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The Computer Music Tutorial (MIT Press) Paperback – February 27, 1996
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Top Customer Reviews
The lecturer of the course admitted to me that he had based the course on this book, so naturally I found a copy. After reading it for 5 minutes I ordered a copy, because I knew without a doubt this was the book that would carry me through the rest of my studies. Interestingly, anyone else who has ever seen my copy has gone and bought themselves without much delay!
What the book offers is threefold: 1. A good introduction to MIDI. 2. A broad spectrum of signal processing techinques (including SFX). 3. A fast repository of synthesis ideas.
It even explains the fundamentals of the Fast Fourier Transform optimisation.
A lot of math has been replaced by flow charts, and this is means that it can explain the ideas to a wider range of people (and not just mathematicians).
The real selling point of this book is that it is, ultimately, the best possible mix of scope and depth of the subject of musical synthesis.
At 1234 Pages, it's also good value for money!
The first four sections of the book are completely relevant today, and they deal with fundamentals, synthesis, mixing and signal processing, and sound analysis. That is the first 600 pages of the book. Section five, on the musician's interface, is relevant and correct as to history and the basic facts. Many of the instruments used as illustrations no longer exist, but the theory of operation is still employed today. The section does discuss the "Max" software in the context of interactive performance, and Max is still used in various forms. Other systems such as MODE, MacMix, and NoteWriter, are now obsolete.Read more ›
Although it may seem outdated, trying to making up one's mind one has to consider a few things:
It's true that synthesis techniques have evolved in a very impressive way during theese 20 years (the book as you may guess has been written during the 80's), but it's also true that many of today's so called "new" synthesis techniques (as some software synthesis companies are fond of saying) are simply the natural evolution of past ones.
Just to give you an example the plugin "melohman" by ohmforce can be viewed as moving wavetable synthesis tool combined with ring modulation and effects like delay filters etc.
On the other hand, some chapters like ones on music equipment or software for algoritmic composition -fields in which technology plays a very important role- do are really outdated.
Cmt is a very complete book, it covers most important fields involved in electronic music composition, as one can see stepping through the index. Explanation of FFT calls for a review of trigonometry and algebra if you didn't studied them well at school, like me for example.
This review must come to an end, so here it is:
If you are/want to become self-taught serious about computer music and you like to make music with softwares like Pure Data or Max/MSP this book is a good place to start. Buy it.
Profund understanding of the possibilities of synthesis techniques or effects design of course requires more specifc scientific/academic readings.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wanted this book for a long time. Some people told me that it is too old, but i think the main concepts did not changed from 96. Read morePublished on March 3, 2014 by Ivn_Os
this book has everything you need to know .amazing book to learn how to making music with your computer and instrumentsPublished on December 7, 2013 by alex kulinczenko
It's a bible of computer music.
I'm a Korean. There's no korean translate version.
But sentences of this book is pretty clear and can be understandable.
This book transcends the omnispresent basics and goes deep enough for a complete explaining of many topics related to computer music, from sheer acoustics to composition. Read morePublished on October 6, 2013 by Daniel Prieto
I'd like to add my voice to others that have praised this book. I'm an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Cal Poly, and this book is my number one go-to source for... Read morePublished on October 30, 2012 by John B. Clements
I've had this book for a few years now, and I'm not even close to tapping it out. It's well-written and detailed, and since it's not software-specific - it's universally... Read morePublished on May 9, 2012 by M. Sweetz
This is quite a tome and I strongly suggest you not drop it on your foot. Well-written and comprehensive--but shares a short-coming common in many technical books--it lacks... Read morePublished on February 17, 2011 by D Anderton
I use this book both in my own work as a computer music composer and as an instructor in computer music at my university. Read morePublished on September 25, 2010 by S. B.