Tidal.el and prefix arguments for quick pattern juggling

hi,

i've been performing with Tidal in Emacs and found tidal.el very nice to work with. binding shortcut keys to the tidal-run-dN/tidal-stop-dN functions allows for a great workflow that saves me a lot of navigation and typing.

however, in my tunes i often want to have multiple variations of e.g. d1 which i can switch between. in this case tidal-run-d1 feels a bit limiting as it can only run the first d1 block in my file. so i extended the code a bit :slight_smile:

this enables using Emacs' prefix argument to provide tidal-run-dN with an instance number that selects between multiple dN blocks with the same N. for example, running tidal-run-d3 with instance number 2 would run the second d3 pattern found in the file. the instance number is also registered in a buffer-local variable tidal-d-instances, so that if tidal-run-dN is run again without a prefix argument, it will use the registered instance number (defaulting to 1). furthermore, when tidal-run-multiple-lines is used to run the code block under the cursor, it will check whether that block is a dN block, and if so, automatically detect its instance number and register it.

i got a bit excited about prefix arguments so i also gave tidal-stop-dN one. with a prefix argument greater than zero, tidal-stop-dN will fade out the dN pattern over the given amount of cycles instead of stopping immediately.

what does the workflow actually look like? for starters, i prefer to use these keybindings (on Mac) in favor of the default ones:

(define-key tidal-mode-map (kbd "<M-return>") 'tidal-run-multiple-lines)

(define-key tidal-mode-map (kbd "s-1") 'tidal-run-d1)
(define-key tidal-mode-map (kbd "s-2") 'tidal-run-d2)
(define-key tidal-mode-map (kbd "s-3") 'tidal-run-d3)
(define-key tidal-mode-map (kbd "s-4") 'tidal-run-d4)
(define-key tidal-mode-map (kbd "s-5") 'tidal-run-d5)
(define-key tidal-mode-map (kbd "s-6") 'tidal-run-d6)
(define-key tidal-mode-map (kbd "s-7") 'tidal-run-d7)
(define-key tidal-mode-map (kbd "s-8") 'tidal-run-d8)
(define-key tidal-mode-map (kbd "s-9") 'tidal-run-d9)
(define-key tidal-mode-map (kbd "s-0") 'tidal-run-d10)

(define-key tidal-mode-map (kbd "C-s-1") 'tidal-stop-d1)
(define-key tidal-mode-map (kbd "C-s-2") 'tidal-stop-d2)
(define-key tidal-mode-map (kbd "C-s-3") 'tidal-stop-d3)
(define-key tidal-mode-map (kbd "C-s-4") 'tidal-stop-d4)
(define-key tidal-mode-map (kbd "C-s-5") 'tidal-stop-d5)
(define-key tidal-mode-map (kbd "C-s-6") 'tidal-stop-d6)
(define-key tidal-mode-map (kbd "C-s-7") 'tidal-stop-d7)
(define-key tidal-mode-map (kbd "C-s-8") 'tidal-stop-d8)
(define-key tidal-mode-map (kbd "C-s-9") 'tidal-stop-d9)
(define-key tidal-mode-map (kbd "C-s-0") 'tidal-stop-d10)

now, with Emacs' default keybinding M-<number> to specify the prefix argument, i can do things like:

  • M-2 s-3 to run the second d3 instance
  • M-4 C-s-1 to fade out d1 over 4 cycles

if my cursor is on e.g. the third d1 pattern in the file, i can:

  1. M-return to start it
  2. C-s-1 to stop it
  3. go work on some other patterns
  4. s-1 to restart the same d1 pattern

for me this is a major ergonomics boost. i'm sure it won't fit everyone's workflow but maybe someone will find it useful! let me know what you think.

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