What is Csound?

A quick web search for an answer to this question reveals many descriptions. Although most are accurate, none i am satisfied enough to just direct you there. So here is my stab at it:

At its core, Csound is a cross-platform application to process, synthesize, and manipulate digital audio. The algorithms to perform these processes are specified in a kind of scripting language modelled on patch-cord analog synthesizers. However, unlike hardware synthesizers, Csound's specified "patches" are not limited to any maximum number of modules, patch cords, or mixer channels.

Csound allows these "patches" [called "instruments" in Csound, but do not let the terminology limit your thinking!] to be controlled in many different ways:
[+] triggering them from sequence/score/real-time performance/etc
       [a computer "orchestra"]
[+] having them "always-on" and tweaking controlling parameters
       [an effects processor]
[+] having instruments spawn and control other instruments
       [algorithmic composition]

The "scripting language" to specify instruments is fairly straight-forward and is not something to fear. However, there are many graphic-based applications that hide much of the text-based editing for you. In addition, current developments are making it possible for Csound to become plug-ins for sequencing and audio editing applications.

For more information on Csound, go to the csounds.com home page or see my argument for why csound
Quick Links
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