When I first started with TidalCycles, the pattern generating library for use with SuperDirt/SuperCollider, I had originally tried to use a Linux VM. I had really wanted to get this working but I kept running into errors that I’m going to say were because of the Hypervisor. I was able to get SuperCollider installed, but never able to get a sound to happen and Jack would end up crashing the VM. During this time I had also installed things on my Windows machine and my Macbook Pro. After getting most of my life moved to the Macbook my Windows machine opened up for more experimental usage so I decided to try this again only with Linux directly on the hardware rather than a VM.
If you are new to Tidal cycles and your background is coming from traditional step sequencers one thing that can help you get up and running quickly is to model your patterns in the same way you would a step sequencer. You can do this rather easily using the ~ and stack as I’ll show you here.
Part of my latest evolution in art projects has been the desire to generate and control visuals. Previously I’ve been using Resolume Arena for doing some video transformations, and eventually using it’s FFGL plugins to kind of generate visuals based on MIDI. This was great, but the resources used by Resolume are not light, and really it seemed a bit overkill for what I’m wanting to do.
Through the Lurk chat I stumbled on VEDA which GLSL runtime environment for the Atom editor. This kind of became a something I really wanted to check out since I’m using Atom for all of my Tidal patterns. Once I found out that VEDA had MIDI capabilities I started digging in more
After updating SuperDirt and Tidal to the 1.0-Dev branches, there are some new lines of code that need to be run. I figured this was a good time to watch, and pay attention to, Kindohm’s Tutorial #18: Atom Boot Configs
I wanted to post the tidal.boot that I’m using for reference in case anyone else is trying to tidy things up. I’ve modified mine so that it runs the needed MIDI declarations as well as a couple extras for reseting the cycle clock and executing a one shot sample/note. Resetting the cycle clock has been useful for me when analyzing patterns and trying to figure out what is happening from the 0 cycle, and the oneshot function is EXTREMELY useful for all kinds of things.
Anyone that has dipped into any programming language, or any commendable skill knows that practice makes perfect. I’d wager that most of us that are using Tidal are doing this constantly…I mean even kindohm did a pattern a day for a full year (which I would attribute as directly leveling up his skills). I’m trying to do something similar but since MIDI is my digs, that is what I’m using.
In this post I’ll be showing you a quick and simple method for visualizing your patterns using Tidal Midi and Ableton (but any DAW that can record MIDI should work).
I remember a time when I used to come up with witty or comical titles for my posts, but now it’s pretty much just that which my brain is left with after somewhat agonizing experimentation.
This post is about Tidal MIDI which is really just Tidal patterns utilizing MIDI functions from SuperDirt. At the time of this post the stable MIDI features (for me at least) are found in the 1.0-Dev branches of SuperDirt and Tidal. Getting these installed can be kind of a PITA so I’ll try to document that as well.
Tidal in a nutshell is a live coding language that allows you to create complex patterns riding on the SuperDirt synth in SuperCollider. Im not entirely sure how I found out about Tidal but since I have it’s been a bit of a journey getting things working and experimentation to fully understand some of the things that are happening. I wanted to document some of my own findings just for the sake of reenforcing the knowledge internally as well as helping anyone that might find this while searching.