Nick Collins' Website

Reading List

Computer Music
Sound Synthesis
Algorithmic Composition
Sound Design
Audio Analysis
Network Music
Rhythm Perception
Electronic Music Bibliography
Advanced Computer Music Bibliography

Computer Music

Collins, Nick (2009) Introduction to Computer Music. Chichester: Wiley
Roads, Curtis (1996) The Computer Music Tutorial. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press
Dodge, Charles and Jerse, Thomas (1997) Computer Music Synthesis, Composition, and Performance. New York: Schirmer Books
Moore, F. Richard (1990) Elements of Computer Music. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: P T R Prentice Hall
Hugill, Andrew (2008) The Digital Musician. New York, NY: Routledge
Roads, Curtis and Strawn, John (eds.) (1985) Foundations of Computer Music. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press
Roads, Curtis (ed.) (1989) The Music Machine. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press
Loy, Gareth (2007) Musimathics, Volumes 1 and 2. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press
[ONLINE(quite mathematical treatment)] Puckette, Miller S. (2007) The Theory and Technique of Computer Music. Hackensack, NJ: World Scientific Publishing Co., Inc.
[ONLINE(very mathematical treatment)] Benson, David J. (2007) Music: A Mathematical Offering. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Brown, Andrew (2007) Computers in Music Education. New York, NY: Routledge
Dean, Roger (ed.) (2009) The Oxford Handbook of Computer Music. NY: Oxford University Press
[ONLINE] Search old International Computer Music Conference Proceedings

Sound Synthesis

Miranda, Eduardo Reck (2002) Computer Sound Design : Synthesis Techniques and Programming. Oxford: Focal Press. (used to be Eduardo Miranda (1998) Computer Sound Synthesis for the Electronic Musician. Oxford: Focal Press.)
Russ, Martin (2004) Sound Synthesis and Sampling (2nd Edition) Oxford: Focal Press
Cook, Perry (2002) Real Sound Synthesis for Interactive Applications. A.K.Peters.
Boulanger, Richard (ed). (2000) The Csound Book. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press
Csound website
Barry Truax on granular synthesis
[LINK] Julius O. Smith (1991) "Viewpoints on the History of Digital Sound Synthesis". Proceedings of the International Computer Music Conference, Montreal, Oct 1991, pp. 1-10
Vesa Välimäki and Tapio Takala. (1996) "Virtual Musical Instruments - Natural Sound Using Physical Models." Organised Sound 1(2): 75-86
[LINK]Tero Tolonen, Vesa Välimäki and Matti Karjalainen (1998). Evaluation of Modern Sound Synthesis Methods. Technical Report 48, Helsinki University of Technology.
[LINK] Chris Chafe (1999) "A Short History of Digital Sound Synthesis by Composers in the U.S.A". Creativity and the Computer, Recontres Musicales Pluridisciplinaires, Lyon, March, 1999.
[LINK] Chris Chafe (2004) "Case Studies of Physical Models in Music Composition". Proc. 2004 Intl. Congress Acoustics, Kyoto

Nord Modular book with lots of sound synthesis ideas
Computer music magazines (Music Technology, Future Music, Computer Music, Sound on Sound et al.) can be a good source of tutorials and tips sections. An example from Computer Music of 100 Tips
Synth Secrets articles from Sound on Sound by Gordon Reid
Forum discussion on synthesizing a kick drum
Dan's cymbal synthesis
Nice DX7 example sounds

Algorithmic Composition

Miranda, Eduardo Reck (2001) Composing Music with Computers. Oxford: Focal Press

[HTML] Pearce, M., Meredith, D. and Wiggins, G. A. (2002) Motivations and Methodologies for Automation of the Compositional Process. Musicae Scientiae 6(2): 119-147
Computer Music Tutorial chapters 18 and 19
Ames, Charles (1987) Automated Composition in Retrospect 1956-1986. Leonardo 20(2): 169-186
Hiller, L. A. and Isaacson, L. M. (1979) (original edition 1959) Experimental Music : Composition with an Electronic Computer. Greenwood Press

Cope, David (2005) Computer Models of Musical Creativity. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press
Cope, David (2001) Virtual Music : Computer Synthesis of Musical Style. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press
Cope, David (1996) Experiments in Musical Intelligence. Madison, Wis.: A-R Editions
Cope, David (1991) Computers and Musical Style. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Noatikl as latest manifestation of the Koan project>
If you're stuck for algorithmic composition inspiration, perhaps look at some production hints for various dance music genres.


