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Computer Music: Synthesis, Composition, and Performance 2nd Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0028646824
ISBN-10: 0028646827
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Preface to the Second Edition. Preface to the First Edition. 1. Fundamentals of Computer Music. 2. The Acoustics and Psychoacoustics of Music. 3. Fundamentals of Digital Audio. 4. Synthesis Fundamentals. 5. Synthesis Using Distortion Techniques. 6. Subtractive Synthesis. 7. Analysis-Based Synthesis Techniques. 8. Granular Synthesis. 9. Physical Modeling. 10. Reverberation, Auditory Localization, And Other Sound-Processing Tehniques. 11. Composition with Computers. 12. Real-Time Performance of Computer Music. Glossary. Index.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Schirmer; 2 edition (July 2, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0028646827
  • ISBN-13: 978-0028646824
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 7.2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,169,404 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on June 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
If your intent is to create music *by synthesizing the tones with a computer*, with a program such as Csound, this book is invaluable. It is *not about sequencing*, looping, controlling synthesizers or samplers with MIDI, etc. That said, the serious treatment of various types of sound synthesis is more than adequately technical, with lots of flowcharts, diagrams and a little algebra. The flowcharts illustrate generically how sounds can be synthesized, without getting into the specifics of particular programs. You must be able to leap the gap between the concept and the realization in a particular computer music program. Other chapters nicely introduce psychoacoustics, fundamentals of digital audio and the use of sound processing methodology. Warning: For a person with little technical (engineering-type) background, the book will be tough going in places, possibly overwhelming. It is not an introductory-level text.
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By A Customer on February 26, 2004
Format: Paperback
i've been making computer music with supercollider and before that
with a commercial graphical patch up package for several years now,
and i wish that this had been the first book i had read.
the first book i did in fact read was roads' 'computer music tutorial',
which is a great book which i also highly recommend, but is more of
a reference than a tutorial, both in its layout and style. the dodge/jerse book
is so clearly and pedagogically written, that even though i already knew
a great deal of the material, it solidified quite a lot of it into place for me.
the thing i liked best about it is that the authors invariably direct you
to compositions made using the methods just described. in other words
the methods are not just described in a vacuum.
expect to learn from this book the basics of acoustics and psychoacoustics,
digital audio and sampling theory, and a slew of sound synthesis techniques,
as well as about composition.
who should buy this:
the serious computer music student, who does not necessarily have any
experience yet in computer music, but who is not afraid of some hard study.
the computer musician using either a graphical patch up system ( max/msp, reaktor, pd etc... )
or using some Music-N derived language (supercollider, csound) would both benefit tremendously
from a thorough study of the contents of this book.
the mathematics level required for this book is not high. your algebra should be strong
with a solid understanding of exponents and logarithms, and some basic trig wouldn't
hurt either.
a note about the C++ source code.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great first book on computer music for anyone who already has some training in music theory and computers. By "music theory" I simply mean that you should be able to read and write music and understand its terminology. By having knowledge of computers, if you have had any college course equivalent of "Introduction to Computer Technology" or equivalent work experience, then you qualify. I discuss the contents of this book in the context of its table of contents:

Chapter one is a broad overview and introduction to computer music and its components - operating systems, block diagrams, software, and the use of a computer in computer music.

Chapter two is a very basic introduction to acoustics and psychoacoustics in music. It presents the basic measurements of acoustics, describes the transducer mechanism of the human ear, and then discusses the psychoacoustic response of pitch, loudness, duration, and timbre.

Chapter three, "Fundamentals of Digital Audio", discusses the process of converting a signal between its analog and digital forms. This includes the restrictions, errors, and limitations imposed by the numerical representation of an audio signal. Finally, the chapter addresses the issues raised by the speed at which digital audio can be synthesized or processed. This last issue is a moving target and has changed considerably since this book was published.

Chapter four, "Synthesis Fundamentals", begins with the fundamentals of signal generation and presents techniques of additive synthesis, modulation, and noise generation. Several example computer instrument designs are shown along with examples of composition. This chapter is very important because it introduces the building blocks of synthesis - the oscillator, unit generator, etc.
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Format: Paperback
This book is an excellent introduction to computer music. It has been my reference and textbook for a year-long University course on computer music, providing many explanations that were in-depth enough to understand what is going on and how methods work the way they do, yet does not tie the reader down to a specific software or architecture. This is defintely a good read on the subject.
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Format: Paperback
Music synthesis is understood by a number of people just as manipulating a keyboard or just a work done by frequency equalizer. This book can remove such a misunderstandings and can give the readers the basics and advanced idea of building sound waveforms from zero to one. The readers are expected to have some knowledges of Fourier transform and analogue electronic circuits. All the engineers who are engaged in noise and vibration control should read this book.
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