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At the intersection of music production and coding

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At the intersection of music production and coding

Postby jellyjim » Tue Mar 31, 2020 12:42 am

Hello

What skills are out there at the intersection of music production and coding and are they actually in demand?

I'm less interested in straightforward software development (DSP, plug-ins, apps, firmware etc) as that's more about creating musical tools rather than leveraging code for specific productions, performances or content; though I appreciate this distinction could easily get blurred.

Here's what I can think of

* FMOD and WWise (game audio middleware packages)
* Max/MSP, particularly in its implementation within Ableton Live, Max for Live
* Pure Data (very niche afaik, don't know of any commercial applications)
* SuperCollider (very niche afaik, don't know of any commercial applications)
* Native Instruments' KSP (Kontakt's scripting language)

Thoughts?

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Re: At the intersection of music production and coding

Postby The Elf » Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:26 am

Don't know about commercial value, but learning KSP has made me self-sufficient in creating my own MPE/Poly AT instruments, and that alone was worth the effort of becoming familiar with it.

The problem with any programming language is that unless you are working with it on an almost dailiy basis there's a degree of re-learning each time you come back to it.
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Re: At the intersection of music production and coding

Postby jellyjim » Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:29 am

The Elf wrote:Don't know about commercial value, but learning KSP has made me self-sufficient in creating my own MPE/Poly AT instruments, and that alone was worth the effort of becoming familiar with it.

That's very cool. Good effort that man!

The problem with any programming language is that unless you are working with it on an almost dailiy basis there's a degree of re-learning each time you come back to it.

Welcome to my day job! :headbang:
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Re: At the intersection of music production and coding

Postby The Elf » Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:33 am

jellyjim wrote:Welcome to my day job! :headbang:
Yes, it used to be mine too! COBOL, CICS and DB2 doesn't really set you up for OO languages, though. C still baffles me totally!
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Re: At the intersection of music production and coding

Postby jellyjim » Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:41 am

The Elf wrote:
jellyjim wrote:Welcome to my day job! :headbang:
Yes, it used to be mine too! COBOL, CICS and DB2 doesn't really set you up for OO languages, though. C still baffles me totally!

COBOL! That's old school, in a cool way, like a dusty Neve or SSL desk. C is a little obtuse for sure.

It's all web related stuff for me these days, that's where the $ is, but I've done so many different things over the years I can turn my hand to most fairly quick.

The re-training aspect has gone into overdrive particularly with anything at the front-end like JavaScript. There's a new hip framework every five minutes. People hardly even bother to keep up anymore. You just learn on the job.

Can you do ... YES. Do you know anything about ... YES. Have you tried ... YES. Ok you're hired.
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Re: At the intersection of music production and coding

Postby James Perrett » Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:22 pm

I did part of a postgraduate OU computing course where they used both Pascal and Smalltalk. Pascal teaches you to be fairly disciplined but Smalltalk takes OO to the extreme. For work I started on HP Basic and Fortran then moved to working almost exclusively in C and C++ with a bit of Matlab thrown in.

I don't do much coding nowadays but I've done the odd MIDI thing in C++ and I've now been exposed to Python, Javascript and Scratch through our son's newly discovered interest in computers.

Python also looks useful for coding Reaper extensions though I've not needed to get into that yet.
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Re: At the intersection of music production and coding

Postby jellyjim » Tue Mar 31, 2020 4:03 pm

James Perrett wrote:Python also looks useful for coding Reaper extensions though I've not needed to get into that yet.

Yes, Python! Good shout. Lots of applications with that. Didn't know Reaper was using it.

There's 'Processing' too which is the Arduino's programming language (on the surface at least, but C underneath). Arduino not always but often for music stuff
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Re: At the intersection of music production and coding

Postby Martin Walker » Tue Mar 31, 2020 4:50 pm

The Elf wrote:The problem with any programming language is that unless you are working with it on an almost daily basis there's a degree of re-learning each time you come back to it.

