Sunday, March 9, 2008

Last Week On The List, episode 2

The big news on the list last week was the epic (and ongoing) NetAddr discussion, encompassing correct usage, confusion about the concepts involved (cough) and proposals for future improvements.

A few other topics that floated around the collective consciousness:

Partch scale experiments
The ins and outs of Ambisonics
A brief pointer for Phase Vocoding
NaN Protection


photo (c) A. Waiter

(clockwise: Thor, James, John, Nick, Chris J, Fabrice, Chris F, Dan)

Last Wednesday saw this consortium of SuperCollider power-users gather in honour of James Harkins' journey from across the pond, at a curry house in Brick Lane, London. Several interesting topics were digested along with the spicy food. James remarked that he had "Windows" Chris to thank for being able to use SC on his trip, as he only had a PC laptop with him. Chris' work on presenting information in the form of audio sounded pretty interesting. Fabrice has written a chapter in the forthcoming SuperCollider book on tuning systems. Nick said he was looking forward to having a break from thinking about SC, given the frantic last few months of editing this book, but not for too long, as he took out his diary and tentatively pencilled in plans for a midsummer SC workshop. John was considering his options after a period of intense academia. Thor gave his expertise on baby noises: after Dan remarked on how interesting they are on a sonic level, it was pointed out that an emotional attachment to such screaming makes it slightly harder to listen to. I showed off a few vids of my Monome activities to Nick and Fabrice, and having sent some code to Thor a few weeks ago, established that any user would need an exact copy of my brain in order to use it.
As we were leaving, Dan whipped out his eee PC and gave us a quick blast of Gendy:

photo (c) Thor

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Last Week On The List

London SC / Curry meeting on Wednesday
Everyone Loves WSLib
Look, no Enter key!
When Integers Go Bad
Follow That Pitch

What's your pick? Comment, or claim your posting rights!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

SuperCollider workshop - Switch-from-Max! (Berlin 8mar)

March 8th 2PM: Switch-from-Max! ... (and other patch cable based systems)

A one-day workshop focusing on the free software SuperCollider and why programming with syntax can be both easier and far superior to the graphical ditto (aka. patching). It is unfortunate that code or syntax often scares artists and musicians at first sight. We will try to cure this fear by showing fairly simple examples of how SuperCollider can be used to produce music and sound much more dynamically than using the static and deceitfully easy patching paradigm. More particularly we will do granular synthesis, randomly generated synthesis networks and networked music - all the things that are a real pain to do in systems like Max/MSP.

Intermediate level - knowledge of basic computer music concepts like filters and envelopes is required, knowledge of some patching system (Max/PD) is a plus.

--What to bring:

1) Laptop running Linux, OS X or Windows

2) SuperCollider 3 installed (version 3.2 recommended):

3) Headphones

4) 10 Euros participation fee

--About the Teacher:

Fredrik Olofsson, aka. redFrik, is a musician and developer who also sometimes performs tricks with visuals and electronics.



Workshops led by field-expert practitioners extend over realms of code and embedded code, environmental code, noise, transmission and reception, and electromysticism. Workshops solely utilise free software and GNU toolbase.

Practitioners have included Martin Kuentz (, Julian Oliver (, Derek Holzer (, Jeff Mann (, Martin Howse (, Fredrik Olofsson (, Florian Cramer (, Brendan Howell, , jo FRGMNT grys(

xxxxx, pickledfeet, Linienstrasse 54, Berlin 10119

U2, Rosa-Luxemburg-Pl.
U8, Rosenthaler Pl.

Monome and akaRemote Classes

Here are some experimental classes that someone might find interesting. I am naming these classes C2_ so if you find a class with this prefix, you know where it's come from.

(update: I should make clear these were made and tested on OS X.)

C2_interfaces are classes for interfacing with the Monome and akaRemote on the iPhone / iPod Touch. These are pretty experimental and have not been beta-tested by anyone except myself. However, they are working for my purposes. The Monome one allows you to specify an area that will act as one "button". For example, this:


key: "test1",
column: 2, row: 0,
width: 4, height: 4,
defaultLed: 1,
actionType: \down,
buttonResponse: \toggle,
responseParam: 0,
function: {arg val, status; [val, status].postln}


will give you a 4 x 4 "button" that is "on" to begin with, and will toggle on or off with every down press, and post its status as it does so.

I managed to get a third led status out of the Monome. By making a button flash very fast, the illusion of a slightly dimmer button can be created. I have found this useful in my own project.

In addition, I have a few boring-but-useful classes in C2_base that handle relative instead of absolute GUI positioning (which has recently been added to SC proper) and interface into the GUI class for cross-platform support (although I'm unsure if and when I'll ever cross platforms, it doesn't hurt to be prepared.) There is a "C2_Color" class that allows selecting colours by name, and being able to pick them from a gui. Also, a "scroll text box" that can act as a button or a scroller for names or numbers, along with a few other miscellaneous bits and pieces.

Any feedback from these classes would be appreciated. E-mail address is in the code files.


Monday, February 25, 2008

Tutorials and Community

Online tutorials:

Pseudonym beginners tutorial.
DXArts: From Beginner to Winner in only two weeks!
Mutant Sounds beginners tutorial
Another nice intro: workshop material from RedFrik.
Dewdrop world tutorial for intermediate users.
Nick Collins' Computational Music course using SC.


SuperCollider Users mailing list: official conduit appears to be down, but participation is possible via Resynthesize or Nabble.
Newscores forum
Electro-music forum

Any more? Add them in the comments.

(updated on 2nd March 2008, changed title to something more specific, and added links left in comments.)

YouTube vid roundup

There are several vids on YouTube showing various SC projects, here are a few:

Ludbots improvise on (real world) drum kit
IXI-Quarks tear samples apart
SuperCollider on eee PC (which, by the way, appears to be almost indestructible)
Spooky algorithmic chirping clouds

Control using iPhone / iPod Touch
Body controlled synthesis and more dance music
Bouncing ball pulsar generative synthesis
Homebrew DJ-ing system (that's my one)

I saved the most jaw-dropping one for last: the amazing "Wave Table."