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Posted by on Apr 1, 2013 | 7 comments

DSP Anyone?

Photo by flickr user jm3

Photo by flickr user jm3

April is here, and with it comes our next featured topic. This month, we’re going to be delving into the world of DSP environments…Max/MSP, Pure Data, Supercollider, Csound, etc. These tool-sets all have a bit of a learning curve, but they present an opportunity to do something truly different from the typical processors we use every day. What’s spectacular about these is that they let you build your own tools.

There’s no doubt that getting into them requires a different mind-set than the standard tools of our trade, but the flexibility and creative opportunities they allow…and often foster…can go way beyond the everyday. If you were dedicated to the idea, you could probably even build your own DAW inside one of them. So, this month, we’re going to show you just a little bit of what these tools can do. Hopefully, we’ll inspire some of you to take the leap. The water’s pretty deep, but there are some amazing sights beneath the surface.

Next month, we’ll be going a bit looser with the theme, “time.” As always, guest contributions are heartily welcomed. If you’d like to contribute to this or next month’s theme, then contact shaun at designingsound dot org.


  1. Anything would be nice but, spend some time about Kyma pleaseeeeeeeee!

  2. Don’t forget Reaktor…

  3. Synthmaker, Flowstone and Synthedit would be my choice …. also Usine

    This topic needs more then a week. If you are to design sounds that are new and fresh it stands to reason that building your own non-mainstream tools could be a good way to achieve that. There really isn’t a better way to meet the goal of unique sound then to dig in and design your own personalized tools. I always choose the environments that will let me easily distribute the tool I have built to the general public. The software listed above will allow you to output Vst’s and Vsti’s.

    Max Reaktor and the other environments while being powerful and useful do not leave a full ownership model for redistribution through Vst, they lock you to their proprietary systems and playback engines. I prefer environments that leave me the choice to sell or give my designs to others. Vst is just about universal now so that narrows my choice to the design environments listed above.

  4. Nothing about Kyma?

    • We’re working on it, and might have something later this month. No guarantees though.

        • We’ll keep them in mind, though at this point it’s more up to interested parties within the community. We do what we can to provide a broad base, but keep in mind that we don’t have access to everything in the world either (or the cash to buy it all). We encourage guest contributions and actively pursue them regardless of whether or not people immediately volunteer, but not everyone has the time to do it. If you are intimately familiar with any of that software you mentioned, you’re welcome to propose an article. ;)

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