AudioKit

Free AudioKit Lets iOS, Mac Developers Code Synths and Sound

AudioKit is a promising-looking new open source tool set for coding synthesizers, music, and sound on Apple platforms (though it could certainly be ported to other places if you have the time). The draw: you get not only a robust library but loads of examples and tests, too, for a variety of applications, in both Objective-C and Apple’s new Swift language. And it’s free. The contributors will look familiar – and the core engine comes from community contributions around that most enduring of synthesis tools, Csound. (For those worried about obsolescence and the pace of technology, Csound has its roots …

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Csound + iOS: Coming Spectral App Looks Amazing, How to Build Your Own Apps

And they say computer technology for music is “disposable.” Csound has a direct lineage to the very first digital audio synthesis ever to run on computers, counting decades of history. It remains an elegant way to make any instrument, event, or musical creation you can imagine, all with a free tool. And now, a Csound file can be baked right into an app for iOS, if you so desire. Whether or not you’re ready to tinker with code, that means more musical goodies for your sonic amusement. And the next in line is something called csSpectral. Boulanger Labs has been …

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hadron

Grains as Instrument: Free and Open Source Hadron Synth, Now VST, AU Plug-in [Videos]

Synthesizers can sometimes seem stuck in a groove, an endless, repeating parade of identical virtual analog synths. If you want something different, the Hadron Particle Synthesizer could fit the bill. It’s a synth. It’s a sampler. It’s an effect. It’s a synth that can morph from synth to sampler to effect. Based on granular synthesis, sound is transformed into new sonorities, sometimes liquid, sometimes stuttering, layered here for even more complex sounds. Earlier versions ran in the sophisticated, evergreen sound-coding tool Csound, and in Max for Live. But if you felt left out, a new version now works as a …

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cs_touch_1

csGrain Gets Granular Goodness on iPad 2/3; Vanguard of Multi-Platform Csound Renaissance

Technology may be about the next Big New Thing, but as with music making in general, making music with tech is for many of us a lifetime vocation. So, it’s welcome news to find that time-tested tools, maturing over decades rather than months, are enjoying greater use than ever before. We saw Pure Data (Pd) attracting new interest as the embeddable libpd version allows use in a range of development environments and mobile platforms. Now, it’s about to be Csound’s turn. Of course, before we get to that, if you’ve got an iPad 2 or “3” (aka “the new iPad”), …

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Csound For Live: Powerful Sound Creation in Ableton, With or Without Any Coding

With great power comes great learning curves – or maybe not. Csound for Live, just announced this weekend and shipping on Tuesday, brings one of the great sound design tools into the Ableton Live environment. You can use it without any actual knowledge of Csound, without a single line of code — or, for those with the skills, it could transform how you use Csound. For anyone who thinks music creation software has to be disposable, you’ve never seen Csound. With a lineage going literally to the dawn of digital synthesis and Max Mathews, Csound has managed to stay compatible …

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hadron

From Granular to Free Hadron Particle Synth; Plug-in, Max for Live, and Csound (Plus, Music!)

If you aren’t quite ready to delve into the mysteries of granular synthesis and code, a colorful interface guides you through playing in Ableton Live. Granular synthesis… you’ve heard it before. Famously articulated by experimental composer Xenakis, the process of slicing up sound into tiny bits and reassembling it has produced everything from lovely (or terrifying) synthesized sonorities to the underlying time stretching algorithms in popular music software. But with all the tools competing for your granular synthesis time (one seems to pop up every few seconds on the prolific Facebook page of sound designer Richard Devine), the Hadron Particle …

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hydrogen

Making Music with Free and Open Source Software: Top Picks from Red Hat, Dave Phillips

There are plenty of reasons to consider free software tools as part of your toolchain for music making. They might fit your budget, give you needed flexibility, allow you to use a tool driven more by development needs than commercial ones, give you tools that would otherwise lack proprietary commercial niches, allow you to run (via Linux) on a wider variety of hardware or with greater low-latency performance, or allow you to contribute more directly to a project, from documentation to actual development. And increasingly, they don’t mandate some sort of philosophical choice, either – I routinely use free software …

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More Free Synthesis Goodness: QuteCsound Screencast, Csound with Processing

For all the wonderful tools and toys for sound out there, sometimes you want to find the couple of tools that, like a great kitchen knife, can accomplish the majority of what you actually need. (And as with the kitchen knife, while it may not eliminate your desire for all those other gadgets, it’s worth some sharpening.) So it is with something like Csound, the tested-and-tried, free synthesis tool. Jim Aikin looked at the QuteCsound front end recently, which puts the power of Csound in a more friendly work environment. Via Synthtopia, there’s also now a screencast series that covers …

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Deep Synthesis Made Free, Easy: QuteCsound

In this guest column, we turn to veteran synthesist and music tech expert Jim Aikin. When Jim wants to do digital synthesis, one of the tools to which he turns is a veritable favorite with a direct-line legacy to the beginnings of computer sound. That doesn’t mean Csound hasn’t kept with the times, though, or that it has to be unfriendly. If you’ve been looking for a way to dive into sound and code, this could be an ideal path. -Ed. Csound is one of the most powerful pieces of free, open-source, cross-platform music software in the world. But it’s …

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Real Sound Synthesis, Now in the Browser; Possible New Standard?

Bloop HTML5 Instrument inspired by Brian Eno’s Bloom from Bocoup on Vimeo. HTML5 and Javascript Synthesizer from Corban Brook on Vimeo. Pioneers like Max Mathews’ Bell Labs team taught the computer to hum, sing, and speak, before even the development of primitive graphical user interfaces. So it’s fitting that the standards that chart the Web’s future would again turn to the basics of electronic sound synthesis. A group of intrepid hackers and Mozilla developers and community leaders are working to make an audio API a standard part of this generation of Web browsers. (Note: not some unspecified future browsers – …

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