different velocities depending on where you click on the key with your mouse. Clicking at the top of the key will cause a smaller velocity while clicking on the bottom will cause the note to sound with full velocity. The keyboard control is only provided as a quick and easy means of testing plugins in Cabbage. Treating it as anything more than that could result in severe disappointment!
Example:
keyboard bounds(0, 0, 200, 100)        

CsoundOutput

 

 

 

csoundoutput bounds(x, y, width, height), text("name")

csoundoutput will let you view the Csound output console within your instrument’s GUI, useful when 'de-slugging'(debugging in Cabbage is known as de-slugging!) Cabbage instruments.

bounds(x, y, width, height): integer values that set position and size on screen(in pixels)

text("name"): "name" will be the text that appears on the top of the check box.

Example:
csoundoutput bounds(210, 00, 340, 145), text("Csound Output")        

Image

 

 

image bounds(x, y, width, height), file("file name"), shape("type"), colour("colour")\ outline("colour"), line(thickness)

Image creates a static shape or graphic. It can be used to show pictures or it can be used to draw simple shapes. If you wish to display a picture you must pass the file name to the file() identifier. The file MUST be in the same directory as your Cabbage instrument. If you simply wish to draw a shape you can choose a background colour with colour() and an outline colour with outline(). line() will let you determine the thickness of the outline.

bounds(x, y, width, height): integer values that set position and size on screen(in pixels)

file("filename"): "filename" is the name of the image to be displayed on the control

shape("type");: "shape" must be either "round"(with rounded corners, default), "sharp"(with sharp corners), or "ellipse"(an elliptical shape)

colour("colour"): This sets the colour of the image if no file name is given with the file identifier. Any CSS or HTML colour string can be passed to this identifier.

outline("colour"): This sets the outline colour of the image/shape. Any CSS or HTML colour string can be passed to this identifier.

line(thickness): This sets the line thickness in pixels.

Example:
image bounds(0, 10, 260, 190), colour("white") image bounds(5, 15, 250, 180),\
colour("brown") image bounds(30, 30, 200, 150), \                                      file("logo_cabbage_sw_no_text.png")       

Sliders

 

 

hslider bounds(x, y, width, height), channel("chanName")[, caption("caption"), \
text("name"), textBox(on/off), range(min, max, value, skew, incr), \
midCtrl(Channel, Ctrlnum), colour("colour")]

Slider can be used to create an on-screen slider. Data can be sent to Csound on the channel specified through the chanName string. Presented above is the syntax for a horizontal slider, i.e., hslider. In order to change it to another slider type simple substitute hslider with the appropriate identifier as outlined below.

bounds(x, y, width, height): integer values that set position and size on screen(in pixels)

channel("chanName"): "chanName" is the name of the channel upon which to communicate with Csound(see examples above).

caption("caption"): This identifier lets you place your control within a groupbox. "caption" is the text that will appear on groupbox. This identifier is useful for naming and containing controls.

range(min, max, value, skew, incr): the first 2 parameters are required. The rest are optional. The first two parameters let you set the minimum value and the maximum value. The next parameter determines the initial value of the slider. The next allows you to adjust the skew factor. Tweaking the skew factor can cause the slider to output values in a non linear fashion. A skew of 0.5 will cause the slider to output values in an exponential fashion. A skew of 1 is the default value, which causes the slider to behave is a typical linear form.

For the moment min must be less than max. In other words you can’t invert the slider. Also note that skew defaults to 1 when the slider is being controlled by MIDI.

text("name"): The string passed in for "name" will appear on a label beside the slider. This is useful for naming sliders.

textBox(on/off): textbox takes a 0 or a 1. 1 will cause a text box to appear with the sliders values. Leaving this out will result in the numbers appearing automatically when you hover over the sliders with your mouse.

midCtrl(channel, Ctrlnum) : channel must be a valid midi channel, while controller num should be the number of the controller you wish to use. This identifier only works when running your instruments within the Cabbage standalone player. 

colour("colour"): This sets the colour of the image if a file name is not passed to file. Any CSS or HTML colour string can be passed to this identifier.

Slider types:

hslider: horizontal slider

vslider: vertical slider

rslider: rotary slider

Example:
rslider bounds(0, 110, 90, 90), caption("Freq1"), channel("freq2"), \
colour("cornflowerblue"), range(0, 1, .5), midictrl(0, 1)
rslider bounds(100, 120, 70, 70), text("Freq2"), channel("freq2"), \
colour("red"), range(0, 1, .5), midictrl(0, 1) rslider bounds(190, 120, 70, 70), \ text("Freq3"), channel("freq2"), colour("green"), text("Freq3"), textbox(1)        

Button

 


 

button bounds(x, y, width, height), channel("chanName")[,text("offCaption","onCaption")\ caption("caption"), value(val)]

Button creates a button that can be used for a whole range of different tasks. The "channel" string identifies the channel on which the host will communicate with Csound. "OnCaption" and "OffCaption" determine the strings that will appear on the button as users toggle between two states, i.e., 0 or 1. By default these captions are set to "On" and "Off" but the user can specify any strings they wish. Button will constantly toggle between 0 and 1. 

bounds(x, y, width, height): integer values that set position and size on screen(in pixels)

channel("chanName"): "chanName" is the name of the channel upon which to communicate with Csound(see examples above).

caption("caption"): This identifier lets you place your control within a groupbox. "caption" is the text that will appear on group box. This identifier is useful for naming and containing controls.

text("offCaption", "onCaption"): The text identifier must be passed at least one string argument. This string will be the one that will appear on the button. If you pass two strings to text() the button will toggle between the two string each time it is pushed.

value(val): val sets the initial state of the control

Example:
button  bounds(0, 110, 120, 70), caption("Freq1"), text("On", "Off"), channel("freq2"),\ value(1)
button bounds(150, 110, 120, 70), text("On", "Off"), channel("freq2"), value(0)        

CheckBox





checkbox bounds(x, y, width, height), channel("chanName")[, text("name"), value(val), caption("Caption")]

Checkbox creates a checkbox which functions like a button only the associated caption will not change when the user checks it. As with all controls capable of sending data to an instance of Csound the channel string is the channel on which the control will communicate with Csound.

channel("chanName"): "chanName" is the name of the channel upon which to communicate with Csound(see examples above).

caption("caption"): This identifier lets you place your control within a groupbox. "caption" is the text that will appear on groupbox. This identifier is useful for naming and containing controls.

text("name"): "name" will be the text that appears beside the checkbox.

value(val): val sets the initial state of the control

 

Example:
checkbox bounds(0, 110, 120, 70), caption("Freq1"), text("On"), channel("freq2")
checkbox bounds(130, 110, 120, 70), text("Mute"), channel("freq2"), value(1)        

ComboBox

 

 

 

combobox bounds(x, y, width, height), channel("chanName")[, value(val), items("item1",\ "item2", ...), caption("caption")]

Combobox creates a drop-down list of items which users can choose from. Once the user selects an item, the index of their selection will be sent to Csound on a channel named by the channel string. The default value is 0.

bounds(x, y, width, height): integer values that set position and size on screen(in pixels)

channel("chanName"): "chanName" is the name of the channel upon which to communicate with Csound(see examples above).

items("item1",  "item2", etc): list of items that will populate the combobox. Each item has a corresponding index value. The first item when selected will send a 1, the second item a 2, the third a 3 etc.

value(val): val sets the initial state of the control

caption("caption"): This identifier lets you place your control within a groupbox. "caption" is the text that will appear on groupbox. This identifier is useful for naming and containing controls.

Example:
combobox bounds(0, 110, 120, 70), channel"freq"), caption("Freq"), items("200Hz", "400Hz", "800Hz"), value(2)        

XYPad

 

 

 

xypad bounds(x, y, width, height), channel("chanName")[, rangex(min, max, val)\ rangey(min, max, val), text("name")] 

xypad is an x/y controller that sends data to Csound on two named channels. The first channel transmits the current position of the ball on the X axis, while the second transmits the position of the ball on the Y axis. If you turn on automation via the checkbox located on the bottom left of the xypad you can throw the ball from edge to edge. Once the ball is in full flight you can control the speed of the ball using the XYpad slider.

bounds(x, y, width, height): integer values that set position and size on screen(in pixels)

channel("chanName"): "chanName" is the name of the channel in which to communicate with Csound(see examples above).

text("name"): "name" will be the text that appears on the top right hand side of the XYpad surface.

rangex(min, max, value): sets the range of the X axis. The first 2 parameters are required. The third is optional. The first two parameters let you set the minimum value and the maximum value. The next parameter determines the initial value.

rangey(min, max, value): sets the range of the Y axis. The first 2 parameters are required. The third is optional. The first two parameters let you set the minimum value and the maximum value. The next parameter determines the initial value.

Example:
xypad bounds(0, 0, 300, 300), text("X/Y PAD"), rangex(0, 500, 250), rangey(0, 100, 25)        

Quick Reference

The table below lists all the various Cabbage controls that are currently available. 

Available GUI Controls

Description

form

Main window.

groupbox

A container for placing control on.

image

Used to display an image from file.

keyboard

MIDI keyboard.

label

Used to display text.

csoundoutput

Will show a window with the output from Csound in it.

snapshot

Can be used to record presets.

infobutton

When pressed will display a web browser with a user defined file. Can be useful for displaying plugin help in HTML. (Only available on OSX and Windows)

line

Used to display a line. Useful when designing GUIs.

table

For displaying Csound function tables. Tables are notified to update from Csound.

rslider, hslider, vslider

Rotary, Horizontal and Vertical sliders. Range can be set, along with an increment value. A skew factor can be set in order for it to behave non-linearly.

button

Button. Toggles between 1 and 0 when clicked.

combobox

Pressing a combo box causes an indexed drop-down list to appear. The item index is sent to Csound.

checkbox

A toggle/check box. Will show when it's on and off. Sends a 0 or 1 to Csound.

xypad

A xyPad which can be used to controls two parameters at the same time. Animation can also be enabled to throw the ball around. It's also possible to draw a path for the ball.

The next table contains all the available identifiers for Cabbage widgets. Note that not all controls support the same identifiers. For example, a groupbox will never need to have a channel assigned to it because it's a static control. Likewise buttons don't need to use the range() identifier as they always toggle between 0 and 1. Parameters within quotation marks represent string values, while those without represent floating point decimals, or integer values.

GUI Control

Supported identifiers

pos(x, y)

Sets the position of the control within it's parent.

size(width, height)

Sets the size of the control.

bounds(x, y, width, height)

Sets a controls position on screen and size.

channel(“channel”)

Sets up a software channel for Csound and Cabbage to communicate over. Channels should only contain valid ascii characters.

caption(“caption”)

Used to set the name of the instrument and also used to automatically place a control within a group box.

min(min)

Set minimum value for a slider.

max(max)

Set maximum value for a slider.

value(val)

Set initial value for sliders, combo boxes, check boxes and buttons. When used with a keyboard controls it can be used to set the lowest note seen on screen.

range(min, max, val, skew, incr)

Sets range of slider with and initialises it to val. Users can get the slider to a have in a non-linear fashion by selecting a skew value less than 1, while incr can be used to control how big each step is when the slider is moved.

rangex(min, max, val) rangey(min, max, val)

Set the ranges of the xyPad's X and Y axis.

colour(“colour”)
colour(red, green, blue)

colour(red, green, blue, alpha)

Sets the colour of the control. Any CSS or HTML colour string can be passed to this identifier. The colour identifier can also be passed an RBG, or RGBA value. All channel values must be between 0 and 255. For instance colour(0, 0, 255) will create blue, while colour(0, 255, 0, 255) will create green with an alpha channel set to full.

fontcolour(“colour”)
fontcolour(red, green, blue)

fontcolour(red, green, blue, alpha)

Sets the colour of the font. Please see the colour identifier for details on the parameters.

tracker(“colour”)

Set the colour of a sliders tracker. See the colour identifier for details on the parameters.

outline(“colour”)

Set the outline colour of an image. See the colour identifier for details on the parameters.

textbox(val)

Used with slider to turn on or off the default textbox that appears beside them. By default this is set to 1 for on, if you pass a 0 to it, the textbox will no longer be displayed.

text(“string”)

Used to set the text on any components that displays text.

file(“filename”)

Used to select the file that is to be displayed with the image control.

populate(“file type”, “dir”)

Used to add all files of a set type, located in specific directory to a combo boxes list of items.

author(“author's name”)

Used to add the author's name, or any other message to the bottom of the instrument.

items(“one”, “two”, “three”, …)

items(“on”, “off”)

Used to populate buttons, combo boxes and snapshots. When used with a button the first two parameters represent the captions the button will display when clicked. When used with a snapshot each item represents a saved preset.

preset(“preset”)

Used to tie a snapshot control to a particular control

plant(“name”)

Used to turn an image or group box into a container for controls. Each plant must be given a unique name and must be followed by a pair of curly brackets. Any widget declared within these bracket swill belong to the plant. Coordinates for children are relative to the top left position of its parent control. Resizing the parent will automatically cause all children to resize accordingly.

shape(“shape”)

Used to set the shape of an image, can be set to rounded, ellipse or sharp for rectangles and squares.

pluginID(“plug”)

Used to set the plugin identifier. Each plugin should have a unique identifier, otherwise hosts may not be able to load them correctly.

tablenumbers(1, 2, 3, 4, ...)

Tells table controls which function tables to load. If more than one table is passed function table will be stocked on top of each other with an layer of transparency.

midictrl(channel, controller)

Can be used with sliders and button to enable the use of a MIDI hardware controller. Channel and controller set the channel and controller numbers.

line(val)

This identifier will stop the group box line from appearing if passed a 0.

 


Troubleshooting, FAQs, tips and tricks

  • Why doesn’t my VST host see my Cabbage plugins? The most likely reason is that you have not added the directory containing your plugins to your host’s preferences. Most hosts will allow you to choose the folders that contain plugins. If you don’t set the Cabbage plugin directory then the host has no idea where your Cabbage plugins are located.

  • Why doesn’t my Cabbage plugin load? The most likely reason a plugin will not load is because there are errors in the Csound code. Cabbage plugins will load regardless of errors in the Cabbage code, but errors in the Csound code will stop Csound from compiling successfully and prevent the plugin from loading. Always make sure that the Csound code is error free before exporting.

  • One mega plugin or several smaller ones? It’s a good idea to split multi-effects instruments into separate plugins. This allows greater modularity within you plugin host and can often lead to less demand on your PC’s CPU.

  • Mixing effects and instruments? Adding an effect processor to a plugin instrument might seem like a good idea. For instance you might add some reverb to the output of your FM synth to create some nice presence. In general however it is best to keep them separate. Plugin instruments demand a whole lot more CPU than their effects siblings. Performance will be a lot smoother if you split the two processes up and simply send the output of your synthesiser into an instance of a Cabbage reverb effect plugin.

  • What’s up? My plugin makes a load of noise? If you have nchnls set to 1 there will be noise sent to the second, or right channel. Make sure that nchnls is ALWAYS set to 2! Also be careful when dealing with stereo input. If you try to access the incoming signal on the right channel but you don't have any audio going to the right channel you may experience some noise. 

