Networked_Music_Review

Live Stage: ChucK Workshop [us New York City]

chuck.jpgChucK Workshop with Rebecca Fiebrink :: April 1, 2009, 1:00 – 4:00 pm :: Harvestworks: 596 Broadway #602 NYC :: Enroll here.

This 3-hour introductory workshop will present the basics of the ChucK programming language and highlight a few of the ways that ChucK can be used in live, interactive music performance and media installations. ChucK is a free, text-based programming language designed particularly for computer music. Its emphasis on code readability and flexibility make it a popular tool among programming novices and audio experts, and ChucK is used extensively for both teaching and performing computer music at Princeton, Stanford, and elsewhere.

ChucK allows programmers to work at sample-level granularity to develop new synthesis methods, as well as employ its built-in unit generators and physical models for programmatically controlling higher-level musical structures. Its “strongly timed” nature allows for deterministic, sample-synchronous concurrency among many parallel musical processes operating at arbitrary, dynamic control rates. Users and performers can interact with ChucK using commodity controllers, custom sensors, native laptop inputs (e.g., motion sensor and webcam), and performative live coding. Our recent work has imbued ChucK real-time audio analysis and on-the-fly machine learning capabilities, whose applications include the development of machine listening systems and rapid creation of new musical interfaces.

Part 1 (1.5 hour) of the workshop will cover basic syntax, the ChucK timing and concurrency model, and the use of built-in unit generators for sound creation. Part 2 (1 hour) will introduce the ChucK event structure and cover interaction via input controllers and OSC. Part 3 (.5 hour) will demo current tools for audio analysis and musical interface design using on-the-fly machine learning. Throughout, we will present extensive code examples and demonstrations of existing ChucK compositions and software tools. Following the workshop, participants will have working knowledge of ChucK basics, an understanding of ChucK’s potential uses, and a familiarity with the resources at their disposal (including a copy of all sample code from the workshop) as they pursue their own ChucK projects.

No prior textual programming experience is necessary, though prior experience with either programming or digital audio will be helpful. Students are required to bring their laptops, preferably with ChucK installed on their machines. You can download ChucK here.

Rebecca Fiebrink is a Ph.D. candidate at Princeton University, where she studies applications of computer science to music performance and analysis. She holds a B.S. in Computer Science and Engineering and a B.A. in Music from Ohio State University and an M.A. in Music Technology from McGill University. Rebecca is a flutist and an active developer of the ChucK music programming language, and she has conducted ChucK workshops for diverse audiences including the electro-music 2007 festival, Alberta College of Art and Design, Hong Kong Art School, and the 2008 International Conference on Music Information Retrieval. She is also an assistant director, performer, and composer with the Princeton Laptop Orchestra, which performed at Carnegie Hall in April 2008 and has recently been featured in the New York Times, the Philadelphia Enquirer, and NPR’s All Things Considered. Her current research spans music information retrieval, computer music performance technologies and practices, creating new hardware and software musical interfaces, and the application of machine learning to real-time, interactive human-machine musical performance contexts.


Mar 24, 2009
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Networked_Music_Review (NMR) is a research blog that focuses on emerging networked musical explorations.

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