[Csnd] new piece with csound

Dear community,
the last weeks I’ve been working on a new piece wich I call “Xenophonie 7-Hommage a Skrjabin”.
Although I think the piece has a convincing musical form (I hope, You agree) I am not totally happy with the piece.
What do you think about the sound I used? Do You think it’s good or should I spend more time on designing it?
I had in mind doing something similar to a study of Nancarrow but with microtonal elements.
In this special case You can recognize allusions on the prometheus-chord by Scriabin and the resulting scale in a version of 53 edo.
I would as You to listen to the piece at
Please tell me Your honest opinion, it doesn’t matter if You find it bad or good, but I’m interested in Your ideas that would help to make the piece it more convincing.
All the best,

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Hi Stefan,
Mar 31 2022, Stefan Thomas has written:

Stream Xenophonie07 (Hommage a Skrjabin) by Stefan Thomas 6 | Listen online for free on SoundCloud

I don't know any of the pieces you reference here, so I can't comment on
the compositional techniques nor really the sound as a hommage, but... I
can say that I like the sound and feel that it fits the piece. Synthetic
as it is and almost static, in some passages it comes to life as an
entity in its own right.

Listening to the piece as a subject of sonic pleasure, I'd wonder if
experiments with some reverb might help to make it more pallatable. In
the introduction I kept hearing a big reverb, in the latter passages a
smaller one. I can see that this may defeat the purpose of the
composition. Especially in the latter passages you have some nice and
very distinct movement that might come out even more with perhaps some
means of 3D movement, using either the HRTF or ambisonic opcodes
supplied in Csound. Again, all this is based on a more consumerist view
leaning towards softening the impact of the crisp instrument and making
it less abstract.

It was an interesting and surprisingly evocative listening experience.
Thanks for sharing!

Best wishes,


Dear Jeanette,
thanks very much for Your reply and in-depth description of Your listening experience.

I will see what I can do with the HRTF or ambisonic opcodes You’ve mentioned.
All the best

Mar 31 2022, Stefan Thomas has written:

I will see what I can do with the HRTF or ambisonic opcodes You've

Don't worry about them. It was just a thought. I love 3D sound. It's a
personal fetish. :slight_smile: Reverb in some guise or other would yield far more
effect. Csound's 3D capabilities are still amazing, if you are
interested in them.

Best wishes,


You are taking a chance by using just a few obviously synthetic sounds in this piece. There is nothing at all wrong with this approach, but I think you could improve the sound design. Some suggestions:

(1) The envelope of the first sound might benefit from an exponential decay more like that of a gong or bell, which the sound otherwise resembles. If the sound already uses an exponential release, perhaps a higher power on the exponent (gets softer more quickly), followed by a pretty low sustain level and finally another exponential decay that is faster, like damping.

(2) Maybe some reverb, but that’s kind of tricky. Too much reverb can sound cheesy. Perhaps just enough reverb in the 1 to 2 second echo range to hear that there is reverb. The chirpier sound of the second part of the piece might well benefit from some reverb. I would evaluate Csound’s reverbs carefully, they are not all good, and perhaps try something from the Faust DSP library or examples, or a VST plugin that implements Jon Dattoro’s mesh reverb, like Mverb2020. This is a VST2 plugin and would need the vst4cs opcodes. I am now building these opcodes for Windows, macOS, and Linux, and will be releasing an update soon.

(3) This is my personal opinion of course, but I always feel that computer music is too shrill and can often benefit from a “big bottom,” i.e. a real bass.


Dear Michael,
thank You for Your elaborated response!
I want to say that I didn’t use two sounds, it’s only one single instrument.

Your suggestions concerning envelopes and reverbs are quite hands-on.
I’ve used reverbsc for the reverb, maybe it was not the best choice.
All the best