  • I can’t tell whether my sliders are controlling anything?! There will be times when moving sliders or other interactive controls just doesn’t do what you might expect. The best way to de-slug Cabbage instruments is to use the printk2 opcode in Csound. For instance if a slider is not behaving as expected make sure that Csound is receiving data from the slider on the correct channel. Using the code below should print the values of the slider to the Csound output console each time you move it. If not, then you most likely have the wrong channel name set.

(...) k1 chnget "slider1" printk2 k1 (...)      
  • What gives? I’ve checked my channels and they are consistent, yet moving my sliders does nothing? Believe it or not I have come across some cases of this happening! In all cases it was due to the fact that the chosen channel name contained a /. Please try to use plain old letters for your channel names. Avoid using any kind of mathematical operators or fancy symbols and everything should be Ok.

  • Can I use nchnls to determine the number of output channels in my plugin? Currently all Cabbage plugins are stereo by default, but Cabbage can be built for any number of channels. 

  • Can I use Csound MACROs in the <Cabbage> section of my csd file? I’m afraid not. The Cabbage section of your csd file is parsed by Cabbage’s own parser therefore it will not understand any Csound syntax whatsoever.

  • I’ve built some amazing instruments, how do I share them with the world?! Easy. Upload them to the Cabbage recipes section of Cabbage forum, available through http://www.thecabbagefoundation.org

HOW TO USE THIS MANUAL

The goal of this manual is to give a readable introduction to Csound. In no way it is meant as a replacement for the Canonical Csound Reference Manual. It is meant as an introduction-tutorial-reference hybrid, gathering the most important information you need for working with Csound in a variety of situations. At many points links are provided to other resources, such as the official manual, the Csound Journal, example collections, and more.

It is not necessary to read each chapter in sequence, feel free to jump to any chapter, although occasionally a chapter will make reference to a previous one.

If you are new to Csound, the QUICK START chapter will be the best place to go to get started with Csound. BASICS provides a general introduction to key concepts about digital sound vital in the understanding of how Csound deals with audio. CSOUND LANGUAGE chapter provides greater detail about how Csound works and how to work with Csound.

SOUND SYNTHESIS introduces various methods of creating sound from scratch and SOUND MODIFICATION describes various methods of transforming sound that already exists within Csound. SAMPLES outlines ways in which to record and play audio samples in Csound, an area that might of particular interest to those intent on using Csound as a real-time performance instrument. The MIDI and OSC AND WII chapters focus on different methods of controlling Csound using external software or hardware. The final chapters introduce various frontends that can be used to interface with the Csound engine and Csound's communication with other applications (either audio applications like PD or Max, or general tools like Python or the Terminal).

If you would like to know more about a topic, and in particular about the use of any opcode, refer first to the Canonical Csound Reference Manual.

All files - examples and audio files - can be downloaded at www.csound-tutorial.net . If you use QuteCsound, you can find all the examples in QuteCsound's Example Menu under "Floss Manual Examples".  

Like other Audio Tools, Csound can produce extreme dynamic range. Be careful when you run the examples! Start with a low volume setting on your amplifier and take special care when using headphones. 

You can help to improve this manual either in reporting bugs or requests, or in joining as a writer. Just contact one of the maintainers (see the list in ON THIS RELEASE).

ON THIS RELEASE

In spring 2010 a group of Csounders decided to start this project. The outline has been suggested by Joachim Heintz and has been discussed and improved by Richard Boulanger, Oeyvind Brandtsegg, Andrés Cabrera, Alex Hofmann, Jacob Joaquin, Iain McCurdy, Rory Walsh and others. Rory also pointed us to the FLOSS Manuals platform as a possible environment for writing and publishing. Stefano Bonetti, François Pinot, Davis Pyon and Steven Yi joined later and wrote chapters.

For a volunteer project like this, it is not easy to "hold the line". So we decided to meet for some days for a "book sprint" to finish what we can, and publish a first release.

We are happy and proud to do it now, with smoking heads and squared eyes ... But we do also know that this is just a first release, with a lot of potential for further improvements. Some few chapter are simply empty. Others are not as complete as we wished them to be. Individual differences between the authors are perhaps larger as they should.

This is, hopefully, a beginning. Everyone is invited to improve this book. You can write a still empty chapter or contribute to an exsting one. You can insert new examples. You just need to create an account at http://booki.flossmanuals.net.  Or let us know your suggestions.

We had fun writing this book and hope you have fun using it. Enjoy!

 

Berlin, march 31, 2011

                         Joachim Heintz     Alex Hofmann     Iain McCurdy

                               

            jh at joachimheintz.de     alex at boomclicks.de     i_mccurdy at hotmail.com


License

All chapters copyright of the authors (see below). Unless otherwise stated all chapters in this manual licensed with GNU General Public License version 2

This documentation is free documentation; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This documentation is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this documentation; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301, USA.

Authors



INTRODUCTION

PREFACE
Alex Hofmann 2010
Andres Cabrera 2010
Iain McCurdy 2010
Joachim Heintz 2010

HOW TO USE THIS MANUAL
Joachim Heintz 2010
Andres Cabrera 2010
Iain McCurdy 2011
CREDITS
adam hyde 2006, 2007
Joachim Heintz 2011


01 BASICS

A. DIGITAL AUDIO
Alex Hofmann 2010
Iain McCurdy 2010
Rory Walsh 2010
Joachim Heintz 2010


B. PITCH AND FREQUENCY
Iain McCurdy 2010
Rory Walsh 2010
Joachim Heintz 2010


C. INTENSITIES
Joachim Heintz 2010


02 QUICK START

A. MAKE CSOUND RUN
Alex Hofmann 2010
Joachim Heintz 2010
Andres Cabrera 2010
Iain McCurdy 2010

B. CSOUND SYNTAX
Alex Hofmann 2010
Joachim Heintz 2010
Andres Cabrera 2010
Iain McCurdy 2010

C. CONFIGURING MIDI
Andres Cabrera 2010
Joachim Heintz 2010
Iain McCurdy 2010

D. LIVE AUDIO
Alex Hofmann 2010
Andres Cabrera 2010
Iain McCurdy 2010
Joachim Heintz 2010

E. RENDERING TO FILE
Joachim Heintz 2010
Alex Hofmann 2010
Andres Cabrera 2010
Iain McCurdy 2010


03 CSOUND LANGUAGE

A. INITIALIZATION AND PERFORMANCE PASS
Joachim Heintz 2010

B. LOCAL AND GLOBAL VARIABLES
Joachim Heintz 2010
Andres Cabrera 2010
Iain McCurdy 2010

C. CONTROL STRUCTURES
Joachim Heintz 2010

D. FUNCTION TABLES
Joachim Heintz 2010
Iain McCurdy 2010

E. TRIGGERING INSTRUMENT EVENTS
Joachim Heintz 2010
Iain McCurdy 2010

F. USER DEFINED OPCODES
Joachim Heintz 2010


04 SOUND SYNTHESIS

A. ADDITIVE SYNTHESIS
Andres Cabrera 2010
Joachim Heintz 2011
B. SUBTRACTIVE SYNTHESIS
Iain McCurdy 2011 

C. AMPLITUDE AND RINGMODULATION
Alex Hofmann 2011

D. FREQUENCY MODULATION
Alex Hofmann 2011


E. WAVESHAPING
 
F. GRANULAR SYNTHESIS
Iain McCurdy 2010

G. PHYSICAL MODELLING
 

05 SOUND MODIFICATION

A. ENVELOPES
Iain McCurdy 2010

B. PANNING AND SPATIALIZATION
Iain McCurdy 2010

C. FILTERS
Iain McCurdy 2010

D. DELAY AND FEEDBACK
Iain McCurdy 2010

E. REVERBERATION
Iain McCurdy 2010

F. AM / RM / WAVESHAPING
Alex Hofmann 2011

G. GRANULAR SYNTHESIS
Iain McCurdy 2011

H. CONVOLUTION
  

I. FOURIER ANALYSIS / SPECTRAL PROCESSING
Joachim Heintz 2011

06 SAMPLES

A. RECORD AND PLAY SOUNDFILES
Joachim Heintz 2010
Iain McCurdy 2010

B. RECORD AND PLAY BUFFERS
Joachim Heintz 2010
Andres Cabrera 2010
Iain McCurdy 2010


07 MIDI

A. RECEIVING EVENTS BY MIDIIN
Iain McCurdy 2010

B. TRIGGERING INSTRUMENT INSTANCES
Joachim Heintz 2010
Iain McCurdy 2010

C. WORKING WITH CONTROLLERS
Iain McCurdy 2010


D. READING MIDI FILES
Iain McCurdy 2010

E. MIDI OUTPUT
Iain McCurdy 2010


08 OSC AND WII

OSC AND WII Alex Hofmann 2011


09 CSOUND IN OTHER APPLICATIONS

CSOUND IN PD
Joachim Heintz 2010

CSOUND IN MAXMSP
Davis Pyon 2010


10 CSOUND VIA TERMINAL

CSOUND VIA TERMINAL
 

11 CSOUND FRONTENDS

QUTECSOUND
Andrés Cabrera 2011

WINXOUND
Stefano Bonetti 2010

BLUE
Steven Yi 2011

12 CSOUND UTILITIES

CSOUND UTILITIES
 

13 THE CSOUND API

THE CSOUND API
Francois Pinot 2010


14 EXTENDING CSOUND

EXTENDING CSOUND
 

15 USING PYTHON INSIDE CSOUND

USING PYTHON INSIDE CSOUND
 

OPCODE GUIDE

OVERVIEW
Joachim Heintz 2010
SIGNAL PROCESSING I
Joachim Heintz 2010
SIGNAL PROCESSING II
Joachim Heintz 2010
DATA
Joachim Heintz 2010
REALTIME INTERACTION
Joachim Heintz 2010
INSTRUMENT CONTROL
Joachim Heintz 2010
MATH, PYTHON/SYSTEM, PLUGINS
Joachim Heintz 2010

APPENDIX

GLOSSARY
Joachim Heintz 2010
LINKS
Joachim Heintz 2010
Stefano Bonetti 2010

 

V.1 - Final Editing Team in March 2011:

Joachim Heintz, Alex Hofmann, Iain McCurdy

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DIGITAL AUDIO

At a purely physical level sound is simply a mechanical disturbance of a medium. The medium in question may be air, solid, liquid, gas or a mixture of several of these. This disturbance to the medium causes molecules to move to and fro in a spring-like manner. As one molecule hits the next, the disturbance moves through the medium causing sound to travel. These so called compression and rarefactions in the medium can be described as sound waves. The simplest type of waveform, describing what is referred to as 'simple harmonic motion', is a sine wave.

SineWave 

Each time the waveform signal goes above 0 the molecules are in a state of compression meaning they are pushing towards each other. Every time the waveform signal drops below 0 the molecules are in a state of rarefaction meaning they are pulling away from each other. When a waveform shows a clear repeating pattern, as in the case above, it is said to be periodic. Periodic sounds give rise to the sensation of pitch.

Elements of a sound wave

Periodic waves have four common parameters, and each of the four parameters affects the way we perceive sound.

Therefore the frequency is the inverse of the period, so a wave of 100 Hz frequency has a period of 1/100 or 0.01 secs, likewise a frequency of 256Hz has a period of 1/256, or 0.004 secs. To calculate the wavelength of a sound in any given medium we can use the following equation:

λ = Velocity/Frequency 

Humans can hear in the region of between 20Hz and 20000Hz although this can differ dramatically  between individuals. You can read more about frequency in the section of this chapter.

Transduction 

The analogue sound waves we hear in the world around us need to be converted into an electrical signal in order to be amplified or sent to a soundcard for recording. The process of converting acoustical energy in the form of pressure waves into an electrical signal is carried out by a device known as a a transducer.

A transducer, which is usually found in microphones, produces electrical pressure, i.e., voltage, that changes constantly in sympathy with the vibrations of the sound wave in the air. The continuous variation of pressure is therefore 'transduced' into continuous variation of voltage. The greater the variation of pressure the greater the variation of voltage that is sent down the cable of the recording device to the computer. 

Ideally, the transduction process should be as transparent and clean as possible: i.e., whatever goes in comes in a perfect voltage representation. In real-world situations however, this is never the case. Noise and distortion are always incorporated into the signal. Every time sound passes through a transducer or is transmitted electrically a change in signal quality will result. When we talk of noise we are talking specifically about any unwanted signal captured during the transduction process. This normally manifests itself as an unwanted ‘hiss’.

Sampling

The analogue voltage that corresponds to an acoustic signal changes continuously so that at each instant in time it will have a different value. It is not possible for a computer to receive the value of the voltage for every instant because of the physical limitations of both the computer and the data converters (remember also that there are an infinite number of instances between every two instances!).

What the soundcard can do however is to measure the power of the analogue voltage at intervals of equal duration. This is how all digital recording works and is known as 'sampling'. The result of this sampling process is a discrete or digital signal which is no more than a sequence of numbers corresponding to the voltage at each successive sample time.


Below left is a diagram showing a sinusoidal waveform. The vertical lines that run through the diagram represents the points in time when a snapshot is taken of the signal. After the sampling has taken place we are left with what is known as a discrete signal consisting of a collection of audio samples, as illustrated in the diagram on the right hand side below. If one is recording using a typical audio editor the incoming samples will be stored in the computer RAM (Random Access Memory). In Csound one can process the incoming audio samples in real time and output a new stream of samples, or write them to disk in the form of a sound file. 

waveFormSampling.png

It is important to remember that each sample represents the amount of voltage, positive or negative, that was present in the signal at the point in time the sample or snapshot was taken. 

The same principle applies to recording of live video. A video camera takes a sequence of pictures of something in motion for example. Most video cameras will take between 30 and 60 still pictures a second. Each picture is called a frame. When these frames are played we no longer perceive them as individual pictures. We perceive them instead as a continuous moving image.

Analogue versus Digital

In general, analogue systems can be quite unreliable when it comes to noise and distortion. Each time something is copied or transmitted, some noise and distortion is introduced into the process. If this is done many times, the cumulative effect can deteriorate a signal quite considerably. It is because of this,  the music industry has turned to digital technology, which so far offers the best solution to this problem. As we saw above, in digital systems sound is stored as numbers, so a signal can be effectively “cloned”. Mathematical routines can be applied to prevent errors in transmission, which could otherwise introduce noise into the signal.
 

Sample Rate and the Sampling Theorem

The sample rate describes the number of samples (pictures/snapshots) taken each second. To sample an audio signal correctly it is important to pay attention to the sampling theorem:

"To represent digitally a signal containing frequencies up to  X Hz,  it is necessary to use a sampling rate of at least 2X samples per second"  

According to this theorem, a soundcard or any other digital recording device will not be able to represent any frequency above 1/2 the sampling rate. Half the sampling rate is also referred to as the Nyquist frequency, after the Swedish physicist Harry Nyquist who formalized the theory in the 1920s. What it all means is that any signal with frequencies above the Nyquist frequency will be misrepresented. Furthermore it will result in a frequency lower than the one being sampled. When this happens it results in what is known as aliasing or foldover.

Aliasing

Here is a graphical representation of aliasing.

Aliasing.png
The sinusoidal wave form in blue is being sampled at each arrow. The line that joins the red circles together is the captured waveform. As you can see the captured wave form and the original waveform are different frequencies. Here is another example:

 Aliasing2.png

We can see that if the sample rate is 40,000 there is no problem sampling a signal that is 10KHz. On the other hand, in the second example it can be seen that a 30kHz waveform is not going to be correctly sampled. In fact we end up with a waveform that is 10kHz, rather than 30kHz.

