[chuck-users] Electronic ChucK

Kassen signal.automatique at gmail.com
Thu Oct 2 16:24:03 EDT 2008


Peter Todd;

Hi All,
> I suspect the charm of this would be the roughness and unpredictability...
> the thing'll have a life of its own, with all sorts of emergent sonic
> qualities.  Non-audiophile quality isn't a bug, it's a feature.
>
> Not sure it's got all that much to do with chuck, and I very much doubt
> it'll make anyone rich... but all good fun.
>

Your mail came in right as I was catching up on this conversation and I'll
pick yours to reply to as it's closest to my own thoughts.

<some free-form assositions>
For a long time modular synths were my favourite instruments, they were most
conductive to strange experiments and for hardware ones there is the
physical appeal, not in the last place because with a large enough modular
two or even three people can play and patch it at the same time. As I
mentioned earlier; one of the big issues is that the modules are typically
in fixed locations and so you tend to end up with a bird's nest of cables.
Seeing your own patch on a analogue modular the next morning can be worse
then seeing your own year old code (I have been known to use post-it
notes...). I agree with your perspective here; this does bring out some of
the best aspects of hardware modulars while nicely side-stepping the
traditional problems.

For me, BTW, this has a lot to do with ChucK. Describing how to construct a
modular synthesis patch, even to a fellow modular enthousiast can be quite
hard. At times I have longed for a formal, non-ambiguous way of describing
modular synthesis patches and in some way ChucK is exactly that. A few years
ago I might've described a simple monophonic synth to a friend by email as;

Sawosc => LPF => ADSR => springreverb.

This is almost correct ChucK code, aside from the modules not having a name.
Them not having a name would invariably be where those conversations would
get tricky. "that ADSR that I mentioned that modulates the LFO" is quite
awkward yet I've seen worse in printed manuals for commercial synthesisers.
</some free-form assositions>

Ok, admittedly that still had only a vague relation to ChucK but to me it's
a relevant relationship. I'm interested in this and I'd also be interested
in a reactable-like interface for ChucK but the precise nature of ChucK's
syntax in pure text form holds at least as much appeal to me as relatively
cheap, relatively random, nature of these proposed modules.

Yours,
Kas.
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