#002 - Starting simple, getting complex
Tidal Cycles can be used for building anything from the simple to the complex and then some more! Today let's look at building simple drum rhythms and then build them up.
Tidal Cycles, notes from the past week
The basic beat looks like this but we can turn this into something more complex.
d2 $ s "[[bd sd], linnhats*8]"
d2 $ s "[[bd sd], linnhats*8]" # warpstimb (slow 5 sine) # warpsosc "<0 1 2 3>" # warpsalgo "<0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 6>" # warpsfreq (fast 3 saw) # warpseasteregg 2
We may want to stack up our layers, the stack command is designed for this and all on one channel, using as many samples as you like. I’ve added some Mutable Instruments effect action here, more on these in future musical explorations!
p "piano" $ n (scale "minor" (sometimes rev $ "[0 2 3 4 6 7 6 [8|10]]*2")) |+ n "<6 1 4 4 3!4>" |+ n "-7" # sound "superpiano" # velocity 0.7 # sustain 7
p "piano" $ jux rev $ rarely (# octave 4) $ sometimes (# octave 6) $ sometimes (# velocity 0.6) $ struct "t([9|13]*16,16,1)" $ n (scale "minor" (sometimes rev $ "[0 2 3 4 6 7 6 [8|10]]*2")) |+ n "<6 1 4 4 3!4>" |+ n "-7" # sound "superpiano" # velocity 0.5 # sustain 7
This one I learnt from the Tidal Cycles forum, which is a great source of info by the way, you can find it right here.
d1 $ note (scale "dorian" $ snowball 4 (+) (slow 2) $ (run 3)) # sound "gtr" # gain 0.9
Tidal cycles is dependent on the use of Supercollider, a Text Editor and maybe a DAW if you wish to use the programming language with your existing favourite VST plugins. The Editor I normally use is Visual Studio Code with the Tidal Cycles plugin installed but there is a new one I tried out this week and I used it for today’s examples, see the screenshots and the code I’ve put up on my GitHub account.
I was watching a great show the other night on Netflix about George Ezra, where he and two friends walk from Lands End to John O’Groats. Whilst I am not a hundred percent convinced they actually did walk the whole way, I am a huge cynic when it comes to these things, they met with Jason Singh whilst in the West Country.
I’d heard of Jason’s work before via Springwatch and how he records the sounds of nature
The product Jason Singh used is now called Plant Wave and through a set of sensors, detects electrical conductivity through the plant you connect the device to. These signals are then translated to MIDI data that then can be fed into your system, to create musical compositions. Now this is something worth exploring!
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