The following Csound instrument plays a 1000 Hz tone first directly, and then because the frequency is 1000 Hz lower than the sample rate of 44100 Hz:

EXAMPLE 01A01.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

instr 1
asig    oscils  .2, p4, 0
        outs    asig, asig
endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 2 1000 ;1000 Hz tone
i 1 3 2 43100 ;43100 Hz tone sounds like 1000 Hz because of aliasing
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

The same phenomenon takes places in film and video too. You may recall having seen wagon wheels apparently move backwards in old Westerns. Let us say for example that a camera is taking 60 frames per second of a wheel moving. If the wheel is completing one rotation in exactly 1/60th of a second, then every picture looks the same. - as a result the wheel appears to stand still. If the wheel speeds up, i.e., increases frequency,  it will appear as if the wheel is slowly turning backwards. This is because the wheel will complete more than a full rotation between each snapshot. This is the most ugly side-effect of aliasing - wrong information.

As an aside, it is worth observing that a lot of modern 'glitch' music intentionally makes a feature of the spectral distortion that aliasing induces in digital audio.

Audio-CD Quality uses a sample rate of 44100Kz (44.1 kHz). This means that CD quality can only represent frequencies up to 22050Hz. Humans typically have an absolute upper limit of hearing of about 20Khz thus making 44.1KHz a reasonable standard sampling rate. 

 

Bits, Bytes and Words. Understanding binary.

All digital computers represent data as a collection of bits (short for binary digit). A bit is the smallest possible unit of information. One bit can only be one of two states - off or on, 0 or 1. The meaning of the bit, which can represent almost anything, is unimportant at this point. The thing to remember is that all computer data - a text file on disk, a program in memory, a packet on a network - is ultimately a collection of bits.

Bits in groups of eight are called bytes, and one byte usually represents a single character of data in the computer. It's a little used term, but you might be interested in knowing that a nibble is half a byte (usually 4 bits).


The Binary System

All digital computers work in a environment that has only two variables, 0 and 1.  All numbers in our decimal system therefore must be translated into 0's and 1's in the binary system. If you think of 
binary numbers in terms of switches. With one switch you can represent up to two different numbers.

0 (OFF) = Decimal 0
1 (ON) = Decimal 1

Thus, a single bit represents 2 numbers, two bits can represent 4 numbers, three bits represent 8 numbers, four bits represent 16 numbers, and so on up to a byte, or eight bits, which represents 256 numbers. Therefore each added bit doubles the amount of possible numbers that can be represented. Put simply, the more bits you have at your disposal the more information you can store.


Bit-depth Resolution

Apart from the sample rate, another important parameter which can affect the fidelity of a digital signal is the accuracy with which each sample is known, in other words knowing how strong each voltage is. Every sample obtained is set to a specific amplitude (the measure of strength for each voltage) level. The number of levels depends on the precision of the measurement in bits, i.e., how many binary digits are used to store the samples. The number of bits that a system can use is normally referred to as the bit-depth resolution.

If the bit-depth resolution is 3 then there are 8 possible levels of amplitude that we can use for each sample. We can see this in the diagram below. At each sampling period the soundcard plots an amplitude. As we are only using a 3-bit system the resolution is not good enough to plot the correct amplitude or each sample. We can see in the diagram that some vertical lines stop above or below the real signal. This is because our bit-depth is not high enough to plot the amplitude levels with sufficient accuracy at each sampling period.  

bitdepth.png

example here for 4, 6, 8, 12, 16 bit of a sine signal ...
... coming in the next release   

The standard resolution for CDs is 16 bit, which allows for 65536 different possible amplitude levels, 32767 either side of the zero axis. Using bit rates lower than 16 is not a good idea as it will result in noise being added to the signal. This is referred to as quantization noise and is a result of amplitude values being excessively rounded up or down when being digitized. Quantization noise becomes most apparent when trying to represent low amplitude (quiet) sounds. Frequently a tiny amount of noise, known as a dither signal, will be added to digital audio before conversion back into an analogue signal. Adding this dither signal will actually reduce the more noticeable noise created by quantization. As higher bit depth resolutions are employed in the digitizing process the need for dithering is reduced. A general rule is to use the highest bit rate available.

Many electronic musicians make use of deliberately low bit depth quantization in order to add noise to a signal. The effect is commonly known as 'bit-crunching' and is relatively easy to do in Csound.

ADC / DAC

The entire process, as described above, of taking an analogue signal and converting it into a digital signal is referred to as analogue to digital conversion or ADC. Of course digital to analogue conversion, DAC, is also possible. This is how we get to hear our music through our PC’s headphones or speakers. For example, if one plays a sound from Media Player or iTunes the software will send a series of numbers to the computer soundcard. In fact it will most likely send 44100 numbers a second. If the audio that is playing is 16 bit then these numbers will range from -32768 to +32767.

When the sound card receives these numbers from the audio stream it will output corresponding voltages to a loudspeaker. When the voltages reach the loudspeaker they cause the loudspeakers magnet to move inwards and outwards. This causes a disturbance in the air around the speaker resulting in what we perceive as sound.

FREQUENCIES

As mentioned in the previous section frequency is defined as the number of cycles or periods per second. Frequency is measured in Hertz.  If a tone has a frequency of 440Hz it completes 440 cycles every second. Given a tone's frequency, one can easily calculate the period of any sound. Mathematically, the period is the reciprocal of the frequency and vice versa. In equation form, this is expressed as follows.

 Frequency = 1/Period         Period = 1/Frequency 

Therefore the frequency is the inverse of the period, so a wave of 100 Hz frequency has a period of 1/100 or 0.01 sec’, likewise a frequency of 256Hz has a period of 1/256, or 0.004 seconds. To calculate the wavelength of a sound in any given medium we can use the following equation:

λ = Velocity/Frequency

For instance, a wave of 1000 Hz in air (velocity of diffusion about 340 m/s) has a length of approximately 340/1000 m = 34 cm.

Lower And Higher Borders For Hearing

The human ear can generally hear sounds in the range 20Hz to 20,000 Hz (20 kHz). This upper limit tends to decrease with age due to a condition known as presbyacusis, or age related hearing loss. Most adults can hear to about 16 kHz while most children can hear beyond this. At the lower end of the spectrum the human ear does not respond to frequencies below 20 Hz, with 40 of 50Hz being the lowest most people can perceive. 

So, in the following example, you will not hear the first (10 Hz) tone, and probably not the last (20 kHz) one, but hopefully the other ones (100 Hz, 1000 Hz, 10000 Hz):

EXAMPLE 01B01.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac -m0
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;example by joachim heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

instr 1
        prints  "Playing %d Hertz!\n", p4
asig    oscils  .2, p4, 0
        outs    asig, asig
endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 2 10
i . + . 100
i . + . 1000
i . + . 10000
i . + . 20000
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

Logarithms, Frequency Ratios and Intervals

A lot of basic maths is about simplification of complex equations. Shortcuts are taken all the time to make things easier to read and equate. Multiplication can be seen as a shorthand of addition, for example, 5x10 = 5+5+5+5+5+5+5+5+5+5. Exponents are shorthand for multiplication, 35 = 3x3x3x3x3. Logarithms are shorthand for exponents and are used in many areas of science and engineering in which quantities vary over a large range. Examples of logarithmic scales include the decibel scale, the Richter scale for measuring earthquake magnitudes and the astronomical scale of stellar brightnesses. Musical frequencies also work on a logarithmic scale, more on this later.

Intervals in music describe the distance between two notes. When dealing with standard musical notation it is easy to determine an interval between two adjacent notes. For example a perfect 5th is always made up of 7 semitones. When dealing with Hz values things are different. A difference of say 100Hz does not always equate to the same musical interval. This is because musical intervals as we hear them are represented in Hz as frequency ratios. An octave for example is always 2:1. That is to say every time you double a Hz value you will jump up by a musical interval of an octave.

Consider the following. A flute can play the note A at 440Hz. If the player plays another A an octave above it at 880Hz the difference in Hz is 440. Now consider the a piccolo, the highest pitched instrument of the orchestra. It can play a frequency of 2000Hz but it can also play an octave above this at 4000Hz(2 x 2000Hz). While the difference in hertz between the two notes on the flute is only 440Hz, the difference between the two high pitched notes on a piccolo is 1000Hz yet they are both only playing notes one octave apart.

What all this demonstrates is that the higher two pitches become the greater the difference in Hertz needs to be for us to recognize the difference as the same musical interval. The most common ratios found in the equal temperament scale are the unison: (1:1), the octave: (2:1), the perfect fifth(3:2), the perfect fourth (4:3), the major third (5:4) and the minor third (6:5).

The following example shows the difference between adding a certain frequency and applying a ratio. First, the frequencies of 100, 400 and 800 Hz all get an addition of 100 Hz. This sounds very different, though the added frequency is the same. Second, the ratio 3/2 (perfect fifth) is applied to the same frequencies. This sounds always the same, though the frequency displacement is different each time.

EXAMPLE 01B02.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac -m0
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;example by joachim heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

instr 1
        prints  "Playing %d Hertz!\n", p4
asig    oscils  .2, p4, 0
        outs    asig, asig
endin

instr 2
        prints  "Adding %d Hertz to %d Hertz!\n", p5, p4
asig    oscils  .2, p4+p5, 0
        outs    asig, asig
endin

instr 3
        prints  "Applying the ratio of %f (adding %d Hertz) to %d Hertz!\n", p5, p4*p5, p4
asig    oscils  .2, p4*p5, 0
        outs    asig, asig
endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
;adding a certain frequency (instr 2)
i 1 0 1 100
i 2 1 1 100 100
i 1 3 1 400
i 2 4 1 400 100
i 1 6 1 800
i 2 7 1 800 100
;applying a certain ratio (instr 3)
i 1 10 1 100
i 3 11 1 100 [3/2]
i 1 13 1 400
i 3 14 1 400 [3/2]
i 1 16 1 800
i 3 17 1 800 [3/2]
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

So what of the algorithms mentioned above. As some readers will know the current preferred method of tuning western instruments is based on equal temperament. Essentially this means that all octaves are split into 12 equal intervals. Therefore a semitone has a ratio of 2(1/12), which is approximately 1.059463.

So what about the reference to logarithms in the heading above? As stated previously, logarithms are shorthand for exponents. 2(1/12)= 1.059463 can also between written as log2(1.059463)= 1/12. Therefore musical frequency works on a logarithmic scale. 

MIDI Notes

Csound can easily deal with MIDI notes and comes with functions that will convert MIDI notes to hertz values and back again. In MIDI speak A440 is equal to A4. You can think of A4 as being the fourth A from the lowest A we can hear, well almost hear.

caution: like many 'standards' there is occasional disagreement about the mapping between frequency and octave number. You may occasionally encounter A440 being described as A3.

INTENSITIES

Real World Intensities and Amplitudes

There are many ways to describe a sound physically. One of the most common is the Sound Intensity Level (SIL). It describes the amount of power on a certain surface, so its unit is Watt per square meter ( ). The range of human hearing is about    at the threshold of hearing to   at the threshold of pain. For ordering this immense range, and to facilitate to measurement of one sound intensity based upon its ratio with another, a logarithmic scale is used. The unit Bel describes the relation of one intensity I to a reference intensity I0 as follows:

  Sound Intensity Level in Bel

If, for instance, the ratio    is 10, this is 1 Bel. If the ratio is 100, this is 2 Bel.

For real world sounds, it makes sense to set the reference value  to the threshold of hearing which has been fixed as  at 1000 Hertz. So the range of hearing covers about 12 Bel. Usually 1 Bel is divided into 10 deci Bel, so the common formula for measuring a sound intensity is:

 

  Sound Intensity Level (SIL) in Decibel (dB) with 

 

While the sound intensity level is useful to describe the way in which the human hearing works, the measurement of sound is more closely related to the sound pressure deviations. Sound waves compress and expand the air particles and by this they increase and decrease the localized air pressure. These deviations are measured and transformed by a microphone. So the question arises: What is the relationship between the sound pressure deviations and the sound intensity? The answer is: Sound intensity changes are proportional to the square of the sound pressure changes . As a formula:

  Relation between Sound Intensity and Sound Pressure

Let us take an example to see what this means. The sound pressure at the threshold of hearing can be fixed at   . This value is the reference value of the Sound Pressure Level (SPL). If we have now a value of    , the corresponding sound intensity relation can be calculated as:


So, a factor of 10 at the pressure relation yields a factor of 100 at the intensity relation. In general, the dB scale for the pressure P related to the pressure P0 is:

 

Sound Pressure Level (SPL) in Decibel (dB) with

 

Working with Digital Audio basically means working with amplitudes. What we are dealing with microphones are amplitudes. Any audio file is a sequence of amplitudes. What you generate in Csound and write either to the DAC in realtime or to a sound file, are again nothing but a sequence of amplitudes. As amplitudes are directly related to the sound pressure deviations, all the relations between sound intensity and sound pressure can be transferred to relations between sound intensity and amplitudes:

 

  Relation between Intensity and Ampltitudes

  Decibel (dB) Scale of Amplitudes with any amplitude  related to an other amplitude

 

If you drive an oscillator with the amplitude 1, and another oscillator with the amplitude 0.5, and you want to know the difference in dB, you calculate:

 

So, the most useful thing to keep in mind is: When you double the amplitude, you get +6 dB; when you have half of the amplitude as before, you get -6 dB.


What is 0 dB?

As described in the last section, any dB scale - for intensities, pressures or amplitudes - is just a way to describe a relationship. To have any sort of quantitative measurement you will need to know the reference value referred to as "0 dB". For real world sounds, it makes sense to set this level to the threshold of hearing. This is done, as we saw, by setting the SIL to    and the SPL to  .

But for working with digital sound in the computer, this does not make any sense. What you will hear from the sound you produce in the computer, just depends on the amplification, the speakers, and so on. It has nothing, per se, to do with the level in your audio editor or in Csound. Nevertheless, there is a rational reference level for the amplitudes. In a digital system, there is a strict limit for the maximum number you can store as amplitude. This maximum possible level is called 0 dB.

Each program connects this maximum possible amplitude with a number. Usually it is '1' which is a good choice, because you know that everything above 1 is clipping, and you have a handy relation for lower values. But actually this value is nothing but a setting, and in Csound you are free to set it to any value you like via the 0dbfs opcode. Usually you should use this statement in the orchestra header:

0dbfs = 1

This means: "Set the level for zero dB as full scale to 1 as reference value." Note that because of historical reasons the default value in Csound is not 1 but 32768. So you must have this 0dbfs = 1 statement in your header if you want to set Csound to the value probably all other audio applications have.


dB Scale Versus Linear Amplitude

Let's see some practical consequences now of what we have discussed so far. One major point is: for getting smooth transitions between intensity levels you must not use a simple linear transition of the amplitudes, but a linear transition of the dB equivalent. The following example shows a linear rise of the amplitudes from 0 to 1, and then a linear rise of the dB's from -80 to 0 dB, both over 10 seconds.

