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The purpose of this assignment was to acquaint oneself with the Csound programming language, a computer programming language designed for dealing with sound. Csound is over 25 years old and during that period of time it has been extensively used in creation of electronic and digital music. To acquaint with Csound I decided to create two sounds based on sounds heard in the past days -- one being a hand clap, the other one being a harp on a string of a bass guitar.

The clap

The sound of clap is created using two short period exponential generators and a random noise generator. Then the noise is overlaid and misaligned to be finally passed through evenly spaced bandpass (reson) filters.

The bass

The base line is created using four oscillators, three low pass filters, and two high pass filters (consecutive). Finally, everything is fed into linen (applying straight line rise and decay pattern) and output to the user.

The composition

The composition creates a bass line using the sound of harping on a string of a bass guitar. The sound is modified by introducing different values of initial frequency and spaced evenly every half of a second. As such, it produces an ominous bass guitar playing rising notes (each of four sequences is played at different frequencies than the one before) and with evenly spaced clap in the background (which is matched in volume to the change of frequency of the bass).


While I enjoy music very much, over the years I had a very limited exposure to the process of music creation and music theory itself. As such, the exercise has proven itself a fairly demanding attempt at creating something that does not sound like a radio static and is not a rip-off of one of the multitude instruments for Csound available online. While my samples do sound fairly artificial, I believe they are a reasonable attempt at making the bass sound realistic. An Instrument Design TOOTorial proved itself to be invaluable, as was René Nyffenegger's short samples and examples Csound usage.

You can download the sound and the composition