Regardless of which language we use, we should learn from those who came before us, and bear in mind why we choose to pursue these endeavors in the first place.


The Processing programming language really is wonderful. It’s like a gentle coercion into coding within a visual framework. Most artists are visual thinkers, so it really helps to have all these books and visual examples of things.

I found Processing super fun for many years, but I’ve tired of coding for the minute and haven’t touched it in a while.

Anyway Processing is basically based off Java, when it came out back in the day it was using these little Java applets online, so people could view their programs in a web page. But Java is always getting deprecated and updated and it just became this massive headache, in the end there’s a new offspring of Processing called p5.js which is gaining some traction, and this now has JavaScript at its core meaning the programs just run online natively. So could interesting to check out if u want to do web based stuff

I think main thing is to get a grasp of programming concepts, maybe a course on Code Academy or something from there you can basically go anywhere.

Me personally I would find it hard not to recommend Max as a great starting point for audio work, as this is the culture that environment is based around (visual too). So many great tutorials and stuff online, you can’t go wrong. That said it’s not really ‘coding’ per se, it’s more like ‘patching’, but it could give you a starting point for the text based stuff when u need it.

And that said I’ve always found visual patching languages to be an eye full, and really don’t dig hunting around big spaghetti webs of patch lines and nodes. I find text so much more linear, it’s just running down the page and so easy to navigate in tabs and stuff, but YMMV

Anyway lastly check out Cracked, it’s a fun, hacky app.

Have fun!


Full time game developer here. I learned to code with Java and now use C# with the amazing Unity engine.

I recommend learning with C# as it’s similar to Java but more importantly it’s so well documented and every niche problem you encounter can be googled because so many people use Unity these days.


I’m beginning to learn Processing after trying and losing steam with JavaScript every few months; it’s actually making sense to me, which is nice. Still baby steps though as a lot of stuff is out of my reach, but I’m getting there. I just need to discipline myself into regular exercises. It’s great that it can generate app files as well without any additional resources, that’s a big incentive to keep going.


Yeah, well, to pique your interest, I really cant recommend Reas and Fry’s Processing book enough, it’s so great. It was my bible for years (and still is). It’s just laced with super fascinating prefaces and context based examples to the arts, like who was doing what throughout history and interesting developments. Then it just stays super on-point, here is a little pic of an idea, here is the code, this is what it is. no anecdotal waffling about blah blah blah.

When you get down that all you’re really doing is dealing with coordinate points in space on a canvas, everything opens up. Then it’s just programming concepts like iteration, classes, arrays etc applied to that stuff. It gets really fun really quick :slight_smile:


Thanks for the advice! I’ll check it out. I’m currently doing the (old) course on FutureLearn which has some really great examples, and sets some simple goals to tweak them. It’s nice to be able to understand stuff!


i watched some amazing video animated effects with Processing, accepting jpeg images and turning the silhouette them into directional grains that then form eddies around the borders of shapes.

love to hear the potentially entrancing sounds or effects possible with this 3rd tier language.



Didn’t know about that – looks good. I saw this about Processing at wikipedia:
Processing is not a single language, but rather, an arts-oriented approach to learning, teaching, and making things with code. There are several variants …

And indeed there are many flavors of Processing including a Python variant!

So to some extent for this purpose, Processing and it’s sketchbook, can be thought of as a ‘library’ that goes beyond being a ‘library’ and becomes a language extension. (Please correct me if i’m wrong.)

The site says:
Processing’s … graphical primitives … took inspiration from OpenGL, Postscript, Design by Numbers, and other sources.

I used to be pretty good with Postscript so i like this too.


Ah, that’s true. I forgot about the Python mode!


Reviving this thread…
What would be the best language to start to code? (I know some C++)
I would guess C# and javascript?
Which software do you use to code? Visual Studio?


What sort of stuff are you trying to do? Are you working on windows or os x or mobile?


Depends on what you want to do? Make iOS apps? Mess around with visuals? Integrate with Max MSP? Program Arduinos?


I understand that my question is a little wide. The target is to get skills and knowledges for my future: i work in the software industry as Product Engineer (PO, support, deployment, training…) and would like to know more about the development, how to code…the other side.

I am working both on os x and windows but the windows is my preferred choice. In the past, i coded a full step sequencer with arduino and e-licktronic modules… but the coding involved was pretty basic.


I suggest to start with python. Its easy to understand, easy to read code, excellent documentation, large amount of libraries available and good ide’s available like pycharm. Python will get you to the concepts of object oriented programming in no time and also teach you to write clean and readable code. You will get insight on how to use programming to solve problems or automate tedious and repetitive tasks. This will automatically lead to an understanding what programming is and this insight will be programming language independent, so you may turn to other languages like c family, java or even php.
Just my 2 cents and experience, and in the end I got stuck with python because its that programming for me. Type “import this” into python interpreter and get more enlightened :)…


Python is real good but I wouldn’t use it for UI stuff/desktop apps. C# with visual studio (theres a free community edition iirc) is good too. You could also look for job ads that interest you and see what languages they talk about.


That looks interesting. Are the things you learn with this app transferable to other coding platforms?


then, C/C++ is what you need.

python (already suggested by everyone) is really cool language, but it’s a language of a scripting/interpreted kind. compiled languages, like C/C++, are very different kind of stuff, so interpreted language(s) knowledge will help to some degree … but in very indirect way.

btw, consider installing Linux (e.g. Ubuntu, but actually up to you). it’s much more coder-friendly system than others, and has more than a lot developer tools of all kinds right in any distro’s repositories, and this is for free. and if your goal is synths/FX, then you’ll have many excellent examples of them along with their source code.


For realtime audio stuff: C++, Juce.


It’s actually great for this with pyside2. Packaging is a bit difficult though.


If you prefer to be in the Microsoft side of things you should learn these things:

C# (or, but C#>
.Net in general lol
SQL in SQL Server

This sets you up to be a full stack dev (web dev with the too). If you do go down the rabbit hole, make sure to get good at some kind of design pattern methodology i.e. MVC/MVP.