Introduction

One of the more curious soundObjects in blue is the Sound SoundObject, which allows for the direct writing of instruments in the score. It's origin came a long time ago now when I was first beginning to create more soundObjects for blue. I was thinking of what exactly should be possible for a soundObject, thinking that if someone were to make a soundObject, they should be able to also embed instruments and f-tables that they'll know will always be generated and available. The case which I was thinking about at the time were non-generic soundObjects like a drum machine, where the soundObject would not only have a GUI to develop pattern tracks for different drum sounds, but also would be able to furnish the instruments and f-tables needed to generate those sounds, the idea being that one could release a soundObject that a user could use "straight out of the box", no instrument writing or tables required. That design decision eventually lead me to the conception of the Sound SoundObject, which uses those mechanisms that were put in place for all soundObjects. Theoretically I was very fascinated with the possibility of writing instruments within the main scoring area, mixing note blocks with pure sound blocks. It became possible to really compose with the sound in a very direct manner; saying things like "I want a sine wave here with this envelope, then a triangle wave here, and on top of that i want a processed sample sound to come in here" now had a direct translation. You didn't need to write the instrument, then write a note for it, and then have to work with both of them as separate entities. You could just add a Sound SoundObject block on the timeline, write your sound using standard orc code, and move it around in time on the timeline. After having thought through that possibility to express my musical goals by using the Sound SoundObject, I found that it opened up a lot of how I saw blue's timeline as well as how I thought about ways to work with blue.

As a Csound user or general electronic musician, it might seem strange to think of directly writing instruments in a score, especially in context to the existing music tools and musical models that you've probably worked with. However, by having the Sound SoundObject, I've found that interesting possibilities have opened up, and since it's creation and inclusion into blue it has been used and has played a part of just about every piece that I've worked on.

Note: It's not that it's impossible to implement this any other way. Really, it's just a single instrument with a single note, but, that's a technical issue, an implementation issue. The interesting thing is that when working with it, it's really a different thing altogether conceptually. It's the sound soundObject in the context of the timeline that makes its usage interesting and useful(well, for me at least!).

The following sections will go over how to use Sound SoundObject, what happens when it gets processed by blue, as well as some usage scenarios and patterns that have arose while using it in my own work.