Core SuperCollider sites:
SuperCollider community homepage
SourceForge SuperCollider download site
Swiki open resource site includes information on compiling, contributing code, and third party examples

join the sc-users mailing list (it's relatively friendly to newcomers, just be careful you always try to solve a problem to the best of your ability before you post, by looking through help files and searching list archives. You can also Google a topic including 'sc-users' in the search string)
new SC code examples repository

James McCartney's homepage (SC's original creator)
James McCartney. (2002) Rethinking the computer music language: SuperCollider. Computer Music Journal, 26(4): 61-8

Downloading SuperCollider:

(also see the SC community page at the top)
All platforms (Mac, Windows, Linux)

Linux compilation instructions

Older (2009) Wesleyan builds for OS X, PPC and Intel, Tiger and Panther

Other tutorials on SuperCollider:
Three come with SuperCollider: just navigate to them from the main help page
A course by Julio d'Escrivan on sound synthesis using SuperCollider.
A course by Stelios Manousakis on SuperCollider.
There is also a course by David Cottle with an associated book and SuperCollider examples - in order to obtain it you must email him yourself, explaining why you want it (at which point he will give you a download link). He has specifically requested that all potential users are monitored in this way, so I will not paste a direct link here - however, you may also see me in person if you'd like a copy.

Dave Phillips' articles introducing SC on Linux

some SuperCollider standalone projects:
TX Modular by Paul Miller
LNX Studio by Neil Cosgrove
ixiQuarks by Thor Magnusson
Particularity by Cylob
BEASTmulch System by Scott Wilson and Sergio Luque
There are others around, search for Ghost Walk, Currymeter and more...

some SuperCollider audio examples on SoundCloud

SuperCollider example code forum


SC related blogs
Fredrik Olofsson
SuperCollider Junction (older)

General computer music
Create Digital Music
Computer Music Blog

Sound Design

[LINK] Farnell, Andy (2008) Designing Sound: Procedural Audio for Games and Film. Applied Scientific Press. (now published by MIT Press) The first part of the book, on Pd, is available for free download, and there are also some nice example chapters. Dan Stowell has also supplied translations of some examples to SuperCollider: [SC examples]
Sonnenschein, David. (2001) Sound design : the expressive power of music, voice, and sound effects in cinema. Studio City, CA: Michael Wiese Productions.
Viers, Ric (2008) The Sound Effects Bible: How to Create and Record Hollywood Style Sound Effects. Studio City, CA: Michael Wiese Productions.
A SuperCollider movie theme example
Recreating James Moorer's THX sound by Batuhan Bozkurt
The Miranda and Cook sound synthesis textbooks have some related materials.
Sound Design Blog

Audio Analysis

Princeton SoundLab live analysis sndtools
Cylob's extra FFT examples (SuperCollider)
Scott Wilson's LORIS UGens (SuperCollider)
Analysis of speech drives piano
: Spectrotune: supposed polyphonic pitch extraction, really just tracks spectrum [SOURCE]

Network Music

Jason Freeman's work including web projects and articles
Julian Rohrhuber's work: also see JITLIB in SuperCollider, and various Quarks...
Hobnox Audiotool: Demonstration of the capabilities of Flash audio, work by Andre Michelle
Andrew Hugill's links to accompany the Digital Musician, especially networked music links
Peter Traub sound installation for the web: Bits and Pieces (collects sound files each morning and uses them for that days' creation)
otomata: Nice in browser sound toy example by Batuhan Bozkurt

Psychology of Rhythm

Miriam Tumeo's Rhythm Perception Timeline
Justin London. Hearing in Time: Psychological Aspects of Musical Meter. Oxford University Press, New York, 2004.
Eric F. Clarke. Rhythm and timing in music. In Deutsch [1999], pages 473-500.
Diana Deutsch, editor. The Psychology of Music (2nd Edition). Academic Press, San Diego, CA, 1999.

Ernst Poppel and Marc Wittman. Time in the mind. In Robert A. Wilson and Frank Keil, editors, The MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences, pages 841-3. MIT Press, Camb, MA, 1999.
Richard Parncutt. A perceptual model of pulse salience and metrical accent in musical rhythms. Music Perception, 11(4):409-64, 1994.
Leon van Noorden and Dirk Moelants. Resonance in the perception of musical pulse. Journal of New Music Research, 28(1):43-66, 1999.
Peter Desain and Henkjan Honing. Computational models of beat induction: The rule-based approach. Journal of New Music Research, 28(1):29-42, 1999.
Martin Clayton. Time in Indian Music: Rhythm, Metre and Form in North Indian Rag Performance. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2000.