Z-elements: SuperCollider workshop: may 27 online (FULL)

somehow, i’ve decided to offer a workshop on audio effect development using SuperCollider.

this will be taking place via Zoom, on May 27 2023, from 12pm-3pm PST

update: this session is now full, i think. should be fun!

please do reach out if you want to get on a list for future sessions, or in case we get some cancellations, or, like… if you really really want to join.

thanks for the interest!

i’ll be accepting donations on a sliding scale, and capping the size of the group at 10 participants.

here is the full writeup i made:


PM here if you are interested in participating, or reach out via email as suggested on the linked page.

the workshop concept arises from a paraphrase i heard attributed to celebrity chef david chang: something about how every chef should have an egg dish and a bread service. something about refining the creation of the simplest dishes.

in this workshop i’ll focus on simple effects (e.g. echo or even a cross-fader) that nevertheless can be differentiated by paying attention to details, both in the audio processing itself and in consideration of control.

for example, in a test run, we came up with a novel way to manipulate the modulation of delay time in an emulated bucket-brigade echo model, to restrict resulting pitch artifacts to an intonation system, and to control that restriction with MIDI notes.

i expect each session to produce similarly interesting and novel mechanisms for musical sound production. it should also be useful simply as an exploration of different workflows. (for me as well: supercollider is a big, strange, baggy beast, and i’ve fossilized certain likely-obsolete habits as a result of >20years of using it.)

the effects we create will be basically improvised from scratch, but drawing on a large bag of tricks and known techniques.

this workshop is intended for, i don’t know intermediate or progressing beginner supercollider users - it’s not an introduction to SC asnd i recommend first going through some introductory material and making some stuff.

also, it’s not directly related to norns engine/script development - i’ve found myself not really able to sustain much engagement with the platform per se - but the techniques developed herein will be entirely applicable to norns.

i imagine doing this several times for each topic, with different results each time, and for different topics. delay effects are close to my heart and my musical practice, and that’s where we will start - but we will almost certainly touch on dynamic range manipulation and tone shaping.

thanks to @tehn, @dan_derks, and @24Franks for early feedback and encouragement.

note for mods:

to be frank: i hesitated about posting this here due to the “commercial activity” rules. but i think this is marginal. i am curious if offering paid workshops can be financially viable for me and a way to contribute to the community here and generate new ideas, without taking undue time away from my work and my family.

i think compared to other workshops listed on the forum, this is somewhat less commercial since i am not working with or supporting a commercial infrastructure like Music Hackspace.

hopefully i am not too far off base with this thinking.



what a cool idea!
i’m pretty excited to see what comes out of this


thanks so much for offering this class. the number of SuperCollider resources in the world still seems small to me considering the long timespan of the language. I’m glad you can find a way that suites you to lend your expertise.

that sounds awesome, exactly what I’m hoping to learn more about.

also this, SuperCollider has so many tricks and patterns, it will be great to see more about your approaches.


this sounds awesome, but I think it might be above my knowledge level to participate. how does one determine if they’re an intermediate supercollider user?


i found this description at the link:

participants should already have at least:

total newcomers to supercollider may find this a challenging introduction. on the other hand, expert-level audio programmers or SC users may not have much to learn from this course. (but it may still be fun to hang out and share ideas!)

    1. basic familiarity with audio concepts such as (e.g.) frequency, amplitude, sampling, etc.

thanks for that @glia, I should have clicked on through! apologies for the noise :cowboy_hat_face:


that was hopefully a gentle nudge :blush: sorry if my message seemed too matter of fact

i’m glad you asked though because i’m fairly certain other folks are trying to figure out the same thing about their SC skill level


i wouldn’t stress too much about it (mat, in particular you are definitely fine!)

maybe i should have phrased differently, idk… (after all, i still consider myself a “beginner” in many ways.) my main intention is to communicate that this isn’t an introductory workshop and i won’t be pausing to explain fundamental syntax and architecture, because 3 hours is not really that long when the goal is to push through to something usable at the end as well as cover whatever different ideas people bring to the table. (in fact i expect it may go significantly longer, heh)

but if you have poked around and made some stuff - Classes in particular - with a clear understanding of what you’re doing - then you are probably fine. (people also pick up stuff at different speeds esp. based on other experience in software and/or audio, it’s complicated and we just have to see what happens.)

in particular i don’t think we will do more than glance at some existing UGen source code - custom ugens will come later - and we won’t encounter a whole lot of DSP math.

all that said… i do want to be mindful of the levels of actual participants and don’t want to bore anyone… and thus far, the folks who’ve signed up have skewed towards fairly skilled practictioners. so i was thinking that we might move more briskly through the first parts of the material than i had initially planned.

update: this session is now full, i think. should be fun!

please do reach out if you want to get on a list for future sessions, or in case we get some cancellations, or, like… if you really really want to join.

thanks for the interest!