Super Collider an Introduction to Audio Synthesis Programming
From the outset you should know I am not a programmer, I have never been very good at it and probably never will be, so if there are any programming experts out there that would like to develop these tutorials, I will gladly hand over the baton. I would imagine at some point these tutorials will cease due to the fact that I lack musical knowledge that would keep me going when the programming side of me runs out. Oh sorry did I fail to mention that I am not musically inclined either, I had wanted to be able to play the piano all be it at a very simplified level but this is something else I can not achieve, such is life.
If someone had told be a year ago I could produce sounds directly in real time from a Text Editor I would had looked on them rather sceptically and probably said they where bonkers. This however is indeed what you can do and on virtually any OS platform.
Super Collider Basics
To run Super Collider in Ubuntu or its Debian variations you need to install a Text Editor Plugin the operation has previously been explained and well documented on the following [http://wiki.soslug.org/wiki/supercollider SuperCollider page]. Or you might like to consider using an alternative Operating System that has all the bells and whistles which is pre-installed called Pure:Dyne by Aymeric Mansoux.
If you are new to Super Collider and I am guessing most of you are, this Interpreter which by the way is what Super Collider is, you need to have pre-installed a number of packages for Super Collider to function. You need the Text Editor SuperCollider plugin and Qjack Control. After Qjack Control has been installed and started you can enable the plugin in Text Editor (Gedit) you also need to start the SuperCollider server available from the SuperCollider Menu in Text Editor (Gedit).
Tutorial Structure's and Assumptions
It is entirely possible we may inadvertently leave out something out that will prove to be important in the operational function of a given Super Collider program written by us. That's why we have comments, these comments allow you to address an issue experienced by yourself and feed this problem to others. However in order to let us know of any problems you will need to register with us.
We, that is I will assume that you have Super Collider pre-installed and working, none of the tutorials published will incorperate any fixes or work around's, for the most part if they do not function in a basic SuperCollider construction they will not be published.
Initially at least at the top of the tutorial we will again advise you of the need to start whatever plugins and servers required, and only those required for any given audio program to function.
All Text Editor (Gedit) programs will start and finish with parenthesis eg () it should also be noted that nothing should impede the function of these two lines. By this we mean the opening bracket must be in a line on it's own thus.
( Your code must not begin before this point ) You can however have something like this instead which we recommend ( // Move edit cursor and press CTRL+E here Your Code )
We recommend you use this construct for all your Super Collider programming, it not only reminds you where and how to start your program(s), it also reminds others especially if they are new to this type of audio programming.
Each tutorial will provide at least one working example of code that can be copied by you and pasted into your Text Editor (Gedit), such code will incorporate the function definition being discussed and some possible alternative ways it may be used. It is very difficult these days to come up with code that has not been previously written and as such I would in most cases certainly have stolen the code published, however I will where I can specify the original author and encourage you to visit this or these authors website if published for any further information.
Super Collider & The Text Editor (Gedit)
Super Collider requires the Text Editor (Gedit) in order to function, to initiate Super Collider you need to activate the plugin "SuperCollider mode" this dispalys the SuperCollider menu in the Text Editor (Gedit). It is not at all unusual to use text or the Text Editor to program in any programming language. We readily accept using the Text Editor as a tool to create Basic, C, C++ and Shell programs, so audio programming are really no different.
Once you have started SuperCollider mode you will visuallise two distinct areas one you can edit, the other displays the server output which you can do nothing directly to, think of this as the audio server monitor. It acts as a means to validate code messages that are printed which allow you to debug your code once you had completed writing it. What is different compared with other editor(s) is that you can visualise the code and run the code within the editor environment.