New to coding, where to start?


Greetings, community.
I have lurked a long time without posting but this seems like a great spot for this question since there are a lot of like minds here. I should probably mention I have been into modular for 4 or 5 years now, and definitely am a huge fan of Olivier’s products and philosophies.

I’d like to learn to code, specifically for the purpose of programming music hardware (modules of course). It would seem like C++ is the language of choice? I have looked into learning it, and I am not sure what the very best approach would be. I am 47 with zero coding experience. I am not in a huge hurry but I’m also not going back to university, so hopefully I can learn it quicker (and cheaper) than that. I am also not naive enough to think it will be easy, I am up for a challenge. Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated. I thank you all kindly!


I found this on the FAQ page for VCV rack module creation. And making a VCV module would probably be a good starting point :slight_smile:

Oh and Coursera has a pretty good free course on DSP. It’s not specific to C++ but is covers the mathematical idioms and conventions of DSP so when you see frequency in terms of radians you won’t freak out.


99% of the “C++ knowledge” is irrelevant for coding music hardware, and there’s a lot of stuff taught in a C++ class that won’t work at all on a small memory, single-application embedded system. Then there are many things you have to know (DSP, embedded systems stuff) that are not going to be taught in a C++ class… So maybe learning C++ is not the right place to start… Here’s my recommended “learning path”:


Wow, that certainly spells it out in no uncertain terms. Thank you for the response.


I have been having a lot of fun recently working with lua/supercollider on the Monome Norns. I would think that could be potentially a cool way to get started on some things similar to the steps 1, 2 and (a little bit of) 4 mentioned in that (great) post from @pichenettes

Norns is sold out right now, but there’s a couple emulation projects underway if you are interested in that.

The studies have been cool getting started tutorials that mix learning the basics of coding with creating some actually creatively useful/interesting scripts.