S C O T T P E T E R S E N ∞ E L M U C O ∞ S C A C I N T O . C O M

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Installing SuperCollider (w/Sced & Swing) on AVLinux: a quick guide

Let me put the following in the most tasteful way I can: the latest iteration of Ubuntu (12.04) is a total turd.  It is slow, clunky and terribly designed*.  Having had it with Ubuntu, I decided to shop around and try a few low-latency kernel audio/multimedia distributions.  Of those I tried there were a few I didn’t care for at all that I won’t discuss.  I liked KXStudio overall, but I don’t care for KDE and after years of modding and customizing for taste, I was looking for something that would require the least amount of tinkering to get where I wanted it.  (it had other problems too, but now isn’t the time.)

I settled on AV Linux not only because of the bundled software and the “modded and rodded” kernel (which I have used with other distros installed separately), but because the latency and overall usability were simply better out-of-the-box.  The problem with AV Linux is, like many audio distros, it does not come with an SC3 binary.  (Seriously?  I know, it’s the greatest thing since AC power.)  Getting SC3 up-and-running is not a horror, however.  There are a number of ways to go about installing SC3, but I think the following is the easiest.  So without further ado:

6 Steps to SC3 on AV Linux

  1. install AV Linux 5.03 (“tube”)
  2. enable the “Sid” unstable Debian repo in Synaptic
  3. install supercollider (and other required and desired packages.)
  4. disable “Sid” (so you don’t screw up your OS when updating later.)
  5. grab the sced tarball ( http://sites.google.com/site/artfwo/sced ) and follow the instructions for installation (on the same page.)
  6. grab the current swingOSC (http://sourceforge.net/projects/swingosc/) and follow instructions here https://scacinto.wordpress.com/2011/02/08/supercollider-on-ubuntu/ to install  (section titled “Installing SwingOSC”)

That’s it, easy-peasy.  I’ll field questions as I can in the comments.  Cheers, and happy coding!




* I am not the only one to notice that Unity is awful and Gnome is old and tired.  (The ‘new’ Gnome3 is also a turd, but I won’t go into that.)  The internet is rife with “love it / hate it” pages regarding Ubuntu since they made the switch, so I’ll let you google it and decide for yourself.  My issue is simply this: my computer is not a smart phone or tablet so don’t give me an OS designed for one.  Regarding Gnome 2 (outdated) and Gnome 3 (turd) I think they have just lost it.  No flame war warranted or wanted.  Just my opinion.


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Handmade instruments by Scott Petersen and Brian Kane at Artspace New Haven

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