Tools for Sound Processing
Figure 6: pd patch for echoing and linearly-increasing transposition
Inline sound processing
A completely different category of music software deals with inline sound pro-
cessing. The software included in this category implies direct user control over
sound on several levels, from its inner microscopic details up to its full external
In its various forms, it allows the user to: (i) process single or multiple
sounds (ii) build complex sound structures into a sound stream (iii) view differ-
ent graphical representations of sounds. Hence, the major difference between
this category and the one outlined in the preceding paragraphs lies perhaps
in this software's more general usage at the expense of less 'inherent' musical
capabilities: as an example, the difference between single event and event organi-
zation (the above-mentioned orchestra/score metaphor and other organizational
forms) which is pervasive in the languages for sound processing hardly exists
in this category. However, this software allows direct manipulation of various
sound parameters in many different ways and is often indispensable in musical
pre-production and post-production stages.
Compared to the Music-N-type software the one of this category belongs
to a sort of "second generation" computer hardware: it makes widespread and
intensive use of high-definition graphical devices, high-speed sound-dedicated
hardware, large core memory, large hard disks, etc. . In fact, we will shortly
show that the most hardware-intensive software in music processing - the digital
live-electronics real-time control software - belongs to one of the sub-categories
exposed below.
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