SuperCollider, super fast: UK-based experimental musician mcldx has produced a 60-second intro to SuperCollider. Naturally, you won’t learn SuperCollider in one minute, but what’s nice about this is it does explain the very first steps you would take to get SuperCollider running – and because SC doesn’t have a single-window, “do everything here” interface, that first step actually confuses a lot of people.

Have a look, and you’ll at the very least understand step one. From there, you can start diving into tutorials and making other sounds. SuperCollider will repay an investment of time: it’s an elegant language, runs a really efficient synthesis engine, works with OpenSoundControl natively (and now even builds its UI in Java’s Swing for cross-platform compatibility), and has some incredibly powerful tools for things like manipulating live sequences.

You’ll find additional help built into the tool. Some quick platform-specific notes:

  • Linux: On Ubuntu, check out the nice integration with gedit, the default GNOME editor. It makes SuperCollider feel a little like Processing.
  • Mac: Apparently Safari 4 beta is causing trouble with the online help editor if opened from the menu.
  • Windows: I couldn’t get any love from the 3.2 build on Vista (sound driver problems), so I tried 3.3 “alpha” – and found the alpha perfectly stable, and an easier install.

Via fritcrate’s hackday blog.

Now, I think we should apply this to other things, but even faster – like ten-seconds:

  • Ableton Live: Okay, see those rectangles? Put things on them! Trigger them!
  • Sibelius: Just keep clicking “next” on the wizard, then eighth note, then type note names look for the blue arrow click and keep typing!
  • Max/MSP and Pd: Quick, add a – box and connect to other boxes. Toggle bang metro 30 now you have a metronome!
  • ChucK: Ummmm…. “SinOsc s => dac;”?
  • Processing: setup, draw, size 800 by 600, and erm, line(0,0,mouseX,mouseY) and screw around for a while.
  • A Yamaha DX7: Okay… plug this in and… jeez, I don’t remember button sequences. Try to find presets? Play something?
  • A Moog Modular: Jacks. Knobs. Cables. Now go. It’ll sound awful and you’ll run out of cables. But you’ll have a great time.

Other suggestions welcome.