Modal control for SuperCollider.

Modality toolkit

Modality is a project dedicated to modal interaction with synthesis processes for physical control in performance. Its primary product is the Modality Toolkit, a library to facilitate straightforward access to hardware controllers in the SuperCollider programming language. It is designed and developed by the ModalityTeam, a group of people that see themselves as both users and developers both of and for SuperCollider.

The central idea behind the Modality Toolkit is to simplify the creation of individual electronic instruments using controllers of various kinds. To this end, a common code interface, MKtl, is used for connecting controllers from various sources and protocols. Currently HID and MIDI are supported with OSC, serial port and GUI-based interfaces are planned to be integrated.

The name Modality arose from the idea to scaffold the creation of modal interfaces, i.e. to create interfaces where e.g. one physical controller can be used for different purposes or it is possible to switch its functionality, even at runtime. It is our belief that integration of such on-the-fly remapping features helps to create instruments that are flexible, powerful, and interesting to play. The strength of such a modal interface is that it allows for fast changes and more opportunity for sonic discovery as can be necessary when, for example, improvising with musicians playing acoustic instruments.


The first version of the modality toolkit was released as a Quark at the SuperCollider Symposium 2012. The current state of the project can be found at the GITHub repository.

Associated Projects


Associated Organisations


We want to thank all associated institutes for their support: STEIM Amsterdam, BEK Bergen, UdK Berlin, & Media Lab of the Aalto University Helsinki.

The Modality toolkit is free software published under the GPL