The COSMO (Csound On Stage Musical Operator) project is an open source project providing the software and hardware instructions to make a DIY effect pedal based on the Raspberry PI computer and Csound.

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Csound is a powerful, multi-platform, real-time sound-processing environment that allows musicians to design their own instruments and audio-effects by writing a few lines of Csound code. The initial aim of the “Csound On Stage Music Operator” (COSMO) project was to run Csound 6 on a standalone musical device specifically designed for live performance [1].

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COSMO Workshops

The basic scheme proposes a guitar pedal design with regular quarter jack-in and jack-outputs, 3 footswitches and 5 knob potentiometers. Csound 6 (Csound Python API) is running on a Raspberry Pi micro-computer, equipped with an additional sound card for low latency audio input and audio output. The advantage of such a design is the straightforward inclusion of individual designed digital audio-effects (like granular frequency modulation) into a regular live-electronics setup and provide direct haptic control of Csound to the performing musician. Such a musical device may also enable non-programming instrumentalists to use Csound in their analog live-performance setups.

Do-it-yourself (DIY) build instructions for the pedal-box and a SD-card image with all required software installed and preconfigured, will be provided on the [COSMO project github page] (http://cosmoproject.github.io).

Additionally, we are giving workshops were we assist in building these devices and show how easy it is to design custom audio-effects with Csound. This may result in a Csound live-performer community, sharing sound modification Csound patches, developed for such stand alone musical devices [2].

Project Core Developers

Former Members:

  • Kim Ervik: Hardware development

Contact us


The project is funded by the Arts Council Norway

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[1] Ervik, Kim; Hofmann, Alex, and Waerstad, Bernt I. (2013) “COSMO - Csound On Stage Musical Operator,” at 2nd International Csound Conference (Boston, USA).

[2] Hofmann, Alex and Waerstad, Bernt I. (2015) “COSMO 2.0 - Csound on Stage Musical Operator,” at The 3rd International Csound Conference (St. Petersburg, Russia).

[3] Hofmann, Alex; Waerstad, Bernt I. and Koch, Kristoffer E. (2016) “Csound Instruments On Stage” at New Interfaces for Musical Expression 2016 (Brisbane, Australia)

[4] Hofmann, Alex; Waerstad, Bernt I.; Balasubramanian, Saranya and Koch, Kristoffer E. (2017) “From interface design to the software instrument - Mapping as an approach to FX-instrument building” at New Interfaces for Musical Expression 2017 (Copenhage, Denmark)