[flocking-users] Hat Tip, And Flocking.js <=> Csound .orc File

Colin Clark colin at colinclark.org
Tue Dec 17 16:41:52 EST 2013

Hi Alex,

Hey, thanks. I’m glad you like Flocking! 

On Dec 16, 2013, at 2:32 PM, Alexander Dorsk <alex at musikata.com> wrote:
> = 2: An Observation =
> Flocking synth definitions remind me a bit of the .orc files for http://www.csounds.com/ . 
> I think this is *very* cool, because it suggests the possibility of creating ports for the numerous instruments that the Csound community has already developed.

Yep, that’s right. As the collection of Flocking unit generators grows, it should be quite straightforward to port instruments from CSound, SuperCollider, and other similar computer music applications. I do most of my own composing with Flocking now.

We still need more unit generators, of course. It’s something I’m working on adding constantly, but community contributions are hugely welcome.

> I'm curious if anyone has looked into a javascript equivalent of Csound's '.sco' score files. These score files are basically a sequencing definition, that tells instruments when to play specific sounds.
> When tools like Flocking are combined with sequencing libraries, it will be possible to render nuanced music and soundscapes purely in the browser. No software for the user to install, no big latency for downloading samples. And best of all, it will make it easier to collaborate on instruments and sounds.

Yes, Flocking’s scheduler uses a JSON format that can be considered a kind of score format. It’s still evolving, but the idea is to treat the sequencing and scheduling of sounds in Flocking in a declarative and authorable way (i.e. as a meaningful data structure that represent changes in time instead of just opaque JavaScipt code). There’s a super-simplistic demo in the Flocking Playground called “Declarative Scheduling” that shows an example of how events can be sequenced in time using JSON. Notably, this approach allows you to schedule a set of unit generators to produce generative scores. So Flocking’s score format is able to blend both static and dynamic performance instructions. It’s still a relatively low-level representation, but this will be expanded over time include more musical abstractions as well. The syntax is going to change a bit as the scheduler stabilizes.

I hope this helps,


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