There's a few things to install as part of a complete tidal system:
- Atom Editor (if you don't like the atom editor for some reason, please check out the list of alternatives)
Hopefully your Linux distribution makes the pre-requisites easily available to you via a package manager. For example, if you are using recent version of Ubuntu or similar, you can install haskell with the following command in a terminal window:
sudo apt-get install build-essential cabal-install git
It should be possible to install supercollider via this method too, via
sudo apt-get install supercollider sc3-plugins
. However this generally doesn't work. Either the supercollider version is too old (superdirt needs at least version 3.7), or the version of supercollider is mismatched with sc3-plugins. If you're using ubuntu, mint or a similar distribution, my advice is to ignore the supercollider packages and just compile them yourself. These scripts make it super easy to do so:
Just paste in the four commandline instructions under "How to?" in turn (you can ignore the bit about 'the debian way')
The following is optional, but recommended:
- SC3 Plugins - you may need the SuperCollider sc3-plugins if you want to use any of the synths included in SuperDirt. Most of the examples in the documentation will still work, so you could skip this step and return to it later.
Open a Terminal. If you’re unsure how to open a terminal window in Linux, it varies according to distribution but generally find “Terminal” in the menus. Then type and run these two commands (ignoring any complaints that cabal has of 'legacy v1 style of usage'):
cabal update cabal install tidal
If you've never installed TidalCycles before, then the
cabal install tidal step may take some time. At the end of the command output, it should say
Installed tidal-x.x.x (where x.x.x is the latest version number) without any errors.
As you know, TidalCycles is meant to run on top of SuperDirt, so you will have to run it first to make sound. Here's how to install it.
Start SuperCollider IDE, and in the editor window paste in the following line of code:
Quarks.checkForUpdates(); Quarks.install("SuperDirt", "v1.0")
Run the code by clicking on it, to make sure the cursor is on this line, then hold down Shift and press Enter. This will download SuperDirt and you will see it has completed when the Post Window displays:
... the class library may have to be recompiled. -> SuperDirt
After it has completed, you will need to restart SuperCollider (or alternatively, recompile the class library via the “Language” menu).
Using the SuperCollider interpreter in a terminal
You can also install it using the terminal interpreter. You might want to get familiar with it if you prefer using your own text editor. There are great SuperCollider integration plugins available for Emacs, Vim or Atom.
To start the interpreter just run
sclang in a terminal, then just paste the command line from above and press Enter to run it. Once the installation is done, you can exit the interpreter by pressing Ctrl + C.
Install editor extensions
TidalCycles was made to be run in an interactive environment. The way to do it is to get a text editor and install an extension for it. Here's a list of extensions you might want to try:
Instructions: Atom Extension
Start Atom, and install the TidalCycles plugin. You can find it via the menus under edit > settings > install, then typing “tidalcycles” into the search box. Once that’s installed, restart atom.
Instructions: Emacs Extension
A MELPA package is provided for TidalCycles integration within Emacs. You must first make sure you have MELPA installed on your machine (here are the instructions) then simply run
M-x install-package return tidal return.
This extension provides a major mode for
*.tidal files. Once the package is installed, you can just open a Tidal script and press
C-c C-s to start Tidal in Emacs, then
C-return to run the statement under your cursor.
Test Your Installation
Now you are ready to Start TidalCycles and SuperDirt for the first time.
Supercollider run on a Jack audio server in order to deliver sound to your speakers. If you see in Supercollider's Post Window a error
Couldn't set realtime scheduling priority 1: Operation not permitted
you'll need to setup Jack with the command
sudo dpkg-reconfigure jackd2 and add your username to the audio group with
sudo addgroup -username- audio.
You can check if your username is already in the audio group by typing the command