a stochastic event generator for Csound


Andre Bartetzki

STEAM - Studio für elektroakustische Musik, Hochschule für Musik, Berlin, Germany


CMask is an application that produces score files for Csound, i.e. lists of notes or rather events. Its main application is the generation of events to create a texture or granular sounds. The program takes a parameter file as input and makes a score file that can be used immediately with Csound.The basic concept in CMask is the tendency mask. This is an area that is limited by 2 time variant boundaries. These area describes a space of possible values for a score parameter, for example amplitude, pitch, pan, duration etc. For every parameter of an event (a note statement pfield in Csound) a random value will be selected from the range that is valid at this time (see [a], [c], [d], [4], [5], [7]). There are also other means in CMask for the parameter generation, for example cyclic lists, oscillators, polygons and random walks. Each parameter of an event can be generated by a different method. A set of notes / events generated by a set of methods lasting for a certain time span is called a field.

See also a HTML doc on some stochastic principles used in CMask: cmask-article.html

CMask was written in the Metrowerks CodeWarrier environment in C++.

CMask is freeware.

Program (MacPPC, WIN, IRIX), documentations and examples are available through ftp: download page.




[1] Ames, Ch. 1991. "A Catalog of Statistical Distributions..." Leonardo Music Journal 1(1)
[2] Dodge, Ch. / Jerse, Th. A. 1985. Computer Music Collier Macmillan, London
[3] Lorrain, D. 1980. "A Panoply of Stochastic 'Cannons'." Computer Music Journal 4(1)
[4] Roads, C. 1991. "Asynchronous Granular Synthesis." in Representations of Musical Signals, MIT Press
[5] Roads, C. 1985. "Granular Synthesis of Sounds." in Foundations of Computer Music, MIT Press
[6] Truax, B. 1988. "Real-time Granular Synthesis with a Digital Sound Processor." Computer Music Journal 12(2)
[7] Wishart, T. 1994. Audible Design Orpheus the Pantomime
[8] Xenakis, I. 1992. Formalized Music Pendragon Press


[a] Castine, P. Litter Package (Externals for MAX)
[b] Koenig, G.M. Project I, Project II
[c] Truax, B. POD programs
[d] Xenakis, I. Stochastic Music Program

July 1997, Andre Bartetzki @ STEAM, HfM Berlin