The Csound Command

Csound is a command to generate a sound output from an orchestra and score files (or a unified csd file). It is designed to be called from a terminal or DOS window, but can be called from an easier to use front-end. The score file can be in one of many different formats, according to user preference. Translation, sorting, and formatting into orchestra-readable numeric text is handled by various preprocessors; all or part of the score is then sent on to the orchestra. Orchestra performance is influenced by command flags, which set the level of displays and console reports, specify I/0 filenames and sample formats, and declare the nature of real-time sensing and control.

Order of Precedence

There are five places where options for Csound performance may be set. They are processed in the following order:

  1. Csound's own defaults

  2. File defined by CSOUNDRC environment variable, or .csoundrc file in the HOME directory

  3. .csoundrc file in the current directory

  4. <CsOptions> tag in a .csd file

  5. Csound command line

The lower options in the list will override any earlier ones. As of version 5.01, sample and control rate override flags (-r and -k) specified anywhere override sr, kr, and ksmps in the orchestra header.