On this page I will provide links to sites featuring literature, tutorials, software, materials, or samples for music composition.

Recorded Digital Audio Elements (a.k.a. Samples)

Freesound – Perhaps the king of all sample sites, this site provides Creative Commons Licensed sounds of a wide variety, submitted by a thriving user community.

University of Iowa Musical Instrument Samples – This is a very comprehensive collection of high-quality recordings of many orchestral acoustic instruments (and a few experimental sounds) performing notes across each instrument’s range with multiple dynamic levels and a variety of playing techniques. Perfect for loading up into a digital sampler. All files are completely unrestricted in their use.

Adventure Kid’s Single Cycle Waveforms – An astounding collection of single cycles of a recorded harmonic source. Perfect for table lookup synthesis, where a single cycle of a waveform is loaded into table and read through over and over to generate a tone, the speed in which it is read through determines the frequency (pitch) of the tone.

OLPC Samples Collection – A collection of samples, many from Berklee College of Music, collected for use in open source audio applications on the XO Laptops of the OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) Foundation, a group distributing computers to poverty stricken areas across the globe. I am not sure of the license of these files, but they are standard audio files and will work in any digital audio application, and many of these files are found on the DVD accompanying The Audio Programming Book.


Regular Expression Tutorial – The regular expression is a string matching expression, and the [regexp] and [jit.str.regexp] utilize this capability in Max, employing the syntax found in the Perl language. Using string matching is particularly important for parsing internet data for algorithmic compositions, which requires the use of [jit.uldl] to get the web info, and [jit.str.regexp] to parse the data. This stuff is not for the faint of heart, and I’ve been struggling to learn it, but this tutorial has helped.

Pure Data (Pd)

The Pure Data FLOSS Manual – The manual that should ship with Pd. I’ve learned a lot about Pd and digital audio from this manual. Excellent starting point for beginners.

Making Oscillators in Pure Data – Pd unfortunately doesn’t come with standard oscillators for classic waveforms like Triangle, Sawtooth and Square as would be found on most voltage controlled synthesizers. This tutorial teaches you how to design oscillators from the standard Pd set of objects.

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