[linux-audio-user] [ANN] chuck + more @ dorkbot NYC on

Mark Knecht markknecht at gmail.com
Sun Jan 29 19:10:23 EST 2006

On 1/29/06, Ge Wang <gewang at cs.princeton.edu> wrote:
> Greetings Mark and all,
> > From: Mark Knecht <markknecht at gmail.com>
> >
> > BTW - I tried Chuck for the first time this morning, just using a few
> > examples to see how it worked. It built cleanly for Linux-Jack and
> > came up working right away with no xruns. Since I'm not a programmer
> > I'll probably never make effective use of it, unless someone builds
> > some synths, but it seems like a very interesting way to try to build
> > real synths such as those in Reaktor. I'm excited, but also worried
> > I'll never make it useful. Anyway, for those programming types out
> > there, if I can make sounds in 10 minutes I think you could make music
> > in 30!
> This semester we taught the PLOrk (Princeton Laptop Orchestra),
> using ChucK and Max/MSP, to 14 freshman undergraduates, most
> of whom had no prior programming experience:
>      http://plork.cs.princeton.edu/
> By the 2nd week, they were creating programs synthesizing
> generative drum machines and performing them on-the-fly:
>      http://plork.cs.princeton.edu/listen/machines/

Ge Wang,
   Thanks for the response. I must say that the 'on the fly' part of
Chuck is really a wondrful idea. While I haven't tried it myself yet,
I can see from the example

chuch larry.ck moe.ck curly.ck

that the abilitiy to layer these different synthisis ideas on top of
each other is very cool. I wish you the best of luck at the
performance in February. I actually looked at airplane ticket costs
wishing I could come from Califormia to see it!

> Long before the end of the semester, the plorkists were all very
> comfortable writing code, controlling physical models, using various
> controllers (keyboards, triggerfingers, wacom tablets, light/pressure
> sensors), building instruments out of processed vocal and acoustic
> instrumental sounds, and networking and synchronizing multiple
> machines together.


> It is our hope that ChucK can be useful to researchers,
> composers, and performers alike, providing different
> paradigms for seasoned programmers and yet (hopefully)
> clear and well-defined syntax/semantic to make it fun and
> interesting for inexperienced coders.   It seems so far that
> as long as one is really interested in sound synthesis and
> creating music, learning and using ChucK well is pretty
> straightforward, the command line-friendly way of working
> seems to present steeper learning curves than the language
> itself.  However, if one is already using Linux, the command
> line obviously isn't an obstacle.

Yes, I didn't have any trouble getting it working with Jack at 5AM
this morning. IF I can do it I think any Linux person could.

As I have a Mac Mini here doing nothing it seems that maybe I shoudl
check out your 'Audicle' environment. If it helps people like me
(non-programmer composer/performer type) then I'd be enthusiastic
about buying some sort of a sound module for that box and making it

> In the case of PLOrk, ChucK pretty quickly became a
> second nature to the users.  Programming should be as
> simple and clear as possible, the only complexity should be
> that which lies in the creativity and invention of the
> programmer.  It's unlikely that this goal is being totally
> achieved in ChucK,  but it is certainly something we are
> striving towards.

While I'm sure you guys have lots of ideas of your own, has anyone
given much thought to duplicating some of the synths that Reaktor
provides as examples? Carbon,, etc.?

Anyway, I'll be paying more than a bit of attention in the future.


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