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The Audio Programming Book Har/DVD Edition

17 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0262014465
ISBN-10: 0262014467
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Editorial Reviews


I particularly like the way in which the authors treat Csound both as a tool and as a computer program whose internals are worthy of study and understanding. Again, the material here should be useful to experienced programmers who are just beginning with digital audio, as well as to those with a good understanding of digital sound who want to learn more about C programming.

(Paul LaFollette Computing Reviews)

The Audio Programming Book is an invaluable resource for composers, sound designers, and programmers. The contributors have done an outstanding job of communicating not only the technology but also the artistry of programming audio applications. That art will surely flourish further, thanks to their efforts.

(Robert Rowe, Director, Steinhardt Music Composition Program, New York University)

Thanks to The Audio Programming Book, it has become practical for musicians to compose music and sounds themselves and to explore their own sonic world without limitations.

(Jean-Claude Risset, composer)

The essential reference in digital audio programming, linking the rich knowledge and techniques of our past and present to a rapidly evolving future, The Audio Programming Book provides its reader with a comprehensive body of programs and processes and teaches the programming skills and math to use them.

(John Chowning, Professor of Music, Emeritus, the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA), Stanford University)

This book represents the meeting point of divergent lines of study that young computer musicians are desperate for. There is an extrodinary demand for a book where computer science, digital signal processing, music synthesis, electronic music, and algorithmic composition all come together. This is the only book you'll ever need if you want to learn to make your own plug-ins. An essential read, at the perfect time.

(BT (aka Brian Transeau), composer/technologist)

About the Author

Richard Boulanger is Professor of Electronic Production and Design at the Berklee College of Music and editor of The Csound Book: Perspectives in Software Synthesis, Sound Design, Signal Processing, and Programming (MIT Press, 2000).

Victor Lazzarini is Senior Lecturer in the Music Department and Director of the Music Technology Laboratory at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 920 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press; Har/DVD edition (October 22, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262014467
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262014465
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #245,750 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Travis K on September 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had been coding in C/C++/Objective-C for a year or so when I first picked up this book. As a musician all my life, I wanted to be able to get a fundamental understanding about what goes on under the hood when computers process audio signals, and hopefully start writing my own programs that do just that. In the content and coding practice realm, the book is TOP. NOTCH. You will not find a more comprehensive guide on Digital Audio Processing anywhere. In the first two chapters (being Chapter 0 and Chapter 1), there are some great techniques and strategies for really getting the most out of pointers, and, unlike most C programming books I've skimmed through, it jumps right into grabbing input for the command line, and introduces you to the proper defensive programming strategies and refactoring methods (i.e. encapsulating code into functions, using preprocessor definitions/macros, always keeping variable scope in mind) that you'll need to make strong, versatile programs. And on the audio side, it covers everything from Spectral Audio Processing to simple DSP to filter Design to effects such as Ring Modulation. And the DVD has tutorials about using C++ with either QT or Carbon to build GUIs for audio Apps, VST plug-ins, and even has a tutorial on designing an audio app for the iPhone. If you're a very advanced programmer with some signal processing background, you might find the DVD more valuable than the actual book itself.

A few warnings about this book though:

1) It is not, I repeat, NOT, for beginners. If you have just started learning C, or are switching over to C from a higher-level language that's not C++ or Objective-C, I HIGHLY recommend you read (or at least read the last half of) Kochan's "Programming in C" to get up to speed before you try to tackle this book.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By S Rosenbaum on February 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First and foremost this, book is a great resource for understanding how to program audio. It is area is the severely lacking in the computing world, so every little bit helps.

But there are some issues.

1. If you get the Kindle version you don't get the accompanying DVD data. However, if you contact MIT Press, like I did, they are pretty good at getting you a copy of the disc for free. And you must get the DVD, there is a lot of great information on it.

2. The book does start out on the right foot with an introduction to C. I think this is important because I think the bulk of people interested in this book are probably Digital Audio Production guys who are Power Users but might not have done real programming. But even if you are coming from an experienced C programmer angel I don't think it hurts. However, I believe it is important that the book starts off giving an introduction to C because it sets the tone for the book, and where the book should stand out. There are no GOOD intro to audio programming books. Most books for the audio programming are usually geared toward advanced programming or signal processing, or are so watered down the as you give a non-audio interested programer the basis to get a job done. This is a problem, because sure you can fine plenty of intro to programming books that are happy to teach you some graphics programming along the way, but never for audio. It is ambitious this book tries to take this route.
3. Unfortunately, the code style doesn't skill to that newbie-to-digital-audio style.

First, this is an edited anthology book and it seems that every author for every section decided to do their own coding style for each section.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By chrismortega on February 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a seasoned coder new to audio processing I give this book 5 big stars. It explains through numerous coding examples and projects all of the major aspects of coding for audio. It also provides cross-platform libraries you will find essential, as well as extra chapters not included in the book via the included DVD. I was able to synthesize my own sound waves, and even write my own wav file player within a week.

That said I would not recommended this book to someone who is unfamiliar with coding. The authors do try to give an introduction to c programming, however I found that the examples in this book would be very difficult for a new programmer to be able to follow, let alone compile, given that there are many libraries which must be linked etc. Personally though, I loved that upon opening the book for the first time I could flip through the pages gingerly and see tons and tons of straight c code. The theory is there, but more importantly so is it's practical application, and that's what makes this book awesome.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Oskar on October 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I really, really like this book. I'd been looking for a good introductory text on audio programming for a while when I found out this book was going to be released. It was an instant order.

I don't have a background in either C, engineering or mathematics. Still, I was able to get a whole lot out of the first couple of chapters from this book. There is a conceptual level of the topics that are transferable to other languages that I really appreciate. And more importantly, I got a great sense of what I need to get a grip on, other than the C language, to really grasp the topics on a deeper level.

Having said that, I did have issues with the code included. I don't know why one would, in an introductory text, not use sensible variable names? Using camel-case and full variable names would have made it a so much easier read. I constantly had to remind myself of abbreviations while simultaneously trying to grasp a concept, which needless to say isn't optimal. For instance; fpamp, bps_tick and brkampSize (note the odd camel case) is not a nice read. But hey, maybe this is the C way of doing things?

Also worth noting is that every chapter (with a few exceptions) are written by different authors and are not built upon each other. For instance, chapter 3 - "working with audio streams" references programs and concepts that has not been included in the text before reading that chapter (provided you read the book in a linear fashion). So one has to keep a "fuzzy logic" mindset.
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