Re: language for sound effects (Ian Kemmish)
18 Aug 2001 00:44:15 -0400

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From: (Ian Kemmish)
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 18 Aug 2001 00:44:15 -0400
Organization: Compilers Central
References: 01-08-067 01-08-082
Keywords: interpreter, design
Posted-Date: 18 Aug 2001 00:44:15 EDT

justin@DoCS.UU.SE says...
>"Greg" <> writes:
>> The language would be based on C++. It would used for manipulating
>> sound waves (or any other application involving arrays of floats).
>> Can anyone give me any pointers on starting out a project of this
>> nature? If anyone is interested, I wouldn't mind including other
>> people in the project. I haven't decided if the project would be open
>> source yet.
>You might take a look at csound ( I think should get you
>started). It is a system for manipulating sound. As it is it comes with
>a (rather simple) progamming language. I would recommend it as a
>starting point, because the designers have come up with some good ways
>of talking about waveforms.

Well, Music and its descendants such as csound are good if your user
model is a modular synthesiser. Not necessarily for effects
processing, though.

>I'm talking more along the lines of sound wave manipulation (live
>perhaps?) . The language would be a mathematical way to manipulate
> waves, rather than using the preset functions like reverb that come
> with wave editors like cool edit pro, for example.
> So for delay:
> S[i + delay] = S[i] * volume;
> That's a simple example. The idea is that people would have more
> control over effects.

There have been a number of approaches in the past. A good place to
start might be Ircam's web site, as they've been doing it for donkey's
years, as have CCRMA/CNMAT at Stanford.

In the 80's there was a good USENIX paper about an awk-like language
for doing the kind of things you describe.

BeOS, MacOSX and DirectX all provide frameworks into which effects and
synthesisers can be plugged. BeOS insists you do it all in C++ :-(,
but I guess DirectX will these days allow you to use any language that
supports .NET, as the effects etc. are all COM objects. Don't know
about how it's done in OSX, as I get the impression the documentation
is still being written.....

If you were developing an all-in-one environment and starting from a
blank sheet of paper, I'd suggest Lisp, but then I'm eccentric;-)

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Ian Kemmish 18 Durham Close, Biggleswade, Beds SG18 8HZ, UK Tel: +44 1767 601 361

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