10.19.17Homework Assignment 7

Dear NYU Csounders,

These are your assignments for the next two weeks:

Due Next week:

1. Read Steven Yi's articles on control flow in the Csound Journal, part I & II.

2. Read Steven Yi's article on the Csound Journal: "Creating encapsulated instruments in Csound5)

Links to all articles mentioned above are under the Csound Page of this website.

3. Modify the Sinebox instrument from Codehop.com in the following manner:
a. Change the synthesis process so that the sound generated are not sines.
b. Modify the conditions under which the notes are generated to your liking

Due the Following week:

4. Create a piece inspired by Brian Eno's Discreet Music.
You will create a network of processes such as the ones described in class, Gardner Reverbs, Feedback delays etc... through which you will run the musical material of your choice to create ambient textures and music.

Your instrument should be carefully organized, that is it should be built after the following model:

1. One or two synthesis or playback instrument that will generate the material to be processed.
2. A network of processes, connected either in series or parallel, based on the instruments discussed in class and in the Csound book.
3. A mixing stage where you will be able to adjust the relative levels of each instrument.

You will buss the data from instrument to instrument using the CHN system.

Have fun and experiment!

10.12.17Homework Assignment 5-6

Dear Software Synthesis class,

1. If you haven't already go through the random section of the floss manual. (under basics)

2. Using the examples provided please create an instrument with the following requirements:

a. It should be modular in nature and be made of a synthesis, fx, mixing and generative stage.

b. Use a combination of CHN opcodes and global variables to pass data between various instruments

c. It should be based on a synthesis process of your choosing

d. Note generation as well as some of the instrument parameter should be created or modified using random or pseudo random processes.

e. It should be a generative instrument, where most if not all of the score is generated from within the orchestra.

Have fun!


09.28.17Homework assignment 4

Dear Class,

This week I ask that you modify either of the beatmangler instrument found in the archive I gave you in class.
You may use the instrument bm.csd in the "Beat mangler x 2" directory, or the Beat_mangler_Loop_generator in the directory of the same name.

Consider adding filtering stages, distortion, reverb, comb filtering etc... at any stage in the process.

Please bring your instrument to class and be prepared to discussed you work.

Best, and have fun,


09.21.17Homework Assignment 3

Dear NYU Csounders,

This week I ask you for the following:

1. Read chapter 3 in the Csound Book: "What Happens When You Run Csound" by John Fitch.

2. Read chapter 4 in the Csound Book: "Optimizing Your Csound Instruments" by Paris Smaragdis.

3. Read the Diskin2 entry of the Csound blog. Diskin is an opcode used to playback samples easily within Csound. You will find a link to it on the Csound tab of this website, or you can type the link below in your browser:

4. Select 3-5 samples, on the shorter side to use as a basis for an musique concrete etude 1-2 mn long due class 5.

For class 4 experiment with various processes to create interesting samples and sounds.

For class 5 you will have a complete piece, with a beginning, middle and an end using these samples and the various techniques employed by musique concrete composers.

Have fun, and experiment, experiment, experiment!

09.14.17Homework Assignment 2

A few things for this week:

1. Write a short etude, 1 to 2 minutes in length based on the Atari 2600 instrument.

Modify the instrument (the orchestra) in whatever way you see fit to come up with your own version of it. Add voices, envelopes, waveforms etc.. write a 1 mn etude for it. Bring it and your code to our next class.

3. Read Section 3A to 3D of the Floss Csound manual

4. If you haven't done so yet, please go over chapter 1 of the Csound Book By Dr Boulanger and run through the examples.

(you can also click on the assignment header to get there)

Have fun!

09.07.17Homework Assignment 1

Welcome to Software Synthesis at NYU.

1. Download and install Csound and QuteCsound on your machine.

2. Purchase the Csound Book by Dr. Richard Boulanger.

3. Become Familiar with CsoundQt, go thru the "Examples / Getting Started" Section in the Menu. Run the examples and modify Toot 5

4. Read "Introduction to Sound Design in Csound" by Richard Boulager

5. Read "Getting Started with the Terminal" by JL Sinclair. Note: the set up in section 2 is no longer relevant. you may skip that section.

6. Modify the toots 1-5 in the getting started section. Bring your work to class and be prepared to play it in class.

7. Go through chapter 01: Basics from the Csound Floss Manual

Have fun!

09.09.13A Manifesto for software synthesis.

Your assignment for the week is to download the latest version of SuperCollider and install it on your machine.
Run the examples from the lecture notes, and come up with at least 5 simple variations or instruments based on the examples.

Become familiar with the interface, and run some of the code examples included with the software, and read the manifesto below.
Give it some thought..

That's it for this week, have fun!

How would one define computer music today, in an age where all music could be to a degree called computer music? What sets works such as ‘Kontakte’, ‘Mutations’ or ‘Stria’ apart as masterpieces of computer and electronic music?

Perhaps it is that these works explore and confront musical dimensions that had until then been largely ignored or loosely codified by Western music. Dimensions such as tuning, dynamics or timbre. If music, as Varese once observed, is organized noise, noise itself for instance, has been largely rejected by the West as a viable musical element. Perhaps because, until recently anyway, Western music relied on a system of clearly categorized pitch classes based on transposable relationships.
And indeed, until the advent of the computer, these dimensions were very difficult to explore, as Varese himself lamented for much of his life.
The computer however is the ideal instrument with which to explore these and many more musical fields. But as computers became more powerful, and cheaper to mass produce, they were by and large, put to a very different musical use. Instead of creating instruments that could produce unique and new sounds and music, manufacturers and consumers have increasingly embraced it as a means to reproduce the sound of existing instruments. The computer these days is mostly used to imitate rather than to explore. While this makes a lot of sense on a commercial and practical level, it is almost a perversion of the instrument and what it is capable of doing. Perhaps this was bound to happen once most synthesizers began to ship with a keyboard that mimics a piano instead of a completely new interface? Yet there is so much more this technology can be used for.
Enters Csound and SuperCollider. Coding provides the composer with an entirely new interface, one never used before by any musicians until recently.
That interface does not give us white and black keys set a semi tone apart, or limits us to a particular range of tonal possibilities. It does the exact opposite. Sure, Csound, Supercollider and most computer music languages allow us to work with equal temperement tuning fairly easily, but just as easily afford us the luxury of absolute frequency control, completely new timbral possibilities and surgical control over dynamics.
It almost begs the composer to do so.
Our efforts over these next few weeks will focus on exploring the strengths of coding as a means of musical creation and embrace them as a tool for sound synthesis and composition. Have fun and enjoy the ride.