I consider myself to be at least fairly intelligent. I am also a “multi-instrumentalist” (to a imited extent — guitar/banjo/mandolin/bass/keyboards, etc.). Having said that, I’m not entirely sure why I’m interested in Csound.
Supposedly, it’s am amazingly versatiile application/language. (Several of hte Csound references I’ve consulted describe it as an “audio renderer”.) The “core” Csound application is a command-line (non-GUI), and is essentially an “audio compiler” (in that you can “program” Csound via specially-structured text files.
Now, here’s the thing:
Csound has to be just about the most blatantly obscure (to the point of being almost-totally incomrehensible) thing I’ve ever encoungered.
Oh, sure: I managed to download, install and run the thing. I also managed to download and install several of the “front-end” applications (which claim to make using csound more “user friendly”). So far — WinXound (a specialized text-editor for the 3 types of Csound files), Blue, and cabbage.
So, yeah: I managed to get stuff installed. THEN I attempt to consult the various “manuals” or “tutorials” — and end up completely and utterly mind-boggled.
The “Canonical Csound Manual”. The “FLOSS” (Free, Libre, Open-Source Software) Csound manual. The “Alternative” Canonical Csound manual. Boulanger’s “Csound Audio Design TOOTorials” — even the “manual” from the (ill-fated) OLPC project (They subjected SMALL CHILDREN to this thing, seriously???????)
So I (mistakenly) think that getting the “Csound BOok” (which is supposedly the “definitive reference and instructional work” for Csound would be helpful. Unfortunately for me, “new” copies appear to cost anywhere from $75-$100. “Used” copies are somewhat more reasonable.
So I luck into what I mistakenly see as a gold-mine opportuny: a (heavily) used copy of the Csound book, for less than $5, including shipping!
Cool part is: it even includes the CD-rom.
Problem is: The book itself is confusing to the point of being nearly incomprehensible.
Really: I cannot be this stupid. It has to be (at least partially) the fact that everything related to Csound appears to have a horrifyingly steep learning-curve. (The “first” tutorial — which, when rendered, merely genereates a 440-hz sine wave for a few seconds — is almost too syntactically obscure for me to comprehend.
I am — exceedingly — perplexed, and more than a bit annoyed, at this point.
I am NOT this stupid! I simply CANNOT be this stupid!