SuperCollider Notes

generative audio

published 2023-02-03 01:27

updated 2023-02-03 03:08

I'm following along with Eli's youtube videos, but of course I'm using neovim to control SuperCollider instead of SCIDE.


  • You can start a superCollider instance with :SCNvimStart, or in my case <leader>st
  • Make sure you have s.boot; at the start of your .scd file to boot the server
  • Execution happens with <localleader>e or <localleader>t for blocks
  • It's probably a good idea to make extensive use of variables (with .play;) or map :SCNvimStop to a shortcut since the stop command in SCIDE can't be run from SCNvim (Or at least I couldn't figure out how)
  • :SCNvimHelp opens up a supercollider help window


SuperCollider makes sounds through what they call UGens. I'm not entirely sure what they are yet... Functions are convenience wrapper around UGens, some of these include:

  • SinOsc
  • LFNoise0
  • Various other

These UGens are Objects, that generally define some Parameters. Things like freq, amp etc. UGens also have a rate, which is either:

  • ar (??) -> Used for creating sounds
  • kr (kontrol rate) -> Used for controlling other UGens
  • ir (intermittent rate) -> Intermittently provides a single value (rare in usage)

SuperCollider also has arg and var for defining arguments and variables. Arguments are static values that don't get evaluated, but instead are literals. Variables can be evaluated using functions etc