I'm trying to learn audio programming, but am struggling with the basics of audio.

Audio programming is new to me (I'm a C/C++ developer with over 30 years of experience), but I don't have any background in sound/audio or DSP.

I'm learning ad-hoc, through various websites. Things I need to know are sampling, envelope, sweeps, length counters, pulse waves, triangle waves, delta modulation, PCM, etc.

Is there some kind of definitive book that I should start with, given my background? I don't really need to understand advanced sound processing, just something thats beginner and somewhat easy to digest.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ It is always useful to have a "project" to drive your learning. In the meantime, you might want to have a look at this search for many relevant posts with very good responses. $\endgroup$
    – A_A
    Sep 29, 2016 at 18:42
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Beginning with or without a knowledge of calculus, linear algebra and complex arithmetic or analysis? Graduate or undergraduate level? Completely different "beginner" resources depending on the level indicated by those answers. $\endgroup$
    – hotpaw2
    Sep 29, 2016 at 20:31
  • $\begingroup$ This answer might be somehow related. $\endgroup$
    – jojeck
    Oct 1, 2016 at 15:08
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Happy new year, and a reminder that your question and its answers require some action (votes, acceptance) $\endgroup$ Dec 31, 2016 at 16:17

3 Answers 3


In general you can divide the audio books into the following categories:

  1. Audio Engineering
  2. Audio Programming
  3. Audio Signal Processing and Coding
  4. Digital Signal processing

For your exclusive requirement (that fall into cat-2) I highly recommend the following book: The Audio Programming Book_BOULANGER_MIT

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I also heard a professional developer in audio dsp recommended this book. $\endgroup$
    – msm
    Oct 3, 2016 at 13:18

If you want to start from signal processing tools, Spectral Audio Signal Processing is a comprehensive source for Fourier and filtering related techniques in audio.

With a C++ twist, you can look at:


You ‍say you are a ‌‌‌developer of C/C++, I think the "Digital Signal Processing using MATLAB" writen by Proakis, Vinay is very useful book.Since Matlab is a piece of cake for a C developer. This book contains filtering and all techniques in audio processing i.e frequency domain, wavelet domain, coefficients domain (MFCC's, etc.). Other resource is the great website: DSP Related

  • $\begingroup$ Please explain more! $\endgroup$
    – MimSaad
    Oct 29, 2016 at 17:32

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