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Composer's Desktop Project
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Software Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next [all]
Author Composer's Desktop Project
secretkillerofnames
Anyone using CDP?

I've been a fan of Trevor Wishart for a decade or more... finally decided to add CDP to my arsenal.

Also bought into CSound for Live but it appears that isn't working so well. Still csound~ works in Max so there is hope.

Any newbie pointers?
poppinger
There was this abortive thread a while back about it.


I've always been curious about CDP -- the Waveset stuff in particular. It seems like an interesting toolkit of processes that aren't easily attainable with other available software.

So I guess a better question is how do you like it? Mr. Green
secretkillerofnames
poppinger wrote:

I've always been curious about CDP -- the Waveset stuff in particular. It seems like an interesting toolkit of processes that aren't easily attainable with other available software.

So I guess a better question is how do you like it? Mr. Green


Yeah well my curiosity got the better of me. Plus I get an academic discount at the moment so figured why not - it has come down in price quite a lot.
So far I'm buried in the manual and have only done a couple of processes. I've been using Sound Loom mainly which reminds me of the writing tool Scrivener in the way it creates a fairly unique workflow.
Definitely seems promising.
Dcramer
I remember this on the Atari years ago!
Still going? Good to hear!
Noise for Fiction
Would be nice to hear some good demos
secretkillerofnames
Noise for Fiction wrote:
Would be nice to hear some good demos

I'll let you know when I make something worth sharing.
Don't wait up! hihi
peripatitis
It is an amazing toolbox for mangling stuff and a complete steal with the academic price imho.
I find it being not realtime a plus instead of a disadvantage, better suited for composition.

Been using it since 2003 and lately only with soundloom, since i kind of switched to a mac, still i preferred it to soundshaper probably because of the way one could manage the resulting files.

Very very temperamental with installation, had many situations where it wouldn't install on my then current pc.
Also i've never managed to do batch processing which would be great :(


However once you get into creating your own instruments you could can create very cool processing algo's

Archer is extremely helpful.

I'll upload tomorrow a couple of sound examples...
secretkillerofnames
peripatitis wrote:
It is an amazing toolbox for mangling stuff and a complete steal with the academic price imho.
I find it being not realtime a plus instead of a disadvantage, better suited for composition.


Agree about the non-realtime advantage. My plan is to use it alongside Metasynth in the creation of sound files that can form a foundation for live processes or that I can run through my Nord Modulars.

peripatitis wrote:

Been using it since 2003 and lately only with soundloom, since i kind of switched to a mac, still i preferred it to soundshaper probably because of the way one could manage the resulting files.


Interesting. Finding it rather heavy going learning to use Soundloom and would really like to try Soundshaper to see what it is like (I work on Mac/Win but have Mac install atm).

peripatitis wrote:

Very very temperamental with installation, had many situations where it wouldn't install on my then current pc.


Was very smooth for me installing onto OSX 10.8.4 - I just followed the instructions and it appears to be fully functional.

peripatitis wrote:

Also i've never managed to do batch processing which would be great :(

However once you get into creating your own instruments you could can create very cool processing algo's


Isn't creating an instrument in Soundloom essentially defining a batch process?

peripatitis wrote:

I'll upload tomorrow a couple of sound examples...


Please do!
peripatitis
here is a link with a couple of sound files
[s]http://soundcloud.com/peripatitis/sets/cdp-examples [/s]


An instrument is a chain of processes one after the other plus the selection of user parameters and initial values.
Lets say you need to make an fft analysis of a stereo file, time stretch it and get a resulting stereo sound file.

You need to first extract each channel individually, analyse it, process it resynthesize and combine the two channels to make the stereo wav.
This can be defined in a instrument so that you don't need to do it manually.

A batch process on the other hand is when you put a number of sound files through this instrument,or any process for that matter 'automatically'.

The last version of cdp seems indeed fully functional in mac's, it wasn't in the past though.
Soundloom can be annoying at first but after awhile, since cdp creates a lot of file types it can be a better choice for keeping track of those !

metasynth is another indeed another beast, we are getting spoiled by choices these days smile
usw
I was just wondering how it handled bulk files generated from processes wink Is it faster than the original soundhack application ?
Noise for Fiction
Thank you Peripatitis for great demos.sound quality seems better than what you get from realtime plugins.
secretkillerofnames
Thanks for the great demos Peripatitis. applause

I think I might start learning with Soundshaper and then move towards SoundLoom when i'm more proficient.
Both are fiddly but the results are worth it.
Noise for Fiction
Still thinking about this hmmm.....
peripatitis
usw wrote:
I was just wondering how it handled bulk files generated from processes wink Is it faster than the original soundhack application ?


I've never use soundhack as a standalone application (only through max) so i can not tell.

But if you are talking about the intermediate files of an instrument you can select which to save and which not. For some situations you might only need to save the .wav but for crossynthesis it is good to have a library of analyzed files.
But there are many file types you have for example .ana (fft analysis files), .for (formant files) .freq(spectrum files), .brk (breakpoint files for data), .txt , etc
And some of them the .ana for example are quite big (bigger that the respective wav ! )

As for the time it takes, it depends a lot on the length of your initial file and the involved process.
one feature that speeds up things is that you can listen to the fft analysis without having to resynthesize them first.
This was not the case with some of the previous versions- installations and you can imagine it was a p.i.t.a smile
secretkillerofnames
[s]http://soundcloud.com/secretkillerofnames/the-braying-abbott [/s]

Something I made in Soundshaper in about an hour or so. It's a ten second sample (that you hear at the start) slowed down and then using the drunk walk and scramble to do variation - some fractal distortion and reverb at the end.

