Welcome to Sound Studio

The result of this project is a piece of working software which I have named Sound Studio, or simply Studio. Studio has been designed to be an easy-to-use sound sample editor on a Linux/X-Windows platform. It has used elements from the public domain, particularly the Sox utility. It is written in TCL/Tk. Since the project is a child of the 'Internet Spirit' it aims to find it's way back into the public domain as a useful utility for hundreds of users around the globe.

Aims of this document

These documents aims to meet the needs of three kinds of reader:

1. The reader who wishes to know of the development and some of the background material of the Sound Studio project.

2. The reader who wishes simply to install and use the Sound Studio application.

3. The reader who wishes to understand the Sound Studio sufficiently to modify the Sound Studio program.

Since the needs of these readers are significantly different, this document has been divided into three parts;

· The Development Report

· The User's Guide

· The Programmer's Guide

The documents are supplied in the following formats:

1. As an Applix® Words file (*.aw). The original documents were created by Paul Sharpe using the Microsoft® Word package, but they are now maintained by Nick Bailey, who does not use Microsoft® products through choice.

2. As PostScript output for the production of hard copy by those without access to the software required to read the *.aw files.

Development Report

The development report is a history of the development of Sound Studio project. It discusses,

· the material that was researched to start the project.

· the major design concepts and decisions.

· ways in which the project may be developed further.

· the value of the Studio project.

User's Guide

As the name implies the User's Guide is for those wishing to use Sound Studio. It requires a fairly basic knowledge of a windows-based application. This part,

· introduces the purpose of Sound Studio.

· explains its functionality and features.

· gives some background information on sampling, to help the user understand some of the terminology used in Studio and also in order to help the user new to this field to get a grasp on the purpose of Studio.

· introduces the Sound Studio interface.

· gives details of mouse and keyboard operations necessary to perform the various Sound Studio tasks.

This guide also accessible from Sound Studio itself as its on-line help facility.

Programmer's Guide

The programmer's guide is of particular interest to those who wish to continue the development of the Studio project. The purpose of this section is to give details of the program structure, architecture and organisation. It should provide sufficient detail to help the programmer to immerse himself comfortably into the source code.

The programmer should also read the User's Guide and Development Report since it contains background material. The exceptionally keen programmer may want to refer to the references listed in the bibliography to give more detailed background information.


Text and figures that have been extracted or closely summarised by this document, will have a footnote attached to it. The footnote will contain just the author's name and page in the reference text, where applicable. The full reference will be given in the bibliography.

Maintainer's Note

After Paul Sharpe, the original author of this software, graduated, it fell to me, his one-time supervisor, to maintain the code presented in this project. This has been something of a baptism of fire, since at the beginning I had never written a single line of code in tcl, let alone attempted to maintain what has grown to be quite a significant package in that language!

A full history is included in the text files which are in the main source code directory. However, I would like particularly to give credit to the following contributors (in no particular order!):

Francesco Curatelli <>, Professor in Electronics at the University of Genova, who gave substantial advice and material contribution, greatly improving the operation up to version 0.2.6, particularly in the handling of higher quality sound files (16-bit raw and .wav files at higher sample rates);

Michael J. Long <>, maintainer of the RPMs since 9th May 1977;

Michael Maher <>, who rook over from Machael Long and now looks after the rpm files of studio in the Red Hat® Powertools® distribution;

Rich Drewes <>, for being first to fix the bug in 0.2.<3 with the sox pipes;

Carter Brey <>, Principal 'Cellist of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, and Linux user, whose inability to record the beautiful sound of his Guadganini 'cello at more than 8000 samples/second on the earlier (broken) versions of Sound Studio prompted the version 0.2®0.8 spasm of development;

Mark Etherington <>, Mac-owner and professional musical director, for patiently receiving very large emails via his modem and personal telephone bill, until the .aiff format byte ordering bug was sorted out;

Paul Sharpe <>, the original author, for all of the donkey work and 99.9% or the inspiration. The huge majority of what you read here is his unmodified work;

Chel van Gennip <>, submitted the patch which started the 0.9 development cycle. Thanks to chel, the old method of cutting, pasting, and generally throwing files about using dd has been replaced by a strategy which uses only the head and tail commands. This is faster, because the calls to dd with small block sizes are avoided, and potentially more accurate too;

Joe Pfeiffer <>, who spotted with great cunning the strange ioctl() return values from some soundcard drivers which confused the C programs.

Robin Whitehead <> took the addition of VU meters and playlines on himself in the context of another third-year software project. He took Studio from version 0.9 to 1.0.

Tim Powers <> who took over the RPM maintenance at Powertools for Red Hat 6.1.

Mark Fraase <> for the donation of the Applix macros to automate the convertion from the original Words document to the PS and HTML documenation you may well be reading now.

One final request: if you use this program, please join the mail list! The traffic is very low and although it is unmoderated, the list amounts to an announcements forum and the occasional whinge from me for technical assistance. Details on how to join and leave the list are in the text files in the source directory. Please also honour the copyright conditions: send us a postcard!

Nick Bailey <>,

Snr Lecturer in Music Technology and DSP,

Dept of Electronics and Electrical Engineering,

The University of Glasgow,

Rankine Building,

Oakfiled Avenue.