Guide to the Learning TidalCycles course

A quick guide to the course for new and future participants.

The course is based on recorded videos with worksheets, with two or more added per week around a weekly theme. They are organised in blocks of four weeks, to get access to each block, you'll need to go through the pay(-as-you-feel-)wall here. Everyone gets the same access, irrespective of ability to pay.

Here follows the course structure. This is still being created, at the time of writing we're "live" at week 5. It's organised into weeks, there's no time limit to getting through it, you can go through as slowly or as quickly as you like.

  • Week 1 - mini notation

    • Tidal Interaction
    • Loading sample packs
    • Sequencing with mini-notation (parts one, two and three)
  • Week 2 - effects, time, arithmetic

    • Starting out with effects
    • Manipulating time with setcps, cps patterns and fast/slow functions
    • Combining patterns with arithmetic (plus the ‘hurry’ function)
  • Week 3 - every, $, working with longer samples

    • Exploring the ‘every’ function, including tackling that ‘$’
    • ‘cut’ vs ‘legato’
    • ‘slice’ and ‘splice’
    • ‘chop’ and ‘striate’
  • Week 4 - waveforms, randomness

    • Continuous ‘waveform’ patterns – sine, square, tri, saw and random functions (with a bit on binary patterns)
    • all the random functions, including shuffle, sometimes and someCycles
  • break !

  • Week 5 - notes, chords, arpeggios and Algoraoke

    • Melodies and chords
    • Arpeggios
    • Controlling supercollider synths
  • Week 6 - More tonality

    • Canons
    • Controlling MIDI
    • Controlling visuals and other things with OSC
  • Week 7 - music production

    • Review of effects
    • Longer form composition with “ur” - patterns of patterns
    • Sending sound to a DAW (digital audio workstation)
    • Working with ‘snippets’
    • Live streaming
  • Week 8 - Deeper into functions

    • Manipulating time
    • Combining functions
    • Making shorthands