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Re: Some ideas...

Re: SuperCollider:
I got the demo on aol, and it's a gas...turn it on and let it stream cool,
evolving audio at you. But it's much more than a toy (and apparently quite 
handful if you're not a programmer), What follows is from the creator. 

the URL for the SuperCollider demo (along with a few FAQs):

*** What is SuperCollider?

SuperCollider is an environment for real time audio synthesis which runs
on a Power Macintosh with no additional hardware. SuperCollider features:
a built in programming language with real time incremental garbage
collection, first class functions/closures, a small object oriented
class system, a mini GUI builder for creating a patch control panel,
a graphical interface for creating wave tables and breakpoint envelopes,
MIDI control, a large library of signal processing and synthesis functions
a few of which are found nowhere else, and a large library of functions for
list processing of musical data. The user can write both the synthesis
and compositional algorithms for their piece in the same high level 
This allows the creation of synthesis instruments with considerably more
flexibility than allowed in lower level synthesis languages. Since it is
easy to create control panels and graphic displays, SuperCollider is well
suited as a tool for teaching various synthesis techniques.
SuperCollider reads Sound Designer II and AIFF files and writes
Sound Designer II files. It can input and output audio from either the
Sound Manager
or streamed from/to a file.

The demo is available via anonymous ftp from :


*** What does it run on?

Only Power Macintoshes. It did not run on the PowerPC card upgraded Mac 
I have tested because it requires the audio hardware of the Power Mac.
It does not and never will run on 68K Macs. The 68K just doesn't have the
horsepower for real time synthesis.

*** Any particular flavor of Power Mac this works best on?

The faster the better. I use it on an 8100/80. The 6100 is
underpowered, especially without a cache card. I do use
it on a 5300/100 Powerbook but again it is a little
underpowered on that one though quite usable.

*** What is the programming language like?

If you would like to know more about the programming language,
it is an extended version of my Pyrite MAX object. 

*** Is the maximum delay time limited only by available RAM?
E.g. if I crank up SuperCollider's RAM allocation, can I have a 30-second
delay line?

Yes. All values are floats so it is 4 bytes per sample. A 30 second delay
line would take up 5 Mb.

*** I've never programmed and don't know how synthesizers work but I want 
learn on your program.

SuperCollider is probably not for beginners at programming or audio
If you've at least dabbled in both then you may find it rewarding.
It is easier to use than CSound but more technical than TurboSynth.

When you buy it, you get: the SuperCollider program and example patches, a
196 page manual,
one year of bug fixes, updates and email support (within reason).

$250 plus shipping ($10 US, $15 Canada, Mexico, $50 overseas).
by U.S. check or international money order (Sorry, no credit cards or 


James McCartney
3403 Dalton St.
Austin, TX 78745