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These instructions detail how to create a working environment for participants of my training session Interactive experiments in sound synthesis with Nsound, numpy and matplotlib at EuroPython 2014 in Berlin who do not want to or cannot use the virtual machine appliance I created for the course. These instructions are geared to Linux users, though with a bit of knowledge and adaptation on your part, they can also be applied to Microsoft Windows or Mac OS X systems. Inexperienced users are strongly encouraged to use the virtual machine appliance instead!

Step 1: Install the following software:

  • A C/C++ compiler (under debian-like systems, install the ‘build-essential’ package)
  • Python (2.7)
  • setuptools (2.x)
  • virtualenv (>= 1.10)
  • Scons (2.3.x)
  • SWIG
  • portaudio
And any or all of the following Python packages:
  • pygtk (2.24)
  • pyqt4
  • pyqt5
  • wxpython (3.0.x)
* including development headers (on debian-like systems install any ‘libfoo-dev’ package in addition to ”libfoo‘)

Note: Even though you could install the above Python packages from source and inside the virtual environment we will create below, it is much easier to just use the packages provided by your Linux distribution or the installers provided by the respective project on their website for other systems.

Step 2: Create a virtual environment with Python 2.7 and activate it (the $ denotes the shell prompt):

$ virtualenv ----system-site-packages soundxp
$ source soundxp/bin/activate
Note: the —system-site-packages option to virtualenv is necessary so that you have access to the Python packages you installed above from within the virtual environment.

Step 3: Install the following Python packages and their dependencies within the virtualenv:

  • Cython (0.20)
  • IPython (>0 1.1.x)
  • numpy (1.8.x)
  • matplotlib (1.3.x)
  • PyAudio
  • Nsound (0.9.1)
All the above Python packages, except Nsound, may be installed via pip:
$ pip install Cython
$ pip install IPython
$ pip install numpy
$ pip install matplotlib
$ pip install http://people.csail.mit.edu/hubert/pyaudio/packages/pyaudio-0.2.8.tar.gz
For Nsound, download the distribution package from its website and follow the installation instructions in the user guide.

Step 4: Head over to the checklist with instructions on how to download the course material and check your installation.