FAQ or Wiki: Questions that do pop up regularly

… but seem to be not resolvable by only reading the tutorial.

(Disclaimer: I find the tutorial brilliant! Nevertheless some questions are repeated issues here in the forum and do seem to need further clarification.)

Maybe it’ll be a good idea if we help explaining some practical issues in form of an FAQ or Wiki. Here are three examples:

  • live_loops and syncing
  • the connection between Sonic Pi and Ruby
  • Midi (practical use, how to start or better: how to go on after you’ve read the tutorial)

This is just a random selection of questions which to my knowledge are being asked repeatedly. So I think it would help and save time to sum up and gather knowledge and experiences about these and/or other subjects in one place somewhere here.

What do you think?

(I myself could make a start and cover the issue of live_loop syncing and write some introduction as a draft which - of course - would be open for corrections and extensions from all sides; besides eventual technical corrections I certainly would need someone to correct my English).

So if there is agreement about that, should there be some formal framework for it? (E. g. each topic could have a link to the tutorial, links to recommended threads here in the forum, and - of course - an introduction into the topic which would - best case scenario - be enough to cover it. Just some first ideas to make the idea of some formal framework more tangible.)

Should we just start and see how it develops? And @samaaron: what’s your opinion about that?


I’m highly in favor of a user-made editable wiki for Sonic Pi. It could be better than an FAQ because it would be easier to expand and maintain.


Definitely start and see how it develops. For a low-friction approach, you can make topics in this forum into user-editable wiki pages :slight_smile:

Ok, I’ll start. I spent half an hour browsing the forum looking at similar topics, similar questions, general beginner misunderstanding of something (including my own trials and errors…). I wrote a small list of topics that would constitute good entries for a wiki in my opinion. I think of this wiki as a “what can I read after the tutorial” kind of thing.

There is no particular order in my suggestions. There may be redundant approaches of the same topic, overlappings, etc…

  1. Live-Loop synchronisation (as suggested by @Martin) : general misunderstanding or unexpected behaviors may lead people to think something is wrong.

  2. Communication Protocols complete guide : OSC and MIDI messages. A more complete documentation. When is it preferable to use midi, when is it more preferable to use OSC ? What OSC is used for in Sonic Pi architecture, etc…

  3. Audio Looping : how to create an audio looper, how to deal with audio-in. How to route the sound, what can you do with the audio coming in, sound buffers, etc…

  4. Communication with DAW, VST, Hardware Synthesizers : we can’t provide informations for every synth out there, but we can definitely help people understand quickly how to route their particular installation to their synthesizers if they want to.

  5. General Sound Synthesis : Synthesis recipes using only Sonic-Pi. Short and concise tutorial on sound synthesis, and what you can do using Sonic Pi. It could be really fun to start a topic for gathering ideas about this. A few attempts were already made by some users of in_thread.

  6. Smooth Transitions, dealing with multiple live_loops : There is a large amount of questions about this topic.

  7. Ruby / non-supported but useful Ruby possibilities (as suggested by @Martin) : how far can you go with Sonic Pi and Ruby ? How Sonic Pi deals with Ruby ?

  8. Extending Sonic-Pi : Some people have tried extending Sonic Pi by adding new functionalities. I particulary think about Petal. What are the ressources available on GitHub, or any other site ? How can someone extend Sonic Pi ?

  9. Sonic-Pi <-> SuperCollider : understanding the architecture. Adding SynthDefs, adding your own functions, etc…

  10. Tuning : A very common topic on many SuperCollider / Live-Coding / Synthesis forums and communities. How can one escape the equal temperament, add his own scale/temperament related stuff.

  11. List of useful and time-saving functions : Using snippets, adding them manually to Sonic Pi. Easing the workflow by pre-loading various functions, like midichord, etc… Using snippets to very quickly create rhythm machines, etc…

  12. Ring Manipulation : Many questions about ring manipulation even if this topic is covered by the tutorial.

  13. Sharing SynthDefs, functions, etc… : a wiki could be a nice place to share lines of code, and useful things you would never have think about.

Please, feel free to add anything to this list. I may have spent more time going into details of each element of the list, but I think that some of you may have more to say than me about these topics.


Hi @Bubo, wow, thanks for that!

I will be away in February but try to make a start with a page about live_loop syncing before I am gone.

I’m already writing a big extensive Sonic-Pi improvisation guide on my side. A guide that doesn’t start like the official documentation but starts covering things like melodic looping, synchronisation and sound designs before introducing some control structures, patterns, language elements and more advanced techniques. It’s really aimed to be followed as an introductory workshop series, in an intensive way. I intend to cover most of the points mentioned above.

I would love to share it when it will look nice and finished. However, it’s in french. I may be able to translate it and share it here.


Hi @Bubo, sounds interesting. I am looking forward, what you will be coming up with. Certainly a translation would be a good thing. Unfortunately my French is much too bad to offer any help.

By the way: I have a - still very incomplete - collection of hints and examples for approaching some (musical) challenges with Sonic Pi. Maybe you can use some of this code.

I am aware of it already. I found the link when I was learning Sonic-Pi. I may put a link to your page somewhere in the guide. I’m still consolidating my articles about the basics (15 of them!) before moving on to more advanced techniques. I will share it soon. Even without being able to understand french, we are still both able to read Sonic-Pi code so you’ll know what all the fancy words are all about. :slight_smile:

1 Like