[chuck-users] Reading materials.

David Powers cyborgk at gmail.com
Tue Sep 12 19:35:50 EDT 2006

On 9/12/06, Kassen <signal.automatique at gmail.com> wrote:

> It's a nice topic that I'd love to debate. In fact I was using
> Ableton since version2 and I started getting unhappy with it. Not enough
> direct interaction, too hard torwrite pieces on stage, etc. So; I tried
> trackers and hardware and in the end decided I didn't like any of them but
> did like bits of all of them so I sat down and just started writing.
> This "brain to speaker" thing is a big deal to me. Ableton does lots of
> things out of the box, and they are great things but I found that they
> weren't always my things and so not the sort of box (if I can abuse the
> analogy) that I wanted to be in. for sure; now I'm in a smaller box (because
> my own sequencer is quite primitive insome ways) and right now I have a
> problem with note-off messages that cause hanging notes in a way I can't
> trace yet but it's *my* box and I feel way more comfortable in it. This also
> isn't some obscure "experimental" genre that couldn't be done otherwise, I
> just wanted to do acid in away I felt ok with.
> > chuck for me is like supercollider, to make experimental sounds, learn
> about sound synthesis and algorithmic music.

> Wonderfull! I heard it can do that as well. In fact I think it can do all of
> the above things at the same time, sample accurately.

> Ableton has no biquads though and I wanted to get away from relying on the
> mouse and the schreen during performance. I admit that you can go a long way
> with two clicks; for a DAW it's a good program, I like it for some things
> and happily paid for it up to version 4 (5 didn't bring that much extra for
> me), it was a good investment.

> No, not flamed, you are right... For your case. For my case I am right, the
> good bit is that we can now write different programs depending on our
> different needs. That's what I like about ChucK; aside from the occasional
> explosion it's quite easy to make your own tools.
>  I don't want to make music in ChucK (yet) I want to make music with my own
> instruments which I make in ChucK...

These are some good points. I like Ableton Live for playing live
techno.When used with a controller, it's very intuitive and quick, and
lets me focus on the sound itself. I do a lot of hybrid stuff - entire
songs, mixed with loops, mixed with synth or drum stuff I might make
or tweak on the fly, and Ableton is perfect for that.

When I'm creating techno tracks, I do use Ableton, and Cubase, and
even FL Studio. All three make it easy to put together ideas which may
come from various different sources.

However, even with techno, I also use ChucK, PD, Reaktor, SPEAR,
Plogue Bidule, and Caotica2, for manipulating and creating sound.
These types of applications let me do more interesting experiments
with sound then the commercial stuff... so I typically take the
rendered output, and trigger it in a sampler, or import the sound into

In the end, for putting sounds together from disparate sources, it's
hard to get away from the use of some kind of non-linear editing suite
like Cubase or ProTools.

That being said, for live performance of experimental stuff, Ableton
just doesn't cut it. My last performance used a bunch of stuff I built
in Plogue Bidule ... I had hoped to use ChucK, but I just couldn't get
my code debugged in time for the performance (much of that code is
still waiting). I think something about the language handling of
shreds and time was tripping me up.

Anyway, the point is, with some thought ChucK can certainly be used to
create some very hands on stuff, and I don't think it's limited to
live coding... I'm most interested in combining PD and ChucK right
now, to create some kind of monstrous live interface for noise and
experimental trickery...


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