SoSLUG Archive


What is SuperCollider

SuperCollider is a real-time audio synthesis and algorithmic composition editor, want to know what it does. Just take a look at what community artists from all over the world are dabbling in. SuperCollider is over ten years old and given it’s latest version is 3.2, this stands testament to it’s stability interoperability and functionality.

SuperCollider Videos

SuperCollider is an environment and programming language for real time audio synthesis and algorithmic composition. It provides an interpreted object-oriented language which functions as a network client to a state of the art, realtime sound synthesis server.

SuperCollider was written by James McCartney over a period of many years, and is now an open source project maintained and developed by various people. It is used by musicians, scientists, and artists working with sound. For some background, see SuperCollider described by Wikipedia.

It can run on most OS Systems of choice

SuperCollider is just weird in a nice way of course there just is nothing else which works or sounds quite like it, as can be demonstrated throughout the videos if you watch and listened none of this music may ever make the top twenty not yet at any rate. You need a real artistic ear to appreciate, which most of the population sadly doesn’t have.

So where do you expect to form your compositions from well err! a text editor yes you heard me correctly, even though this application produces sound and video output. You would kinda of expect to find this somewhere in your audio/video menu entitled “SuperCollider” well stop looking it is not their. You will find SuperCollider as a plugin for your text editor “gedit” Applications >> Accessories >> Text Editor.

This because it is a form of programming language we guess, sorry can’t get my head around that one.

Required Ubuntu and Debian Repositories

Hardy users

deb hardy main
deb-src hardy main

Intrepid Users

(Do not use unless you know it works)

deb intrepid main
deb-src intrepid main




#> sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install supercollider supercollider-gedit supercollider-doc qjackctl

If you are running Ubuntu you will already have gedit which is accessed via Applications >> Accessories >> Text Editor.

Then we suggest you start gedit and open “Edit >> Preferences” to enable the “Sced” plugin from the Plugins tab:





If you installed SuperCollider correctly you should now have an editor that looks like the images above you will also need to start “qjackctl” service before you can run SuperCollider, you do this by selecting Applications >> Sound & Video >> JACK Control. Next select the SuperCollider menu in your Text Editor SuperCollider >> Start Server, you are now ready to add some code and squeeze some melody’s or at least some tunes we would provide some examples but have none of our own to give. With such a rich variety of coders out there with excellent examples for SuperCollider which in all honesty would be far better than we can provide being novices ourselves.

Please try the test examples by visiting this link below where we obtained the bulk of the information for this post.

For more information please visit

If you are building or want to build your own Radiophonic workshop this certainly makes for a great addition to your sound effects library.

Author: Alan Campion - Page reference: 2925
Last modified: paul - 2015-08-21