SuperCollider is an environment and programming language for real time audio synthesis and algorithmic composition. It provides an interpreted object-oriented language which functions as a network client to a state of the art, realtime sound synthesis server.
SuperCollider was written by James McCartney (http://audiosynth.com) over a period of many years. It is now an open source GPL'd project maintained and developed by James and various others. It is used by musicians, scientists, and artists working with sound.
This README is a first help for anyone new to SuperCollider. There are many good resources available for learning SuperCollider, with up to date links from the site listed above, including links to forums and mailing lists.
Since version 3.6 SuperCollider consists of three separate components:
- sound synthesiser (audio server)
- programming language (and language interpreter)
- code editor (integrated development environment, or shortly, IDE)
To begin using SuperCollider, you usually first start up the IDE:
- on Mac OS simply start up the
- on Linux and Windows, start up the
From here on, you can get further help by using the IDE's integrated help
system which can be invoked via the "Help" menu or using the key combination
Ctrl+D (on Linux, Windows) or
Cmd+D (on Mac OS). In the Help menu, you will
also find an action that will take you directly to the help page on using the
When starting the SuperCollider IDE, the audio server is not started
automatically. You can start it using the "Language > Boot Server" menu action,
or using the key combination
Ctrl+B (on Linux, Windows) or
Cmd+B (on Mac OS).
This is just to remind you in case you're impatient and can't understand why
you're not immediately getting sound.
We suggest you to proceed by reading the tutorials available in the help system. Please note that some help pages are not up-to-date with the latest development of SuperCollider, especially when mentioning the code editing environment. Regarding this, it is best to refer to the help page specifically about the new SuperCollider IDE.
Also, please explore the IDE menus, which will let you discover a lot of functionality of the coding environment.
Platform specific build and install instructions can be found in the following files:
We hope you enjoy SuperCollider; please get involved in the active community!
SuperCollider is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version. See COPYING for the license text.
- SuperCollider 3.1 was released on October 31, 2007
- SuperCollider 3.2 was released on February 19, 2008
- SuperCollider 3.3 was released on April 30, 2009
- SuperCollider 3.4 was released on July 15, 2010
- SuperCollider 3.5 was released on March 16, 2012
- SuperCollider 3.6 was released on November 28, 2012