I am doing my thesis project on livecoding!

Hi there!
I am a student studying design and technology.
I started to use sonic pi around 3 weeks ago, I’ve always wanted to make music and this new form of technique really fascinates me, so I decided to create my thesis project around the topic algorave and livecoding!
Since I am very new to this community, I would like to hear your inputs or thoughts about a couple of questions I have.
-Why do you choose to use livecoding to create your work rather than other traditional way?
-How do you think livecoding is going to affect the music industry?
-This is still a fairly “underground” culture (correct me if i’m wrong), does anyone think one day this would challenge mainstream or does this community wants to become mainstream?
-What do you think this community need at this point? (online platform/space/more guideline…etc)

I love this platform and hopefully I could create some interesting work for this community.
Thanks for your time :slight_smile:


Hello Alilyen. Super interesting topic. Let us know when the thesis is done, I’d love to read it. In terms of sources, I’ve heard good things about The Oxford Handbook of Algorithmic Music. It’s a place to get started, in any case.

As for the questions, I chose to work with Sonic Pi because I enjoy exploring digital play. Sonic Pi is the most accessible of the different tools, so I ended up with that. It has also been a nice entry point to learning about music by drawing on something I already know.

I know Sam had performed in the Royal Albert Hall along an orchestra, which is something. As for how else it’s going to affect the music industry, it’s hard to tell. There are much more refined ways of producing music, so the live coding is much more likely to make an impact related to performance than production.

As far as I can tell, the subculture embrace their underground status. There are very strong progressive aspects to live coding culture (live gender balancing your lineups, for starters), and I think that the subculture want to keep it that way as much as possible. That, and the nicheness of the performances, are the reasons I don’t think algoraves are going to break into the mainstream. At least not right now.

Hi alilyen,

I hope thesis will be fun.

I’m a new user of Sonic Pi. I began to work this from june. I’m a teacher in a conservatory in France and I want my studients play with Sonic Pi.
For me Sonic Pi is a good place to learn programmation thanks to music and vise versa. I’ve choose this kind music because it’s a good way to have fun and to create good music with code in live.
I think the community is reactive and fun so … let’s rock !

Welcome to the matrix.

Hi @alilyen,

there are some ideas about live coding in this thread which might serve as another starting point for your thoughts. I also found the article by Click Nilson, Live Coding Practice quite interesting.

Hi chris.kraou! Thanks for the input. Some interesting thing I can think about.
Can I ask what do you mean by live gender balancing lineups? Is it the feminist algorave culture which woman participant increases ?

Thank you Martin! I will definitely check those out!

Hi flogx, I’ve been having a lot of fun with sonic pi myself too! It makes code more accessible for me definitely. Welcome to you too!

Hi alilyen,

maybe some input from my side. I started using Sonic Pi not because of live coding but because of using coding to produce music. I like the coding approach more than fiddling with knobs, keys and plugins because you get direct control of the sound. You can more directly express what sound you want and the result is a textfile, you can read with any editor and just by looking at it, get some grasp what it sounds like.
I only use the live_loop for producing a basic loop, I later use as a part of a song. It’s more a patternized approach I do. And because everything is code, I can just use things like copy & paste to reuse some stuff whereever I need. Or create frameworks to reduce work for song production.
I’m still at a quite early stage, started with making and learning music at around April 2018 and Sonic Pi was the initial tool which got me into it, as it perfectly fits to my way of working as I already know programming.
Hope, this gives some insight :smiley:

The (now deprecated, but still relevant) Toplap wiki points to this manifesto. The current Toplap github points to this code of conduct, which has been implemented in a number of Open Source projects. Algorave.com also hosts this list of guidelines, which focuses on avoiding the “boys club” tech-bro spirit which has become the default construct in many tech cultures.