Scoring Sound
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Scoring Sound

Creative Music Coding with SuperCollider

About the Book

The Scoring Sound book is a creative audio coding tutorial for the SuperCollider audio synthesis programming language. SuperCollider 3 was released as open source software in the early 2000s and has been one of the key programming languages for sound, music and instrument design for two decades. The book covers the basics of sound synthesis (additive synthesis, subtractive synthesis, frequency modulation, granular synthesis, etc.) and introduces the inbuilt tools for algorithmic composition. SuperCollider is ideal for instrument design and Scoring Sound introduces how the language communicates with the external world through Open Sound Control, MIDI, network, and hardware protocols.

About the Author

Thor Magnusson
Thor Magnusson

Thor Magnusson's background in philosophy and electronic music informs prolific work in performance, research and teaching. In his work, Magnusson studies the impact of digital technologies on musical creativity and practice, exploring this equally through writing, software development, composition and musical performance. Magnusson is the co-founder of ixi audio, and he has developed audio software, systems of generative music composition, written computer music tutorials and created two musical live coding environments. Further information about his research can be found on the Sonic Writing website. Thor Magnusson is head of the Music Department at the University of Sussex. He has recently published a book with Bloomsbury Academic called Sonic Writing: Technologies of Material, Symbolic and Signal Inscriptions.

Table of Contents

    • Preface
    • Introduction
      • About the Installation
  • Part I
    • Chapter 1 - The SuperCollider language
      • The semicolon, brackets and running a program
      • Matching brackets
      • The post window
      • Comments
      • Variables
      • Functions
      • Arrays, Lists and Dictionaries
      • Methods?
      • Conditionals, data flow and control
      • Looping and iterating
      • Peaking under the hood
    • Chapter 2 - The SuperCollider Server
      • Booting the Server
      • The Unit Generators
      • The SynthDef
      • Observing server activity (Poll, Scope and FreqScope)
      • A quick intro to busses and multichannel expansion
      • Getting values back to the language
      • ProxySpace
      • Ndef
    • Chapter 3 - Controlling the Server
      • Tasks, Routines, forks and loops
      • Patterns
      • The TempoClock
      • GUI Control
    • Chapter 4 - Interfaces and Communication (GUI/MIDI/OSC)
      • MIDI - Musical Instrument Digital Interface
      • OSC - Open Sound Control
      • GUI - Graphical User Interfaces
      • ControlSpec - Scaling/mapping values
      • Other Views (but not all)
      • HID - Human Interface Devices
      • Hardware - Serial port (for example using Arduino)
  • Part II
    • Chapter 5 - Additive Synthesis
      • Adding waves
      • Creating wave forms out of sinusoids
      • Bell Synthesis
      • Xylophone Synthesis
      • Harmonics GUI
      • Some Additive SynthDefs with routines playing them
      • Using Control to set multiple parameters
      • Klang and Dynklang
    • Chapter 6 - Subtractive Synthesis
      • Noise Sources
      • Filter Types
      • Klank and DynKlank
      • Bell Synthesis using Subtractive Synthesis
      • Simulating the Moog
    • Chapter 7 - Modulation
      • LFOs (Low Frequency Oscillators)
      • Theremin
      • Amplitude Modulation (AM synthesis)
      • Ring Modulation
      • Frequency Modulation (FM Synthesis)
      • The use of Envelopes in FM synthesis
    • Chapter 8 - Envelopes and shaping sound
      • Envelope types
      • The EnvGen - Envelope Generator
      • Triggers and Gates
      • MIDI Keyboard Example
    • Chapter 9 - Samples and Buffers
      • Buffers
      • Allocating a Buffer
      • Reading a soundfile into a Buffer
      • Recording live sound into a Buffer
      • BufRd and BufWr
      • Streaming from disk
      • Wavetables and wavetable look-up oscillators
      • Pitch and duration changes
    • Chapter 10 - Granular and Concatenative Synthesis
      • Granular Synthesis
      • Concatenative Synthesis
    • Chapter 11 - Physical Modelling
      • Biquad filter
      • Waveguide synthesis
      • Filters
      • TBall, Spring and Friction
      • The MetroGnome
      • The STK synthesis kit
  • Part III
    • Chapter 12 - Time Domain Audio Effects
      • Delay
      • Phaser (phase shifting)
      • Flanger
      • Chorus
      • Reverb
      • Tremolo
      • Distortion
      • Compressor
      • Limiter
      • Sustainer
      • Noise gate
      • Normalizer
      • Limiter (Ugen)
      • Amplitude
      • Pitch
      • Filters
    • Chapter 13 - Fast Fourier Transform (FFT)
      • Fast Fourier Transform examples
      • Language manipulation of bins
    • Chapter 14 - Busses, Nodes, Groups and Signalflow
      • Busses in SC (Audio and Control Busses)
      • Nodes
      • Groups
  • Part IV
    • Chapter 14 - Musical Patterns on SC Server
      • Stepper and Select
      • PulseCount and PulseDivider
      • Demand UGens
    • Chapter 15 - Musical Patterns in the SCLang
      • The SynthDefs
      • Routines and Tasks
      • Clocks in SuperCollider
      • A survey of Patterns
      • Syncing Patterns and TempoClocks
    • Chapter 16 - JIT lib and ProxySpace
      • ProxySpace
      • Ndef
      • Tdef
    • Chapter 18 - Tuning Systems and Scales
      • The SynthDefs
      • Equal Temperament
      • Just Intonation
      • Pythagorean tuning
      • Scales
      • The Scala Library
      • Using Samples
      • The Scale and Tuning Classes
  • Part V
    • Chapter 19 - Creating Classes
      • Creating Classes
    • Chapter 20 - Functional Programming
      • Functional Programming
    • Chapter 21 - Live Coding
    • Chapter 22 - Other clients
    • Chapter 23 - Twitter code

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