Agreed. Last year I had the chance to revisit my 6502 Assembly Language coding skills while adding features to my C64 Music driver and editor written back in the 80's, and it was refreshingly different and strangely rewarding (even when I had to resort to cycle-counting to optimise new routines).

However, I do find the same re-learning thing happens with some of the more advanced audio plug-ins - you buy them and initially spend some hours getting to grips with how all their various parameters interact, then a month or two later when you remember you've got that plug-in and load it up you're back to relying on its presets again :headbang:


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Re: At the intersection of music production and coding

Postby The Elf » Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:01 pm

When I was setting up my RetroPie at Christmas I found my old C64 development disk and saw some of the 6502 code I'd written. I could just about understand my assembler code, but what it was doing was a bit mind-boggling! The interrupt-driven audio player I wrote was quite a sophisticated piece of code - I used to be clever back then until the witch's spell wore off! :lol:
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Re: At the intersection of music production and coding

Postby jellyjim » Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:03 pm

The Elf wrote:saw some of the 6502 code I'd written ... I used to be clever back then until the witch's spell wore off! :lol:

ELECTRICKERY!
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Re: At the intersection of music production and coding

Postby jellyjim » Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:10 pm

I'm very impressed you both did some assembler. I had a go at Z80 stuff on my ZX81 and Spectrum and later Motorola 68000 on my Atari ST but I was a bit young (stupid) and no Internet to speak of in those days. You had the one or two books you could afford and some magazine articles if you were lucky!
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Re: At the intersection of music production and coding

Postby CS70 » Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:16 pm

jellyjim wrote:It's all web related stuff for me these days, that's where the $ is, but I've done so many different things over the years I can turn my hand to most fairly quick.

A bit OT, but you would be surprised where the money is..

Yes there's lots of web work but there's loads of people who can do it and that's mostly youngsters who are not so well paid - that is, paid way more than youngsters in most other jobs, of course - but still far from top money. You can make a good living, sure, but money is in the niches: either more complex stuff like C or C++, in which not everybody is willing to put the time it takes; the or seriously boring stuff - like SAP or various ERP and application specific packages which most people don't want to do because there's a distinct chance it leads to intellectual sucide. About 10/15 years ago I could have taken contracts a 100K pounds a quarter in London, using Tibco, simply because the amount of people familiar with the platform was very restricted.

Right now there's good money in big data and of course virtualization, but it's gonna be relatively short term - mostly because after the current phase of mass adoption, things are going to coalesce around a few packages that then require only medium skills to be used - like it's happened lots of time before.

The trick to $ is doing stuff that's in demand but nobody else is doing :D

Sorry for the OT :)
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Re: At the intersection of music production and coding

Postby CS70 » Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:18 pm

jellyjim wrote:I'm very impressed you both did some assembler. I had a go at Z80 stuff on my ZX81 and Spectrum and later Motorola 68000 on my Atari ST but I was a bit young (stupid) and no Internet to speak of in those days. You had the one or two books you could afford and some magazine articles if you were lucky!

Ah! My first "big" software was a version of Frogger on the Speccy, using Gens3m2. Took a month - mostly because to know how the game progressed had to play it a lot and didn't have so much money.. :D
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Re: At the intersection of music production and coding

Postby James Perrett » Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:19 pm

jellyjim wrote:There's 'Processing' too which is the Arduino's programming language (on the surface at least, but C underneath). Arduino not always but often for music stuff

I've had a quick play with the Arduino and assumed that it was basically C with a few bits hidden. I couldn't even find how to do interrupts although I didn't look very hard. It seemed fairly similar to PIC programming in C although the PIC compiler makes you do all the work.
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Re: At the intersection of music production and coding

Postby jellyjim » Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:20 pm

CS70 wrote:
jellyjim wrote:It's all web related stuff for me these days, that's where the $ is, but I've done so many different things over the years I can turn my hand to most fairly quick.

A bit OT, but you would be surprised where the money is..


For sure. I contract only. I could chase fintech stuff in the city for crazy day rates but I'd be miserable.

I'm a front-end dev which seems to be a good balance between $rate, how interesting a project is/who for and demand/availability ... well it was before the apocalypse lolz!
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