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SuperDiffuse

SuperDiffuse is an n-channel diffusion system, written in SuperCollider.

It was developed as part of research at The University of Sheffield Sound Studios, and to facilitate Sound Junction: a weekend festival of electroacoustic music at The University of Sheffield.

Based on the idea of concerts, SuperDiffuse allows pieces to be added, removed, and swapped. As concerts can often contain a variety of playback formats (Stereo, 5.1, 7.1, 8, 16, 24, 32...), SuperDiffuse allows pieces to be associated with their own routing, using a patchbay-style system.

Starting it is a matter of describing how big your system is:

// 8 playback channels, 8 output channels, 8 control faders
SuperDiffuse(8,8,8);

Installation

SuperDiffuse uses SuperCollider, so you must have it installed first: https://supercollider.github.io

Automatic:

SuperDiffuse is written as a Quark, so if you have Git installed (Windows users will need to manually install Git), run the following in SuperCollider:

Quarks.install("https://github.com/jrsurge/SuperDiffuse")

Then restart SuperCollider (or just recompile the class library with Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + L).

Manual:

  • Download a release from Github: https://github.com/jrsurge/SuperDiffuse/releases

  • Unzip into a folder called SuperDiffuse (doesn't matter where, we'll move it soon)

  • In SuperCollider, go to: File > Open user support directory

  • If it doesn't already exist, make a folder called Extensions

  • Move the SuperDiffuse folder into the Extensions folder

Then restart SuperCollider (or just recompile the class library with Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + L)

Running

Pre-flight checks

Make sure your SuperCollider is setup to use the number of output channels you need, so something like this in your startup file:

// connect to your soundcard
//  all connected devices are listed on booting
//  the server if you need to know what goes here
s.options.device_("ASIO : ASIO Fireface");

// set the number of output channels on the card:
s.options.numOutputBusChannels_(8);

// boot the server
s.boot;

Takeoff

SuperDiffuse needs to know how big your system is, but that's it.

  • The maximum number of channels for playback into the system
  • Number of channels to output
  • Number of control faders (MIDI or OSC)

So, if the biggest piece you're playing back is 8 channels, then your number of input channels is 8:

// numIns, numOuts, numControls
SuperDiffuse(8,8,8);

This will fail if you don't have the number of output channels you're requesting.

From there, it's all in the GUI - see the tutorial series in the documentation for more information (accessible from the SuperCollider Help system, Browse > Quarks > SuperDiffuse)

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An n-channel diffusion system for running concerts of electroacoustic music

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