Put together in Adobe Audition but everything else happened in CDP.

I find Soundshaper much easier to get into than Soundloom but can see how it could be more useful when I'm working with more files and have a better idea of what i'm doing.
Noise for Fiction
Thank you,nice demo
Richard Devine
Wow, so cool to see Composer's Desktop Project mentioned here. I have been CDP user for many years. Archer Endrich and Trevor are great folks. I had the honor of playing with Trevor at Recombinant Media Labs in 2006. Amazing work been a huge fan of his since day one. Great to hear that folks are still using this powerful software environment. :-)
secretkillerofnames
Richard Devine wrote:
Wow, so cool to see Composer's Desktop Project mentioned here. I have been CDP user for many years. Archer Endrich and Trevor are great folks. I had the honor of playing with Trevor at Recombinant Media Labs in 2006. Amazing work been a huge fan of his since day one. Great to hear that folks are still using this powerful software environment. :-)


Hi Richard,

care to give us an brief run-down of how you might use it these days / what affordances it still offers you?

][oyd
Noise for Fiction
Richard,do you still think its unique tool that is different compared to realtime plugins?
usw
Some processes aren't compatible with real time, not just because they may involve more computing power than available. In my opinion, real time shouldn't even be considered as a requirement, nor a benefit in many cases, for musical composition.
Noise for Fiction
Sorry that wasnt what I mean.
Is cdp still better sounding/ unique tool compared to other programs/plugins?
secretkillerofnames
Well I know you are looking for Richard's opinion, not mine... but here it is anyway! lol

You asked:
Quote:
Is cdp still better sounding/ unique tool compared to other programs/plugins?


And I think you aren't going to get any useful answers from this question because it depends on what you do with it as to whether it is better sounding or unique.

A better question might be "Can I achieve better sounding / unique results with it compared to other programs/plugins?"

I think if you just fiddle around for an hour or so... the answer will be "No". With the handful of hours i've put into CDP so far I would say I have not managed to achieve anything I haven't achieve more immediately with Spectrumworx, Soundhack or the Michael Norris plugins.

However none of these plugins go as deep as CDP or allow as many parameters and functions to be readily combined. What I have seen is the possibility of what I can do when I understand more about how the combination of parameters and approaches offered by CDP work together on specific audiofiles. It is something that requires an investment in learning more than most plugins designed for quick results. It also requires an investment in learning how to use the quirky interfaces. I think if you are comfortable with command line batch processing then there is no question you can get something out of CDP... otherwise I say fair warning... I've spent a lot of time scratching my head over the way Sound Loom and Sound Shaper approach combining the CDP functions into a GUI.

The reason people keep bringing up the real-time / non real-time argument is because it is an essential element in evaluating CDP.
These techniques have been around for a while but as far as I know there is nothing out there that offers the flexibility and power of what CDP offers BECAUSE it offers them as non-realtime processes. I would rather let a DSP programmer explain why non-realtime processes are better for this kinda stuff but I imagine it has something to do with a more modular flexibility allowing a combination of processes to be developed that are tailored to the material without needing to keep the algorithms fast enough to run in real-time. Therefore you could theoretically get better quality.

It's also very specific workflow. I recommend reading some more about how people compose with it and why they use it. This link has two essays that are worth reading. I'd also recommend if you have access to a university library - see if you can find the journal articles that Trevor Wishart and Archer Eldritch have written about CDP and Sound Loom. If you get nothing out of it then CDP probably isn't for you wink
peripatitis
I don't think a comparison is possible. Usw mentioned the realtime, non-realtime issues which are fundamental.
It is not simply an issue of waiting a minute to listen to the result so that you can get a 'better render'. It is about extracting and processing information.

It is a completely different paradigm.

On the one hand you are dealing with forensics and in the other, mainly with a black box approach.

Of course one can compare the pitch shifting algo of cdp to an x plugin offer
but this is a very limited view,n essence 'playing ball' i in the plugin's world field.

There is a film, a masterpiece i should add (well i don't need to add it smile ), by Bergman called persona.
At some point in the beginning of the film there is a sequence of film burning.
I can imagine watching it in the cinema 50 years ago one would actually believe this, but in 2013 you either know that it can't happen (projections are digital) or you have no idea what you just watched.
On the other hand the photography, the script, the acting (even by today standards) is timeless.
But these are not one off effects, these are a tight interconnected elements of the film.
This raps it up for me regarding plugins, a very very limited view of something that soon will be irrelevant.

Of course there are plugins where you can do spectral filtering, freeze etc on sound material, but honestly who wants to listen to that ? Once it is done as an effect (ealry 90's i suppose) there is no value to it if it can't integrate in a deeper level with one's music.
A plugin does't allow you, or should i say doesn't lend itself to a more complete study of the sound material and the musical form.

P.s the amount of tsipouro i had before writing this post shouldn't be underestimated smile
p.s2 Thank god for the wife waking up, this could have been a 10 page blurb.
peripatitis
Of course secretkillerofnames (i am starting to forget mine) is right, besides everything else workflow is an issue and depends one ones temperament.
Noise for Fiction
thumbs up Thank you secretkillerofnames and Peripatitis!
I did get an answer I was looking for and good reading tips too.
I have been doing this for long time and I used to use vst plugins as non "realtime" and process them one by one to files because there wasnt enough CPU power to run whole chains.

Cheers
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