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README.HTML

1<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN"
2"http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd">
3
4<HTML>
5<HEAD>
6<TITLE>MPEG 4 Structured Audio -- Developer Tools</TITLE>
7<META name="keywords" content="John Lazzaro, John Lazaro, Jon Lazzaro,
8Jon Lazaro, John Lazarro, Jon Lazarro, John Lazzarro, Jon Lazzarro,
9John Lazzarow, John Wawrzynek, MPEG, MPEG 4, MPEG-4, MP4, MPEG-4
10Structured Audio, MP4, SA, MP4-SA, MP4/SA, computational audio,
11structured audio, MIDI files, audio compression, music synthesis,
12computer music, DSP, digital signal processing, audio scripting, audio
13signal processing, sound signal processing, digital audio workstation,
14digital audio, physical models, WAV, AIFF, audio signal processing,
15digital signal processing, reverb, chorus, flange, sampling, hip-hop,
16tracker, mod tracker, content creation">
17<META name="description" content="MPEG-4 Structured Audio tools and
18documentation for content creators and application developers, featuring
19the Sfront MP4-to-C translator. Tools for audio scripting, audio signal
20processing, digital signal processing, DSP, DSP education.">
21</HEAD>
22
23<BODY BGCOLOR="#FFFFFF" TEXT="#000000" LINK="0000EE" ALINK="FF6666"
24VLINK="551A8B">
25<TABLE BGCOLOR="#CCCCFF" WIDTH="100%" CLASS=navbar>
26<TR>
27<TD>
28<FONT FACE="Verdana, Lucida Sans, Arial, Helvetica, Geneva,
29sans-serif"><SMALL><STRONG>mp4-sa</STRONG></SMALL></FONT>
30</TD>
31</TR>
32</TABLE>
33
34<H1>MPEG-4 Structured Audio: Developer Tools</H1>
35<H3>By <A HREF="http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~lazzaro/index.html">
36John Lazzaro</A> and <A HREF="http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~johnw">
37John Wawrzynek</A>, <A HREF="http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/">
38CS Division</A>, <A HREF="http://www.berkeley.edu/">UC Berkeley.</A></H3>
39
40<TABLE WIDTH="100%" CELLPADDING=12 CELLSPACING=0>
41<TR>
42
43<TD WIDTH="45%" VALIGN=top BGCOLOR="#FFCCCC">
44
45<H2><TT>sfront</TT></H2>
46
47<P>
48<B>sfront</B> is a translator that converts MP4-SA files into
49efficient C programs that generate audio.
50
51<P>
52The sfront <A HREF="sfman/index.html">reference manual</A> describes
53how to <A HREF="sfman/user/install/index.html">install</A> the
54program, and how to use it for <A
55HREF="sfman/user/use/index.html">rendering</A>, <A
56HREF="sfman/user/rtime/index.html">interactive</A>, and
57<A HREF="sfman/user/rtime/index.html#plug-in">plug-in</A>
58<!--
59and <A HREF="sfman/user/network/index.html">network</A>
60-->
61applications.  It also shows how to add <A
62HREF="sfman/devel/cdriver/intro/index.html">control</A> and <A
63HREF="sfman/devel/adriver/index.html">audio</A> drivers to sfront.
64
65<P>
66Sfront is freely redistributable under the terms of the <A
67HREF="copyright/bsd.html">BSD license</A> (without advertising
68clause).  The sfront reference manual is freely redistributable under
69the terms of the <A HREF="copyright/gfdl.html">GNU Free Documentation
70License</A>.
71
72<P>
73The webpage you are reading resides on your local hard disk, along
74with the sfront reference manual.  <A
75HREF="http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~lazzaro/sa">Visit</A> our website
76for the latest Structured Audio news, and to
77<A
78HREF="sfman/user/install/index.html#download">download</A> the latest
79sfront version.
80
81
82<H2>The MP4-SA Book</H2>
83
84<P>
85We wrote an <A HREF="book/index.html">book</A> to show how to create
86audio content for MPEG 4 Structured Audio. It resides on your
87hard disk, and is freely redistributable under the terms of the <A
88HREF="copyright/gfdl.html">GNU Free Documentation
89License</A>.
90
91<P>
92The book includes a <A HREF="book/tut/index.html">tutorial
93introduction</A> and sections on the <A
94HREF="book/saol/index.html">SAOL language</A>, SASL and MIDI <A
95HREF="book/control/index.html">instrument control</A>, and <A
96HREF="book/opcodes/index.html">advanced opcodes</A>.
