Flat Drum

(click image for large version)

After two weeks of synthesizer fundamentals, now is a good time to do a quick review of what has been covered so far by putting these techniques into an actual working instrument. I designed Flat Drum for just this purpose. With the Flat Drum block diagram and code handy, go back and look through the material from the last couple of weeks. Which concepts are used in this instrument? Which are not? Are there any new opcodes? Do you see any familiar synthesizer design patterns? Is there anything in the code that you haven’t seen or don’t understand? etc.

Perhaps the most important thing you can do is to make a copy of the file, make changes to the values in the code, and listen to the results. Theory is useless without practice and hands-on experience.

Download flat_drum.csd here.

Synthesis Fall 2010

6 thoughts on “Flat Drum

  1. Hello.

    Congratulations for the Synthesis Fall articles, make the world of Csound more accesible.

    A question: How to make the block diagrams? Manually? Automatic? You follow some rules?


  2. @miquel Thanks for the kind words.

    I’m using Adobe Illustrator CS2 to for the block diagrams. The design of the diagrams is based primarily on The Csound Book, though I’ve taken some liberties to hopefully improve legibility and the over all look. For example, since these don’t have to fit in a book, I can space things out a little more.

    I’ll probably put together a pack of the illustrator files at some point, so others may build off of what I already have.

  3. Hey Jacob,

    Nice work on the blog man. This is a new way of teaching and it’s pretty good.

    I managed something similar last week, though not as complex, when I modulated once oscil with another. I got these various beat patterns and by changing the freq of the 1st oscil i managed to get different beat patterns. It was pretty cool :)

    I have a question. Like in Matlab, is there some way to view graphs or moving graphs of the stuff we’ve coded? Just like the block diagrams (which are very good btw), some visualization would be awesome in improving our understanding of the code and concepts. I was wondering if there might be some widget or something in QuteCsound to view or plot graphs of our outputs.


  4. @Rishabh Thanks!

    If you’re inclined to do so, could you make your instrument available? I’d like to hear it, as others might as well.

    Though I create my block diagrams with Illustrator, QuteCsound does support generating graphs. Click “View-View Code Graph” under the pull down menus. You’ll need to install graphviz in order for it to work (http://graphviz.org/). As far as I can tell, it isn’t interactive. At least, not in this stage of QuteCsound’s development.

  5. Hi Jacob,

    Sorry for the late reply. I actually am struggling to find out how I managed to get that percussive sound with a simple couple of oscils.

    I’m trying to reproduce that same thing, but instead of getting percussive staccatos, I’m getting the actual frequency sound.

    Not sure if something was up with my macbook’s sound that day, but now I’m not able to get it back :(

    All I did was

    instr r2
    a1 oscil 10000, 440, 1
    ;out a1

    a2 oscil 10000, a1, 1
    out a2

    And I used Gen05 or Gen10.

    Looking at the code, I was surprised to get that kind of sound, but anyway, now I’m not able to. Could you shed some light on what’s happening here?

    Even after all these weeks, I’m still sort of shooting in the dark here.


  6. @Rishabh Without hearing it, I don’t think I could possibly recreate what you had going on. However, there are some things that can be done along these lines. I’ll try and put something together by tomorrow.