The Csound Book

The Csound Book

Perspectives in Software Synthesis, Sound Design, Signal Processing, and Programming

ISBN 9780262286961
782 pp.
March 2000


The Csound Book

Perspectives in Software Synthesis, Sound Design, Signal Processing, and Programming

Created in 1985 by Barry Vercoe, Csound is one of the most widely used software sound synthesis systems. Because it is so powerful, mastering Csound can take a good deal of time and effort. But this long-awaited guide will dramatically straighten the learning curve and enable musicians to take advantage of this rich computer technology available for creating music.

Written by the world’s leading educators, programmers, sound designers, and composers, this comprehensive guide covers both the basics of Csound and the theoretical and musical concepts necessary to use the program effectively. The thirty-two tutorial chapters cover: additive, subtractive, FM, AM, FOF, granular, wavetable, waveguide, vector, LA, and other hybrid methods; analysis and resynthesis using ADSYN, LP, and the Phase Vocoder; sample processing; mathematical and physical modeling; and digital signal processing, including room simulation and 3D modeling.

Supplemental Content is now available for download at


  1. Foreword

    Barry Vercoe

  2. Preface

    Max V. Mathews

  3. Acknowledgments
  4. Introduction
  5. How to Use This Book
  6. 1. Introduction to Sound Design in Csound

    Richard Boulanger

  7. 2. Understanding Csound’s Function Table GEN Routines

    Jon Christopher Nelson

  8. 3. What Happens When You Run a Csound Program

    John ffitch

  9. 4. Optimizing Your Csound Instruments

    Paris Smaragdis

  10. 5. Using Csound’s Macro Language Extensions

    John ffitch

  11. 6. Designing Acoustically Viable Instruments in Csound

    Stephen David Beck

  12. 7. Designing Legato Instruments in Csound

    Richard W. Dobson

  13. 8. Contiguous-Group Wavetable Synthesis of the French Horn in Csound

    Andrew Horner and Lydia Ayers

  14. 9. FM Synthesis and Morphing in Csound: from Percussion to Brass

    Brian Evans

  15. 10. Modeling “Classic” Electronic Keyboard Instruments in Csound

    Hans Mikelson

  16. 11. A Survey of Classic Synthesis Techniques Implemented in Csound

    Rajmil Fischman

  17. 12. FM Synthesis in Csound

    Russell Pinkston

  18. 13. Granular Synthesis in Csound

    Allan S. C. Lee

  19. 14. FOF and FOG Synthesis in Csound

    Michael Clarke

  20. 15. Processing Samples with Csound’s FOF Opcode

    Per Byrne Villez

  21. 16. A Look at Random Numbers, Noise, and Chaos with Csound

    John ffitch

  22. 17. Constrained Random Event Generation and Retriggering in Csound

    Russell Pinkston

  23. 18. Using Global Csound Instruments for Meta-Parameter Control

    Martin Dupras

  24. 19. Mathematical Modeling with Csound: From Waveguides to Chaos

    Hans Mikelson

  25. 20. An Introduction to Signal Processing with Csound

    R. Erik Spjut

  26. 21. Understanding Csound’s Spectral Data Types

    Barry Vercoe

  27. 22. Using Csound to Understand Delay Lines and Their Applications

    Russell Pinkston

  28. 23. An Introduction to Reverberation Design with Csound

    Eric Lyon

  29. 24. Implementing the Gardner Reverbs in Csound

    Hans Mikelson

  30. 25. Csound-based Auditory Localization

    Elijah Breder and David McIntyre

  31. 26. Convolution in Csound: Traditional and Novel Applications

    R. Erik Spjut

  32. 27. Working with Csound’s ADSYN, LPREAD, and LPRESON Opcodes

    Magdalena Klapper

  33. 28. Csound’s Phase Vocoder and Extensions

    Richard Karpen

  34. 29. Efficient Implementation of Analog Waveshaping in Csound

    Michael A. Pocino

  35. 30. Modeling a Multieffects Processor in Csound

    Hans Mikelson

  36. 31. Extending Csound

    John ffitch

  37. 32. Adding New Unit Generators to Csound

    Marc Resibois

  38. List of Csound Book Chapter Instruments
  39. Recommended Reading
  40. Recommended Listening
  41. Sound Intensity and Formants
  42. Pitch Conversion
  43. Csound’s Error Messages
  44. Csound Quick Reference
  45. Index