At the end of September I lost my big sister, and although I have continued work on my Supercollider, Clojure, and other projects, I’ve done a terrible job of documenting it. I retreated back to Seattle from the Bay Area to mope among friends. I could say a lot on this subject, but this blog is intended to be more of an account of my professional and hobby work than a personal writing space. Suffice it to say that I had a bit of trouble functioning for most of October and November and had to change the timelines on my plans both personal and professional. I’ve played a lot of music and spent most of my time on friends’ couches. I am starting to get my wind back; hence this post.

I didn’t end up completing the work of translating SuperCollider tutorials into Overtone yet, though I will. My chops are up to the point where I could do it in a few days’ coding (I have stayed busy). But there seems to be a bug in how the Ugens get compiled and sent to the SC server. I haven’t done the legwork of verifying it (which could turn into the legwork of fixing it), but I intend to get to that soon as well. *EDIT* there’s no such bug. I was making several different kinds of mistakes in my early attempts at translating SC code into Overtone.

I was just really excited to make some noise, so I instead pored over the Overtone code until I could figure out how to instantiate nodes for synthdefs already loaded on the server, and still take advantage of Overtone’s studio system with all the groups, the mixer synth, the FX chain and other conveniences. Thus, I’m currently writing all my effects and synths in SuperCollider and just controlling everything from Overtone. It’s a hack, but at the time it was the path of least resistance and allowed me to continue to develop my skills.

So I got some code written and a rig built up to the point where I could take it to a jam session and get sound in one end and out the other with a couple simple effects. Having achieved that milestone, I’m currently in a long grind of just building up a library of nifty effects and synth tones. In addition I have begun an earnest study of DSP, am making music with Renoise and some VST plugins (just to get used to designing synths without simultaneously thinking about code, though I will mess around with using SuperCollider synthdefs as well), and showing up at jam sessions with my guitar and trumpet.

I’m going to start with the rig as my personal effects rig for the trumpet. But where before I was chasing it obsessively, I’m currently letting the project breathe a little. A band/project has formed around all this with a skilled drummer and his music-producer brother, but I’ll let that project speak for itself as it develops (I mention it here because it accounts for my more relaxed pace on the technical side of things — there’s writing and rehearsing afoot).

Around October it started to become especially urgent that I find work, so that’s divided my attention a little. In that pursuit I have:

  • written a toy in Clojure to mess around with large XML data sources, teaching myself how to use transducers in the process.
  • worked on a couple of Rails projects
  • wrote a Python script that fingerprints the website of all businesses retrieved from the Google Places API looking for issues I can call them about.
  • written a Luminus-based webapp with Vue.js on the frontend to track my contacts with these prospects
  • intermittently panicked

I think that more-or-less covers everything I’ve been up to that I’d like to share. As always, expect more soon, but for real this time.