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Mac sequencing and synthesis software
I would like to thank all colleagues who responded to my inquiry about
flexible software for the Macintosh with both audio sequencing and synthesis
capabilities. I have not had time yet to follow up on any of these tips,
but here is a summary.
Dennis McFadden recommended LabVIEW, "a graphical programming language of
very high sophistication and infinity flexibility", which exists in both
Windows and Mac versions and is sold by National Instruments, 6504 Bridge
Point Parkway, Austin, TX 78730-5039. This sounds like the real thing, but
it may be expensive.
Kevin Baker mentioned that MITSYN, a flexible synthesis program developed
at MIT, is available for the Mac now. No information about how to obtain
it. "Once over the steep learning curve it is fairly easy and versatile
Several people mentioned Synthesiser, a program developed at the University
of Sussex and available free from http://epunic.biols.susx.ac.uk//synthesizer/.
I knew about this one and had retrieved an earlier version that, however,
failed to run properly on my machine. Perhaps there won't be any problems
with the latest version. The program seems to be easy to use; I don't remember
how flexible it is as a sequencer. Kevin Baker mentioned that he uses the
program together with Hypercard or Supercard. There is also a version for
the PowerMac called PowerSynthesiser.
Several people mentioned PsyScope, which is available free from http:
//poppy.psy.cmu.edu. This is a flexible program for running psychological
experiments, but it does not have any synthesis capabilities, as far as
I know. Dan Levitin mentions that "the user interface and the manual are
Jim Bashford mentions Superlab by Cedrus Corporation (email@example.com).
It seems to be similar to PsyScope, "... and it is supposed to become much
smarter,... Last time I called Cedrus, however, the improved version of the
program remained a vaporous apparition".
Susan Volman sent a very detailed reply concerning sequencing software
used in birdsong physiology research, developed at Ohio State University.
It does not run on a PowerMac. "It uses a GW I/O board and can digitize
sounds to make stimulus files, synthesize and edit some sounds, or import
AIFF files from other programs". It does not randomize. It seems to be
available free; contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
A few people mentioned systems running on a PC or on Unix or Next, but that
was not what I had asked for.
Many thanks again for all the information. Now all I need is the time to
investigate these options.