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To configure Tidal, you'll need to edit the code used to start it up in your text editor.

You can download a copy of this startup code here:

Save it somewhere safe, and if you're using the atom editor, put the full path to it (including the filename) in the settings for the tidalcycles package. You can then edit this file to configure tidal.


If you are using vim-tidal, check out the instructions found on the file. You need to use the 1.0.0-pre branch of the plugin.

Controlling latency

There are two configuration values which control overall latency, 'frame timespan' and 'latency'. To find the maximum total latency, add them together. Here's an example configuration:

tidal <- startTidal (superdirtTarget {oLatency = 0.02}) (defaultConfig {cFrameTimespan = 1/20})

Frame timespan

This is the duration of Tidal's calculation window in seconds. The default is 0.05 seconds, in other words a calculation rate of 20 frames per second.

If you find Tidal is using too much CPU, increasing the frame timespan will probably help.


If you get late messages in supercollider, you can increase the latency by increasing this from its default value (which at the time of writing is 0.02).

SuperDirt running in another host

If you're running SuperDirt in another host (perhaps, in a multi-user setup), you need to define this in a similar fashion as with the latency, except in this case the keyname is "oAddress":

tidal <- startTidal (superdirtTarget {oAddress = "", oPort = 57120}) defaultConfig

In case you need to alter multiple settings for superdirtTarget, just separate them by a comma ({oAddress = "", oLatency = 0.04}).

Note that in emacs (and possibly other editor) configuration files, you'll need to escape the quotation marks.