For WFS content creation, the Game of Life developed our own software, called WFSCollider, which is free to download! ( github ). It runs on all mayor platforms (Windows, MacOS, Linux).
It can be seen as a DAW for WFS Synthesis composition. Its features include:
- Graphical timeline, trajectory and position interfaces.
- Modular audio plugin system, which allows you to patch audio generators and processing together in chains (Unit-Lib).
- 1-click to add real-time control over any parameter through OSC/Midi.
- Open source and scripting/coding friendly: for example in place code modification of many parts of the system.
By default it starts in a preview mode, which allows you to preview your WFS piece in stereo, which you can than later import into the system. It also supports a multichannel preview.
Installing WFS Software
Installation on Windows, Mac Os and Linux:
In the past, we had a WFSCollider app installer for MacOS, however, it is now easier to run WFSCollider within a normal SuperCollider environment. There is a Supercollider ‘Quark’ for the WFS library, which makes this relatively easy.
To run WFSCollider on any platform:
Install SuperCollider: https://supercollider.github.io/
Install sc3plugins: http://supercollider.github.io/sc3-plugins/
This provides a .zip file, you can find instructions where to place the files under the same link.
Note: WFSCollider can also run without sc3plugins, but will be missing some features.
Optional: if you do not have git installed, you will need to install this as well, since Git is required for installing Quarks within supercollider. You can verify if git is installed on your machine by opening a window in Terminal and typing
which gitin it followed by enter. If it gives you a path to the git binary that means git is installed, otherwise it will say ‘git not found’. You can find the installation instructions for git here: https://git-scm.com/downloads
Apple does not provide git by default, and their xcode tools are an enormous download, so by far the easiest way to install git on macOS to use a program called Homebrew:
- Install homebrew, see https://brew.sh/
- Install git (in Terminal):
brew install git
Install the WFSCollider-Class-Library Quark. Quarks are a package management system within Supercollider. There are two ways to do this:
Via menu: Open Supercollider, open the menu Language > Quarks. Locate the WFSCollider-Class-Library quark in the list and install by clicking the [+] next to it. You may have to refresh the list first to see it.
Via code; Open an empty window in SuperCollider (File > New). In this window, type:
Quarks.install( "WFSCollider-Class-Library" );and then press SHIFT + ENTER to evaluate.
Installing the WFSCollider-Class-Library will also install the dependency-quarks: Unit-Lib, wslib, NetLib, XML
Troubleshoot: If you don’t see any quarks, but only an error on Windows and Mac OS, please check step 3 (installing git). If you still don’t see the quarks on Mac OS it can help to locate the SuperCollider folder in ~/Library/Application Support (menu File -> Open user support directory), delete the “downloaded-quarks folder” and then try again. Also note that there should be a working internet connection during the Quarks intallation.
Once the Quark is installed, click the “Recompile Class Library” button or choose Language > Recompile Class Library from the menu bar.
In the main SuperCollider window, type:
and hit SHIFT + ENTER keys to start.
It will take some time (a few minutes) to boot the very first time to generate some optimized code (panners). Subsequent boots will be much faster.
If you use SuperCollider only for running WFSCollider it may be nice to have it starting up automatically. To do this, choose menu File > Open startup file, write the line
WFSLib.startup; in that file and save. The next time you startup SuperCollider the WFSLib will be started up immediately.
Tips on Windows machines:
On Windows machines the performance may be sub-optimal. Generally it is advised to use a large hardwareBufferSize (1024 or more) and test various variants of your audio drivers (ASIO, MME, WDM etc.). These settings can be made in WFSCollider through the Preferences panel, found in the WFSCollider menu in a floating window after WFSLib has started up.
On my own Windows test machine, I found it to work with my ASIO driver (using an RME Babyface interface), the default motherboard audio did not work, but that has been a source of trouble with other programs as well so it may be a quirk of that audio chip.
The full manual:
Please note that the current manual is quite old and doesn’t fully cover all possibilities of WFSCollider. Please feel free to experiment around and try things out that you don’t find in the manual.
Some general tips when first starting:
- If you save your score in the same folder as the soundfiles, the paths will be stored relative, and you can just copy your whole folder to the big WFS WFSSoundFiles folder without requiring any changes to the paths.
- You can splice events by clicking the vertical | symbol in the UScore window, this will splice the currently selected events at the location of the playbar.
- There are undo/redo arrows in most windows <- ->.
- Static point sources (the default) cannot change position while playing, use any “position filter” to turn the source into a dynamic panner.
- There is a mixer in the score editor, that allows you to control levels of all events within your score all at once. You can find this mixer under View.
- You can make folders of events, a folder will also have it’s own slider in the mixer.
- Examples of using code and scores can be found here: https://github.com/GameOfLife/WFSCollider-Class-Library/tree/master/Examples
If you want to run WFS distributed over multiple computers, this is easiest to achieve on Linux, since you will want to use PTP protocol to synchronize your computer clocks (PTP is not available for Mac OS). You will also want to use the Supernova version of the Supercollider server, since this provides the necessary accuracy on the server.
You can reach us on firstname.lastname@example.org