overtone VS scheme-for-max

Compare overtone vs scheme-for-max and see what are their differences.


Collaborative Programmable Music (by overtone)


Max/MSP external for scripting and live coding Max with s7 Scheme Lisp (by iainctduncan)
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overtone scheme-for-max
24 27
5,616 142
0.5% -
3.5 4.5
3 months ago 17 days ago
Clojure C
GNU General Public License v3.0 or later GNU General Public License v3.0 or later
The number of mentions indicates the total number of mentions that we've tracked plus the number of user suggested alternatives.
Stars - the number of stars that a project has on GitHub. Growth - month over month growth in stars.
Activity is a relative number indicating how actively a project is being developed. Recent commits have higher weight than older ones.
For example, an activity of 9.0 indicates that a project is amongst the top 10% of the most actively developed projects that we are tracking.


Posts with mentions or reviews of overtone. We have used some of these posts to build our list of alternatives and similar projects. The last one was on 2023-02-17.


Posts with mentions or reviews of scheme-for-max. We have used some of these posts to build our list of alternatives and similar projects. The last one was on 2023-02-24.
  • Processing audio buffers with Scheme for Max (cookbook and tutorial)
    2 projects | reddit.com/r/MaxMSP | 24 Feb 2023
    To download Scheme for Max and for tutorials, documentation, and the cookbook, visit the GitHub page: https://github.com/iainctduncan/scheme-for-max
  • The Janet Language
    6 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 17 Feb 2023
    If you like things like Janet, you might also like s7 Scheme. It is also a minimal Scheme built entirely in C and dead easy to embed. I used it to make Scheme for Max and Scheme for Pd, extensions to the Max and Pd computer music platform to allow scripting them in Scheme. (https://github.com/iainctduncan/scheme-for-max) Janet was one of the options I looked pretty closely at before choosing s7.

    The author (Bill Schottstaedt, Stanford CCRMA) is not too interested in making pretty web pages, ha, but the language is great!

  • Which coding language to start with?
    3 projects | reddit.com/r/livecoding | 1 Feb 2023
    Project page: https://github.com/iainctduncan/scheme-for-max
  • Ask HN: What have you created that deserves a second chance on HN?
    44 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 26 Jan 2023
    I created Scheme for Max and Scheme for Pure Data. They are extensions to the Max/MSP, Ableton Live, and Pure Data computer music environments that embed an s7 Scheme interpreter in the host so that you can script, automate, and live code the hosts with s7, a Scheme from the CCRMA computer music center at Stanford and the same one used in the Snd editor and the Common Music 3 algorithmic composition environment. This allows you to do things like write algorithmic music tools, sequencers, and use the Ableton Live API in Scheme, including with Common Lisp style macros. It has an API for integrating with Max to share data structures, hook into the scheduler, run in the high priority thread, and so on. S4M allows you to do all the goodness of high level music programming in a Lisp, without losing the ability to use modern commercial tooling and instruments. It's my thesis project for a Masters in Music Technology with Andy Schloss and George Tzanetakis at the University of Victoria, and I plan to continue to a PhD working on it. I tried submitting twice, but it never made the page, which surprised me a bit given Lisp interest here.

    The github page is here: https://github.com/iainctduncan/scheme-for-max

    The youtube channel with various demos is here: https://www.youtube.com/c/musicwithlisp

  • Common Lisp and Music Composition
    6 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 17 Jan 2023
    On a closely related note, and possibly of interest, I am the author of Scheme for Max and Scheme for Pd, which put the Common Music 3 Scheme interpreter in Max and Pure Data. Common Music's most recent version used s7 Scheme as the language, which is mostly a a Scheme but borrows many features from Common Lisp (keywords, defmacro, etc). With Scheme for Max, you can basically run almost all Common Music code inside Max, Ableton Live, and Pd, allowing you to use it with more commercial tools (such as VST instruments, etc). It has extensive API functions for hooking into the host scheduler and data structures as well as running Lisp/Scheme code.

    Project is here: https://github.com/iainctduncan/scheme-for-max

  • Suggested resources for learning the JVM well?
    2 projects | reddit.com/r/Clojure | 8 Jan 2023
  • Hacking Perl in Nighclubs (2004)
    6 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 26 Jul 2022
    There are many very "serious" ones, but they won't replace DAWs because the audience for a programming language tool for computer music looks is very different.

    A few off the top of my head that are used and/or made by serious computer music people: Common Music, Nyquist, Euterpea, Open Music, Common Lisp Music, Snd, Csound, SuperCollider, Chuck, Perry Cook's STK, and my own Scheme for Max and Scheme for Pd.

    My own Scheme for Max is (modesty aside) interesting because it takes one of the serious code tool lineages and enables running it in a DAW. It allows you to port Common Music algorithmic composition code into Ableton Live through Scheme for Max. You get the ability to work in and sync up with Live, but if you want it, all the potential complexity and power of Scheme and Common Music.


  • Max 4 Live, or standalone Max 8?
    4 projects | reddit.com/r/MaxMSP | 19 Jul 2022
    BTW - shameless plug to you as a dev - I wrote Scheme For Max, which allows you to run a Scheme Lisp interpreter in both Max and Max4Live - you might want to check it out. Unlike the JS object, it can run in the high priority (timing) thread and does hot code reloading, and you can connect to a running instance over a sort of network repl using UDP. I remote control Live from Scheme code in Vim that way. It's super fun. https://github.com/iainctduncan/scheme-for-max
  • Advice for a Haskeller who wants to learn Scheme?
    3 projects | reddit.com/r/scheme | 10 May 2022
  • Overtone is live programmable music and visualization
    6 projects | news.ycombinator.com | 21 Mar 2022
    Hi, if you're interested in Overtone, you might be interested in my projects as well, Scheme for Max and Scheme for Pure Data. They use s7 Scheme, a very clojurish Scheme implementation designed for computer music needs by Bill Schottstaedt at CCRMA, of Common Lisp Music fame. Part of my motivation for creating it was to overcome some of what I perceived as limitations in options such as Overtone and Pink. https://github.com/iainctduncan/scheme-for-max

    Unfortunately Overtone is not really active anymore, the its replacement loses the lisp!

    Other interesting Scheme/Lisp based systems in similar areas are Extempore (formerly impromptu), Nyquist (by Dannenburg, another godfather of the field), and Common Music.

What are some alternatives?

When comparing overtone and scheme-for-max you can also consider the following projects:

Sonic Pi - Code. Music. Live.

janet - A dynamic language and bytecode vm

MuseScore - MuseScore is an open source and free music notation software. For support, contribution, bug reports, visit MuseScore.org. Fork and make pull requests!

Tidal - Pattern language

Rack - The virtual Eurorack studio

BespokeSynth - Software modular synth

BespokeSynth - Software modular synth [Moved to: https://github.com/BespokeSynth/BespokeSynth]

Fennel - Lua Lisp Language

pipewire - Mirror of the PipeWire repository (see https://gitlab.freedesktop.org/pipewire/pipewire/)

score - ossia score, an interactive sequencer for the intermedia arts

pyo - Python DSP module

awesome-live-coding-music - A curated list of awesome Live Coding Music frameworks, libraries and software.