   EXAMPLE 01C01.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;example by joachim heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

instr 1 ;linear amplitude rise
kamp      line    0, p3, 1 ;amp rise 0->1
asig      oscils  1, 1000, 0 ;1000 Hz sine
aout      =       asig * kamp
          outs    aout, aout
endin

instr 2 ;linear rise of dB
kdb       line    -80, p3, 0 ;dB rise -60 -> 0
asig      oscils  1, 1000, 0 ;1000 Hz sine
kamp      =       ampdb(kdb) ;transformation db -> amp
aout      =       asig * kamp
          outs    aout, aout
endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 10
i 2 11 10
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

You will hear how fast the sound intensity increases at the first note with direct amplitude rise, and then stays nearly constant. At the second note you should hear a very smooth and constant increment of intensity.


RMS Measurement

Sound intensity depends on many factors. One of the most important is the effective mean of the amplitudes in a certain time span. This is called the Root Mean Square (RMS) value. To calculate it, you have (1) to calculate the squared amplitudes of number N samples. Then you (2) divide the result by N to calculate the mean of it. Finally (3) take the square root.

Let's see a simple example, and then have a look how getting the rms value works in Csound. Assumeing we have a sine wave which consists of 16 samples, we get these amplitudes:

 

These are the squared amplitudes:


The mean of these values is:

(0+0.146+0.5+0.854+1+0.854+0.5+0.146+0+0.146+0.5+0.854+1+0.854+0.5+0.146)/16=8/16=0.5

And the resulting RMS value is 0.5=0.707

The rms opcode in Csound calculates the RMS power in a certain time span, and smoothes the values in time according to the ihp parameter: the higher this value (the default is 10 Hz), the snappier the measurement, and vice versa. This opcode can be used to implement a self-regulating system, in which the rms opcode prevents the system from exploding. Each time the rms value exceeds a certain value, the amount of feedback is reduced. This is an example1 :

   EXAMPLE 01C02.csd  

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;example by Martin Neukom, adapted by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

giSine    ftgen     0, 0, 2^10, 10, 1 ;table with a sine wave

instr 1
a3        init      0
kamp      linseg    0, 1.5, 0.2, 1.5, 0 ;envelope for initial input
asnd      poscil    kamp, 440, giSine ;initial input
 if p4 == 1 then ;choose between two sines ...
adel1     poscil    0.0523, 0.023, giSine
adel2     poscil    0.073, 0.023, giSine,.5
 else ;or a random movement for the delay lines
adel1     randi     0.05, 0.1, 2
adel2     randi     0.08, 0.2, 2
 endif
a0        delayr    1 ;delay line of 1 second
a1        deltapi   adel1 + 0.1 ;first reading
a2        deltapi   adel2 + 0.1 ;second reading
krms      rms       a3 ;rms measurement
          delayw    asnd + exp(-krms) * a3 ;feedback depending on rms
a3        reson     -(a1+a2), 3000, 7000, 2 ;calculate a3
aout      linen     a1/3, 1, p3, 1 ;apply fade in and fade out
          outs      aout, aout
endin
</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 60 1 ;two sine movements of delay with feedback
i 1 61 . 2 ;two random movements of delay with feedback
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

 

Fletcher-Munson Curves

Human hearing is roughly in a range between 20 and 20000 Hz. But inside this range, the hearing is not equally sensitive. The most sensitive region is around 3000 Hz. If you come to the upper or lower border of the range, you need more intensity to perceive a sound as "equally loud". 

These curves of equal loudness are mostly called "Fletcher-Munson Curves" because of the paper of H. Fletcher and W. A. Munson in 1933. They look like this:

 

Try the following test. In the first 5 seconds you will hear a tone of 3000 Hz. Adjust the level of your amplifier to the lowest possible point at which you still can hear the tone. - Then you hear a tone whose frequency starts at 20 Hertz and ends at 20000 Hertz, over 20 seconds. Try to move the fader or knob of your amplification exactly in a way that you still can hear anything, but as soft as possible. The movement of your fader should roughly be similar to the lowest Fletcher-Munson-Curve: starting relatively high, going down and down until 3000 Hertz, and then up again. (As always, this test depends on your speaker hardware. If your speaker do not provide proper lower frequencies, you will not hear anything in the bass region.)

   EXAMPLE 01C03.csd   

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

giSine    ftgen     0, 0, 2^10, 10, 1 ;table with a sine wave

instr 1
kfreq     expseg    p4, p3, p5
          printk    1, kfreq ;prints the frequencies once a second
asin      poscil    .2, kfreq, giSine
aout      linen     asin, .01, p3, .01
          outs      aout, aout
endin
</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 5 1000 1000
i 1 6 20 20  20000
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

It is very important to bear in mind that the perceived loudness depends much on the frequencies. You must know that putting out a sine of 30 Hz with a certain amplitude is totally different from a sine of 3000 Hz with the same amplitude - the latter will sound much louder.  


  1. cf Martin Neukom, Signale Systeme Klangsynthese, Zürich 2003, p. 383^

MAKE CSOUND RUN

Csound and Frontends

The core element of Csound is an audio engine for the Csound language. It has no graphical elements and it is designed to take Csound text files (like ".csd" files) and produce audio, either in realtime, or by writing to a file. It can still be used in this way, but most users nowadays prefer to use Csound via a frontend. A frontend is an application which assists you in writing code and running Csound. Beyond the functions of a simple text editor, a frontend environment will offer colour coded highlighting of language specific keywords and quick access to an integrated help system. A frontend can also expand possibilities by providing tools to build interactive interfaces as well, sometimes, as advanced compositional tools.

In 2009 the Csound developers decided to include QuteCsound as the standard frontend to be included with the Csound distribution, so you will already have this frontend if you have installed any of the recent pre-built versions of Csound. Conversely if you install a frontend you will require a separate installation of Csound in order for it to function.

How To Download and Install Csound

To get Csound you first need to download the package for your system from the SourceForge page: http://sourceforge.net/projects/csound/files/csound5/

There are many files here, so here are some guidelines to help you choose the appropriate version.

Windows

Windows installers are the ones ending in .exe. Look for the latest version of Csound, and find a file which should be called something like: Csound5.11.1-gnu-win32-f.exe. The important thing to note is the final letter of the installer name, which can be "d" or "f". This specifies the computation precision of the Csound engine. Float precision (32-bit float) is marked with "f" and double precision (64-bit float) is marked "d". This is important to bear in mind, as a frontend which works with the "floats" version, will not run if you have the "doubles" version installed. You should usually install the "floats" version as that is the one most frontends are currently using.

(Note: more recent versions of the pre-built Windows installer have only been released in the 'doubles' version.)

After you have downloaded the installer, just run it and follow the instructions. When you are finished, you will find a Csound folder in your start menu containing Csound utilities and the QuteCsound frontend.

Mac OS X

The Mac OS X installers are the files ending in .dmg. Look for the latest version of Csound for your particular system, for example a Universal binary for 10.5 will be called something like: csound5.12.4-OSX10.5-Universal.dmg. When you double click the downloaded file, you will have a disk image on your desktop, with the Csound installer, QuteCsound and a readme file. Double-click the installer and follow the instructions. Csound and the basic Csound utilities will be installed. To install the QuteCsound frontend, you only need to move it to your Applications folder.

Linux and others

Csound is available from the official package repositories for many distributions like Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, Archlinux and Gentoo. If there are no binary packages for your platform, or you need a more recent version, you can get the source package from the SourceForge page and build from source. You can find detailed information in the Building Csound Manual Page.

Install Problems?

If, for any reason, you can't find the QuteCsound frontend on your system after install, or if you want to install the most recent version of QuteCsound, or if you prefer another frontend altogether: see the CSOUND FRONTENDS section of this manual for further information. If you have any install problems, consider joining the Csound Mailing List to report your issues, or write a mail to one of the maintainers (see ON THIS RELEASE).

The Csound Reference Manual

The Csound Reference Manual is an indispensable companion to Csound. It is available in various formats from the same place as the Csound installers, and it is installed with the packages for OS X and Windows. It can also be browsed online at The Csound Manual Section at Csounds.com. Many frontends will provide you with direct and easy access to it.

How To Execute A Simple Example

Using QuteCsound

Run QuteCsound. Go into the QuteCsound menubar and choose: Examples->Getting started...-> Basics-> HelloWorld

You will see a very basic Csound file (.csd) with a lot of comments in green.

Click on the "RUN" icon in the QuteCsound control bar to start the realtime Csound engine. You should hear a 440 Hz sine wave.

You can also run the Csound engine in the terminal from within QuteCsound. Just click on "Run in Term". A console will pop up and Csound will be executed as an independent process. The result should be the same - the 440 Hz "beep".

Using the Terminal / Console

1. Save the following code in any plain text editor as HelloWorld.csd.

   EXAMPLE 02A01.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Alex Hofmann
instr 1
aSin      oscils    0dbfs/4, 440, 0
          out       aSin
endin
</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 1
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

2. Open the Terminal / Prompt / Console

3. Type: csound /full/path/HelloWorld.csd

where /full/path/HelloWorld.csd is the complete path to your file. You also execute this file by just typing csound then dragging the file into the terminal window and then hitting return.

You should hear a 440 Hz tone.

CSOUND SYNTAX

Orchestra And Score

In Csound, you must define "instruments", which are units which "do things", for instance playing a sine wave. These instruments must be called or "turned on" by a "score". The Csound "score" is a list of events which describe how the instruments are to be played in time. It can be thought of as a timeline in text.

A Csound instrument is contained within an Instrument Block, which starts with the keyword instr and ends with the keyword endin. All instruments are given a number (or a name) to identify them.

instr 1
... instrument instructions come here...
endin

Score events in Csound are individual text lines, which can turn on instruments for a certain time. For example, to turn on instrument 1, at time 0, for 2 seconds you will use:

i 1 0 2

The Csound Document Structure

A Csound document is structured into three main sections:

Each of these sections is opened with a <xyz> tag and closed with a </xyz> tag. Every Csound file starts with the <CsoundSynthesizer> tag, and ends with </CsoundSynthesizer>. Only the text in-between will be used by Csound.

   EXAMPLE 02B01.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>; START OF A CSOUND FILE

<CsOptions> ; CSOUND CONFIGURATION
-odac
</CsOptions>

<CsInstruments> ; INSTRUMENT DEFINITIONS GO HERE
;Example by Alex Hofmann, Andrés Cabrera and Joachim Heintz
; Set the audio sample rate to 44100 Hz
sr = 44100

instr 1
; a 440 Hz Sine Wave
aSin      oscils    0dbfs/4, 440, 0
          out       aSin
endin
</CsInstruments>

<CsScore> ; SCORE EVENTS GO HERE
i 1 0 1
</CsScore>

</CsoundSynthesizer> ; END OF THE CSOUND FILE
; Anything after is ignored by Csound

Comments, which are lines of text that Csound will ignore, are started with the ";" character. Multi-line comments can be made by encasing them between "/*" and  "*/".

Opcodes

"Opcodes" or "Unit generators" are the basic building blocks of Csound. Opcodes can do many things like produce oscillating signals, filter signals, perform mathematical functions or even turn on and off instruments. Opcodes, depending on their function, will take inputs and outputs. Each input or output is called, in programming terms, an "argument". Opcodes always take input arguments on the right and output their results on the left, like this:

output    OPCODE    input1, input2, input3, .., inputN

For example the oscils opcode has three inputs: amplitude, frequency and phase, and produces a sine wave signal:

aSin      oscils    0dbfs/4, 440, 0

In this case, a 440 Hertz oscillation starting at phase 0 radians, with an amplitude of 0dbfs/4 (a quarter of 0 dB as full scale) will be created and its output will be stored in a container called aSin. The order of the arguments is important: the first input to oscils will always be amplitude, the second, frequency and the third, phase.

Many opcodes include optional input arguments and occasionally optional output arguments. These will always be placed after the essential arguments. In the Csound Manual documentation they are indicated using square brackets "[]". If optional input arguments are omitted they are replaced with the default values indicated in the Csound Manual. The addition of optional output arguments normally initiates a different mode of that opcode: for example, a stereo as opposed to mono version of the opcode.

Variables

A "variable" is a named container. It is a place to store things like signals or values from where they can be recalled by using their name. In Csound there are various types of variables. The easiest way to deal with variables when getting to know Csound is to imagine them as cables.

If you want to patch this together: Oscillator->Filter->Output,

you need two cables, one going out from the oscillator into the filter and one from the filter to the output. The cables carry audio signals, which are variables beginning with the letter "a".

aSource    buzz       0.8, 200, 10, 1
aFiltered  moogladder aSource, 400, 0.8
           out        aFiltered

In the example above, the buzz opcode produces a complex waveform as signal aSource. This signal is fed into the moogladder opcode, which in turn produces the signal aFiltered. The out opcode takes this signal, and sends it to the output whether that be to the speakers or to a rendered file.

Other common variable types are "k" variables which store control signals, which are updated less frequently than audio signals, and "i" variables which are constants within each instrument note.

You can find more information about variable types here in this manual.

Using The Manual

The Csound Reference Manual is a comprehensive source regarding Csound's syntax and opcodes. All opcodes have their own manual entry describing their syntax and behavior, and the manual contains a detailed reference on the Csound language and options.

QuteCsound

In QuteCsound you can find the Csound Manual in the Help Menu. You can quickly go to a particular opcode entry in the manual by putting the cursor on the opcode and pressing Shift+F1.

CONFIGURING MIDI

Csound can receive MIDI events (like MIDI notes and MIDI control changes) from an external MIDI interface or from another program via a virtual MIDI cable. This information can be used to control any aspect of synthesis or performance.

Csound receives MIDI data through MIDI Realtime Modules. These are special Csound plugins which enable MIDI input using different methods according to platform. They are enabled using the -+rtmidi command line flag in the <CsOptions> section of your .csd file, but can also be set interactively on some front-ends.

There is the universal "portmidi" module. PortMidi is a cross-platform module for MIDI I/O and should be available on all platforms. To enable the "portmidi" module, you can use the flag:

-+rtmidi=portmidi

After selecting the RT MIDI module from a front-end or the command line, you need to select the MIDI devices for input and output. These are set using the flags -M and -Q respectively followed by the number of the interface. You can usually use:

-M999

To get a performance error with a listing of available interfaces.

For the PortMidi module (and others like ALSA), you can specify no number to use the default MIDI interface or the 'a' character to use all devices. This will even work when no MIDI devices are present.

-Ma

So if you want MIDI input using the portmidi module, using device 2 for input and device 1 for output, your <CsOptions> section should contain:

-+rtmidi=portmidi -M2 -Q1

There is a special "virtual" RT MIDI module which enables MIDI input from a virtual keyboard. To enable it, you can use:

 -+rtmidi=virtual -M0

Platform Specific Modules

If the "portmidi" module is not working properly for some reason, you can try other platform specific modules.

Linux

On Linux systems, you might also have an "alsa" module to use the alsa raw MIDI interface. This is different from the more common alsa sequencer interface and will typically require the snd-virmidi module to be loaded.

OS X

On OS X you may have a "coremidi" module available.

Windows

On Windows, you may have a "winmme" MIDI module.

MIDI I/O in QuteCsound

As with Audio I/O, you can set the MIDI preferences in the configuration dialog. In it you will find a selection box for the RT MIDI module, and text boxes for MIDI input and output devices.

