[chuck-users] chugin tutorial or docs?

joe higham joehigham at hotmail.com
Tue Dec 24 07:58:00 EST 2013

Interesting remark Steve. I'm a Pure Data user and was intrigued by ChucK. I've been learning the language for a while and also get a strange sense of where's the support? What makes languages/programs such as  supercollider, PD, Max, CSound etc preferable over another is a) the support and b) the way these programs help system works. PD as you know really has a great system of right-clicking to get more information and examples to explain the object. Supercollider also has a great internal help system. I'd love to try and work with ChucK but at the moment radio silence (or cryptic help remarks) on various topics can be a little frustrating. I've already made the remark - as did many on the Coursera ChucK course - to ask "why isn't there a good (and complete) ChucK manual"?

- Joe

From: steve at judgement.com
Date: Tue, 24 Dec 2013 01:34:13 -0500
To: chuck-users at lists.cs.princeton.edu
Subject: Re: [chuck-users] chugin tutorial or docs?

Cool. Thanks. "Katja's helmholtz~ pitch tracker in Pd;" Even the math is well documented which is unusual.

I also see no reason that ChucK can't be a serious music tool. It is already pretty sophisticated as well as being quite mature in the sense of showing very few bugs. I was hoping to do serious things with it. Unfortunately want I want to do amounts to extensions to the core model more than using existing features. It is unfortunate that there is so little support for people who want to do so. Dynamic library support is probably what I need. It has already been implemented but like ChuGins is basically undocumented.

ChucK has been around for a long time so it is not clear that things will change. This may be paranoia but ChucK seems to have all the stigmata of a project tightly controlled by a small group that wants to maintain control for their own narrow purposes and vision. I'm sure it is not malicious. It is just that a small group has limited resources and need to stick with their priorities. There's nothing wrong with that. They're doing the work. ChucK is free and open source so it is hard to complain. But it makes it less valuable to people who want to push in different directions. In a different project those people would be implementing things that the core group might not have time for. Other groups support their superusers because they give back. Here they are ignored.


On Mon, Dec 23, 2013 at 8:53 PM, Joel Matthys <jwmatthys at yahoo.com> wrote:

    On 12/23/2013 07:20 PM, Steve Morris

      Hi Joel,

        I'm not much help on knowing how to implement this in Chuck
          but I am curious what kind of pitch extraction algorithm you
          intend to use. I've reviewed quite a few but never found one I
          really liked. It is a tricky problem (What is the difference
          between a chord and an note from an instrument with harmonics?
          Theoretically not much.) but based on the number of commercial
          packages that claim to be doing score extraction I assume
          there has been some progress since the last time I checked.


    I've been very impressed with Katja's helmholtz~ pitch tracker in
    Pd; I wrote an implementation in RTcmix but I think it can be very
    useful in ChucK. I'm not so interested in polyphonic score
    extraction; I know there has been success in the proprietary sphere
    but I think that monophonic tracking is sufficient to produce some
    interesting work in ChucK.


        -Steve (aka zencuke)

        PS. I've looked but I've found very little public
          documentation for any kind of ChucK extension capabilities
          whether at the C++ level or ChucK (ChuGin etc.) level. Most of
          the support focus (documentation etc) seems to be on naive
          users and/or beginners. That's good but it sort of leaves
          users trying to do sophisticated things out in the cold. ChucK
          seems more targeted as a classroom teaching vehicle than as a
          serious music tool.

    It is of course a very good tool for teaching music coding, but I
    see no reason that it can't be a serious music tool as well. It's a
    young language, and definitely needs a documentation push (there is
    a new book and, thanks to Coursera, the beginnings of a coding
    community). But the new developments in 1.3 (String parsing, Serial,
    and ChuGins) have great potential.


         There doesn't seem to be much interest in developing and
          supporting a serious ChucK user community. I'm learning that
          there are quite a few serious users but they mostly seem to
          work in isolation. I like ChucK but I'm thinking of switching
          to SuperCollider for serious work and only using ChucK for
          quick simple experiments. The SuperCollider community seems to
          encourage serious users. At least the advanced interfaces are



        On Mon, Dec 23, 2013 at 6:04 PM, Joel
          Matthys <jwmatthys at yahoo.com>

          I'm trying
            to implement a good pitch tracker as a ChuGin. Is there any
            kind of tutorial or walk-through that anyone has done?


            A few questions:

            - Is it possible to create a UAna ChuGin or must it be a


            - How do you suggest implementing an FFT-based instrument
            which uses 1024 or 2048 sample frames for analysis?


            - Besides the CCRMA paper and the source code, is there any
            documentation of ChuGin programming?





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