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Thing I’ll Never Do #392387 — Pay $495 To Make Music with Lisp [Jun. 8th, 2009|03:27 pm]
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Symbolic Composer has a certain appeal I guess, if Max/MSP seems too easy or inflexible. I’d even consider messing with it — if it was free!

But $495???


Remember to make ANY SOUND with SCom, you write a lisp program. They have a giant library with loads of interesting stuff in it, and I can write Lisp. But damn, who is their customer base?

Originally published at Do My Eyes Look Scary?. You can comment here or there.


[User Picture]From: speicus
2009-06-11 04:38 pm (UTC)
I'm guessing their customer base is tech-inclined academic composers. It probably makes more sense in Europe where there's more of an infrastructure for that kind of thing.
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[User Picture]From: chaircrusher
2009-06-11 04:47 pm (UTC)
Well if you're an academic composer everything's better in Europe anyway. Actually, for most American musicians -- pop, jazz, electronic etc -- if you can get a booking agent in Europe everything will be better for you as well!

In the grand scheme of things $495 isn't a big deal if you actually make a living with music, but honestly, given that A) you have to program in Lisp and B) there are many free alternatives that are just as expressive, it does seem absurd.

And maybe I'm just not seeing the advantages, but writing lisp to make music makes writing longhand on manuscript paper seem like less effort ;-)
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[User Picture]From: speicus
2009-06-11 05:03 pm (UTC)
Sometimes composers like to do things the hard way... kind of a point of pride, so Lisp could actually be a bonus there. Sort of like how bebop musicians didn't want just anyone to be able to play jazz.

I mean, I basically agree with you, but I can see how this would appeal to composers who are used to thinking linearly and want a lot of control. This fairly hilarious quote from the FAQ is pretty telling:

Can I use live input from a keyboard?

That is improvising. In SCOM you would think how to write a piece of code that improvises instead of you.
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[User Picture]From: chaircrusher
2009-06-11 05:12 pm (UTC)
i get it, it's just not for me. I'll keep plunking notes one at a time in a piano roll view thank you very much ;-)
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