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 Forum index » DIY Hardware and Software » ChucK programming language
How did you meet ChucK
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Stream Operator


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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 7:32 pm    Post subject:  How did you meet ChucK
Subject description: Tell your story...
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One day I was browsing around in Apple's downloads page and ran across this application called ChucK. What's this, a programming language that makes music? That rocks! So I somehow quickly found the forum here and it was love at first byte. Since then I've been a ChucKist.

How did you meet ChucK?

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Antimon



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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 2:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

In some discussion here before the ChucK subforum existed, Kassen was arguing with someone about some concept (perhaps hardware vs. software or DAWs versus gamepads or something like that), and mentioned that he thought that ChucK was an interesting thing for the future, without really saying what it was. I was intrigued by the name and looked it up.

I had looked at SuperCollider and CSound earlier, but for some reason I got into ChucK very quickly and found stuff that I could do that was of use and/or fun to me. Perhaps the kind of early stages spartan look of the web pages, coupled with the slightly whimsical not-too-highbrow-serious way of the developers and people discussing the language appealed to me. I felt that it was something I could mess around with without being afraid of going out of my depth. I also felt comfortable with the C-style syntax (and loved the clearer separation of assignment and comparison operator out of principle - == is one of the worst things about C), and found the timing concepts intriguing.

/Stefan

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Kassen
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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 2:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Antimon wrote:
Kassen was arguing with someone about some concept


Can't we call it "debate"? ;¬)

Ok, admittedly I can at times be somewhat passionate about my debates :¬)

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Kassen
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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 2:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I had been patching on the Nord Modular for years and wanted to go beyond the possibilities of that synth. the NM is great as a synth but to do all your music in it gets limiting and I was quite frustrated with traditional MIDI sequencers that never wanted to work like I liked to work. I worked with tassman for a while but was getting a bit annoyed with the limitations of grapgical systems so I went looking for a text based one.

Tried CSound (even bought the book) but getting into it seemed too much like homework. Same thing for SC, except for SC you also needed to install Linux, back then (I think. That was in itself a nice development at least).

Then, when I was in Berlin for a gig for which I had gotten a ticket back a few days later to visit Nescivi I ran into Kristjan Varnik in the kitchen of a apartment where Nescivi&me were visiting a installation. Kristjan explained "I use ChucK" like that was something naughty he was confessing to yet at the same time also something he was a bit proud of. Kristjan also explained that using ChucK was only now (since the previous week or so) becoming sensible as previously there hadn't even been arrays and so on. I think we were both drinking quite a bit of wine as well. This made me wonder what on earth was going on there.

So; as soon as I got home I installed it, but in this case there was no tutorial to look like homework. Oh, and no manual either. And some of the operators weren't covered on the website. The only thing to do seemed to be editing the examples and seeing what would change. Fortunately the examples were actually interesting; they were much more fun than the CSound and SC tutorials; techno beats were involved, for one thing.

Then -of course- ChucK promptly crashed at attempting to replace running code. Back then ChucK would crash at blinking or sneezing near it. So; I emailed Kristjan and asked him what to do now, believing I must0ve done something wrong. He replied that I should report the issue to Ge. Ge promtly replied he was happy to meet me, promised to immediately fix it and said he had updated the docs in two places, did I think more updates were needed? I think it was some ungodly hour in Princeton when I got that reply. Now I was really wondering what had gotten into these people.

Over the next few months I tought myself OOP by picking the examples apart and asking lots of questions on the list, set out to write my own sequencer to get rid of DAW's and as soon as Spencer posted the first version of the HID interface I literally ran out within the hour to invest 25 bucks in a USB joypad.

I have to say though; I still feel like I'm just getting to meet ChucK. I still shout "What??? You can do that?!" at times. Fortunately even some of the dev's feel that way at times so I suppose that must be normal and healthy :¬).

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Stream Operator


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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 5:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

So Antimon met ChucK on the forum, and Kassen met ChucK in a kitchen at a party. OK. BTW, Kassen also seems to have a love affair with LiSa but that's neither here nor there, lol! And I met ChucK on Apple's download page...

Where did you meet ChucK?

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vadimred13



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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

My introduction to ChucK was a long one coming. I guess that it started several years ago in Seattle, where I was living at the time. I had attended an AES meeting at the University of Washington campus(meanwhile, I was studying audio at the Art Institute of Seattle). Several faculty/students from the UW's DXARTS program were presenting CSound, SuperCollider, and some joystick controllers. Being intrigued enough, I looked further into both CSound and SC, but found them both a little over my head.

I've spent 2008 in school learning to write code, and wanted to try my hand at some of these guys: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audio_programming_language
Later, CSound made more sense to me, but I found it still too tedious. I tried my hand out at Max/MSP and PureData, but still wanted something that's text based. 3 months ago I described to my buddy at work what I was looking for, and he suggested ChucK. So here I am.
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Kassen
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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Inventor wrote:
Kassen met ChucK in a kitchen at a party.


