getting started guide

alv (“alive”) is a language for creating and changing realtime programs while they are running continuously. It can be used to create music, visuals or installations, but by itself creates neither sound nor video. Rather, alv is used together with other tools and synthesizers (for example SuperCollider or Pilot). In such an ensemble of tools, alive takes the role of a ‘conductor’, telling the other tools what to play when by sending commands to them using a variety of protocols, such as OSC and MIDI.

This guide will get you up and running with alv and Pilot, explaining most of the basics along the way. For more complete documentation on the alv language and features like functions, loops, etc. take a look at the language reference.


  1. installation
  2. hello world
  3. working with the copilot
  4. syntax
  5. basic types
  6. importing operators
  7. defining symbols
  8. making sound