Cabel - build modular synthesizers.

install instructions.

To use Cabel you have to install Cabel's dependencies:

For Linux User

For Windows User

And finally don't forget to get the latest release of Cabel here, or check out the latest changes on the code from the cvs repository at sourceforge.

Here is the README file included in the latest Cabel release and here is the INSTALL file.

For some help on this install issues see below.

Getting started

Start Cabel with "python" in the Cabel directory.

Go to the menu: Options->Preferences. Set your preferred sample rate, control rate, ksmps (that's sample rate/control rate) and number of output channels (e.g. 1 for mono output, 2 for stereo output and so on).

I use the following:
Sample Rate: 48000
Control Rate: 6000
Channels: 1

More information about those variables at

To use Cabel with a default MIDI activated instrument set the score to "f0 6000" which means "play csound for 6000 seconds". If you use an instrument which only needs to be triggerd once set the score to "i1 0 6000" which means start instrument 1 at start time 0 and let it play for 6000 seconds.

Set the path to your csound executable and your preferred csound parameters (

I use the following csound parameters:

On Linux platforms:

  • for alsa realtime output (-o dac:plughw:0 means connect the digital-analog converter to the alsa device plughw:0):

    -d -W -o dac:plughw:0 -+rtaudio=alsa -b256 -B2048 -M0 -m0

  • for jack realtime output (both connected to the first PortMIDI device):

    -d -W -o dac -+rtaudio=jack -+jack_client=cabel -b256 -B2048 -M0 -m0

  • add a "-i adc" for realtime audio input

On Windows:

  • for realtime audio and midi support through the native MME implementation:

    -d -b128 -B1536 -W -+rtmidi=mme -M0 -+rtaudio=mme -o dac1

Some help for Csound5 installation and usage

Csound5 is still a beta release so here's a short instruction howto get, compile (Linux only) and install it.

On Linux platforms:

This is nearly smurky's linux mini howto in the csound5 forum at

  1. Get the dependencies. They're listed here:
    csound5 dependencies

    Also install python-dev for the csound python interface, libfluidsynth-dev or your distro's version of the fluidsynth headers.

  2. Get the sources from or checkout the current CVS:

    cvs -z3 co -P csound5

  3. Follow the instructions in the manual to build and install csound5. They can be found here:
    csound5 build and install instructions

    Now execute:

    scons usePortAudio=0

    when that's done execute:

    scons usePortAudio=0 install

    At the moment (CVS from 2005-11-08) you have to make some changes manually (the example presumes you installed csound5 to /usr/local):

    ln -s /usr/local/lib/ /usr/local/lib/

    And copy the "" python interface file from your csound5 build directory to /usr/local/lib.

  4. You now need to make sure that csound can find the plugin opcodes. If you installed csound in /usr/local, the opcodes will be in /usr/local/lib/csound/opcodes. Add the following line to /etc/bash.bashrc or whatever the equivalent is on your system:

    export OPCODEDIR=/usr/local/lib/csound/opcodes

    put the same line in /etc/profile. Open up a terminal and execute:


    You should now be able to run csound from the command line. The midi options need to be specified in proper ALSA speak, ie. hw:N,N. The command line that I'm using most at the moment is:

    csound -+rtaudio=jack -+rtmidi=alsa -o dac -Mhw:1,0 -d -m0

    hw:1,0 specifies the first virmidi port on my system. Use "amidi -l" to get a list of the raw alsa midi devices.

    If you compiled with PortMIDI use a very high and senseless MIDI device number to get a list of midi device numbers.

  5. Test your csound5 installation with python interface via interfaces/ in your csound5 build directory.


  1. Get the actual Windows Installer for CSound5 from here

    The relevant download file should be a .exe file. Download it and install csound to your pc.

  2. For Python beeing able to load the csound python api, add C:\csound5\bin to your PYTHONPATH environment variable.

    To do this,

    • right-click on the "My Computer" (Arbeitsplatz) icon on the desktop and open the Properties dialog.
    • Under Advanced you can set your environment variables.

    Remarks:If you installed csound5 to another location than C:\csound5 on your pc set the path accordingly.

Now you should be able to run csound from the command line.

The command line i´m using most at the moment is:

csound -d -b128 -B1536 -W -+rtmidi=mme -M0 -+rtaudio=mme -o dac1

Real time audio and MIDI under Windows

The midi and real time audio configuration of your system may be different. In order to get lists of available midi and/or audio output devices specify them with an very high and sensless device number.

By default, real time audio uses PortAudio with the portaudio.dll.0.0.19 file from Victor Lazzarini's Csound 5 MSVC package. This module includes support for MME, DirectSound, and ASIO; the available devices can be listed by using "-i adc or -o dac" with an out of range device number (e.g. -o dac100). In most cases, MME devices are listed first, followed by DirectSound, and ASIO devices are listed last; thus, the default device is usually MME. As the default PortAudio DLL is somewhat old, if there are problems with real time audio, you may try using the DirectSound-only DLL file from csound5\pa_dx (replace the file in bin\ with it), or the native MME plugin which is enabled by the -+rtaudio=mme command line option.

Real time MIDI can use PortMidi (the default), or MME (if -+rtmidi=mme is specified on the command line). In both cases, MIDI input is enabled by -M devnum, and MIDI output is -Q devnum; 'devnum' is a device number, which, if out of range, will result in an error and listing of available devices.


Copyright (C) 2005 Sebastian Gutsfeld (, Matthias Thar (