[PD] OT: Poll: Csounds or SuperCollider or Chuck

João Pais jmmmpais at googlemail.com
Wed Oct 26 10:52:52 CEST 2011

> After the recent post about CsoundforLive, it resparked my interest in
> trying out one of the text based audio synthesis programs. Since it seems
> like a very steep learning curve to start learning any of these(Csounds,
> SuperCollider or Chuck) I just wanted to see if anyone here has had any
> experience with any of these and what your verdict was.
> I'd like to start a sort of opinion poll:
>    1. How do they compare against each other?
>    2. How do they match up to Pd for your needs?
>    3. What sort of things can be achieved in these programs that can't be
>    achieved in Pd, if any?

I started with csound, then max, then pd. Csound is very powerful (the  
best if you want not-real-time synthesis), and is basically 50+ years old  
(started with Barry Vercoe, and later Max Matthews), so very complete,  
with a big user base, thaught at many universities. Since I began learning  
dsp with it, I look at it as being a dataflow language in a text-only  
environment. Your cables are variables, and the instrument/score paradigm  
were made specifically for composed music - which isn't the case so far,  
as it has been adpated also for realtime.
For people that start with dataflow languages, it might seem hard to adapt  
to a "dry" environment like a text-only structure. I recall it to be very  
similar, if you abstract from the representation and focus on the  

If people who start dsp with a dataflow language, and after that prefer a  
program where they can get results much faster, then chuck/sc might be  
best, even if the synthax is very different (I never used them, only saw  
demos of both).

Ah, csound works well in all plattforms, last time I checked (some years  
ago) SC only runs best in mac (mainly for graphic elements?), and I  
couldn't get it running in ubuntu. Chuck I never tried myself.


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