Supercollider + norns workshops: July 11th and July 25th

following in the footsteps of @tyleretters’s arcologies workshop, @dan_derks’s cheat codes 2 workshop, and @jaseknighter’s flora workshops, I will be teaching two workshops through Music Hackspace on SuperCollider+norns in July.

why SuperCollider+norns? to me, this is an extraordinary system which provides an immediacy to musical idea genesis. SuperCollider provides an incredible palette of sound synthesis+sampling, while norns provides a environment that easily facilitates interfacing with everything in the world - whether that interface is with other instruments, your fingers, or your eyes.

ambulation is the goal of the two workshops I will host. that is, my goal during the workshop is to guide you through practical uses of SuperCollider and norns, so that you may start to take your first steps. the two workshops will give you real practical guidance on making sounds with synthesis and samples, and I hope that seeing how easy it is might inspire you to start running with SuperCollider+norns and take some of your wild ideas out of the head and into the universe, too.

the demo above shows what I hope to enable you to do- all the sounds in the demo are from either a drone engine or a sample-playback engine that was written in SuperCollider and utilized through the norns via midi or just via knobs. the two workshops will cover everything in the above demo.

workshop 1 - tone to drone (register)

the first workshop will take place July 11th and will focus on making drones / monophonic synths through additive synthesis in SuperCollider and putting them on the norns. I’ve planned this to be a beginner workshop so you need not know any SuperCollider - we will go through the basics. after the basics, I will guide you through sound synthesis in SuperCollider to give you the tools to make your own drone, and then we will learn how to integrate that into a norns script.

  • workshop 1: learning to make drones in SuperCollider+norns
  • link to register: here
  • time: Sunday 11th July 6pm UK / 7pm Berlin / 10am LA / 1pm NYC
  • duration: 2 hours
  • cost: £14.90 (scholarships available if this is a barrier, pm me and I’ll set you up)
  • prerequisites: a computer with SuperCollider installed and a norns (if you don’t have a norns and want to join along anyways thats fine, there’ll be plenty of SuperCollider to play with).

workshop 2 - ample samples (register)

workshop 2 can be done without doing workshop 1. in this workshop, we will turn to another side of SuperCollider - sample playback. I will guide you through the design of a versatile sample player that you can integrate in norns. we will also learn about how to do effects in SuperCollider. like the first workshop, we will start with some of the very basics of SuperCollider as I will assume its new for everyone (sometimes its nice to go through the basics more than once if its not new!).

  • workshop 2: learning to use samples
  • link to register: here
  • time: Sunday 25th July 6pm UK / 7pm Berlin / 10am LA / 1pm NYC
  • duration: 2 hours
  • cost: £14.90 (scholarships available if this is a barrier, pm me and I’ll set you up)
  • prerequisites: a computer with SuperCollider installed and a norns (if you don’t have a norns and want to join along anyways thats fine, there’ll be plenty of SuperCollider to play with).

yesss!! this looks amazing!!


registered for both, very excited! :raised_hands:

thank you so much for doing this!


What a fantastic initiative, I will register for both! I’ve made some attempts at creating my own scripts for Norns before, but my brain just isn’t what is used to be. This will hopefully help a lot.


This is super-exciting. Registered and looking forward to them!


Registered for the first one!


Very cool. Registered for both dates, very much looking forward to them!


hi, i work on both of these days. Any chance you’d record it and maybe let someone watch it later? Id be willing to pay for both just to watch later.


so so stooooked!!

@infinitedigits, your explorations on norns have brought so much light + tons of joyful expression — getting to spend some time in and around your brain will be v helpful to contextualize supercollider. really glad this is happening!

@Yrdad, both sessions will be recorded and made available by MHS within a week of the workshop. folks who register for the live sessions also get access to the videos through the same portal :slight_smile:


Registered! :slight_smile: Really happy that those workshops will happen. Thank you very much and will be a pleasure to learn from one of the community references.


Just signed up. I’m really looking forward to this. I’ve been very casual about learning supercollider, and while I’ve dipped my toes into crow scripting and teletype studies I’ve been rather intimidated in getting to know my norns shield on a deeper level. Very excited to be part of course to see how to connect these two. Thanks for your service @infinitedigits!

