The Kind of Thing You’re Going to Run Into as a Csound beginner…

The learning curve for Csound can sometimes seem insurmountable. Here’s just a few examples, and why you should always use your search function and exercise extreme patience.

1. As I mention elsewhere, even though there is a forum section at csounds.com, all the important discussion about csound is at nabble.com (http://www.nabble.com/Csound-f480.html) But you can be reading a thread and all of a sudden a completely different topic appears which people begin to discuss. The original topic may show up again or not but in these cases I haven’t been able to detect any rhyme or reason for this behavior. And no one in the forum comments on it, apparently it isn’t something to be concerned about.

For instance, in a thread called “Version 5.08 now released” suddenly there is a new topic “Csound on sonus”.

2. I’d seen a number of references to CsoundAV. After digging and searching, it appeared to be a superset of Csound with some graphics capabilities. But going to the root of the documentation, the only thing omitted was an explanation of what it was! Finally I found a “news” section which indicated that it was last updated in 2005 so I put it aside. Note that there is also a “CsoundAC”. This sounds interesting as I will note below.

3. Csound with Python. One of the tutorials makes the observation that it is awful cumbersome to write a Csound score an event at a time. Using a language such as Python seems to be a better way to go. But how to do that? One way suggested was to import csnd. This is cool, but then when you go to the Csound API documentation I find that there are numerous errors in the PDF that make the document hard/impossible to use.

Then I tried to run some .py examples that come with the Csound installation. They fail due to the lack of a module called wx, which appears to be part of something called wxPython, which I now need to chase down.

Elsewhere I read that CsoundAC is a good front end to use with python. So should I use it or csnd?

These are just the tip of the iceberg of the kind of things you’re going to run into trying to use Csound and its accessories or front ends. Somewhere along the line if I spend enough time I’m sure the light will dawn.

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