instrument design?

John Toenjes ccjohnt at
Wed Feb 4 07:58:04 EST 1998

I'm not sure if you're talking about csound specifically, but if not, read
on. . .

You have to know what constitutes sound--timbre and envelopes most
importantly.  Any sound can be analyzed for these elements.  When you hear
a cymbal crash, you can visualize the volume envelope  |\___  (attack
sustain release) the pitch, and the timbre (all have envelopes, too). You
can catalog certain techniques that will let you arrive at predictable
results in these areas.  Fine tuning will require trial and error, but
having those basic elements of the sound in mind at first, will get you
quickly into the ballpark.

>Since I first got intersted in csound and dsp, I have always been
>wondering whether there are some methods when I want to generate a
>specific sound?  As a programmer, I know that there are a lot of
>algorithms to realize some result I expect.  But as for sound
>generation, I have learned AM, FM, waveshaping... but have no idea
>about what to do when I really think out of a sound.  What I have to
>do is just trying again and again.  Sometimes I got what I want, but
>it is very seldom for me.  Could someone tell me what to do?
>Qian Chen

John Toenjes
1815 University Ave.
Columbia, MO 65201
(573) 449-0583
ccjohnt at

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