Upcoming online SuperCollider course through Elektronmusikstudion EMS

Patterns in SuperCollider with SuperClean
is not your average SuperCollider course.

Course plan and implementation

  • Get sat up to have SuperCollider automagically boot with sensible defaults.
  • Sequence your own samples in a CPU efficient way without all the hassle.
  • Use the built in effect chain, FM and additive synths to find your personal sound.
  • Integrate best practices regarding safety into a workflow you know you can trust.

All of the above and more on day one. The course aims to get everyone over the initial threshold to a place where they are using SuperCollider with confidence and personal expressivity. Through its unique approach of focusing on the Patterns paradigm, and providing something truly expressive to sequence, the course offers unparalleled coherence and approachability.

Isn’t SuperCollider just for 1337 hax0rz and genius types?
Regardless if this is your first or umpteenth time trying to get into SuperCollider this course will not only get you there, but make sure you stay there.

Why should I learn SuperCollider when I can do anything in my DAW of choice?
Really though, can you? Throughout the course we will explore new approaches to making music and organizing sound in powerful and abstracted ways.

Through the use of algorithmic composition, defining musical outcomes through parameterization and generative design concepts, together we’ll uncover emergent behaviour far beyond the confines of linearity. Countless infinities of variation to be constructed with ease from an elegant subset of a uniquely powerful language.

About the teacher:
Daniel M Karlsson is a composer focused primarily on texture and timbre.
Works extensively with algorithmic composition.

Application is open to everyone:

Please spread the word.


I have received some communication asking for more details regarding the scope of the course so I thought I might as well share my answers here:

The scope of the course is the Patterns paradigm. A lot of it deals
with different ways to combine and nest various tools from within the
Patterns paradigm.
A strong emphasis is put on empowering users to explore their own
preferences for sounds and personal ways to organize those sounds.

Another focus is creating a solid workflow that is safe and allows
users to quickly get into the work of composing whenever inspiration
ascends. This involves detailed work making sure everyone is sat up to
use SuperClean quickly, and with very little friction (autoMagic),
whenever booting SuperCollider.

The course will not include anything about building SynthDefs or
building a sampleplayer. It will however focus on getting the most use
out of the sampleplayer and synths included in SuperClean. My
thinking here is that SuperClean, which is based on SuperDirt, is
amazingly great at playing back samples and sounds made by way of
synthesis (FM and Additive synths are included), so no need for
everyone to sit on their lonesome, painstakingly reinventing the wheel
when, here in the future, wheels are in such great abundance.
SuperClean also has a great post processing chain which makes things
safe, and also sounds gnarly when pushed. My thinking here is that the
barrier to entry is significantly lowered so, as a consequence,
everyone can focus on finding personal ways to use those communal
tools. Hopefully also even be inspired by each other’s findings and
become part of a creative community through the shared experience of
using the same tools.

In more practical terms we’ll deal
with creating patterns which use stochastic or generative methods,
while still retaining functionality which deals with reproducibility.
In finer detail we’ll look at ways of having music

• Always begin in the same way
• Be of a finite, and specified duration
• Present one material and then another.

Essentially working with form while still enjoying the benefits of
composing algorithmically.

Every interaction with code within the course will be “live”. The code
we write will always respond immediately to the changes we make while
it is running, so the practice is very much ready for performance.

I hope that gives you at least a little more to go on when deciding
whether or not to attend the course.
I am really looking forward to giving the course and I think we’re
going to have a great time and I’d love for you to join us.

1 Like

I’m definitely interested in this, but working on a Windows PC, and it looks like this requires SuperClean.
The SuperClean startup file - as provided - doesn’t work as a startup file, presumably because the outDevice server options don’t make sense on my machine - and I’m a little worried that this will be a recurring theme.
I can install and run SuperClean, the examples work fine, and I’m very interested in the scale you’re working at - how to get WORK done. Is there anything I can do to make sure my setup is going to work?

If the examples work fine then you are good to go.
The included startup file is what I use. It is not essential to have that level of automagic going in order to have use of it.
I’d be glad help you work out whatever is happening regardless of if you want to do the course or not. I’ll dm you and we can work out a time that suits you to look at how you are sat up with SuperClean now.


I’d love to subscribe, but don’t want to use Zoom. Would be nice to have access to the recordings if any, even a paid one. Do you think that it could be feasible ?

Hi there.
Sorry for this late reply.
I just tried using Jitsi meet at the same time as Zoom and that works for me except I can’t figure out how to get Stereo sound in Jitsi.
Would that work for you?
Jitsi is free and open-source.
I am guessing that this is because of very reasonable ethical concerns about using Zoom.
I am not too happy about using it either, but, it is what it is.

The application deadline for the course is today. I will accommodate anyone wanting to use Jitsi as an alternative to zoom because reasons. If you are on the fence, and or have any questions whatsoever, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. My email is on my site, posted here again for convenience:


1 Like

Thanks a lot for your kind answer; I’ve missed the deadline in the meanwhile and will contact you directly later on. All the best.

wooohoooo and some more characters to reach minimum

Quick update from speaking with Lisa from EMS today:
This course got like a gazillion applicants, so it for sure will happen.


Great and some more characters :smile: !!!

Yes, sadly all the places are taken, even for those that applied before the deadline (I think I applied 2 weeks ago, and I see your message is only a few days ago @t36s). Maybe you can already plan another one Daniel, which will run in parallel (on the other Thursdays), or maybe there’s only a few people that didn’t get in/on it - meaning a second course isn’t feasible.

Hey Joesh.
It’s a sad state of affairs.
The way things are looking right now EMS wants me to do the course again next semester.
I’ll make sure there is a longer application time for next semester.

1 Like

No problem, no need for a longer period, I was just waylaid sorting out my own school’s covid problems/timetables, exams and the rest. I should have pressed apply the first day rather than putting it on the ‘things to do list’ :face_with_raised_eyebrow:.

Same here … hope to join next semester. All the best with the course !

1 Like

Thank you, I really appreciate that and hope to see you next semester.


disappointed not to get in this time round, but next time fer sure.
Meanwhile: what’s a good alternative? I know, Patterns tutorial, but what’s a good project to work on?

Should I try to understand Clean, or Tidal?

I got you sat up right so I’m hoping you’ll choose SuperClean. Have a look at the examples, mess around with the numbers and check the docs. Use your ears and find stuff you think sounds cool. Do a lil bit every day and stick with it. You’ll find your way in no time.

This is such a good advice. Sounds like nothing special, but I think this is the best way to learn SC.

1 Like

Is there a new course planned soon ?

Hi Geoffroy.

Thank you very much for your interest.
I have a new job at kkh so I am not able to do a third semester of this course for EMS.

The course material however is on github.

If you find that you like it, and you would like to discuss SuperClean itself, or the course material, let me know and I’ll introduce you to some other folks who are using it.

My email is on my site.