A first glimpse

Start the IDE of supercollider and open a new file (from the menu: File→New). Follow along with the code snippets below which you can copy and paste into the editor.

Simple Commands

Let's start with a simple statement:


Copy and paste that code into the editor. Now that we have a line written down, we want to execute it.

To execute code in the IDE, place the cursor into the line (or region) and enter cmd+⏎1.


We write cmd and mean on Mac and ctrl on Windows and Linux. A list of all available keyboard shortcuts can be found in the Appendix.

You should see the output -> 25 appear in the Post Window. The input 5.squared; gives already a taste of the flavour of syntax of this programming language. Read it like take the value 5 and square it. We will go in much deeper detail about the syntax of the programming language sclang in later chapters.

Playing sounds

Starting the server scsynth

Before we can create sound, we need to start the actual server which will be doing the sound production:


Executing this line (again with cmd+⏎) will generate some output in the Post window, similar to this:

Booting server 'localhost' on address
Found 0 LADSPA plugins
SuperCollider 3 server ready.
JackDriver: max output latency 5.3 ms
Requested notification messages from server 'localhost'
localhost: server process's maxLogins (1) matches with my options.
localhost: keeping clientID (0) as confirmed by server process.
Shared memory server interface initialized

The server scsynth is now read to serve.

Hint: You can clear the post window by entering cmd+shift+p.

to be continued...