[linux-audio-user] Should I Bother Learning Csound?

Kjetil Svalastog Matheussen k.s.matheussen at notam02.no
Tue Feb 10 07:00:57 EST 2004

Dave Phillips:
> Greetings:
>   I'm putting finishing touches to a very long chapter on software sound
> synthesis languages in which I've profiled current versions of Csound,
> RTcmix, and SuperCollider3. IMHO I'd still recommend Csound to a novice,
> particularly to a programming novice. I prefer the more modern language
> elements in RTcmix and SC3, but the one is heavily C-like (fine with me)
> and the other is a Smalltalk derivative. Csound also wins in its
> abundance of helper applications, e.g., FJenie, nGen, Common Music,
> blue, Cecilia, Csound Blocks, and others. However, RTcmix will see a new
> release Real Soon Now, and there may be some more GUI stuff included.
> SC3 for Linux lacks the neat graphic elements of the OSX version, but
> it's still quite an interesting environment. I should also note that
> Csound and RTcmix have no special requirements WRT editors, whereas with
> SC3 you definitely want to learn how to use emacs. (Note that both emacs
> and vi have Csound editing modes available to them.)

I'm currently accessing the supercollider synth fromwithin pure data
using the python PD external. I'd say its a supergreat combination
where you get easy/clean programming with python, functional programming
with the guile pd-external, sound processing power with SC3, and
GUI with pd. Check out the supercollider module in the pure-data

>   Finally I would urge the beginner to make a real study of some other
> language, i.e., C/C++, Java, whatever, along with learning a sound &
> music programming language. That assumes the time for such study, but
> consider it time well spent, you'll learn a lot by the inevitable
> comparisons.
Hmm, I would rather reccomend common lisp/scheme or python than
c/c++ and java for music purposes. C are fine for making hardware drivers,
c++ can be fine if you need OO to C, and java is horrible in all possible
ways. My opinion. :)


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