Continuing to look at “CD 3” instruments…

To continue some thoughts from my 28 July entry… this is in reference to the “third CD” that is available for $25 or so as an adjunct to “The Csound Book.” It contains many hundreds of instruments, processors and examples.

It’s extremely interesting and educational to look through all these examples. I have to gripe right away though that, as a lot of them came from student assignments, experiments for other projects and what not, the commenting in some of them leave a little bit to be desired.

For instance, here’s one called “condition.orc” (sorry about the formatting, tabs don’t translate well within wordpress…)

sr = 44100
kr = 4410
ksmps = 10
nchnls = 2
instr 1
if p4 == 0 then kgoto dark
light:
anoise rand 10000
a1 reson anoise, 1760, 4
a2 reson anoise, 880, 40
goto contin
dark:
anoise rand 10000
a2 reson anoise, 55, 0.04
goto contin
contin:
krimp line 30000,p3,0
aamp oscil krimp, 440, 1
aleft balance a1, aamp
aright balance a2, aamp
outs aleft,aright
endin

So you can see my complaint. No comments whatever.

(Incidentally, there was an error in this .orc. It’s the line “if p4 == 0 then kgoto dark”. Apparently, it was OK at some time to use “then” in and “if” statement, but when I tried to compile this orc with Csound 5.06 it complained until I removed the “then.”)

Fortunately, CD 3 comes with a directory with some 1400 mp3s which represent audio output of the Csound examples. Before you get excited about many CDs full of interesting compositions, these are mostly very short (1362 files are less than 1:00 long) samples of the output of the instrument or processor. I’m thinking about a way to create a Live set with all these clips in it and burn it to some CDs to listen for interesting instruments…

The other thing that’s becoming clear as I research the Csound world is that the score language is indeed much too cumbersome to write complex polyphonic compositions. Fortunately Csound can easily read MIDI files, which you can easily create with myriad tools available for PCs and Macs. The “blue” system is another option which has many virtues, including the fact that it’s free and ¬†runs on Linux as well as PCs and Macs.

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