Sean Brewer

A Simple Livecoding Environment for Overtone With Light Table

I’ve been using Overtone off and on for a while, and I’ve been wanting to try out Light Table, so I decided to see if I could get Overtone working with it.

Emacs is pretty much the standard for livecoding in Overtone, but it’s not the most accessible environment for beginners. I actually use vim, but it’s not that great, either. Light Table seems to be a good alternative, but I ran into some project dependency problems getting it setup. The fixes are easy to duplicate. After the problem is solved, it’s nice.

I’m going to assume the following: you’re in a Linux environment, you already have a copy of Light Table installed and working, you have Leiningen installed and working, and that you already have SuperCollider installed and working, which we need for Overtone.

First, let’s generate a new project somewhere:

$ lein new livecoding

Now, add the livecoding project to your workspace in Light Table. If you need help doing this, check the docs.

Inside your livecoding project, you should have project.clj, which looks like this:

1
2
3
4
5
6
(defproject livecoding "0.1.0-SNAPSHOT"
  :description "FIXME: write description"
  :url "http://example.com/FIXME"
  :license {:name "Eclipse Public License"
            :url "http://www.eclipse.org/legal/epl-v10.html"}
  :dependencies [[org.clojure/clojure "1.5.1"]])

OK, great. But now we need to add Overtone. Usually, we’d just change project.clj to look like this:

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
(defproject livecoding "0.1.0-SNAPSHOT"
  :description "FIXME: write description"
  :url "http://example.com/FIXME"
  :license {:name "Eclipse Public License"
            :url "http://www.eclipse.org/legal/epl-v10.html"}
  :dependencies [[org.clojure/clojure "1.5.1"]
                 [overtone "0.8.1"]])

The problem with this is that Overtone has a dependency on Clojure 1.3.0, which Light Table’s REPL refuses to use. We need to force Overtone to use Clojure 1.5.1. Let’s fix that:

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
(defproject livecoding "0.1.0-SNAPSHOT"
  :description "FIXME: write description"
  :url "http://example.com/FIXME"
  :license {:name "Eclipse Public License"
            :url "http://www.eclipse.org/legal/epl-v10.html"}
  :dependencies [[org.clojure/clojure "1.5.1"]
                 [overtone "0.8.1" :exclusions [org.clojure/clojure]]
                 [org.clojure/data.json "0.2.2"]])

OK. So what does that do? We’re forcing overtone to ignore its dependency on Clojure 1.3. We’re also adding data.json, because Light Table’s REPL appears to have a dependency on that. Now, we’re good to go.

Make sure you saved the changes to project.clj and let’s now open up core.clj, which should be in src/livecoding in our workspace.

Let’s change it to this:

1
2
(ns livecoding.core
  (:use overtone.live))

Now let’s get the REPL going. Just press Ctrl+Enter to boot up Overtone. It takes a little bit to get started, but once it boots up, let’s just confirm it works. Change core.clj to:

1
2
3
4
(ns livecoding.core
  (:use overtone.live))

  (demo (sin-osc))

Highlight (demo (sin-osc)) and press Ctrl+Enter and you should hear a simple Sine wave.

Comments