HOW TO USE THIS MANUAL
The goal of this manual is to provide a readable introduction to Csound. In no way is it meant as a replacement for the Canonical Csound Reference Manual. It is intended as an introduction-tutorial-reference hybrid, gathering the most important information you need to work with Csound in a variety of situations. In many places, 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 that interests you, although bear in mind that 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. BASICS provides a general introduction to key concepts about digital sound vital to understanding how Csound deals with audio. The 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 sounds that already exist within Csound. SAMPLES outlines ways in which to record and play audio samples in Csound, an area that might be of particular interest to those intent on using Csound as a real-time performance instrument. The MIDI and OPEN SOUND CONTROL chapters focus on different methods of controlling Csound using external software or hardware. The final chapters introduce various front-ends that can be used to interface with the Csound engine and Csound's communication with other applications.
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 CsoundQt, you can find all the examples in CsoundQt's examples menu under "Floss Manual Examples". When learning Csound (or any other programming language), you may benefit from typing out the examples yourself, as it will help you memorise Csound's syntax as well as how to use the opcodes. The more you get used to typing out Csound code, the more proficient you will be at integrating new techniques, as your concentration will shift from the code to the idea behind the code, and the easier it will be for you to design your own instruments and compositions.
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 by reporting bugs or requests, or by joining as a writer. Just contact one of the maintainers (see the list in ON THIS RELEASE).
Thanks to Alex Hofmann, this manual can be ordered as a print-on-demand at www.lulu.com. Just use the search utility there and look for "Csound". Just the links will not work ...