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Build Rhythms

This page will teach you how to get started writing rhythms using different techniques. It is a good way to learn Tidal Cycles in a more intuitive way.

From a simple to a complex rhythm#

Simple bass drum - snare:

d1 $ sound "bd sn"

Let's pick a different snare sample:

d1 $ sound "bd sn:3"

Now, we are going to change the rhythm:

d1 $ sound "bd*2 [~ sn:3]"

And add some toms:

d1 $ sound "bd*2 [[~ lt] sn:3] lt:1 [ht mt*2]"

Start to transform, shift a quarter cycle every other cycle:

d1 $ every 2 (0.25 <~) $ sound "bd*2 [[~ lt] sn:3] lt:1 [ht mt*2]"

Pattern the shift amount:

d1 $ every 2 ("<0.25 0.125 0.5>" <~) $ sound "bd*2 [[~ lt] sn:3] lt:1 [ht mt*2]"

Add some patterned effects:

d1 $ every 2 ("<0.25 0.125 0.5>" <~) $ sound "bd*2 [[~ lt] sn:3] lt:1 [ht mt*2]"
# squiz "<1 2.5 2>"
# room (slow 4 $ range 0 0.2 saw)
# sz 0.5
# orbit 1

More transformation:

d1 $ jux' [id,rev,(# speed 2)] $ every 2 ("<0.25 0.125 0.5>" <~) $ sound "bd*2 [[~ lt] sn:3] lt:1 [ht mt*2]"
# squiz "<1 2.5 2>"
# room (slow 4 $ range 0 0.2 saw)
# sz 0.5
# orbit 1

Another rhythmic construction#

Let's start with a sequence:

d1 $ n "0 0 [2 0] [2 3]" # sound "feel" # speed 1.5

We add a bit of flavour:

d1 $ n "0 <0 4> [2 0] [2 3]" # sound "feel" # speed 1.5

Swap the samples round every other cycle:

d1 $ every 2 (rot "<1 3 2>") $ n "0 <0 4> [2 0] [2 3]" # sound "feel" # speed 1.5

Always worth trying a jux rev:

d1 $ jux rev $ every 2 (rot "<1 3 2>") $ n "0 <0 4> [2 0] [2 3]" # sound "feel" # speed 1.5

Calm it down a bit by reducing the amount of panning:

d1 $ juxBy 0.4 rev $ every 2 (rot "<1 3 2>") $ n "0 <0 4> [2 0] [2 3]" # sound "feel" # speed 1.5

Vary the speed:

d1 $ juxBy 0.4 rev $ every 2 (rot "<1 3 2>") $ n "0 <0 4> [2 0] [2 3]" # sound "feel" # speed "1.75 2"

Add an offset vowel effect:

d1 $ off 0.25 (# vowel "<a o i>")
$ juxBy 0.4 rev $ every 2 (rot "<1 3 2>") $ n "0 <0 4> [2 0] [2 3]" # sound "feel" # speed "1.75 2"

Let's add another friend:

d1 $ off 0.25 (# vowel "<a o i>")
$ juxBy 0.4 rev $ every 2 (rot "<1 3 2>") $ n "0 <0 4> [2 0] [2 3]" # sound "feel" # speed "1.75 2"
d2 $ juxBy 0.5 rev $ chunk 4 ((+ speed (1 + sine)) . ply 8) $ note "3(3,8)" # sound "bass"
# speed "<2 4>"
# legato 1
Last updated on by Raphael Forment