Screenshot_QuteCsound_Configuration.png

How To Use A MIDI Keyboard

Once you've set up the hardware, you are ready to receive MIDI information and interpret it in Csound. By default, when a MIDI note is received, it turns on the Csound instrument corresponding to its channel number, so if a note is received on channel 3, it will turn on instrument 3, if it is received on channel 10, it will turn on instrument 10 and so on.

If you want to change this routing of MIDI channels to instruments, you can use the massign opcode. For instance, this statement lets you route your MIDI channel 1 to instrument 10:

 massign 1, 10

On the following example, a simple instrument, which plays a sine wave, is defined in instrument 1. There are no score note events, so no sound will be produced unless a MIDI note is received on channel 1.

   EXAMPLE 02C01.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-+rtmidi=portmidi -Ma -odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Andrés Cabrera

sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

        massign   0, 1 ;assign all MIDI channels to instrument 1
giSine  ftgen     0,0,2^10,10,1 ;a function table with a sine wave

instr 1
iCps    cpsmidi   ;get the frequency from the key pressed
iAmp    ampmidi   0dbfs * 0.3 ;get the amplitude
aOut    poscil    iAmp, iCps, giSine ;generate a sine tone
        outs      aOut, aOut ;write it to the output
endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
e 3600
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

Note that Csound has an unlimited polyphony in this way: each key pressed starts a new instance of instrument 1, and you can have any number of instrument instances at the same time.

How To Use A MIDI Controller

To receive MIDI controller events, opcodes like ctrl7 can be used.  In the following example instrument 1 is turned on for 60 seconds, it will receive controller #1 (modulation wheel) on channel 1 and convert MIDI range (0-127) to a range between 220 and 440. This value is used to set the frequency of a simple sine oscillator.

   EXAMPLE 02C02.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-+rtmidi=virtual -M1 -odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Andrés Cabrera

sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

giSine ftgen 0,0,2^10,10,1

instr 1
kFreq ctrl7  1, 1, 220, 440 ;receive controller number 1 on channel 1 and scale from 220 to 440
aOut  poscil 0.2, kFreq, giSine ;use this value as varying frequency for a sine wave
      outs   aOut, aOut
endin
</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 60
e
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

Other type of MIDI data

Csound can receive other type of MIDI, like pitch bend, and aftertouch through the usage of specific opcodes. Generic MIDI Data can be received using the midiin opcode. The example below prints to the console the data received via MIDI.

   EXAMPLE 02C03.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-+rtmidi=portmidi -Ma -odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Andrés Cabrera

sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

instr 1
kStatus, kChan, kData1, kData2 midiin

if kStatus != 0 then ;print if any new MIDI message has been received
    printk 0, kStatus
    printk 0, kChan
    printk 0, kData1
    printk 0, kData2
endif

endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i1 0 3600
e
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

LIVE AUDIO

Configuring Audio & Tuning Audio Performance

Selecting Audio Devices And Drivers

Csound relates to the various inputs and outputs of sound devices installed on your computer as a numbered list. If you are using a multichannel interface then each stereo pair will most likely be assigned a different number. If you wish to send or receive audio to or from a specific audio connection you will need to know the number by which Csound knows it. If you are not sure of what that is you can trick Csound into providing you with a list of available devices by trying to run Csound using an obviously out of range device number, like this:

   EXAMPLE 02D01.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-iadc999 -odac999
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Andrés Cabrera
instr 1
endin
</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
e
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

The input and output devices will be listed seperately. Specify your input device with the -iadc flag and the number of your input device, and your output device with the -odac flag and the number of your output device. For instance, if you select the "XYZ" device from the list above both, for input and output, you include:

 -iadc2 -odac3

in the <CsOptions> section of you .csd file.

The RT output module can be set with the -+rtaudio flag. If you don't use this flag, the PortAudio driver will be used. Other possible drivers are jack and alsa (Linux), mme (Windows) or CoreAudio (Mac). So, this sets your audio driver to mme instead of Port Audio:

-+rtaudio=mme

Tuning Performance and Latency

Live performance and latency depend mainly on the sizes of the software and the hardware buffers. They can be set in the <CsOptions> using the -B flag for the hardware buffer, and the -b flag for the software buffer. For instance, this statement sets the hardware buffer size to 512 samples and the software buffer size to 128 sample:

-B512 -b128

The other factor which affects Csound's live performance is the ksmps value which is set in the header of the <CsInstruments> section. By this value, you define how many samples are processed every Csound control cycle.

Try your realtime performance with -B512, -b128 and ksmps=32. With a software buffer of 128 samples, a hardware buffer of 512 and a sample rate of 44100 you will have around 12ms latency, which is usable for live keyboard playing. If you have problems with either the latency or the performance, tweak the values as described here.

QuteCsound

To define the audio hardware used for realtime performance, open the configuration dialog. In the "Run" Tab, you can choose your audio interface, and the preferred driver. You can select input and output devices from a list if you press the buttons to the right of the text boxes for input and output names. Software and hardware buffer sizes can be set at the top of this dialogue box.

  Screenshot_QuteCsound_Configuration.png

Csound Can Produce Extreme Dynamic Range!

Csound can Produce Extreme Dynamic Range, so keep an eye on the level you are sending to your output. The number which describes the level of 0 dB, can be set in Csound by the 0dbfs assignment in the <CsInstruments> header. There is no limitation, if you set 0dbfs = 1 and send a value of 32000, this can damage your ears and speakers!

Using Live Audio Input And Output

To process audio from an external source (for example a microphone), use the inch opcode to access any of the inputs of your audio input device. For the output, outch gives you all necessary flexibility. The following example takes a live audio input and transforms its sound using ring modulation. The Csound Console should output five times per second the input amplitude level.

   EXAMPLE 02D02.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
;CHANGE YOUR INPUT AND OUTPUT DEVICE NUMBER HERE IF NECESSARY!
-iadc0 -odac0 -B512 -b128
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100 ;set sample rate to 44100 Hz
ksmps = 32 ;number of samples per control cycle
nchnls = 2 ;use two audio channels
0dbfs = 1 ;set maximum level as 1

giSine    ftgen     0, 0, 2^10, 10, 1 ;table with sine wave

instr 1
aIn       inch      1 ;take input from channel 1
kInLev    downsamp  aIn ;convert audio input to control signal
          printk    .2, abs(kInLev)
;make modulator frequency oscillate 200 to 1000 Hz
kModFreq  poscil    400, 1/2, giSine
kModFreq  =         kModFreq+600
aMod      poscil    1, kModFreq, giSine ;modulator signal
aRM       =         aIn * aMod ;ring modulation
          outch     1, aRM, 2, aRM ;output tochannel 1 and 2
endin
</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 3600
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

Live Audio is frequently used with live devices like widgets or MIDI. In QuteCsound, you can find several examples in Examples -> Getting Started -> Realtime Interaction.

RENDERING TO FILE

When To Render To File

Csound can also render audio straight to a sound file stored on your hard drive instead of as live audio sent to the audio hardware. This gives you the possibility to hear the results of very complex processes which your computer can't produce in realtime.

Csound can render to formats like wav, aiff or ogg (and other less popular ones), but not mp3 due to its patent and licencing problems.

Rendering To File

Save the following code as Render.csd:

   EXAMPLE 02E01.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-o Render.wav
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Alex Hofmann
instr 1
aSin      oscils    0dbfs/4, 440, 0
          out       aSin
endin
</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 1
e
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

Open the Terminal / Prompt / Console and type:

csound /path/to/Render.csd

Now, because you changed the -o flag in the <CsOptions> from "-o dac" to "-o filename", the audio output is no longer written in realtime to your audio device, but instead to a file. The file will be rendered to the default directory (usually the user home directory). This file can be opened and played in any audio player or editor, e.g. Audacity. (By default, csound is a non-realtime program. So if no command line options are given, it will always render the csd to a file called test.wav, and you will hear nothing in realtime.)

The -o flag can also be used to write the output file to a certain directory. Something like this for Windows ...

<CsOptions>
-o c:/music/samples/Render.wav
</CsOptions>

... and this for Linux or Mac OSX:

<CsOptions>
-o /Users/JSB/organ/tatata.wav
</CsOptions>  

Rendering Options

The internal rendering of audio data in Csound is done with 32-bit floating point numbers (or even with 64-bit numbers for the "double" version). Depending on your needs, you should decide the precision of your rendered output file:

For making sure that the header of your soundfile will be written correctly, you should use the -W flag for a WAV file, or the -A flag for a AIFF file. So these options will render the file "Wow.wav" as WAV file with 24-bit accuracy:

<CsOptions>
-o Wow.wav -W -3
</CsOptions>  

Realtime And Render-To-File At The Same Time

Sometimes you may want to simultaneously have realtime output and file rendering to disk, like recording your live performance. This can be achieved by using the fout opcode. You just have to specify your output file name. File type and format are given by a number, for instance 18 specifies "wav 24 bit" (see the manual page for more information). The following example creates a random frequency and panning movement of a sine wave, and writes it to the file "live_record.wav" (in the same directory as your .csd file):

   EXAMPLE 02E02.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

          seed      0 ;each time different seed for random
giSine    ftgen     0, 0, 2^10, 10, 1 ;a sine wave

  instr 1
kFreq     randomi   400, 800, 1 ;random frequency
aSig      poscil    .2, kFreq, giSine ;sine with this frequency
kPan      randomi   0, 1, 1 ;random panning
aL, aR    pan2      aSig, kPan ;stereo output signal
          outs      aL, aR ;live output
          fout      "live_record.wav", 18, aL, aR ;write to soundfile
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 10
e
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

QuteCsound

All the options which are described in this chapter can be handled very easily in QuteCsound:

INITIALIZATION AND PERFORMANCE PASS

What's The Difference

A Csound instrument is defined in the <CsInstruments> section of a .csd file. An instrument definition starts with the keyword instr (followed by a number or name to identify the instrument), and ends with the line endin. Each instrument can be called by a score event which starts with the character "i". For instance, this score line

i 1 0 3

calls instrument 1, starting at time 0, for 3 seconds. It is very important to understand that such a call consists of two different stages: the initialization and the performance pass.

At first, Csound initializes all the variables which begin with a i or a gi. This initialization pass is done just once.

After this, the actual performance begins. During this performance, Csound calculates all the time-varying values in the orchestra again and again. This is called the performance pass, and each of these calculations is called a control cycle (also abbreviated as k-cycle or k-loop). The time for each control cycle depends on the ksmps constant in the orchestra header. If ksmps=10 (which is the default), the performance pass consists of 10 samples. If your sample rate is 44100, with ksmps=10 you will have 4410 control cycles per second (kr=4410), and each of them has a duration of 1/4410 = 0.000227 seconds. On each control cycle, all the variables starting with k, gk, a and ga are updated (see the next chapter about variables for more explanations).

This is an example instrument, containing i-, k- and a-variables:

   EXAMPLE 03A01.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-o dac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 441
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1
instr 1
iAmp      =         p4 ;amplitude taken from the 4th parameter of the score line
iFreq     =         p5 ;frequency taken from the 5th parameter
kPan      line      0, p3, 1 ;move from 0 to 1 in the duration of this instrument call (p3)
aNote     oscils    iAmp, iFreq, 0 ;create an audio signal
aL, aR    pan2      aNote, kPan ;let the signal move from left to right
          outs      aL, aR ;write it to the output
endin
</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 3 0.2 443
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

As ksmps=441, each control cycle is 0.01 seconds long (441/44100). So this happens when the instrument call is performed:

InitAndPerfPass3 

Here is another simple example which shows the internal loop at each k-cycle. As we print out the value at each control cycle, ksmps is very high here, so that each k-pass takes 0.1 seconds. The init opcode can be used to set a k-variable to a certain value first (at the init-pass), otherwise it will have the default value of zero until it is assigned something else during the first k-cycle.

   EXAMPLE 03A02.csd  

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 4410

instr 1
kcount    init      0; set kcount to 0 first
kcount    =         kcount + 1; increase at each k-pass
          printk    0, kcount; print the value
endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 1
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

Your output should contain the lines:

i   1 time     0.10000:     1.00000
i   1 time     0.20000:     2.00000
i   1 time     0.30000:     3.00000
i   1 time     0.40000:     4.00000
i   1 time     0.50000:     5.00000
i   1 time     0.60000:     6.00000
i   1 time     0.70000:     7.00000
i   1 time     0.80000:     8.00000
i   1 time     0.90000:     9.00000
i   1 time     1.00000:    10.00000

Try changing the ksmps value from 4410 to 44100 and to 2205 and observe the difference.

Reinitialization

If you try the example above with i-variables, you will have no success, because the i-variable is calculated just once:

   EXAMPLE 03A03.csd  

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 4410

instr 1
icount    init      0; set icount to 0 first
icount    =         icount + 1; increase
          print     icount; print the value
endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 1
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

The printout is:

instr 1:  icount = 1.000

Nevertheless it is possible to refresh even an i-rate variable in Csound. This is done with the reinit opcode. You must mark a section by a label (any name followed by a colon). Then the reinit statement will cause the i-variable to refresh. Use rireturn to end the reinit section.

   EXAMPLE 03A04.csd  

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 4410

instr 1
icount    init      0; set icount to 0 first
new:
icount    =         icount + 1; increase
          print     icount; print the value
          reinit    new; reinit the section each k-pass
          rireturn
endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 1
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

This prints now:

instr 1:  icount = 1.000
instr 1:  icount = 2.000
instr 1:  icount = 3.000
instr 1:  icount = 4.000
instr 1:  icount = 5.000
instr 1:  icount = 6.000
instr 1:  icount = 7.000
instr 1:  icount = 8.000
instr 1:  icount = 9.000
instr 1:  icount = 10.000
instr 1:  icount = 11.000

Order Of Calculation

Sometimes it is very important to observe the order in which the instruments of a Csound orchestra are evaluated. This order is given by the instrument numbers. So, if you want to use during the same performance pass a value in instrument 10 which is generated by another instrument, you must not give this instrument the number 11 or higher. In the following example, first instrument 10 uses a value of instrument 1, then a value of instrument 100.

   EXAMPLE 03A05.csd  

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 4410

instr 1
gkcount   init      0 ;set gkcount to 0 first
gkcount   =         gkcount + 1 ;increase
endin

instr 10
          printk    0, gkcount ;print the value
endin

instr 100
gkcount   init      0 ;set gkcount to 0 first
gkcount   =         gkcount + 1 ;increase
endin


</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
;first i1 and i10
i 1 0 1
i 10 0 1
;then i100 and i10
i 100 1 1
i 10 1 1
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

The output shows the difference:

new alloc for instr 1:
new alloc for instr 10:
 i  10 time     0.10000:     1.00000
 i  10 time     0.20000:     2.00000
 i  10 time     0.30000:     3.00000
 i  10 time     0.40000:     4.00000
 i  10 time     0.50000:     5.00000
 i  10 time     0.60000:     6.00000
 i  10 time     0.70000:     7.00000
 i  10 time     0.80000:     8.00000
 i  10 time     0.90000:     9.00000
 i  10 time     1.00000:    10.00000
B  0.000 ..  1.000 T  1.000 TT  1.000 M:      0.0
new alloc for instr 100:
 i  10 time     1.10000:     0.00000
 i  10 time     1.20000:     1.00000
 i  10 time     1.30000:     2.00000
 i  10 time     1.50000:     4.00000
 i  10 time     1.60000:     5.00000
 i  10 time     1.70000:     6.00000
 i  10 time     1.80000:     7.00000
 i  10 time     1.90000:     8.00000
 i  10 time     2.00000:     9.00000
B  1.000 ..  2.000 T  2.000 TT  2.000 M:      0.0

About "i-time" And "k-rate" Opcodes

It is often confusing for the beginner that there are some opcodes which only work at "i-time" or "i-rate", and others which only work at "k-rate" or "k-time". For instance, if the user wants to print the value of any variable, he thinks: "OK - print it out." But Csound replies: "Please, tell me first if you want to print an i- or a k-variable" (see the following section about the variable types).