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These sound great, and playing around in Norns has really piqued my interest in Supercollider. I watched recordings of the CC2 sessions and they were super informative!
Question from the chronically shy/anxious - do these workshops have “audience interaction”? Is there a show-and-tell element or can we skulk at the back of the virtual class and just learn :slight_smile:


thank you all for your enthusiasm! supercollider has been a super super fun part of my musical exploration and I’m really excited to share it!

cool! this will be perfect - there’s a lot you can do with crow and supercollider! I barely scratched the surface with wobblewobble. and yeah, one of my goals is to throw any intimidation to the wind. :wind_face:

I’m super supportive of midding so no problem if you want to hang back and do your thing :slight_smile:

the workshops will be fairly structured. they will go between a short (15-25 min) tutorial, followed by a breakout session (~5-10min). and then repeat.

the tutorial sections might have a little audience interaction, but mostly along the lines of choose-your-own-adventure (i.e. what oscillator should I use - sine or triangle? should I use a delay or a reverb? etc.).

the breakout sessions are done on zoom so its totally optional whether you join in on them. actually, I think they are there mainly to encourage some fun discourse among like-minded people. but its in these breakout sessions that you can (if you want) do some show-and-tell with your breakout room buddies (I will teach everyone how to share supercollider over Zoom!).

there won’t be any putting-on-the-spot business aka my college chemistry class. there won’t be any such thing as a stupid question either. been then done that. basically, I will make the workshop fun and informational and you can interact as much or as little as you want. :comet:


Registered for both - super keen to attend! It’s on at 5am Monday morning NZ time, so will try my best to be there for both, but worst case will definitely be watching it on demand.


Won’t be able to make it live but very interested in these workshops. Is it better to not register now so others can get a live spot, and then register later to view the recorded sessions when I have time?


stoked for everybody to dig into zack’s classes! :rainbow:

if you aren’t able to make the live session, the recording will be available about a week after. MHS’s model is to offer these recordings at
a reduced price, so beyond ensuring that they have an accurate sense of enrollment (for TA planning) you’ll also save a bit of cash!


Signed up for the first one (on family vacation on the second one), really looking forward to it!

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thanks everyone for signing up! looking forward to seeing everyone next month. there are still spaces for the first and second workshop if you want to sign up (links above).

anyways, just wanted to update that the lesson plan for the first workshop is now less amorphous so I can be less ambiguous about the structure of workshop 1:

workshop 1 - tone to drone

big focus on “practicality”, i.e. my goal is to guide you to make your own drone and put it in your norns in your own script.

part 1: “how to make a sound” (~20 min)

we will learn the basics of SuperCollider (starting with "hello SuperCollider!"). then we will explore how sounds are made (quite easily) and how to do additive synthesis (also quite easily!).

part 2: “how to modulate a sound” (~20 min)

we will learn how to do frequency modulation, amplitude modulation, you-name-it modulation of our sounds from part 1. things will get wobbly.

part 3: “how to sculpt a sound” (~20 min)

we will learn about the non-tonal elements: envelopes, effects, and filters! we will use this, and modulate them, culminating in a SPACE DRONE (or whichever drone you end up with, mine ended up being a SPACE DRONE):

part 4: “putting it into norns” (~30 min)

in this part I will go through how to take whatever drone you have and put it into a norns script so you can play it from your midi device, or just by turning knobs/pressing buttons.

after parts 1-3 there will be ~10 min of group time so you can work in a group / share your droney sounds with each other. if we have time leftover we can make a drone orchestra…

workshop 2…

I’m still finalizing workshop 2 which will be equally exciting but also totally orthogonal to this one. it will start from the basics and focus on manipulating samples. there is very little overlap with workshop 1, and still lots to explore!

one more thing…

is there something particular you are wanting to do in SuperCollider? i.e. a particular synth sound, or effect? if so, let me know and I can see about incorporating it. if it fits into the scope/level of the workshop it should be no problem to wedge in.


I saw your code for a filter ping in the Map Core topic, but I don’t know SC at all. :laughing: I’d enjoy learning how to make filter pings or a resonator as a sound.

With samples I’m definitely curious about degrading/disintegrating loops (I want to make a script around this, which is why I signed up for the class to learn SC). Not sure if that’s simple enough to go over in the time allotted. :slightly_smiling_face:

Really looking forward to these classes and starting to learn something new!


sorry for slight ot, but i’ve been learning a ton from @yota’s youtube/github. will keep me busy until the workshops!