Some Technical Details about the CDP Software
  • Computers and Operating Systems:
    • MAC OS X: The current MAC compilation now supports only 64-bit Intel machines. It is compatible with all the current OS releases including Monterey (MacOS 11). Builds are now defined for 10.9 Mavericks onwards. Compiler libraries (Xcode) are no longer provided for earlier versions, or for 32-bit builds. We no longer support Mac PPC machines.
    • PC: Windows 7 onwards, 32-bit or 64-bit. We no longer support XP machines.

  • MAC / PC CDP Differences – The CDP Systems on these two platforms are identical in their sound processing functionality and documentation. The only differences lie in the fact that there are 3 graphic applications on the PC which we have not been able to transfer to the MAC. The main one of these is the Soundshaper GUI, so only the Sound Loom GUI is available on the MAC. The other programs that are PC-only are GrainMill (– however, the functionality for this is in available in MODIFY BRASSAGE), BrkEdit, and Viewsf. However, some CDP users have reported that they have successfully run these Windows programs on the Intel Mac using Parallels Desktop etc., with no reports of problems, although speed of operation can be an issue.

  • UNIX™-like Origins – The CDP direct-to-disk audio processing System began life in 1986-87 on the Atari ST computer (because of its game and MIDI ports). The first soundfile operating system was written by the brilliant computer scientist, Martin Atkins. It was UNIX™-like in design, and is something that CDP has retained ever since. This opens the System to command line use, makes it compatible with OS X (built on the BSD flavour of UNIX™), and maintains a pathway to scripting possibilities not available to graphic-only software. The CDP System is therefore particularly well-suited to programmers and educators. On one level, this means the use of batch files or shell scripts, and on another level it supports the use of powerful scripting languages (e.g., Perl, Python, Tcl/Tk) to create complex applications that make use of the CDP software. As CDP matures, a number of advanced and complementary software projects-in-progress are going down this route. For example, CDP's capacity to handle scripting and input data files has enabled it to be used for sonification in connection with the LHCsound Project.

  • Programming – We support third party development in various ways. Please contact CDP for details.

  • Role of the GUIs – There are at present two graphic user interfaces (GUIs) for the CDP software: Sound Loom by Trevor Wishart (MAC and PC) and Soundshaper by Robert Fraser (PC only). It is important to understand that these are 'front ends' to the underlying command line sound processing program set. These means that the GUIs 'call' the CDP programs but do not in themselves possess sound design functionality. It also means that scripting based on command line use is possible, as mentioned above, by-passing the GUIs or creating new ones.

  • 4 Gigabyte soundfiles – CDP now supports soundfile sizes up to the full 4 Gigabyte capacity of the WAV amd AIFF formats. (NB: WAV is now used on the MAC.)

  • Installation – Installation on the MAC is facilitated by an automatic installer for the documentation and another one for the programs. Sound Loom is installed simply by dragging it to any convenient directory, e.g., Applications. On the PC, installation is accomplished by double-clicking on a self-extracting zip files for the sound-processing software, GUIs and documentation. The technical setup of multi-user workstations has been improved. Please contact Richard Dobson for details: richard(at)

  • Multi-channel Use – CDP Release 7 supports creating and composing with multi-channel soundfiles, including Ambisonic format. To make use of these programs, you will need hardware multi-channel facilities in your studio: sound card, mixer and speaker set.

In brief, the vast range of CDP processing functions and extensive documentation provide an essential toolbox for innovative sound designers, electroacoustic composers and educators, and offers special opportunities for programmers.

This file was last updated on: 29 July 2023