Welcome to the Tao user manual. This manual is for version 1.0-beta-30Apr2000 built on Sun Apr 30 20:46:21 GMT 2000.

Tao is a software package for sound synthesis using physical modelling techniques. It is written in C++ and provides a kind of virtual material consisting of masses and springs, which can be used to construct a wide variety of virtual musical instruments. New instruments are described using a text-based synthesis language (contained in what is referred to as a Tao script). When a script is invoked Tao carries out the synthesis described and automatically produces 3-D animated visualisations of the instruments. The animations show the actual acoustic waves propagating through the instruments and play a central role in Tao's user interface. In particular they make it much easier to think of the instruments as tangible physical objects rather than abstract synthesis algorithms.

Tao will eventually come with full documentation for the C++ class library API (application programming interface) so that it can also be used by those who wish to write their own C++ applications incorporating Tao's capabilities. This is not complete at the present time.

  • Where to find Tao
  • Who was it designed for?
  • How Tao is structured
  • What this manual contains
  • Typographic conventions used

  • ©1999,2000 Mark Pearson April 30, 2000