Challenge: Recording pieces at different tempos

Ok here's challenge number one - record two pieces!

Wondering how to record? In supercollider, just click on the numbers on the bottom right.. You should see a menu with 'start recording' and 'stop recording' - that's what you want! The location of the recorded audio file will be printed in the post window.

First, make some patterns at a tempo you like, say setcps 0.8, and record them for 2-3 minutes. They don't have to be complicated, but while you record, tweak some parameters, to give the recording some shape.

Then make a big tempo change, maybe even as much as doubling or halving the tempo, i.e. setcps 0.4 or setcps 1.6.

Then work with the patterns for a while, until they work well with the tempo, and record that, again while tweaking the patterns a little.

Then compare them, thinking about the difference that tempo makes to the rhythms that you're working with. Next, leave them some hours, maybe even sleep on it and come back to them the next day. Listen again, without thinking about the code. Do they sound different, if so how? What would you do differently next time?

Feel free to share what you make, for example by uploading to e.g. or and sharing a link here.

@heavy.lifting is drafting up some guidelines for how we can constructively comment on / critique each other's work. Sharing is of course optional but I'd love to hear what you make!

There's no deadlines in this course, but I'd encourage you to try making the recordings as quickly as you can, often the simplest things sound the best...


Ok so hum here’s my homework. First track here on my soundcloud, "Tidal exercice : Cps downfall" :

the two parts are in the same file for convenience.

It’s also my first recording of any « live » action with Tidal, so as a result...well there isn’t much action indeed. I am still not very daring :blush: I let all the bad ideas and mistakes !

Fisrt part in 0.9 cps, second part 0.45.

I had to tweak the patterns to adapt to the second, slower part, making things a bit less busy, and some slight rhythm change. I found that in order to make it a bit more interesting I had to slow down one synth part even more, so it’s probably 4 times slower in the end. Some frequency shifts with the filters.

In the live execution I also changed the order of appearance of the tracks, so to say, for the the second part. I liked the noisy/airy part that now opens. If I had to do it more seriously, I would have let that part go, almost alone, for much longer, with only subtle tweaks, and probably added more layers of noise or paddy stuff. Plus I would have add some lighter, brighter melody with a cleaner sine/like sound to push things towards less darkness, and more sunshine. I think there was room for that, and that would have been interesting to have the fast version being pretty dark, while the slow one would tend towards something gentler and sunnier. But that would have been more work so, alas, I let things grow back into old-style dark.

PS @yaxu: I think that this challenge/exercice thing is a great idea, generally. It really adds to the course.


Hi all - I've posted my thoughts on sharing and constructive feedback over in another thread - please have a read and feel free to share your thoughts!


A few thoughts:

  • Kind of wild how uniform the break became when I sped it up to 0.9 cps; like, a lot of the excitement of it turned into just noise
  • bummed SuperCollider isn't better at recording its own output on my computer
  • my internal sense of how long 3 minutes is is not there, given the length of the first recording

Very nice! If I had to chose, I'd say I liked the first part more but both sound good.
I quite like the bass/pad notes and how the synth parts overlap (what instruments are you using? Are they from the default tidal sounds?),
The rhythm/drums are simple and effective, sounds really good in the context combined with the synth and other noises going on. Btw interesting use of the #vowel effect on one of the drums; I like the fact that it is integral part of that particular sound (as opposed to using it only as an incidental special FX that occurs from time to time - this is how I've always used #vowel). Overall nice listen!

I like that sample you are using! It seems there's only a small number of sounds/samples here, still the whole thing evolves smoothly and nicely throughout the 4.15 mins thanks to the changing release times, filters & other parameters (again I seem to prefer the first part but hey just my taste). Good work!

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Had a go at this, sound is here

Source code is here

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it kinda worked after changing the tempo so i decided not to stop the recording. i tend to go slow, i guess i should speed things up more often.


I'm playing catch-up since I started way late on all this. Not super confident about it but here's my first creation.



Actually yes the up part sounds really nice, it's working very well towards the end, intricate but still clean and smooth.

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Thanks ! yes it's all Tidal stock samples and synths. The texture is supercomparator run through crush. I agree that the wovel filter is very nice on bass drums (I realized that when @yaxu used it in one of his videos for some reason), and actually very usefull in general.

Upon relistening, I find I prefer the second, not expected, slower part !

Vincent Giles · 200427cps

Edit: I can't figure out the embed.

Here's my little thing. To be honest, I didn't read the brief properly and wanted to play with other things... sorry. :sweat_smile:

I've been wanting to get my head around layer[] for ages, and am making some inroads, but eh. I realise this is beyond the scope of this thread and whatnot and that layer is probably for a later cycle. But anyway, what I find fun is that I started off with some hurry in the layers, and with the speed variations and other things I find that I'm unable to "hear" the cps changes. I was, admittedly, very distracted by other things while I was trying to do this.

  $ degradeBy (range 0.1 1.0 $ sine/6) $ layer [
    (# octave 0)
    .(randslice (irand 128))
    .(# speed 0.2)
    .(# speed 0.4)
    .(randslice 64)
    .(sometimes (jux (striate 16)))
      $ s "basket basket:1"
        # gain (range 0.4 0.9 $ rand)
        # pan perlin
        # cut 1
        # cps (range 0.3 1.8 $ rand)

Dear people of @cycle0,

I'm going to try out doing the challenge as a live stream, about 10h from now (that is, 9pm GMT+1, click the video to see your local time), you're welcome to join me.. Feel free to ask general tidal-related questions in the stream chat as well.


Enjoying the ambiguity of that trancey loop at the start that slowly resolves itself in my brain when the break comes in, I think that comes from from syncopation? Then when that loop shifts around halfway through the first part the ambiguity comes back for me for a while, super interesting.


nice! I actually really like the nightcore-vibe of the second half :smiley:

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Hello everyone!
I recorded the two parts in the same audio stream.

#squiz and #room heavily used


Damn I kept seeing this thread but for some reason I just never read it:

First things first, here's my contribution: I just expanded on the stuff I posted in my other thread - I was trying to figure out where I should go from there, and speed changes seemed like a great thing to do!

My patterns are pretty uncomplicated - they translate to the speed changes (I doubled it) pretty well, but I got a bit flustered in the fast bit and felt like I needed to do something quickly... as you'll see I didn't come up with anything bar... slow it down again :wink:

The biggest change I noticed at double speed is the bass accents really move to a 2/4 rather than the heavy groove that it starts out with.

Keeping the bass rhythm simple also gave the jux rev function some real value as well I think, it got a double time feel with a significant rhythm variation in the early mid section.

What would I do differently? Be better prepared for the fast section - I did my best to be thinking ahead, but I'm obviously still learning about all the parts that need thinking ahead about :wink:

I took a video:

I also tried out the supercollider in-built recorder:

Next up, looking forward to hearing all these other tunes! :smiley:


Here are my two recordings, both on the same file. They do sound different though being basically the same. I found the second one chill enough to support some pad synths on top, while the first one fits better on a club environment. Next time I won't use such aggressive cowbells on the slower one, I think they are a bit too much for it.

As for the coding experience, recording the first one was more complicated cause I needed to move faster from one line to another, also I was a bit tired and was trying to complete the task before going to sleep.

I'm excited to hear what you all have done and attend to @yaxu 's live stream : )


I really dig the noisiness on the second one! Nice!

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