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Sam Aaron 🇪🇺
Sam Aaron 🇪🇺

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I’m Sam Aaron — Live-Coder, Educator, Researcher. Ask Me Anything!

Hi CodeNewbie Community!

I’m Sam Aaron, Creator of the award-winning live coding music synthesizer for everyone: Sonic Pi. I had the distinct pleasure of joining Saron on this week’s episode of the CodeNewbie Podcast. I’d love for you to hear our conversation as I think there are some really valuable takeaways for a lot of folks here.

play pause CodeNewbie Podcast

After you listen to the show, I invite you to return here and ask me anything that’s on your mind! I’ll be scanning for questions all week.

Here are a few things about me to get this AMA going

  • I am a software architect with a Ph.D. in Computing Science from Newcastle University
  • I have been a Research Associate within the Computer Laboratory at the University of Cambridge My favourite place to code is live on stage
  • I am passionate about the value of open source software and have dedicated the last 10 years of my life to developing and maintaining various open source projects.

I’m looking forward to connecting with you here on CodeNewbie Community. Feel free to ask me anything in the comments below!

Discussion (4)

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gracie profile image
Gracie Gregory (she/her)

Hi Sam! Thank you for doing the AMA this week! After all this talk of music, I have to ask... who are some of your favorite musical artists? And do you listen to music all day long throughout all of your work?

Personally I find it hard to listen to music and concentrate sometimes so I'm always interested in how others feel about it.

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samaaron profile image
Sam Aaron 🇪🇺 Ask Me Anything

Hey Gracie,

thanks for your interesting question and yes, I definitely listen to music pretty much 100% of the time I'm working/coding. Personally I find it helps me to concentrate and block out a lot of disturbances - although I'm very much aware that it doesn't work like that for everyone! I typically listen to electronic music with few or no lyrics (I find spoken word and singing more distracting than just sounds) or jazz.

In terms of favourite artists, there's a lot but up there I'd list Arovane, Apparat, Moderat, Kiasmos, Bicep, Squarepusher, Aphex Twin, Eli & Fur and many others!

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gracie profile image
Gracie Gregory (she/her)

Thank you for this response! Electronic music is defiintely the only kind I could possibly listen to while in deep focus mode. I'm a huge fan of Aphex Twin as well 😌

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michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington

Hey Sam!

This is all really interesting. 🙂

I'm not a developer, but I really enjoy sound exploration and Sonic Pi sounds awesome.

Recently, I've been playing a lot with modular synthesizers (most of which are analog and use CV — controlled voltage) to build soundscapes, beats, and ambient music. I'm trying to make music like the following:

Anyway, I'm curious if you've seen people use Sonic Pi to control external modular gear?

Also, do you have a favorite musical composition you've heard on Sonic Pi?

You of course don't need to, but if you want to link me to a YouTube video, the syntax I used to do so above is {% youtube iWLBmAGR_jc %}.