May 25th, 2016

supercollider pulses

Since my previous uploads of last year, I have finally found a way to begin exploring the software Supercollider, and it’s great.


Much like most people who have looked into using this software, I too was met with a super steep learning curve. It greets you with a firm expression and says “sorry, your not making music today!”.

Although I code for a living, the biggest issue with coding in Supercollider is not the code itself, but more what happens if you get it wrong. Unlike any other coding language that might produce an error in the form of an error message or worst a blank screen, none of this is quite as painful as how Supercollider deals with it.

Typically the error comes as a result of inputting a number in a part of the program dealing with volume, which should have been dealing with frequency. 440Hz, if controlling amplitude is, well, quite loud, and even turning down the volume to one bar on the laptop, it is borderline painful at times. If you have ever seen the opening of Ghostbusters the movie, where Bill Murray’s charatcer Peter Venkman is electrocuting someone during a ESP test using Zener cards, well Supercollider is its equivalent in sound.

However, after watching the incredible videos from Eli Fieldsteel found on his YouTube channel, this rarely happens to me anymore. And not only thatm but working with the software has speed up tremendously and is is not to disimilar, if not quicker, than working with the Nord Modular G1.

I highly recommend anyone who is the slightest bit intersted in Supercollider, to check out Eli’s videos. He has a calrity in his delivery that is pleasing to listen to and super easy to follow, it really is super helpful. Me and my wife Lucia often have him playing just before sleep, haha.

Todays upload is a small experiment using a single 808-esque bass drum and sequence coming entirely from Supercollider, with additional reverb provided by the amazing Ensoniq DP4+.