For instance, the print opcode just prints variables which are updated at each initialization pass ("i-time" or "i-rate"). If you want to print a variable which is updated at each control cycle ("k-rate" or "k-time"), you need its counterpart printk. (As the performance pass is usually updated some thousands times per second, you have an additional parameter in printk, telling Csound how often you want to print out the k-values.)

So, some opcodes are just for i-rate variables, like filelen or ftgen. Others are just for k-rate variables like metro or max_k. Many opcodes have variants for either i-rate-variables or k-rate-variables, like printf_i and printf, sprintf and sprintfk, strindex and strindexk.

Most of the Csound opcodes are able to work either at i-time or at k-time or at audio-rate, but you have to think carefully what you need, as the behaviour will be very different if you choose the i-, k- or a-variante of an opcode. For example, the random opcode can work at all three rates:

ires      random    imin, imax : works at "i-time"
kres      random    kmin, kmax : works at "k-rate"
ares      random    kmin, kmax : works at "audio-rate"

If you use the i-rate random generator, you will get one value for each note. For instance, if you want to have a different pitch for each note you are generating, you will use this one.

If you use the k-rate random generator, you will get one new value on every control cycle. If your sample rate is 44100 and your ksmps=10, you will get 4410 new values per second! If you take this as pitch value for a note, you will hear nothing but a noisy jumping. If you want to have a moving pitch, you can use the randomi variant of the k-rate random generator, which can reduce the number of new values per second, and interpolate between them.

If you use the a-rate random generator, you will get as many new values per second as your sample rate is. If you use it in the range of your 0 dB amplitude, you produce white noise.

   EXAMPLE 03A06.csd  

 
<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
0dbfs = 1
nchnls = 2

          seed      0 ;each time different seed
giSine    ftgen     0, 0, 2^10, 10, 1 ;sine table

instr 1 ;i-rate random
iPch      random    300, 600
aAmp      linseg    .5, p3, 0
aSine     poscil    aAmp, iPch, giSine
          outs      aSine, aSine
endin

instr 2 ;k-rate random: noisy
kPch      random    300, 600
aAmp      linseg    .5, p3, 0
aSine     poscil    aAmp, kPch, giSine
          outs      aSine, aSine
endin

instr 3 ;k-rate random with interpolation: sliding pitch
kPch      randomi   300, 600, 3
aAmp      linseg    .5, p3, 0
aSine     poscil    aAmp, kPch, giSine
          outs      aSine, aSine
endin

instr 4 ;a-rate random: white noise
aNoise    random    -.1, .1
          outs      aNoise, aNoise
endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0   .5
i 1 .25 .5
i 1 .5  .5
i 1 .75 .5
i 2 2   1
i 3 4   2
i 3 5   2
i 3 6   2
i 4 9   1
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

Timelessness And Tick Size In Csound

In a way it is confusing to speak from "i-time". For Csound, "time" actually begins with the first performance pass. The initalization time is actually the "time zero". Regardless how much human time or CPU time is needed for the initialization pass, the Csound clock does not move at all. This is the reason why you can use any i-time opcode with a zero duration (p3) in the score:

   EXAMPLE 03A07.csd  

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
instr 1
prints "%nHello Eternity!%n%n"
endin
</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 0 ;let instrument 1 play for zero seconds ...
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

Csound's clock is the control cycle. The number of samples in one control cycle - given by the ksmps value - is the smallest possible "tick" in Csound at k-rate. If your sample rate is 44100, and you have 4410 samples in one control cycle (ksmps=4410), you will not be able to start a k-event faster than each 1/10 second, because there is no k-time for Csound "between" two control cycles. Try the following example with larger and smaller ksmps values:

   EXAMPLE 03A08.csd   

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 4410; try 44100 or 2205 instead

instr 1; prints the time once in each control cycle
kTimek   timek
kTimes   times
         printks    "Number of control cycles = %d%n", 0, kTimek
         printks    "Time = %f%n%n", 0, kTimes
endin
</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 10
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

Consider typical size of 32 for ksmps. When sample rate is 44100, a single tick will be less than a millisecond. This should be sufficient for in most situations. If you need a more accurate time resolution, just decrease the ksmps value. The cost of this smaller tick size is a smaller computational efficiency. So your choice depends on the situation, and usually a ksmps of 32 represents a good tradeoff.

Of course the precision of writing samples (at a-rate) is in no way affected by the size of the internal k-ticks. Samples are indeed written "in between" control cycles, because they are vectors. So it can be necessary to use a-time variables instead of k-time variables in certain situations. In the following example, the ksmps value is rather high (128). If you use a k-rate variable for a fast moving envelope, you will hear a certain roughness (instrument 1) sometime referred to as 'zipper' noise. If you use an a-rate variable instead, you will have a much cleaner sound (instr 2).

   EXAMPLE 03A09.csd   

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-o dac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 128 ;increase or decrease to hear the difference more or less evident
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

instr 1 ;envelope at k-time
aSine     oscils    .5, 800, 0
kEnv      transeg   0, .1, 5, 1, .1, -5, 0
aOut      =         aSine * kEnv
          outs      aOut, aOut
endin

instr 2 ;envelope at a-time
aSine     oscils    .5, 800, 0
aEnv      transeg   0, .1, 5, 1, .1, -5, 0
aOut      =         aSine * aEnv
          outs      aOut, aOut
endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
r 5 ;repeat the following line 5 times
i 1 0 1
s ;end of section
r 5
i 2 0 1
e
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

LOCAL AND GLOBAL VARIABLES

Variable Types

In Csound, there are several types of variables. It is important to understand the differences of these types. There are

Except these four standard types, there are two other variable types which are used for spectral processing:

The following example exemplifies all the variable types (except the w-type):

   EXAMPLE 03B01.csd   

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-o dac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
0dbfs = 1
nchnls = 2

          seed      0; random seed each time different

  instr 1; i-time variables
iVar1     =         p2; second parameter in the score
iVar2     random    0, 10; random value between 0 and 10
iVar      =         iVar1 + iVar2; do any math at i-rate
          print     iVar1, iVar2, iVar
  endin

  instr 2; k-time variables
kVar1     line       0, p3, 10; moves from 0 to 10 in p3
kVar2     random     0, 10; new random value each control-cycle
kVar      =          kVar1 + kVar2; do any math at k-rate
printks   "kVar1 = %.3f, kVar2 = %.3f, kVar = %.3f%n", 0.1, kVar1, kVar2, kVar ;print each 0.1 seconds
  endin

  instr 3; a-variables
aVar1     oscils     .2, 400, 0; first audio signal: sine
aVar2     rand       1; second audio signal: noise
aVar3     butbp      aVar2, 1200, 12; third audio signal: noise filtered
aVar      =          aVar1 + aVar3; audio variables can also be added
          outs       aVar, aVar; write to sound card
  endin

  instr 4; S-variables
iMyVar    random     0, 10; one random value per note
kMyVar    random     0, 10; one random value per each control-cycle
 ;S-variable updated just at init-time
SMyVar1   sprintf   "This string is updated just at init-time: kMyVar = %d\n", iMyVar
          printf_i  "%s", 1, SMyVar1
 ;S-variable updates at each control-cycle
          printks   "This string is updated at k-time: kMyVar = %.3f\n", .1, kMyVar
  endin

  instr 5; f-variables
aSig      rand       .2; audio signal (noise)
; f-signal by FFT-analyzing the audio-signal
fSig1     pvsanal    aSig, 1024, 256, 1024, 1
; second f-signal (spectral bandpass filter)
fSig2     pvsbandp   fSig1, 350, 400, 400, 450
aOut      pvsynth    fSig2; change back to audio signal
          outs       aOut*20, aOut*20
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
; p1    p2    p3
i 1     0     0.1
i 1     0.1   0.1
i 2     1     1
i 3     2     1
i 4     3     1
i 5     4     1
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

You can think of variables as named connectors between opcodes. You can connect the output from an opcode to the input of another. The type of connector (audio, control, etc.) can be known from the first letter of its name.

For a more detailed discussion, see the article An overview Of Csound Variable Types by Andrés Cabrera in the Csound Journal, and the page about Types, Constants and Variables in the Canonical Csound Manual.

Local Scope

The scope of these variables is usually the instrument in which they are defined. They are local variables. In the following example, the variables in instrument 1 and instrument 2 have the same names, but different values.

   EXAMPLE 03B02.csd    

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 4410; very high because of printing
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

  instr 1
;i-variable
iMyVar    init      0
iMyVar    =         iMyVar + 1
          print     iMyVar
;k-variable
kMyVar    init      0
kMyVar    =         kMyVar + 1
          printk    0, kMyVar
;a-variable
aMyVar    oscils    .2, 400, 0
          outs      aMyVar, aMyVar
;S-variable updated just at init-time
SMyVar1   sprintf   "This string is updated just at init-time: kMyVar = %d\n", i(kMyVar)
          printf    "%s", kMyVar, SMyVar1
;S-variable updated at each control-cycle
SMyVar2   sprintfk  "This string is updated at k-time: kMyVar = %d\n", kMyVar
          printf    "%s", kMyVar, SMyVar2
  endin

  instr 2
;i-variable
iMyVar    init      100
iMyVar    =         iMyVar + 1
          print     iMyVar
;k-variable
kMyVar    init      100
kMyVar    =         kMyVar + 1
          printk    0, kMyVar
;a-variable
aMyVar    oscils    .3, 600, 0
          outs      aMyVar, aMyVar
;S-variable updated just at init-time
SMyVar1   sprintf   "This string is updated just at init-time: kMyVar = %d\n", i(kMyVar)
          printf    "%s", kMyVar, SMyVar1
;S-variable updated at each control-cycle
SMyVar2   sprintfk  "This string is updated at k-time: kMyVar = %d\n", kMyVar
          printf    "%s", kMyVar, SMyVar2
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 .3
i 2 1 .3
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

 This is the output (first the output at init-time by the print opcode, then at each k-cycle the output of printk and the two printf opcodes):

new alloc for instr 1:
instr 1:  iMyVar = 1.000
 i   1 time     0.10000:     1.00000
This string is updated just at init-time: kMyVar = 0
This string is updated at k-time: kMyVar = 1
 i   1 time     0.20000:     2.00000
This string is updated just at init-time: kMyVar = 0
This string is updated at k-time: kMyVar = 2
 i   1 time     0.30000:     3.00000
This string is updated just at init-time: kMyVar = 0
This string is updated at k-time: kMyVar = 3
 B  0.000 ..  1.000 T  1.000 TT  1.000 M:  0.20000  0.20000
new alloc for instr 2:
instr 2:  iMyVar = 101.000
 i   2 time     1.10000:   101.00000
This string is updated just at init-time: kMyVar = 100
This string is updated at k-time: kMyVar = 101
 i   2 time     1.20000:   102.00000
This string is updated just at init-time: kMyVar = 100
This string is updated at k-time: kMyVar = 102
 i   2 time     1.30000:   103.00000
This string is updated just at init-time: kMyVar = 100
This string is updated at k-time: kMyVar = 103
B  1.000 ..  1.300 T  1.300 TT  1.300 M:  0.29998  0.29998


Global Scope

If you need variables which are recognized beyond the scope of an instrument, you must define them as global. This is done by prefixing the character g before the types i, k, a or S. See the following example:

   EXAMPLE 03B03.csd    

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 4410; very high because of printing
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

 ;global scalar variables can now be inititalized in the header
giMyVar   init      0
gkMyVar   init      0

  instr 1
 ;global i-variable
giMyVar   =         giMyVar + 1
          print     giMyVar
 ;global k-variable
gkMyVar   =         gkMyVar + 1
          printk    0, gkMyVar
 ;global S-variable updated just at init-time
gSMyVar1  sprintf   "This string is updated just at init-time: gkMyVar = %d\n", i(gkMyVar)
          printf    "%s", gkMyVar, gSMyVar1
 ;global S-variable updated at each control-cycle
gSMyVar2  sprintfk  "This string is updated at k-time: gkMyVar = %d\n", gkMyVar
          printf    "%s", gkMyVar, gSMyVar2
  endin

  instr 2
 ;global i-variable, gets value from instr 1
giMyVar   =         giMyVar + 1
          print     giMyVar
 ;global k-variable, gets value from instr 1
gkMyVar   =         gkMyVar + 1
          printk    0, gkMyVar
 ;global S-variable updated just at init-time, gets value from instr 1
          printf    "Instr 1 tells: '%s'\n", gkMyVar, gSMyVar1
 ;global S-variable updated at each control-cycle, gets value from instr 1
          printf    "Instr 1 tells: '%s'\n\n", gkMyVar, gSMyVar2
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 .3
i 2 0 .3
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

The output shows the global scope, as instrument 2 uses the values which have been changed by instrument 1 in the same control cycle:

new alloc for instr 1:
instr 1:  giMyVar = 1.000
new alloc for instr 2:
instr 2:  giMyVar = 2.000
 i   1 time     0.10000:     1.00000
This string is updated just at init-time: gkMyVar = 0
This string is updated at k-time: gkMyVar = 1
 i   2 time     0.10000:     2.00000
Instr 1 tells: 'This string is updated just at init-time: gkMyVar = 0'
Instr 1 tells: 'This string is updated at k-time: gkMyVar = 1'

 i   1 time     0.20000:     3.00000
This string is updated just at init-time: gkMyVar = 0
This string is updated at k-time: gkMyVar = 3
 i   2 time     0.20000:     4.00000
Instr 1 tells: 'This string is updated just at init-time: gkMyVar = 0'
Instr 1 tells: 'This string is updated at k-time: gkMyVar = 3'

 i   1 time     0.30000:     5.00000
This string is updated just at init-time: gkMyVar = 0
This string is updated at k-time: gkMyVar = 5
 i   2 time     0.30000:     6.00000
Instr 1 tells: 'This string is updated just at init-time: gkMyVar = 0'
Instr 1 tells: 'This string is updated at k-time: gkMyVar = 5'

How To Work With Global Audio Variables

Some special considerations must be taken if you work with global audio variables. Actually, Csound behaves basically the same whether you work with a local or a global audio variable. But usually you work with global audio variables if you want to add several audio signals to a global signal, and that makes a difference.

The next few examples are going into a bit more detail. If you just want to see the result (= global audio usually must be cleared), you can skip the next examples and just go to the last one of this section.