While drinking! And being given the impression that something vaguely naughty is going on! Yes, it's true, all true. I would like to clarify that most of the time I imagine LiSa to look a bit like Alice (the Wonderland one, as in the classical drawings) and that my relationship to her is really quite platonic... but yes, I'm a bit in love with LiSa. I better be nice to Dan, he's LiSa's dad, after all.

vadimred13 wrote:
So here I am.


Good thing too! Make yourself at home.

Wonderful initiative, Les, if there is more interest in telling and hearing such tales we could make this a sticky; commercial applications have advertisements, we have tales of people starting out with hardly anything to go on, then designing their own instruments within weeks, for free and for fun.

[edit]I made this a sticky as it seems like such a good community building thing.

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wmonk



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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi!
Most of you know my tale already. I heard first of ChucK when I read this forum a few months ago. I love hardware and didn't want to use soft synths. A few weeks ago I listened to the ChucK Show, and loved it. I got inspired to ChucK too, and I installed it the other day. And so, here I am!

Sorry for my bad English, if you have some tips, give 'em!
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Kassen
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PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

wmonk wrote:

Sorry for my bad English, if you have some tips, give 'em!


This post was perfectly fine (as far as I could see), if you want a good tip; English language pocket books are very cheap, read a lot and your vocabulary will quickly improve, probably more quickly than it would by taking boring classes. Oh, and turn the sub-titles off when watching a DVD.

Of course if you would run into terrible ChucKist emergencies you could mail me in Dutch or I could translate a word or two. You'll be fine.

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ge



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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 12:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I met ChucK in compiler class, and because I procrastinated.

Having been a teaching assistant in various CS courses (and loved it) in undergrad at Duke, I developed a possibly deviant sensitivity in the aesthetics of programming language - deeply appreciated when a language feature made someone happy, cursed when one helped a programmer to self-destruct.

As a first year graduate student at Princeton, I was taking the Compilers course offered by Prof. David August, partly because I wanted to learn more about how programming languages ticked, and partly because I had to take classes to fulfilled the PhD competency exam (by the way, I think I hold the record at Princeton for the most number of classes taken to fulfill the CS PhD competency requirement, but that's a story for another time).

It was an excellent class...

... and I was a total slacker.

When the end of the semester came around, I managed to not only fail at finishing the final project (implement a compiler for the Tiger language), I also failed to start it. Now due to competency requirements, I needed to earn an A- or better. I sure wasn't going to get that without the final project.

Meanwhile, or, rather, concurrently with all this, I had been learning to write audio code in C and C++ using Perry's Synthesis Toolkit (STK). The elegance of STK's tick() function to generate the next sample was appealing to me, even before I began to realize that the respective minds of the Sensei (Perry) and the student (Ge) were warped in much similar ways... or perhaps the Sensei simply re-compiled the brains of the student over time... it's hard to say for sure, but in any case, I digress.

Back to the compiler class. I asked Prof. August if it was possible to get an extension for the final project, not sure what to expect. I think the conversation went something like this:

"Are you a grad student?", asked Prof. August.

"Yup.", I says.

"Oh, then there's no problem, you may have an extension.", replied Prof. August.

"Sweet. Would it be possible to propose my own final project?" I wanted to do something with sound and music.

"Sure.", he said.

"Cool, thanks!"

Deciding to not push my luck too much, I set the goal for myself to finish the final project over the summer, not knowing that I'd still be working on this final project eight years later.

Context switching back to thread with Perry... I proposed the idea of "yet another computer music programming language" to Perry, partly as a way to learn more about computer music and research. At that time, there was only the ChucK operator, which was intended to patch not only unit generators, but anything you can run a one-way wire across. The initial ideas are still written on a corner of Perry's white board, possibly because, for some reason, that whiteboard was extremely hard to erase.

I remember Perry's response at that initial meeting...

"Well, that sounds fairly insane. Go for it!"

.

Last edited by ge on Fri May 22, 2009 12:41 am; edited 3 times in total
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Antimon



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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 12:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

ge wrote:
I met ChucK in compiler class, and because I procrastinated.
[...]
"Well, that sounds fairly insane. Go for it!"


What a lovely tale! Very Happy I'm glad you procrastinated and met ChucK that way.

/Stefan

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PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

"Well, that sounds fairly insane. Go for it!"

And ChucK was born! Thank you Ge for that fun story and for joining us on the forum once again. I'm your biggest fan! ChucK has been my joy and my therapy since I found it about 1.5 years ago.

In October I'll be celebrating my second year with ChucK and electro-music.com at the EM09 festival in New Jersey. And by the way I hope you have listened a bit to The ChucK Show on electro-music radio, it's blast!

Best,

Les

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kijjaz



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PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2009 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm .. !!
I can't even remember...

Maybe it's one day i'm googling around for audio programming language / music synthesis system after being too tired fighting (happily) with Csound ..

Then i found ChucK! ..

And i've been ChucKing everyday ever since. Now i'm so addicted to ChucKing before going to bed. Sometimes i ChucK and accidentally fell asleep!! (by the sound it produces)

i wanna share my wonderful ChucK experience and the spirit of this community to all ^_^.
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nescivi



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PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hmm...

