- Taschenbuch: 782 Seiten
- Verlag: Mit University Press Group Ltd; Auflage: Pap/Cdr (28. Februar 2000)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0262522616
- ISBN-13: 978-0262522618
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 20,3 x 3,3 x 22,9 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 7 Kundenrezensionen
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Csound Book: Perspectives in Software Synthesis, Sound Design, Signal Processing and Programming (The Csound Book) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 28. Februar 2000
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-- Max Mathews, Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics, Stanford University
" This is the most important book written in the last decade in the field of electronic music. Together with the new Csound technology, it will revolutionize electronic music." -- Max Mathews, Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics, Stanford University
& quot; This is the most important book written in the last decade in the field of electronic music. Together with the new Csound technology, it will revolutionize electronic music.& quot; -- Max Mathews, Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics, Stanford University
"This is the most important book written in the last decade in the field of electronic music. Together with the new Csound technology, it will revolutionize electronic music."--Max Mathews, Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics, Stanford University
Covers both the basics of Csound, and the theoretical and musical concepts necessary to use the program effectively. The text covers: additive, subtractive, FM, AM, FOF, granular, wavetable, waveguide, vector, LA and other hybrid methods; analysis and resynthesis using ADSYN, LOP and the the Phase Vocoder; sample processing; mathematical and physical modelling; and digital signal processing, including room simulation and 3D modelling.
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I would like to warn people that if you are looking to learn computer music on your own, this is not the book to start with. To really be able to use the book, you need to be very familiar with how computer music works, and with the major sound synthesis methods. I should add, too, that if you don't know much about computer music in the first place, Csound probably isn't the best choice for a program to learn it on. I was hoping for an organized introduction to Csound that would take me step by step through learning it, and that is not what this book is. To me, as a beginner, it's just a bunch of scattered information. And the CD's are confusing, as well. I had a hard time just finding the files to use for the first tutorial. Several of the example instruments require sound files that aren't even included in the same folder as the instrument's score and orchestra files.
Overall, to me, the book is a confusing, overwhelming mish-most of information that I mostly don't understand. Unfortunately, I can't return it because I opened the CD. If you are an experienced computer musician with some experience in Csound, or if you have a teacher to help you, this book would be great as it is full of excellent resources. But it's NOT for the novice computer musician! I should have gone through it more carefully before blowing my $55, so don't make the same mistake I did!
For those who don't know, Csound is a software synthesizer written by Barry Vercoe in the 1980s that continues to be used by mostly university-based composers of electronic music and computer music. Lately, because today's ordinary personal computers are more powerful than the mainframes used by the pioneers of computer music and come with decent sound cards, and also due to the spread of software synthesis into popular music with techno and electronica, independent composers and even some more pop-based musicians are beginning to use Csound.
I find that the book is an enormously useful resource for computer musicians, even though the material is sometimes repetitive and is of uneven quality. With about 50 contributors, sometimes more than one person covers the same ground. Probably a sizeable chunk of the people seriously using Csound contributed to the book!
Csound is one of the most powerful software synthesizer in existence (it is unquestionably the most powerful one that costs nothing!), and that makes it one of the most powerful musical instruments in history. However, it's not a physical object but a computer program, and in fact it's not even a finished program, it's a programming language. So, it's hard to use Csound, and even harder to get started.
Not surprisingly, one of the main purposes of the Csound book is to explain how to program Csound. I find that the book does a pretty good job of this for beginners, and there is not much competition, so if you want to learn Csound, you need this book. However, the book is a collection of articles and does not present a seamless progression from easy to difficult, nor are all of the chapters of high quality, so if you're a beginner, you may find it hard to discern your path through the book. It may be that the biggest gap, as far as beginners are concerned, is not technical at all, but rather the lack of a clear explanation of where computer music fits into the larger world of music. I doubt that many pop musicians realize that digital audio, hard disk recording, software synthesis, and digital audio signal processing were all invented by academic computer music people! Nor do I think many people understand how the aesthetic attitude and compositional techniques arising from avant-garde electronic and computer music have come to permeate contemporary rap, techno, and film music. A brief introductory chapter on basic history would have been most welcome.
If you already have experience with Csound, or with other software synthesizers such as Reaktor or Buzz, or with analog synthesizers or virtual analog synthesizers such as the Nord Virus, then you may find the book quite useful because it explains the principles of digital signal processing and software sound synthesis very clearly with numerous examples and articles. Best of all, each example comes with a working Csound orchestra and score, and on the CD ROMs that accompany the book, there are sound examples that you can play right away to hear how the orchestras work. If you then start modifying the example orchestras and listening to the results, you are on your way to becoming a Csound composer.
In fact, I am sure the book would make an excellent textbook for a conservatory course in electronic music or computer music, because the CD ROMs contain the Csound program (which is freeware!) and other auxiliary programs, which in themselves are a rich resource, as well as the many examples and a variety of actual compositions created with Csound. Unfortunately, the compositions are not often up to the usually high standard of the technical material. This is a pity, because there are some wonderful pieces of music done, in whole or in part, using Csound. Sill, no other computer music textbook (and I have them all, as far as I know) has so many working examples of instruments all ready to run, or even has any real sample pieces at all. So if you're a composition or synthesis teacher, you need to check it out.
Finally, if you're a composer of electronic music or computer music, you cannot find anything this useful anywhere! The only comparison I can think of is the tracker resources on the Web, but they do not cover nearly as much ground. The vast library of sample instruments and compositions is a bleeping treasure trove waiting to be plundered. And thanks probably to the fact that the book's editor, Richard Boulanger, teaches at Berklee College where many jazzers and session players go, the examples are not limited to academic styles of music but also cross over into techno and pop. The CD ROM chapters, many of them by composers, discuss not only Csound, but also issues in music theory and composition that are relevant to computer music and indeed to music in general.
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