When programming a computer, you (as the programmer) tell a computer what to do. In order to communicate with your computer, it helps to be using the same language.
A programming language is nothing more than a set of letters, numbers, and symbols that have meaning to a computer. A programmer can use the language to provide instructions that can be interpreted and implemented by a computer.
Computers can understand many programming languages. There are programming languages that were specifically created for music and audio. Some examples are CSound, FAUST, Juce, and Pure Data. I plan to demonstrate some of these languages on the blog in the future.
There are also general-purpose programming languages that include some things related to audio. Some examples are C++, Java, and Python. I intend to demonstrate some of these languages, too.
Additionally, there are specific programming languages that are used for creating mobile apps.
In general, some programming languages appear simple to a programmer, while other languages are more complex.
Some programming languages allow the programmer to have extensive control over a computer, while other languages are more limited.
In many cases, you can accomplish the same thing in different programming languages. However, how you accomplish those things might look a little different depending on your language.
As one analogy, the spoken languages ‘English’ and ‘Spanish’ use similar letters, numbers, and symbols. Both languages also use parts-of-speech such as: nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc. However, you would create a different sentence if you were going to provide an instruction in English than if you were speaking Spanish.
As another example, if you have experience as an audio engineer, you may have used different mixing consoles. In which case, you know it is possible to mix a multi-track recording using either an SSL, Neve, or API console. Each type of console works differently, but can be used to accomplish a similar task. The same is true of programming languages.
One programming language that I will use on this blog is called: MATLAB.
Matlab has many aspects that are great for working with audio. It has a good balance of simplicity (to be intuitive) and complexity (to really learn how to program). It allows for enough control over a computer to accomplish many things for audio.
Continue reading to find out more about Matlab.