It should be understood first that a global audio variable is treated the same by Csound if it is applied like a local audio signal:

   EXAMPLE 03B04.csd     

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

  instr 1; produces a 400 Hz sine
gaSig     oscils    .1, 400, 0
  endin

  instr 2; outputs gaSig
          outs      gaSig, gaSig
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 3
i 2 0 3
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

Of course, there is absolutely no need to use a global variable in this case. If you do it, you risk that your audio will be overwritten by an instrument with a higher number that uses the same variable name. In the following example, you will just hear a 600 Hz sine tone, because the 400 Hz sine of instrument 1 is overwritten by the 600 Hz sine of instrument 2:

   EXAMPLE 03B05.csd      

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-o dac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

  instr 1; produces a 400 Hz sine
gaSig     oscils    .1, 400, 0
  endin

  instr 2; overwrites gaSig with 600 Hz sine
gaSig     oscils    .1, 600, 0
  endin

  instr 3; outputs gaSig
          outs      gaSig, gaSig
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 3
i 2 0 3
i 3 0 3
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

In general, you will use a global audio variable like a bus to which several local audio signal can be added. It's this addition of a global audio signal to its previous state which can cause some trouble. Let's first see a simple example of a control signal to understand what is happening:

   EXAMPLE 03B06.csd       

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 4410; very high because of printing
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

  instr 1
kSum      init      0; sum is zero at init pass
kAdd      =         1; control signal to add
kSum      =         kSum + kAdd; new sum in each k-cycle
          printk    0, kSum; print the sum
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 1
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

In this case, the "sum bus" kSum increases at each control cycle by 1, because it adds the kAdd signal (which is always 1) in each k-pass to its previous state. It is no different if this is done by a local k-signal, like here, or by a global k-signal, like in the next example:

   EXAMPLE 03B07.csd        

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 4410; very high because of printing
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

gkSum     init      0; sum is zero at init

  instr 1
gkAdd     =         1; control signal to add
  endin

  instr 2
gkSum     =         gkSum + gkAdd; new sum in each k-cycle
          printk    0, gkSum; print the sum
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 1
i 2 0 1
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

What is happening now when we work with audio signals instead of control signals in this way, repeatedly adding a signal to its previous state? Audio signals in Csound are a collection of numbers (a vector). The size of this vector is given by the ksmps constant. If your sample rate is 44100, and ksmps=100, you will calculate 441 times in one second a vector which consists of 100 numbers, indicating the amplitude of each sample.

So, if you add an audio signal to its previous state, different things can happen, depending on what is the present state of the vector and what was its previous state. If the previous state (with ksmps=9) has been [0 0.1 0.2 0.1 0 -0.1 -0.2 -0.1 0], and the present state is the same, you will get a signal which is twice as strong: [0 0.2 0.4 0.2 0 -0.2 -0.4 -0.2 0]. But if the present state is [0 -0.1 -0.2 -0.1 0 0.1 0.2 0.1 0], you wil just get zero's if you add it. This is shown in the next example with a local audio variable, and then in the following example with a global audio variable.

   EXAMPLE 03B08.csd         

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-o dac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 4410; very high because of printing (change to 441 to see the difference)
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

  instr 1
 ;initialize a general audio variable
aSum      init      0
 ;produce a sine signal (change frequency to 401 to see the difference)
aAdd      oscils    .1, 400, 0
 ;add it to the general audio (= the previous vector)
aSum      =         aSum + aAdd
kmax      max_k     aSum, 1, 1; calculate maximum
          printk    0, kmax; print it out
          outs      aSum, aSum
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 1
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

   EXAMPLE 03B09.csd         

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-o dac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 4410; very high because of printing (change to 441 to see the difference)
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

 ;initialize a general audio variable
gaSum     init      0

  instr 1
 ;produce a sine signal (change frequency to 401 to see the difference)
aAdd      oscils    .1, 400, 0
 ;add it to the general audio (= the previous vector)
gaSum     =         gaSum + aAdd
  endin

  instr 2
kmax      max_k     gaSum, 1, 1; calculate maximum
          printk    0, kmax; print it out
          outs      gaSum, gaSum
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 1
i 2 0 1
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

In both cases, you get a signal which increases each 1/10 second, because you have 10 control cycles per second (ksmps=4410), and the frequency of 400 Hz can evenly be divided by this. If you change the ksmps value to 441, you will get a signal which increases much faster and is out of range after 1/10 second. If you change the frequency to 401 Hz, you will get a signal which increases first, and then decreases, because each audio vector has 40.1 cycles of the sine wave. So the phases are shifting; first getting stronger and then weaker. If you change the frequency to 10 Hz, and then to 15 Hz (at ksmps=44100), you cannot hear anything, but if you render to file, you can see the whole process of either enforcing or erasing quite clear:

Self-reinforcing global audio signal on account of its state in one control cycle being the same as in the previous one

Add_Freq10Hz_1

Partly self-erasing global audio signal because of phase inversions in two subsequent control cycles
Add_Freq15Hz_1 


So the result of all is: If you work with global audio variables in a way that you add several local audio signals to a global audio variable (which works like a bus), you must clear this global bus at each control cycle. As in Csound all the instruments are calculated in ascending order, it should be done either at the beginning of the first, or at the end of the last instrument. Perhaps it is the best idea to declare all global audio variables in the orchestra header first, and then clear them in an "always on" instrument with the highest number of all the instruments used. This is an example of a typical situation:

   EXAMPLE 03B10.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-o dac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

 ;initialize the global audio variables
gaBusL    init      0
gaBusR    init      0
 ;make the seed for random values each time different
          seed      0

  instr 1; produces short signals
 loop:
iDur      random    .3, 1.5
          timout    0, iDur, makenote
          reinit    loop
 makenote:
iFreq     random    300, 1000
iVol      random    -12, -3; dB
iPan      random    0, 1; random panning for each signal
aSin      oscil3    ampdb(iVol), iFreq, 1
aEnv      transeg   1, iDur, -10, 0; env in a-rate is cleaner
aAdd      =         aSin * aEnv
aL, aR    pan2      aAdd, iPan
gaBusL    =         gaBusL + aL; add to the global audio signals
gaBusR    =         gaBusR + aR
  endin

  instr 2; produces short filtered noise signals (4 partials)
 loop:
iDur      random    .1, .7
          timout    0, iDur, makenote
          reinit    loop
 makenote:
iFreq     random    100, 500
iVol      random    -24, -12; dB
iPan      random    0, 1
aNois     rand      ampdb(iVol)
aFilt     reson     aNois, iFreq, iFreq/10
aRes      balance   aFilt, aNois
aEnv      transeg   1, iDur, -10, 0
aAdd      =         aRes * aEnv
aL, aR    pan2      aAdd, iPan
gaBusL    =         gaBusL + aL; add to the global audio signals
gaBusR    =         gaBusR + aR
  endin

  instr 3; reverb of gaBus and output
aL, aR    freeverb  gaBusL, gaBusR, .8, .5
          outs      aL, aR
  endin

  instr 100; clear global audios at the end
          clear     gaBusL, gaBusR
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
f 1 0 1024 10 1 .5 .3 .1
i 1 0 20
i 2 0 20
i 3 0 20
i 100 0 20
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

The chn Opcodes For Global Variables

Instead of using the traditional g-variables for any values or signals which are to transfer between several instruments, it is also possible to use the chn opcodes. An i-, k-, a- or S-value or signal can be set by chnset and received by chnget. One advantage is to have strings as names, so that you can choose intuitive names.

For audio variables, instead of performing an addition, you can use the chnmix opcode. For clearing an audio variable, the chnclear opcode can be used.

   EXAMPLE 03B11.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-o dac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

  instr 1; send i-values
          chnset    1, "sio"
          chnset    -1, "non"
  endin

  instr 2; send k-values
kfreq     randomi   100, 300, 1
          chnset    kfreq, "cntrfreq"
kbw       =         kfreq/10
          chnset    kbw, "bandw"
  endin

  instr 3; send a-values
anois     rand      .1
          chnset    anois, "noise"
 loop:
idur      random    .3, 1.5
          timout    0, idur, do
          reinit    loop
 do:
ifreq     random    400, 1200
iamp      random    .1, .3
asig      oscils    iamp, ifreq, 0
aenv      transeg   1, idur, -10, 0
asine     =         asig * aenv
          chnset    asine, "sine"
  endin

  instr 11; receive some chn values and send again
ival1     chnget    "sio"
ival2     chnget    "non"
          print     ival1, ival2
kcntfreq  chnget    "cntrfreq"
kbandw    chnget    "bandw"
anoise    chnget    "noise"
afilt     reson     anoise, kcntfreq, kbandw
afilt     balance   afilt, anoise
          chnset    afilt, "filtered"
  endin

  instr 12; mix the two audio signals
amix1     chnget     "sine"
amix2     chnget     "filtered"
          chnmix     amix1, "mix"
          chnmix     amix2, "mix"
  endin

  instr 20; receive and reverb
amix      chnget     "mix"
aL, aR    freeverb   amix, amix, .8, .5
          outs       aL, aR
  endin

  instr 100; clear
          chnclear   "mix"
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 20
i 2 0 20
i 3 0 20
i 11 0 20
i 12 0 20
i 20 0 20
i 100 0 20
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

CONTROL STRUCTURES

In a way, control structures are the core of a programming language. The fundamental element in each language is the conditional if branch. Actually all other control structures like for-, until- or while-loops can be traced back to if-statements.

So, Csound provides mainly the if-statement; either in the usual if-then-else form, or in the older way of an if-goto statement. These ones will be covered first. Though all necessary loops can be built just by if-statements, Csound's loop facility offers a more comfortable way of performing loops. They will be introduced in the Loop section of this chapter. At least, time loops are shown, which are particulary important in audio programming languages.

If i-Time Then Not k-Time!

The fundamental difference in Csound between i-time and k-time which has been explained in a previous chapter, must be regarded very carefully when you work with control structures. If you make a conditional branch at i-time, the condition will be tested just once for each note, at the initialization pass. If you make a conditional branch at k-time, the condition will be tested again and again in each control-cycle.

For instance, if you test a soundfile whether it is mono or stereo, this is done at init-time. If you test an amplitude value to be below a certain threshold, it is done at performance time (k-time). If you get user-input by a scroll number, this is also a k-value, so you need a k-condition.

Thus, all if and loop opcodes have an "i" and a "k" descendant. In the next few sections, a general introduction into the different control tools is given, followed by examples both at i-time and at k-time for each tool.

If - then - [elseif - then -] else

The use of the if-then-else statement is very similar to other programming languages. Note that in Csound, "then " must be written in the same line as "if" and the expression to be tested, and that you must close the if-block with an "endif" statement on a new line:

if <condition> then
...
else
...
endif

It is also possible to have no "else" statement:

if <condition> then
...
endif

Or you can have one or more "elseif-then" statements in between:

if <condition1> then
...
elseif <condition2> then
...
else
...
endif

If statements can also be nested. Each level must be closed with an "endif". This is an example with three levels:

if <condition1> then; first condition opened
 if <condition2> then; second condition openend
  if <condition3> then; third condition openend
  ...
  else
  ...
  endif; third condition closed
 elseif <condition2a> then
 ...
 endif; second condition closed
else
...
endif; first condition closed

i-Rate Examples

A typical problem in Csound: You have either mono or stereo files, and want to read both with a stereo output. For the real stereo ones that means: use soundin (diskin / diskin2) with two output arguments. For the mono ones it means: use soundin / diskin / diskin2 with one output argument, and throw it to both output channels:

   EXAMPLE 03C01.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-o dac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

  instr 1
Sfile     =          "/Joachim/Materialien/SamplesKlangbearbeitung/Kontrabass.aif" ;your soundfile path here
ifilchnls filenchnls Sfile
 if ifilchnls == 1 then ;mono
aL        soundin    Sfile
aR        =          aL
 else   ;stereo
aL, aR    soundin    Sfile
 endif
          outs       aL, aR
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 5
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

If you use QuteCsound, you can browse in the widget panel for the soundfile. See the corresponding example in the QuteCsound Example menu.

k-Rate Examples

The following example establishes a moving gate between 0 and 1. If the gate is above 0.5, the gate opens and you hear a tone.  If the gate is equal or below 0.5, the gate closes, and you hear nothing.

   EXAMPLE 03C02.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

          seed      0; random values each time different
giTone    ftgen     0, 0, 2^10, 10, 1, .5, .3, .1

  instr 1
kGate     randomi   0, 1, 3; moves between 0 and 1 (3 new values per second)
kFreq     randomi   300, 800, 1; moves between 300 and 800 hz (1 new value per sec)
kdB       randomi   -12, 0, 5; moves between -12 and 0 dB (5 new values per sec)
aSig      oscil3    1, kFreq, giTone
kVol      init      0
 if kGate > 0.5 then; if kGate is larger than 0.5
kVol      =         ampdb(kdB); open gate
 else
kVol      =         0; otherwise close gate
 endif
kVol      port      kVol, .02; smooth volume curve to avoid clicks
aOut      =         aSig * kVol
          outs      aOut, aOut
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 30
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

Short Form: (a v b ? x : y)

If you need an if-statement to give a value to an (i- or k-) variable, you can also use a traditional short form in parentheses: (a v b ? x : y). It asks whether the condition a or b is true. If a, the value is set to x; if b, to y. For instance, the last example could be written in this way:

   EXAMPLE 03C03.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

          seed      0
giTone    ftgen     0, 0, 2^10, 10, 1, .5, .3, .1

  instr 1
kGate     randomi   0, 1, 3; moves between 0 and 1 (3 new values per second)
kFreq     randomi   300, 800, 1; moves between 300 and 800 hz (1 new value per sec)
kdB       randomi   -12, 0, 5; moves between -12 and 0 dB (5 new values per sec)
aSig      oscil3    1, kFreq, giTone
kVol      init      0
kVol      =         (kGate > 0.5 ? ampdb(kdB) : 0); short form of condition
kVol      port      kVol, .02; smooth volume curve to avoid clicks
aOut      =         aSig * kVol
          outs      aOut, aOut
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 20
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

If - goto

An older way of performing a conditional branch - but still useful in certain cases - is an "if" statement which is not followed by a "then", but by a label name. The "else" construction follows (or doesn't follow) in the next line. Like the if-then-else statement, the if-goto works either at i-time or at k-time. You should declare the type by either using igoto or kgoto. Usually you need an additional igoto/kgoto statement for omitting the "else" block if the first condition is true. This is the general syntax:

i-time

if <condition> igoto this; same as if-then
 igoto that; same as else
this: ;the label "this" ...
...
igoto continue ;skip the "that" block
that: ; ... and the label "that" must be found
...
continue: ;go on after the conditional branch
...

k-time

if <condition> kgoto this; same as if-then
 kgoto that; same as else
this: ;the label "this" ...
...
kgoto continue ;skip the "that" block
that: ; ... and the label "that" must be found
...
continue: ;go on after the conditional branch
...

i-Rate Examples

This is the same example as above in the if-then-else syntax for a branch depending on a mono or stereo file. If you just want to know whether a file is mono or stereo, you can use the "pure" if-igoto statement:

   EXAMPLE 03C04.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

  instr 1
Sfile     =          "/Joachim/Materialien/SamplesKlangbearbeitung/Kontrabass.aif"
ifilchnls filenchnls Sfile
if ifilchnls == 1 igoto mono; condition if true
 igoto stereo; else condition
mono:
          prints     "The file is mono!%n"
          igoto      continue
stereo:
          prints     "The file is stereo!%n"
continue:
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 0
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

But if you want to play the file, you must also use a k-rate if-kgoto, because you have not just an action at i-time (initializing the soundin opcode) but also at k-time (producing an audio signal). So the code in this case is much more cumbersome than with the if-then-else facility shown previously.

