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Supercollider Tasks

The Getting Help Task

Task Name: Set: Due: Weighting: Courses:
Task Summary All CMP tasks

Knowing how to get help is one of the most crucial aspects of learning how to use any software, and particularly complex environments such as Supercollider.

Both Max/MSP and Supercollider have significant problems involving finding out details of how to use them. In the case of Max/MSP, while it has a comprehensive and effective help system, the problem tends to be how to find a particular object to perform a particular task. With Supercollider the situation is worse in some respects, better in others.

It's better because the help system is built into the language and the language is a formal, logical structure (unlike Max/MSP). So all you need to do is to select a particular keyword and choose Help/Help and 'Bob's your uncle.

It's worse because many of the lesser used keywords have no help file associated - you simply get directed to the main help page.

  • The Help System
  • David Cottle has written a tutorial - email him for a copy at D.Cottle@@utah.edu with the following information: Name/Location/website::University/Course/Level
  • Forum: http://www.nabble.com/Supercollider---User-f535.html
  • The SuperCollider Swiki - http://swiki.hfbk-hamburg.de:8888/
  • Well-annotated examples
  • http://akustik.hfbk.net/sc/SuperColliderHelp/More-On-Getting-Help.html
  • http://akustik.hfbk.net/sc/SuperColliderHelp/Mark_Polishook_tutorial/First_steps/4_Help.html

The Task

  • Choose one of the simpler ugens in Supercollider, but ideally, one you've never used before.
  • Investigate this (or these) using all the resources above. Cottle's tutorial is available on all the machines.
  • Make a patch offering as full an explanation of the UGen(s) as you can, including references from the above resources, from the internet, etc. Include examples and, if appropriate, demo audio files.


  • Zip or Stuff your patches, demos, etc. into one file called your_student_number_"SCHelp" (e.g. 0504335_SCHelp.zip or 0504335_SCHelp.sit), include a readme with your name and student number and, if necessary, how to use or just open the patch, and submit the whole thing here.

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The Projects

The projects and tasks are designed to help you through the various courses and materials that you'll have to deal with, and also to provide an active and practical element to what could otherwise become a rather dry and technical exercise. Tasks are small exercises - you may be asked to complete one or two per week. Projects are larger and carry a higher percentage of the mark. We will undertake two, three, four or more projects and tasks. The final project is usually an individual choice project, and will be worth significantly more than the others in terms of percentages in your portfolio. We will usually try to set aside a time to perform the projects in a public setting.