[chuck-users] chuck vs supercollider?

Kassen signal.automatique at gmail.com
Thu Aug 9 22:03:45 EDT 2012

Hey Ronni,

> Hi, i was wondering, is there any benefit in  chuck approach  having
> one sample block size comparing with supercollider ?

Yes, there is, we're not totally silly :-)

Not using block processing has two big advantages for us. The biggest
one is that that way you can use a feedback loop over a series of
UGens and not have the block-size added as a delay to the loop. This
becomes quite important in things like feedback in FM modulation for
noise, physical modelling, tuned delays, etc, etc.

The other is that we can easily modulate UGens with a precision down
to the sample. Theoretically you could do that with block processing
as well, but then it becomes a lot more complicated.

> are there things that can be done with chuck that cannot be done with sc3?

To be honest; not really. All of this can be done in SC as well by
creating a new UGens plugin for SC. All of the things SC can do we can
do too... but of course some things will be easier, even much easier
in one of the two. A good example of what ChucK is good at is this
kind of thing; doing DSP in the language itself using feedback over
UGens or by writing a function that does the processing and makes a
"Step" UGen output those values as a audio stream. Other
timing-related things ChucK also tends to be strong at, for example
execution order is  always deterministic and nearly always very
obviously clear, even with parallel processes. The integration of the
analysis/resynthesis stuff with the timing thing seems unique to me,
not sure how SC handles that in the details. I think it is nice how
ChucK abstracts stuff like HID interfaces in the same way across OS's,
I don't think SC does that (yet). There are other cases, I'm sure, you
get the picture.

Generally, unless you really need some specific feature in either, I'd
say you should pick the one that has a syntax that makes you feel at
home, everything else is just icing. SC's larger library of UGens or
ChucK's timing accuracy will be little consolation if you end up not
happy coding in it. If you're not sure which one I suggest that you
spend a weekend with both. Expressive code makes for expressive


*not a actual scientific proven fact (yet?).

More information about the chuck-users mailing list