I met Ge at the ICMC in Singapore in 2003, as he was advertising for his talk.
This seemed a bit pushy to me, but at later conferences he relaxed a bit more.

I don't quite remember whether I attended the talk or not, but I probably did.

I also did Nick Collins' SuperCollider workshop at that conference, where I set off to do way more complicated things than I was supposed to.

At that time, I did not have a laptop yet, so I couldn't take a computer to the stage...
When I got a laptop about a year later or so, I did want an audio programming language, and SuperCollider was the one that appealed most to me (after having seen pretty much the whole range of them), and I was lucky that Alberto de Campo got a guest professorship in Berlin, so I could attend advanced SC classes with him.

I still run into Ge at conferences (probably again in about two weeks...?), and sometimes festivals, and see his talks, and he is most of the times suffering from lack of sleep. Smile

Oh, yes, and I did take Kassen to that friend's house.
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mrcold



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

i met chuck just yesterday.. I'm having fun so far Smile

ALSO...

i think 'otf' might be my new favorite song.
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Underwaterbob



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2009 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

During exam time teaching English in South Korea, when there's nothing for us foreigners to do since we're not involved with the exams, I stumbled across this board looking for like minded Csound programmers. I had a brief, torrential love affair with ChucK, but have invested too much time in Csound (nearly ten years now) to go out whoring now. Laughing
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TGV



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 1:41 am    Post subject: Too much time on my hands Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I'm recovering from surgery (quite a lot of it lying down in bed), so I've got too much time on my hands. Gives me time to browse teh interwebs at bit, though. I've been making music since I was 10 or so (organ, piano, later sound-on-sound recording on a two-reel tape deck with a DX9), and once I got decent computer hardware, I started to write simple MIDI applications. This culminated in an application where you can chain finite state automatons (non-deterministic, of course). They feed each other or they send notes to MIDI channels. It's not easy to write them down, but ok.

So, with too much time on my hands, I started looking for alternative music software. I found several packages, CSound, SuperCollider, and ChucK. I had seen CSound before and I never really liked it. Everything looks upside-down and backwards in it. SuperCollider looked promising, but I couldn't get a simple example to run and the syntax and semantics look as if they were thought of by someone without a CS degree.

And then I found ChucK. ChucK seems to do everything right for me. Well-defined syntax, good mix of primitives and standard objects (such as the UGens) and a real-time concurrency mechanism that is very well thought out. I think this idea deserves much wider attention: I've come across several real-time systems that relied on concurrency mechanisms inferior to ChucK's by far.
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Blue Hell
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 4:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

welcome TGV, wish you a quick recovery.
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Kassen
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Get well soon, TGV!
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eclectiqus



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2009 5:28 pm    Post subject: I met ChucK indirectly via a tweet
Subject description: How I met ChucK
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So I was using tweetdeck, trying to catch up on a few folks that I follow, and I came across the iPhone application I Am T-Pain. Someone said that it alone was a good reason to buy an iPhone. Intrigued, I followed the link to a youtube video of the app. It was indeed cool. I bought it. I played with it, I liked it.

So I become curious about Smule, and I visit the website to see what else they have done. And there I find out about SLOrk and Ge Wang. I'm a musician (drummer), and I love computers. I've never programmed music outside of a sequencer, but the backstory on ChucK was intriguing and I've downloaded it tonight and am impressed. So I expect to be ChucKing well into the night.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2009 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Mooie wandelroute Wink welkom eclectiqus.
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angorawol



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 3:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I saw it in the live-code session in the 'resonance'-festival in Ghent Belgium last March 2009 (in the Espace Ladda, togheter with other languages). It blew my head of.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 9:42 pm    Post subject: Re: How did you meet ChucK
Subject description: Tell your story...
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Inventor wrote:
One day I was browsing around in Apple's downloads page and ran across this application called ChucK. What's this, a programming language that makes music? That rocks! So I somehow quickly found the forum here and it was love at first byte. Since then I've been a ChucKist.

How did you meet ChucK?


Well, I haven't quite my chuck the same way you all have.
But I took a look at Tapestrea, and ended up here.
After reading these posts, I'm somewhat intrigued, although the thought of using text to make noise doesn't quite appeal to me that much Sad

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Kassen
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 10:25 am    Post subject: Re: How did you meet ChucK
Subject description: Tell your story...
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cappy2112 wrote:
[...]although the thought of using text to make noise doesn't quite appeal to me that much Sad


I tend to look at it like giving instructions in a band;

"The bass plays on the up-beats and improvises in the chords the keyboard player plays".

"After 7 repetitions the 8th is the same except with double-tempo highhats"

Sentences like that seem quite intuitively expressive to me and they translate to code quite well with some experience. If you look at it like that at least some of it becomes more intuitive than step sequencers, I'd dare to argue.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2009 1:11 pm    Post subject: Re: How did you meet ChucK
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[quote="
Sentences like that seem quite intuitively expressive to me [/quote]

Sure-they are, if one understand and knows how to use beats/measures/rests and other terms from standard music notation.

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