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Live Coding Question
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Software  
Author Live Coding Question

My long-term goal for performance and production is to completely get rid of Eurorack modules that are responsible for sequencing and CV generation/manipulation and give that responsibility to the computer. I would like to send signals (which would be converted to CV) to the Eurorack to trigger drums, samples, as well as excite and modulate all the other modules. If needed I would also use the computer to generate additional synths and trigger samples. In my workflow, I would like to save certain "patterns" of sequences that I could chain and evolve/influence live.

Eventually, I would like to introduce custom external controllers like motion sensitive clothes, laser harps and whatnot. I would like to use these external controllers to manipulate the Eurorack as well as the computer sounds.

In addition, I would like all these different signal generators/manipulators to be able to manipulate live visuals.

In your opinion which live coding environment would suit my needs best? Maybe you have some tips on where I should start looking?

Also, since live coding has been about for quite some time how do you think it will age? Is it still essentially considered limitless in terms of creative possibilities? Maybe there is something "better" that came along but is still not widely known? If you would be a starting musician BUT with your current technical knowledge would you still choose to do live coding and in what environment?

If you would find the time to indulge in answering some of these perhaps silly questions I would be immensely grateful! I am full of excitement and inspiration, however, deciding on the coding platform to which I would dedicate a lot of time to learn seems to be a rather difficult first step!

Thank you!
Live coding is pretty much a concept rather than a fad that will go away. To do what you describe, you dont really need a live coding environment, but rather a controllable one. You code all the pieces you need first, and then you play them like an instrument. You can look at live coding jams on youtube to see if thats your jam. To me as a coder, i find it fascinating to see a projection of the code on a big screen as it's being written, but to me as a musician, that is not the way to go to express myself.

You can do all the things you said and many more with pretty much any musical coding environment. MaxMSP (or the free Pure Data equivalent), SuperCollider and the python library Pyo are all good examples, and can also do "live coding" to variable extents. Choose one environment that looks more confortable to you, learn it, master it, and be able to do anything you want or can imagine.
They all have active communities (especially max and supercollider). Google, dedicated forums and patience will be your friends in this endeavour.
jfprimeau wrote:
To me as a coder, i find it fascinating to see a projection of the code on a big screen as it's being written, but to me as a musician, that is not the way to go to express myself.

Yeah I don't think that would be popular lol but it's probably not what the OP has in mind.
Macros for music generation are wonderful.
As such, you should program in common lisp.
Look at common music:
overtone would be another one, midi support in supercollider was patchy but it has a very good pattern library, pd is a bit more immediate and midi works out of the box
Look up a guy, Charlie Roberts. He has TONS of videos and stuff on live coding. Something I'll never do but it's fascinating and I respect it a lot. He answers a lot of the OP's questions in some way, but it's spread out over the videos and articles.
openFrameworks (oF) and are the go to creative coding frameworks imo.

if you're completely new to coding processing is a great place to start.

If you're willing to accept a bigger learning curve, oF is pretty industrial strength. A big pro of oF is all the addons which are other libraries integrated to the oF way. They are all community generated so can be a bit hit and miss quality wise and being kept up to date but usually save hassle.

I have built and exhibited a few interactive music things in oF. One in particular was a big ass step sequencer people could "play" by moving around. They were tracked using IR cameras overhead which sent midi to abelton. It's a lot of fun to make stuff like that.
As long as you don't confuse beautiful code and interesting ideas with beautiful music and interesting musical ideas live coding shouldn't have an expiration date... On a practical level, I don't think I've used an nvlope in max I could replace my euros with..
IMO live coding and creative coding are slightly different things, live coding being a susbset.
Live coding really requires a real time interpreter which rules out openframeworks, and processing ( I think, though I’m less familiar with it ).

Personally I really dig Giberwocky with live.
IMO the weakness of live coding environment tends to be the quality of the sounds and effects, with Gibberwocky you are sequencing Ableton live so this issue is non existent.
Gibber is great too though the official version needs a bit of TLC, but Charlier Roberts is working on a very promising version 2.

Fox dot is very good although it relies on supercollider which is really good but sounds a bit dated IMO.

Tidalcycles is awesome if you are into sample mangling.
It also relies on supercollider but the sound thing is less of an issue as it’s all about sounding dirty anyway.
Yeah I'm not sure I really get what live coding is. Watching people code ranks below spider kissing as a recreational activity for me. Maybe it's something more?
when in doubt, look at wikipedia

(I know, linking to Wikipedia without explanation is bad form, but that does give a short description with links to more material)
@phats could this change your mind ?:

gibberwocky demo
Yeah thanks both, I think I get it a bit more. Personally its probably not for me but I can see the appeal. The ide thing hooked up to ableton is cool, it looks like the live api has come a long way since I last looked w
i love how some of these platforms are organized. . the act of live coding (along with the projected code etc) is a strange byproduct but the way they handle looping / sequencing is a totally new beast compared to normal DAW or even trackers . wish i was better at that way of thinking.
Another one that I found quite nice is Sonic Pi :
I have seen Sam Aaron do a presentation and then a performance with it and it looks really fun and easy. Honestly it reconciled me a bit with using computers for music, as I had gotten really tired of using a DAW. I haven't had time to delve into it yet but I could definitely see using something like this for the "brains" of a track, using it to control real hardware.
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