The Sound Loom An
What is The Sound Loom ?
The Sound Loom is an integrated graphic interface to the CDP
sound-processing software, a comprehensive collection of over 500 instruments
transformation developed as practical working tools by composers over
many years, available from the Composers' Desktop
There is also a CDP Users' Discussion Group.
The Sound Loom + CDP software is a powerful toolbox for
composers, not a performance instrument. Using it, you can specify the
parameters of any process to any degree of time-varying detail, detail you may
have composed or have extracted from some other complex sound-event. You cannot,
however, alter these parameters while the process is running.
In compensation, the system offers almost any conceivable process for
transforming sounds and sound-data (the data might be loudness envelopes,
pitch-tracking information, spectral analysis data, filter specifications etc.)
all running in a unified, intelligent environment.
The CDP instruments
The CDP instruments fall into four broad categories....
- Transforming the waveform of the sound e.g.
- extracting and transforming the loudness contour.
- various time-variable banks of filters.
- different types of 'waveset' distortion.
- Segmenting the sound, and reassembling segments e.g.
- 'harmonizer' type time-stretch or pitch-shift.
- regular, to random, brassage - from spectral modification to event-scale
montage (similar to granular synthesis).
- Transforming the time-varying spectrum of the sound e.g.
- spectral tracing.
- pitch and formant extraction and manipulation.
- morphing from one sound to another.
- Building new events from the whole sound e.g.
- naturalistic iteration.
- multi-dimensional time-varying texture generation (also known as
- mixing, e.g. with attack synchronisation.
The Sound Loom
The Sound Loom offers an intelligent working interface to all of these
processes. On the workspace page, you can load the source sounds or data
files you wish to work with. The Sound Loom keeps track of the properties
of these files, and knows automatically which CDP processes are appropriate to
any (list of) file(s) you choose to process and what parameter types (fixed
values, time-varying values, filter-data etc.) and parameter ranges are
appropriate to use in each case.
Every page of the Sound Loom comes with built in Help
information, and there is a New User Help facility which can be turned
off once you are familiar with the Sound Loom. The Sound Loom Process
Page holds brief descriptions of each CDP process, and the parameter
requirements of each process are documented from an Information button
which appears when you call the that process. In addition, the Which?
button allows you to query the Sound Loom to find out what processes
might be appropriate to achieve a desired result (e.g. time-stretching,
In addition, the Sound Loom interface has powerful facilities for
creating and manipulating data (e.g. time-varying parameters, filter
specifications, mix sequences etc.)...
- a Table Editor with hundreds of automatic processes for generating
or transforming data files.
- a Music Calculator making conversions between various musical and
- a Reference Store where important values can be held during and
and for processing sounds in bulk...
- Bulk Process allows you to apply the same process to a whole list
of sounds without having to enter each sound separately.
- Batch Processing allows several different processes to be
remembered and rerun, all at once, at a later time. Powerful editing
facilities allow new input sounds to be substituted, or parameters to be
changed in a systematic way.
The Sound Loom also allows you to....
- remember favourite processes (to recall at a single button press)
- remember patches (particular sets of parameters used for a
particular process, all recalled at a single button press)
- build hyper-instruments, i.e. a sequence of existing CDP
processes, combined into a new, named, super-process with its own parameter
set. Once created, this can be run just like a single CDP process.
- organise your sounds in musically appropriate 'virtual directories'
: you can store the same sound in any number of named B-Lists e.g.
'Introduction', 'Section3a', 'Coda' etc and load an entire virtual directory
to the workspace, to work on a specific section of a musical piece.
- sketch your compositional ideas, arranging and rearranging sounds
(and comments) on a Sketch Score on which you can also run different
types of test mixes, before deciding on a final running order.
which are permanently stored between sessions; and.....
- experiment with harmonies, either in standard (tempered) tuning, or
using any frequencies you want.
- experiment with sound interpolation, to get the best results for
changing one sound gradually into another.
The Sound Loom also....
- Remembers where you are at the end of a session, restoring that
situation at the start of the next.
- Maintains a record of activities ( a log), allowing any previous
action (from the current or any previous session) to be recalled, and allows
intelligent reconstruction where a sound or data file has been renamed or
deleted in the interim.
- Uses a very simple data storage strategy and is therefore very
robust: a system hang or crash will leave all data intact except, perhaps,
for the very last action you were performing. No previous data, or input
sound, or output sound, or system configuration, or patch, or hyper-instrument
or activity-log will be lost.
You can report faults to the CDP, but fault reports must be specific i.e.
- which version of the software you are running.
- the exact sequence of operations leading up to the fault (please try to
reproduce the fault - if it is not reproducible, it may be due to factors
outside the Sound Loom or CDP's control).
- the type and size of all sound, analysis (or other binary) files being
used with the process that fails.
- the contents of any (text) data files being used with the process.
- The exact fault message received - this may be
- a Sound Loom message.
- a TK/TCL message, which shows up in a window which allows the fault to
be traced - please follow the trace, and report the complete contents of the
TK/TCL fault report window.
- a message from you operating system, e.g. reporting a software crash.
If you have operational problems, please consult other users first.
Last updated: 2 November 2010