Csound is a software synthesizer that enables sound compositions can be completely generated from source code. The typical products of the Csound compiler are audio files; Real -time sound generation is possible via MIDI, since Csound5 and Open Sound Control (OSC ) protocol is supported, in which case the enormous possibilities of sound synthesis are not explored.

Due to the handling of source code which is similar to the programming is also considered Csound programming language. Just like for other languages ​​are several utilities and even Integrated development environments for Csound. The usual software techniques such as versioning can thus also be used for sounds and compositions.

To generate an audio file, either two source files are processed

  • Orchestra a file (extension orc ), defined the sound characteristics of instruments, and
  • A score file (English for score, ending with sco ), which governs the sequence of sound events,

Or a single XML file (ending csd ), which combines this information and also contains the options that would otherwise be passed on the command line to Csound.


To generate Csound with a WAV file that contains a one second sine wave of frequency 1000 Hz at a sampling rate of 44.1 kHz, the following file in the CSD format can be used:

          csound -W -d -o tone.wav; Output is in the file ' tone.wav '              sr = 44100; Sample rate 44100 Hz ( signal rate for output )      kr = 4410; Control signal rate ( at this resolution flow control parameters )      ksmps = 10; Samples per control signal unit      nchnls = 1; Number of output channels ( 1 is mono, 2 stereo )        instr 1      a1 oscil p4, p5, 1; Determine the instantaneous value of a simple oscillator ( sine wave generator )             out a1; and spend      endin              f1 0 8192 10 1; Create table for sine wave, this will be referred to the i statement      i1 0 1 20000 1000; at time 0 with a tone 1 second, the relative volume of 20000 and the frequency starts 1000 Hz      e      Web Links

  • CSounds.com - official web site with FAQs, manuals, programming examples, and additional programs
  • Csound project on SourceForge.net
  • The csound TOOTorials by Dr. Richard Boulanger (English)
  • Michael Gogins » Csound Downloads - PDF tutorials and Csound Algorithmic Composition with Csound and Python extension CsoundAC
  • THE CSOUND TUTORILAS beginners seminar starts with A Beginning Tutorial by Barry Vercoe the Csound inventor
  • Introduction " What is Csound? " by Jens Groh in forum experimental music and computer
  • Article "What is Csound " by Peter Kiethe in ZeM Issue No. 23 (Spring 2000), p.4 ff (Centre for Electronic Music eV)
  • Blue - Java-based graphical development and composition environment
  • QuteSound - developed in Qt graphical frontend
  • Http://en.flossmanuals.net/csound/ - Csound in the FLOSS Manuals en collection