   EXAMPLE 03C05.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

  instr 1
Sfile     =          "/Joachim/Materialien/SamplesKlangbearbeitung/Kontrabass.aif"
ifilchnls filenchnls Sfile
 if ifilchnls == 1 kgoto mono
  kgoto stereo
 if ifilchnls == 1 igoto mono; condition if true
  igoto stereo; else condition
mono:
aL        soundin    Sfile
aR        =          aL
          igoto      continue
          kgoto      continue
stereo:
aL, aR    soundin    Sfile
continue:
          outs       aL, aR
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 5
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

k-Rate Examples

This is the same example as above in the if-then-else syntax for a moving gate between 0 and 1:

   EXAMPLE 03C06.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

          seed      0
giTone    ftgen     0, 0, 2^10, 10, 1, .5, .3, .1

  instr 1
kGate     randomi   0, 1, 3; moves between 0 and 1 (3 new values per second)
kFreq     randomi   300, 800, 1; moves between 300 and 800 hz (1 new value per sec)
kdB       randomi   -12, 0, 5; moves between -12 and 0 dB (5 new values per sec)
aSig      oscil3    1, kFreq, giTone
kVol      init      0
 if kGate > 0.5 kgoto open; if condition is true
  kgoto close; "else" condition
open:
kVol      =         ampdb(kdB)
kgoto continue
close:
kVol      =         0
continue:
kVol      port      kVol, .02; smooth volume curve to avoid clicks
aOut      =         aSig * kVol
          outs      aOut, aOut
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 30
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

Loops

Loops can be built either at i-time or at k-time just with the "if" facility. The following example shows an i-rate and a k-rate loop created using the if-i/kgoto facility:

   EXAMPLE 03C07.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz

  instr 1 ;i-time loop: counts from 1 until 10 has been reached
icount    =         1
count:
          print     icount
icount    =         icount + 1
 if icount < 11 igoto count
          prints    "i-END!%n"
  endin

  instr 2 ;k-rate loop: counts in the 100th k-cycle from 1 to 11
kcount    init      0
ktimek    timeinstk ;counts k-cycle from the start of this instrument
 if ktimek == 100 kgoto loop
  kgoto noloop
loop:
          printks   "k-cycle %d reached!%n", 0, ktimek
kcount    =         kcount + 1
          printk2   kcount
 if kcount < 11 kgoto loop
          printks   "k-END!%n", 0
noloop:
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 0
i 2 0 1
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

But Csound offers a slightly simpler syntax for this kind of i-rate or k-rate loops. There are four variants of the loop opcode. All four refer to a label as the starting point of the loop, an index variable as a counter, an increment or decrement, and finally a reference value (maximum or minimum) as comparision:

As always, all four opcodes can be applied either at i-time or at k-time. Here are some examples, first for i-time loops, and then for k-time loops.

i-Rate Examples

The following .csd provides a simple example for all four loop opcodes:

   EXAMPLE 03C08.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz

  instr 1 ;loop_lt: counts from 1 upwards and checks if < 10
icount    =         1
loop:
          print     icount
          loop_lt   icount, 1, 10, loop
          prints    "Instr 1 terminated!%n"
  endin

  instr 2 ;loop_le: counts from 1 upwards and checks if <= 10
icount    =         1
loop:
          print     icount
          loop_le   icount, 1, 10, loop
          prints    "Instr 2 terminated!%n"
  endin

  instr 3 ;loop_gt: counts from 10 downwards and checks if > 0
icount    =         10
loop:
          print     icount
          loop_gt   icount, 1, 0, loop
          prints    "Instr 3 terminated!%n"
  endin

  instr 4 ;loop_ge: counts from 10 downwards and checks if >= 0
icount    =         10
loop:
          print     icount
          loop_ge   icount, 1, 0, loop
          prints    "Instr 4 terminated!%n"
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 0
i 2 0 0
i 3 0 0
i 4 0 0
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

The next example produces a random string of 10 characters and prints it out:

   EXAMPLE 03C09.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz

  instr 1
icount    =         0
Sname     =         ""; starts with an empty string
loop:
ichar     random    65, 90.999
Schar     sprintf   "%c", int(ichar); new character
Sname     strcat    Sname, Schar; append to Sname
          loop_lt   icount, 1, 10, loop; loop construction
          printf_i  "My name is '%s'!\n", 1, Sname; print result
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
; call instr 1 ten times
r 10
i 1 0 0
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

You can also use an i-rate loop to fill a function table (= buffer) with any kind of values. In the next example, a function table with 20 positions (indices) is filled with random integers between 0 and 10 by instrument 1. Nearly the same loop construction is used afterwards to read these values by instrument 2.

   EXAMPLE 03C10.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz

giTable   ftgen     0, 0, -20, -2, 0; empty function table with 20 points
          seed      0; each time different seed

  instr 1 ; writes in the table
icount    =         0
loop:
ival      random    0, 10.999 ;random value
          tableiw   int(ival), icount, giTable ;writes in giTable at first, second, third ... position
          loop_lt   icount, 1, 20, loop; loop construction
  endin

  instr 2; reads from the table
icount    =         0
loop:
ival      tablei    icount, giTable ;reads from giTable at first, second, third ... position
          print     ival; prints the content
          loop_lt   icount, 1, 20, loop; loop construction
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 0
i 2 0 0
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

k-Rate Examples

The next example performs a loop at k-time. Once per second, every value of an existing function table is changed by a random deviation of 10%. Though there are special opcodes for this task, it can also be done by a k-rate loop like the one shown here:

   EXAMPLE 03C11.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 441
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

giSine    ftgen     0, 0, 256, 10, 1; sine wave
          seed      0; each time different seed

  instr 1
ktiminstk timeinstk ;time in control-cycles
kcount    init      1
 if ktiminstk == kcount * kr then; once per second table values manipulation:
kndx      =         0
loop:
krand     random    -.1, .1;random factor for deviations
kval      table     kndx, giSine; read old value
knewval   =         kval + (kval * krand); calculate new value
          tablew    knewval, kndx, giSine; write new value
          loop_lt   kndx, 1, 256, loop; loop construction
kcount    =         kcount + 1; increase counter
 endif
asig      poscil    .2, 400, giSine
          outs      asig, asig
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 10
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

Time Loops

Until now, we have just discussed loops which are executed "as fast as possible", either at i-time or at k-time. But, in an audio programming language, time loops are of particular interest and importance. A time loop means, repeating any action after a certain amount of time. This amount of time can be equal to or different to the previous time loop. The action can be, for instance: playing a tone, or triggering an instrument, or calculating a new value for the movement of an envelope.

In Csound, the usual way of performing time loops, is the timout facility. The use of timout is a bit intricate, so some examples are given, starting from very simple to more complex ones.

Another way of performing time loops is by using a measurement of time or k-cycles. This method is also discussed and similar examples to those used for the timout opcode are given so that both methods can be compared.

timout Basics

The timout opcode refers to the fact that in the traditional way of working with Csound, each "note" (an "i" score event) has its own time. This is the duration of the note, given in the score by the duration parameter, abbreviated as "p3". A timout statement says: "I am now jumping out of this p3 duration and establishing my own time." This time will be repeated as long as the duration of the note allows it.

Let's see an example. This is a sine tone with a moving frequency, starting at 400 Hz and ending at 600 Hz. The duration of this movement is 3 seconds for the first note, and 5 seconds for the second note:

   EXAMPLE 03C12.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

giSine    ftgen     0, 0, 2^10, 10, 1

  instr 1
kFreq     expseg    400, p3, 600
aTone     poscil    .2, kFreq, giSine
          outs      aTone, aTone
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 3
i 1 4 5
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

Now we perform a time loop with timout which is 1 second long. So, for the first note, it will be repeated three times, and for the second note five times:

   EXAMPLE 03C13.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

giSine    ftgen     0, 0, 2^10, 10, 1

  instr 1
loop:
          timout    0, 1, play
          reinit    loop
play:
kFreq     expseg    400, 1, 600
aTone     poscil    .2, kFreq, giSine
          outs      aTone, aTone
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 3
i 1 4 5
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

This is the general syntax of timout:

first_label:
          timout    istart, idur, second_label
          reinit    first_label
second_label:
... <any action you want to have here>

The first_label is an arbitrary word (followed by a colon) for marking the beginning of the time loop section. The istart argument for timout tells Csound, when the second_label section is to be executed. Usually istart is zero, telling Csound: execute the second_label section immediately, without any delay. The idur argument for timout defines how many seconds the second_label section is to be executed before the time loop begins again. Note that the "reinit first_label" is necessary to start the second loop after idur seconds with a resetting of all the values. (See the explanations about reinitialization in the chapter Initilalization And Performance Pass.)

As usual when you work with the reinit opcode, you can use a rireturn statement to constrain the reinit-pass. In this way you can have both, the timeloop section and the non-timeloop section in the body of an instrument:

   EXAMPLE 03C14.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

giSine    ftgen     0, 0, 2^10, 10, 1

  instr 1
loop:
          timout    0, 1, play
          reinit    loop
play:
kFreq1    expseg    400, 1, 600
aTone1    oscil3    .2, kFreq1, giSine
          rireturn  ;end of the time loop
kFreq2    expseg    400, p3, 600
aTone2    poscil    .2, kFreq2, giSine

          outs      aTone1+aTone2, aTone1+aTone2
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 3
i 1 4 5
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

timout Applications

In a time loop, it is very important to change the duration of the loop. This can be done either by referring to the duration of this note (p3) ...

   EXAMPLE 03C15.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

giSine    ftgen     0, 0, 2^10, 10, 1

  instr 1
loop:
          timout    0, p3/5, play
          reinit    loop
play:
kFreq     expseg    400, p3/5, 600
aTone     poscil    .2, kFreq, giSine
          outs      aTone, aTone
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 3
i 1 4 5
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

... or by calculating new values for the loop duration on each reinit pass, for instance by random values:

   EXAMPLE 03C16.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

giSine    ftgen     0, 0, 2^10, 10, 1

  instr 1
loop:
idur      random    .5, 3 ;new value between 0.5 and 3 seconds each time
          timout    0, idur, play
          reinit    loop
play:
kFreq     expseg    400, idur, 600
aTone     poscil    .2, kFreq, giSine
          outs      aTone, aTone
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 20
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

The applications discussed so far have the disadvantage that all the signals inside the time loop must definitely be finished or interrupted, when the next loop begins. In this way it is not possible to have any overlapping of events. For achieving this, the time loop can be used just to trigger an event. This can be done with event_i or scoreline_i. In the following example, the time loop in instrument 1 triggers each half to two seconds an instance of instrument 2 for a duration of 1 to 5 seconds. So usually the previous instance of instrument 2 will still play when the new instance is triggered. In instrument 2, some random calculations are executed to make each note different, though having a descending pitch (glissando):

   EXAMPLE 03C17.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

giSine    ftgen     0, 0, 2^10, 10, 1

  instr 1
loop:
idurloop  random    .5, 2 ;duration of each loop
          timout    0, idurloop, play
          reinit    loop
play:
idurins   random    1, 5 ;duration of the triggered instrument
          event_i   "i", 2, 0, idurins ;triggers instrument 2
  endin

  instr 2
ifreq1    random    600, 1000 ;starting frequency
idiff     random    100, 300 ;difference to final frequency
ifreq2    =         ifreq1 - idiff ;final frequency
kFreq     expseg    ifreq1, p3, ifreq2 ;glissando
iMaxdb    random    -12, 0 ;peak randomly between -12 and 0 dB
kAmp      transeg   ampdb(iMaxdb), p3, -10, 0 ;envelope
aTone     poscil    kAmp, kFreq, giSine
          outs      aTone, aTone
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 30
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

The last application of a time loop with the timout opcode which is shown here, is a randomly moving envelope. If you want to create an envelope in Csound which moves between a lower and an upper limit, and has one new random value in a certain time span (for instance, once a second), the time loop with timout is one way to achieve it. A line movement must be performed in each time loop, from a given starting value to a new evaluated final value. Then, in the next loop, the previous final value must be set as the new starting value, and so on. This is a possible solution:

   EXAMPLE 03C18.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

giSine    ftgen     0, 0, 2^10, 10, 1
          seed      0

  instr 1
iupper    =         0; upper and ...
ilower    =         -24; ... lower limit in dB
ival1     random    ilower, iupper; starting value
loop:
idurloop  random    .5, 2; duration of each loop
          timout    0, idurloop, play
          reinit    loop
play:
ival2     random    ilower, iupper; final value
kdb       linseg    ival1, idurloop, ival2
ival1     =         ival2; let ival2 be ival1 for next loop
          rireturn  ;end reinit section
aTone     poscil    ampdb(kdb), 400, giSine
          outs      aTone, aTone
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 30
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

Note that in this case the oscillator has been put after the time loop section (which is terminated by the rireturn statement. Otherwise the oscillator would start afresh with zero phase in each time loop, thus producing clicks.

Time Loops by using the metro Opcode

The metro opcode outputs a "1" at distinct times, otherwise it outputs a "0". The frequency of this "banging" (which is in some way similar to the metro objects in PD or Max) is given by the kfreq input argument. So the output of metro offers a simple and intuitive method for controlling time loops, if you use it to trigger a separate instrument which then carries out another job. Below is a simple example for calling a subinstrument twice a second:

   EXAMPLE 03C19.csd 

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

  instr 1; triggering instrument
kTrig     metro     2; outputs "1" twice a second
 if kTrig == 1 then
          event     "i", 2, 0, 1
 endif
  endin

  instr 2; triggered instrument
aSig      oscils    .2, 400, 0
aEnv      transeg   1, p3, -10, 0
          outs      aSig*aEnv, aSig*aEnv
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 10
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>

The example which is given above (0337.csd) as a flexible time loop by timout, can be done with the metro opcode in this way:

   EXAMPLE 03C20.csd

<CsoundSynthesizer>
<CsOptions>
-odac
</CsOptions>
<CsInstruments>
;Example by Joachim Heintz
sr = 44100
ksmps = 32
nchnls = 2
0dbfs = 1

giSine    ftgen     0, 0, 2^10, 10, 1
          seed      0

  instr 1
kfreq     init      1; give a start value for the trigger frequency
kTrig     metro     kfreq
 if kTrig == 1 then ;if trigger impulse:
kdur      random    1, 5; random duration for instr 2
          event     "i", 2, 0, kdur; call instr 2
kfreq     random    .5, 2; set new value for trigger frequency
 endif
  endin

  instr 2
ifreq1    random    600, 1000; starting frequency
idiff     random    100, 300; difference to final frequency
ifreq2    =         ifreq1 - idiff; final frequency
kFreq     expseg    ifreq1, p3, ifreq2; glissando
iMaxdb    random    -12, 0; peak randomly between -12 and 0 dB
kAmp      transeg   ampdb(iMaxdb), p3, -10, 0; envelope
aTone     poscil    kAmp, kFreq, giSine
          outs      aTone, aTone
  endin

</CsInstruments>
<CsScore>
i 1 0 30
</CsScore>
</CsoundSynthesizer>  

Note the differences in working with the metro opcode compared to the timout feature:

Links

Steven Yi: Control Flow (Part I = Csound Journal Spring 2006, Part 2 = Csound Journal Summer 2006)