(Artificial) Soundscapes with systems ∿ encounter and SuperCollider

Livecoding workshop @ Mexico

Till Bovermann, Katharina Hauke (2018)

  • Location: Music Coding Lab — CDMX, Mexico City
  • Scheduled: 04. Jun 2018 to 10. Jun 2018
  • accompanied by a performance

This workshop builds on and extends the systems ∿ encounter platform. Human performers structurally shape sonic qualities of a complex sound system by forming and manipulating sentences of a sonic alphabet, whereas sensor elements pick up contextual activity, such as movement or light changes, and influence the sonic material in a more immediate manner.1

By using their laptops as nodes of a local systems ∿ encounter network, participants of the workshop will get insights in how to co-create artificial soundscapes by means of textual and gestural interfaces.

After an initial setup and presentation, participants will learn hands-on how to use the system for their own music. For the second day, individual and collective work and a public presentation/performance of the outcome of the workshop is planned.

Since this workshop relies partially on livecoding techniques in SuperCollider, basic knowledge about software sound synthesis in, e.g., SuperCollider, Max/MSP, or Pd is recommended but not required. We explicitely encourage curious people with no programming skills to take part in the workshop.

Sound example from a participant presentation of a similar workshop (material cc-by-nd by Till Bovermann, Gabriel Cséfalvay, Alfredo Broccolo):


  • 1st day: 4 hours
  • 2nd day: 4 hours, afterwards public performance of participants


  • 8-15 people, mixed group

To bring (per participant)

Participants are required to fill an online-questionaire (tba.) beforehand, in which they provide details on their skills, interests, and the availablility of the following materials:

  • Laptop with installed SuperCollider
  • Webcam (either built-in or external)
  • Headphones
  • (optional) audio interface
  • (optional) electric/electronic sound-source like guitar, microphone, anything that can be plugged in to a line/mic input of an audio interface

Provided material by the artists

Material provided by host institution

  • vegetarian food and drinks for the artists
  • acoustically/aesthetically interesting yet quite space
  • PA (optimal):
    • one active speaker (e.g. Genelec 8020A) with XLR cable per participant and artist
    • one small mixing board (2 inputs, 2 outputs) per participant and artist
    • connection cables from laptop to mixing board
  • PA (alternative)
    • stereo PA (2x1000 Watts)
    • mixing board with 10 inputs
    • line-in connection cables for at least five laptops
  • electricity outlets for all participants
  • cable-based internet (via ethernet)
  • data projector with HDMI or Display-port connection
  • chairs and tables for all participants

  1. The systems ∿ encounter platform uses Steno for its high-level representation. It is implemented in SuperCollider