Making Mainstream Synthesizers with Csound

Gleb G. Rogozinsky, Eugene Cherny, Ivan Osipenko

For more than the past twenty years, Csound has been one of the leaders in the world of the computer music research, implementing innovative synthesis methods and making them available beyond the academic environments from which they often arise, and into the hands of musicians and sound designers throughout the world. In its present state, Csound offers an efficient environment for sound experimentation, allowing the user to work with almost any known sound synthesis or signal processing method through its vast collection of ready-made opcodes. But despite all this potential, the shared resource of Csound instruments still lacks quality reproductions of well-known synthesizers; even with its ability to generate commercial standard user interfaces and with the possibility to compile Csound instruments in such as fashion so that they can be used with no knowledge of Csound code. To fill this gap, the authors have implemented two commercial-style synthesizers as VST plug-ins using the Csound front-end "Cabbage". This paper describes their architecture and some of the Csound specific challenges involved in the development of fully featured synthesizers.

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