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SYD Central

Syd (formerly "SoftSynth") is a cross-platform instrument editor and software synthesizer by Jim Bumgardner. It has a graphical "patch cord" interface, and an elegant method for producing polyphony, compared to other patch-based music languages. It is particularly suitable for teaching computer music.

The Java version provides an elegant patching interface, and the C++ version can be used to render patches on the command line.

See below for the latest NEWS

Download JSyd (The Java Version)

Download Source Code for JSyd and CSyd (Java and C++)

Read the (JSyd) documentation

NOTE: If you are interested in contributing to Syd on Github, let me know.


Download Syd 1.0.7 for Windows

Download Syd 1.0.6 for Macintosh

Go to the patch download area

Download the Macintosh source code for Syd 1.0.6.

Download the Windows source code for Syd 1.0.7. Note: The Windows source archive requires Aladdin Expander to unpack.

Read the (Mac) documentation Note: The windows version has built-in help via the F1 key.

Other software by Jim Bumgardner

Syd screen shot (Macintosh version)
I wrote Syd so I could reproduce some of the sounds produced by the Buchla 200 analog synthesizer I used to play with at CalArts in the early 80's. It has since evolved into an interesting computer-music tool in its own right.

Syd screen shot (Windows version)

Features include:

  • Graphical interface
  • Generalized expression unit
  • Full expression parsing for most other sound units
  • (Limited) ability to read CSound Scores
  • Instrument abstraction via Nested Patches ("folder instruments")
  • Random (algorithmic) Score generator (extremely useful!)
  • Real time audio previewing
  • Karlplus/Strong Plucked String unit
  • Delay/Reverb Unit
  • Sampling Unit
  • Butterworth filters

Send comments, bug reports and requests to Jim Bumgardner.



9/20/11 I've created a GIT repository for both JSyd and CSyd.

5/8/09 I updated JSyd and CSyd today (versions 1.0.3 and 1.5.1, respectively). A bug was fixed in JSyd which was causing bursts of noise when saving to a WAV file. CSyd has been updated to support stereo patches.

7/27/06 I am currently working on a rewrite of Syd for Java. This version has a completely new interface, and works on modern macintoshes (unlike the original mac version of Syd).

9/12/03 Syd users will probably enjoy my other work. You can find it at KRAZYDAD (my new website).

11/10/98 A SYD mailing list, and a patch download area have been added.

10/20/98 The first Windows version of Syd is now available. It has built-in documentation via the F1 key, and outputs both WAV and AIFF files.

10/3/98 I've added online documentation for the Macintosh version of Syd here.

10/1/98 The Macintosh version of Syd was favorably reviewed in the November issue of Keyboard magazine.