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Command Blocks


Command Blocks are Csound ORC code with special directions to Blue on how to processes them. The are available to use only within the Global Orchestra areas of Instruments (not to be confused with the global orchestra area in the globals manager tab) and were created to help users build fully-encapsulated instruments, such that an instrument and all of its necessary parts could be grouped together.


This feature has largely been made unnecessary due to new Csound programming practices that have developed since this was initially introduced. This feature is left in Blue though to support legacy projects.

Basic Usage

To use a command block, you will need to wrap the section of orc code that you want Blue to process with the command in the following manner:

;[command to use]{ 
...Csound Orchestra Code... 

Available Commands

Once blocks are useful to limit how many times a block of code will be generated in the final CSD and is more for efficiency than anything else (so Csound doesn't define the same ftable more than it has to, for example). An example of this:

gaLeft init 0 gaRight init 0 

In this case, if the above gaLeft and gaRight init statement, wrapped in a once block, is used in multiple instruments, then regardless it will be generated only once in the final CSD. So a use case for the above would be if you have all of your instruments output to the above global variables for extra processing by an always-on reverb, you would want to add the above to all of the instruments and also the reverb. Then, if you start a new project and may want to reuse a few of your instruments as well as the reverb, you can just copy them into your new project's orchestra and start working away, knowing your global variables will be initialized and ready to go.

Pre blocks are useful if you need the enclosed ORC code to be generated before any other global orc code. When Blue goes to process the project to generate a CSD file, it normally starts of the existing global orchestra code from the globals manager, then appends all global orc from instruments and soundObjects to it, one after the other. By using a pre block, the code enclosed will be pushed up to the top of the global orchestra of the CSD (instrument 0).

The scenario which required a solution such as this was when working with the fluidSynth opcodes. For those set of opcodes, a fluidEngine needs to be initialized before loading of soundfonts into that engine. The design I had wanted was to have the instrument that did the fluidOutput also have the engine initialization. This was a problem because the fluidOutput needed to be placed at an instrument number higher than the fluidNote playing instruments for the output chain to work correctly. So here was a case of an instrument that needed to have its instrument generate later than the instruments that it depended on, but also have its own fluidEngine initialization happen before all the other soundFonts load in in their own global orc statements. The solution then was to create the once block feature and allow for targetting global orc code to be prepended to the top of the generated global orc code.