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A Beginning Tutorial

The Csound Command

To request your orchestra to perform your score, type the command
intro.orc  intro.sco
The resulting performance will take place in three phases:

1) sort the score file into chronological order. If score syntax errors are encountered they will be reported on your console.

2) translate and load your orchestra. The console will signal the start of translating each instr block, and will report any errors. If the error messages are not immediately meaningful, translate again with the verbose flag turned on:

csound  -v  intro.orc  intro.sco
3) fill the wave tables and perform the score. Information about this performance will be displayed throughout in messages resembling
B  4.000 .. 6.000   T 3.000  TT  3.000  M    7929.    7929.
A message of this form will appear for every event in your score. An event is defined as any change of state (as when a new note begins or an old one ends). The first two numbers refer to beats in your original score, and they delimit the current segment of sound synthesis between successive events (e.g. from beat 4 to beat 6). The second beat value is next restated in real seconds of time, and reflects the tempo of the score. That is followed by the Total Time elapsed for all sections of the score so far. The last values on the line show the maximum amplitude of the audio signal, measured over just this segment of time, and reported separately for each channel.

Console messages are printed to assist you in following the orchestra's handling of your score. You should aim at becoming an intelligent reader of your console reports. When you begin working with longer scores and your instruments no longer cause surprises, the above detail may be excessive. You can elect to receive abbreviated messages using the -m option of the Csound command.

When your performance goes to completion, it will have created a sound file named test in your soundfile directory. You can now listen to your sound file by typing

      play test
If your machine is fast enough, and your Csound module includes user access to the audio output device, you can hear your sound as it is being synthesized by using a command like:
     csound  -o  devaudio  intro.orc  intro.sco

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