97
98<P>
99Book <A HREF="book/append/index.html">appendices</A> list the core
100opcodes (<A HREF="book/append/corea/index.html">alphabetically</A> and
101by <A HREF="book/append/coref/index.html">functional type</A>), <A
102HREF="book/append/stnames/index.html">standard names</A>, <A
103HREF="book/append/wave/index.html">wavetable generators</A>, <A
104HREF="book/append/lang/index.html">language elements</A> and <A
105HREF="book/append/rules/index.html">language semantic rules</A>.
106
107<H2>Additional Resources</H2>
108
109<P>
110<A HREF="http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~lazzaro/sa/video/index.html">View</A>
111our multimedia presentation on Structured Audio, <A
112HREF="http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~lazzaro/sa/pubs/index.html">read</A>
113our papers on the topic, and see related work on <A
114HREF="http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~lazzaro/nmp/"> Network Musical
115Performance</A>.
116
117
118</TD>
119
120
121<TD WIDTH="45%" VALIGN=top BGCOLOR="#CCFFCC">
122<H2>What is MPEG-4 Structured Audio?</H2>
123
124<P>
125MPEG-4 Structured Audio (MP4-SA) is an ISO/IEC standard (edited by
126Eric Scheirer) that specifies sound not as sampled data, but as a
127computer program that generates audio when run. Computer scientists
128call this approach Kolmogorov encoding.
129
130<P>
131MP4-SA combines a powerful language for computing audio (SAOL,
132pronounced "sail") and a musical score language (SASL, pronounced
133"sassil") with legacy support for the MIDI format. MP4-SA also defines
134an efficient encoding of these elements into a binary file
135format (MP4-SA) suitable for transmission and storage.
136
137<P>
138MP4-SA is different from standards like the MIDI File Format, because it
139includes not only the notes to play, but the method for turning
140notes into sound. As a result, MP4-SA is normative -- an MP4-SA file
141will sound identical when converted by any compliant decoder.
142
143<P>
144If the instrument models use algorithmic synthesis instead of
145wavetables, an MP4-SA file can describe realistic musical performances
146without using any audio data -- just score data, mixdown cues, and DSP
147algorithms. In this case, the MP4-SA file is about the same size as a
148MIDI File, but is a lossless encoding of the audio heard at
149mixdown. Just like a WAV file -- but 50 to 1000 times smaller!
150
151<H2>An Example</H2>
152
153<P>
154This <A HREF="book/simple/index.html">example</A> shows how to create
155audio content in MPEG-4 Structured Audio.  It shows a SAOL and a SASL
156program that generates a tone burst sound. Audio output for the
157example was created using sfront, a translator that converts MP4-SA
158files into efficient C programs that generate audio.
159
160</TD>
161
162<TD WIDTH="10%" VALIGN=top BGCOLOR="#FFFFCC">
163
164<P>
165<H2><center>Links</center></H2>
166
167<center><A HREF="book/simple/index.html">Introductory Example</A></center><br>
168
169<H3><center>*</center></H3>
170
171<P>
172<center><A HREF="sfman/index.html">sfront Reference Manual</A></center><br>
173
174<P>
175<H3><center>*</center></H3>
176
177<P>
178<H4><center><A HREF="book/index.html">The MP4-SA Book</A></center></H4>
179
180<center><A HREF="book/tut/index.html">Tutorial Introduction</A></center><br>
181<center><A HREF="book/saol/index.html">The SAOL Language</A></center><br>
182<center><A HREF="book/control/index.html">SASL and MIDI</A></center><br>
183<center><A HREF="book/opcodes/index.html">Advanced Opcodes</A></center><br>
184<center><A HREF="book/special/index.html">Special Topics</A></center><br>
185<center><A HREF="book/append/index.html">Appendices</A></center><br>
186
187<P>
188<H3><center>*</center></H3>
189
190<P>
191<center><A HREF="http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~lazzaro/sa/sfman/user/install/index.html#download">Download
192most recent sfront</center></A>
193
194</TD>
195</TR>
196</TABLE>
197
198<BODY BGCOLOR="#FFFFFF">
199<TABLE BGCOLOR="#CCCCFF" WIDTH="100%" CLASS=navbar>
200<TR>
201<TD>
202<FONT FACE="Verdana, Lucida Sans, Arial, Helvetica, Geneva,
203sans-serif"><SMALL><STRONG>mp4-sa</STRONG></SMALL></FONT>
204</TD></TR>
205</TABLE>
206
207<P>
208<A HREF="copyright/index.html">Copyright 2000 John Lazzaro and John
209Wawrzynek.</A>
210
211</BODY>
212</HTML>
213