SuperCollider? No, it’s not a video game…

Although anyone who isn’t really into computers or audio would usually think so.  SuperCollider is a programming language, used for audio synthesis and composition, and at first glance it looks like your computer has become confused and is just generating random symbols.  For example, this

{, 0, 0.3)}.play

just means “play middle C.”  Understandably it has taken me a while to get to grips with it.  I spent a few frantic months trying to make music out off all that gibberish while my University deadlines were looming.

The concepts explored though, and the required reading, are actually quite beneficial for someone interested in sound engineering, because you start to think about qualities of sounds that you would usually ignore.  So when it comes to adjusting levels, or using compression, or just creating some space in the mix, all that SuperCollider jargon might come in useful.  I don’t presume that everyone will agree with me – if you hated maths in school, maybe don’t bother!  But if you liked integration and enjoy strange beeping sounds, give it a go.  It’s free, and you can download it from here:


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