[chuck-users] user study!!!

Graham Coleman gc at gehennom.net
Sun Jun 11 03:13:45 EDT 2006

ChucK Researchers,

Hope this isn't too late.

I'm a huge fan of chuck, because:
a) it's pretty deeply cross-platform
 (sc is ultra-cool, but harder to use without owning a Mac)
b) it's hackable
c) the language is both simple and whimsical
d) instrument presets! (STK)

Mostly I use the Audicle, with command-line chuck a few times
(sometimes in conjunction with chuck.el). It's fun and quick
for adding and removing layers to music. Once I figured
out how to do recordings in Audicle, I don't need to use the
other as much.

As a programmer and frustrated musician, I feel as if it
allows me to express musical ideas in ways that are perhaps
unexpressible in other music domains. And I like that.

It works for simple improvisation, or making something more
deliberate. If the platform remains stable for a few years I hope
to develop at least a nice familiarity with it, like the kind that
instrumentalists develop with their instruments.

At some point, I'd like to swap livecoding wisdom and ideas
with you dudes from the NJ camp. I find it hard to articulate
these kinds of strategy without falling back on pure musical

Also, I find that the chuck-Audicle revision model seems to
fulfill a searched-out quantity I prize in creative tools:
for lack of a better term I'll call it sketchiness
(besides the poor collision with the term meaning low quality
or suspect).

That is, some of my friends growing up tend to draw, you know
whenever. Start a sketch, doodle in class, pick up something,
refine it, etc. Anyway, these folks end up getting really good,
less out of diligent patience than iterated and distracted
practice. * For a while I've been looking for sketchy musical

For a process to be sketchy, or like sketching, it should:
- be immediate, quick to engage or start up in
- be incremental, easy to save and resume working on

For me, carrying a chuck shred through many revisions in audicle
and layering them is sketchy. In addition, I frequently save
some layers and come back to them, adding parts later.

creative projects:

I'm trying to compose an album of polished chuck sketches.
Here are some studies in pursuit of this goal:
http://cola-fan.livejournal.com/95649.html (newer)
http://cola-fan.livejournal.com/94685.html (already posted here)

Also, chuck has slipped into my more directly pop music
aspirations (a bossa-nova-ish demo from an upcoming album of
my band, the Men of Science **).

To foray into teaching, I gave a presentation at dorkbot.
Perhaps someday I'll break out of the cheesy-pop paradigm
that I use for my improvisations, but I made a tutorial to

Music generators are almost as old as music itself,
(an excellent article in Roads' Computer Music Tutorial)
but I think it would be fun to make one in chuck. If
WolframTones is still in vogue...

the technical:

the chuck emacs mode:
I made a few additions, but it could use a few more.
Right now, you can start chuck processes (win32) but getting
feedback from the exec is rough. I had planned to ask the
emacs community, but haven't gotten to it.

the trivial language hack:

Mostly I wanted to see how things worked on the inside of
ChucK. I'd like to do more of this yet. (Is there a list of
open tasks somewhere?)

The far off:

chuck library interface:
For a while, I thought it would be cool to have some sort
of library interface to chuck, so mainstream applications
and games programmers could compile it into projects and
make novel music interfaces quickly. Design issues abound -
how shall it be controlled?

However, Ollie's awesome drum machine may demonstrate that
this is not necessary. Having a musical kernel controlled
by OSC and separately executed seems like a simple and natural
solution available in most platforms.

(functional language frontend for ChucK)

Finally, there are silly vanity projects:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/73155597@N00/120589645/ (the egg)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/73155597@N00/163444838/ (the shirt)


*This reminds me of a passage from Walter Benjamin
 The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,
 which is about fascism and film, and not chuck
 "The distracted person, too, can form habits. More, the ability to master
certain tasks in a state of distraction proves that their solution has
become a matter of habit. Distraction as provided by art presents a covert
control of the extent to which new tasks have become soluble by
apperception. Since, moreover, individuals are tempted to avoid such
tasks, art will tackle the most difficult and most important ones where it
is able to mobilize the masses."

** http://ravelite.org/menofscience/

On Mon, 22 May 2006, Ge Wang wrote:

> Dear all,
> We would like to conduct a N-part user study (where N >= 1) on using
> ChucK.  To start, we are interested in learning about how everyone is
> using ChucK, the ways (if any) ChucK has effected the way you
> write/think about audio programming, and/or your thoughts on ChucK.  A
> dissertation is being written (mine), and we want to include
> evaluations/feedback from the primary ChucK community (this list).
> Also, we hope to construct a page to showcase works being done using
> ChucK.  So fire away!  Thank you all very much!!!
> (slightly) more detail here:
>      http://wiki.cs.princeton.edu/index.php/ChucK/UserStudy
> Best,
> chuck team
> _______________________________________________
> chuck-users mailing list
> chuck-users at lists.cs.princeton.edu
> https://lists.cs.princeton.edu/mailman/listinfo/chuck-users

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