[chuck-users] report on my first livecoding gig

Kassen signal.automatique at gmail.com
Sat Jun 2 08:22:03 EDT 2007

Well, that went well.

It went well because there were lots of nice people, the competitors were
friendly amongst eachother as well. It went well because nobody had seen
ChucK and the mini in action before and now people were interested. In the
last place it went well because I won, that's still nice, even if
competition is less fun then duets, I think.

I was up against two MAX-MSP users who were very talented. They should be
because they won previous rounds, this was sort of the finale of the
comptition but due to the format that was about three people I was thrown in
as a surprise challenger. It was a bit sad for my second oponent who was
clearly handicaped by having had to borrow a laptop and was thrown off by
the different cursor behaviour, that's probably a huge factor in a graphical
system like MAX.

I was using the Mini with a external keyboard. The audience was just used to
MAX which had been used by all (I think) contenders in all previous rounds
and at first they gigled at my batered old keyboard and non-pro typing speed
but with chucK a few lines go a long way.

One fun moment was showing off "if(maybe)....." which -as I expected went
over very well as it realy is quite funny. Because of the 6 minute format
and my typing speed I tried to go for eficiency so I didn't dare to spend
time on something like "while(float rubber_ducky) {//loop goes here}" which
would've been even more funny (try it, it works).

For the first round I used the Shakers as something like "Std.rand2(0,22) =>
shakers.preset;" seemed like the most economical way of quickly generating a
nice rithmic yet changing foundation. Then I added a algorithmic bassline
based partially on modulating the amount of harmonics in Blit instead of a
filter. At one point, due to a misplaced "greater then" which should've been
smaller sign my algorithem spun out of controll towards the high end but I
was able to remidy this in time and it turned into a pleasant surprise that
sounded good This round was a very narrow win, I thought my oponent Luc
performed a very strong set of paterned noise and the audience agreed,
aplauding at length for both of us, creating a need for a tie-breaking

I the second round I improvised based on sending Impulse into ResonZ and
then treating the result by sampling the dac using LiSa. This didn't go
completely perfect but I think the audience picked up that I was
considdering all my parameters on the fly and apreceated this.

Overall it was a great experience and a huge thrill. I'd definately recomend
it to those on the fense. Clearly you'd need to practice but that's only
good for your ChucKing skills. I look forward to "defending my title" next
season already.

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