Hi from Toronto

Hi everyone! I’m a 24-year-old amateur music maker and a programming student returning from a years-long nadir of mental illness. I found out about Sonic Pi just over a month ago while watching a video from a developer’s conference. It was a godsend, and I feel called to make music with code, if only because music and code are what I devote most of my time to. I have been coding for Sonic Pi day and night since, have decided to contribute a small sum to begin with on Patreon because of the value it’s already delivered in my life, and have been tweeting about my developments almost daily. The Twitter community has been very welcoming and I am grateful for the kindness they’ve shown me.

My latest and greatest project is a polyphonic polyrhythmic motif-based music generator. If you’d like to take a listen, here’s a recording generated with v0.1.1, rendered with Ableton Live and BBCSO Core. I’m sleeping on ideas for v0.1.2 and beyond.

Plans: find a job after I graduate, then:

while amAlive
 code work by day;
 code music by night;

My music may not have much of an audience, but there must be someone who loves it as I do, and I’ll take every opportunity I happen upon to find that someone.

In terms of comments on Sonic Pi, because I work with motifs and phrases which have associated properties and functions, I suppose things could be better organised with objects.

Anyways, while I’m here, I’ll try to be of some use to others. And with that, I’ll call it a night.



Greetings @d0lfyn. That’s some serious code there Daniel, and I can see how you’ve been coding day and night :smile:. Lovely results too.

I’m interested to see you’re using the Spitfire (?) BBC Symphony Orchestra. I got something from them during their marketing push some weeks ago, but not used it yet other than thinking that it sounds very well. Very nice to hear it in action.

What’s your setup, connecting Sonic Pi to trigger Ableton?

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Greetings @soxsa! Thanks, I’m glad you like it :smiley:

Yes, I’m using BBCSO by Spitfire Audio, and I think it sounds good. That said, I only use the staccato and spiccato articulations, because they’re velocity-controlled, so I can’t say much about the rest of the library. My non-generative music projects make limited use of the expression and dynamics automation.

I’m on the lookout for a string quartet at the moment (just saw the E-Instruments Cremona Quartet for Native Instruments — I’ll wait till it goes on sale) and I see Spitfire Audio offers the Sacconi Strings Quartet, but it requires the full version of Kontakt.

For my setup, I simply use a MIDI cable to connect the MIDI out back to the MIDI in on my audio interface. I have a setting in Sonic Pi for the MIDI out port ( midiPort: "umc404hd_192k_midi_out_1" ), and in Ableton, I select the corresponding MIDI in port:
I previously used loopMIDI, before I realised one night that it was virtually equivalent to a physical setup. If I wanted my program to support 32 voices however (it currently supports 16 without a hitch), I would likely use loopMIDI again to provide a second port. loopMIDI technically isn’t for commercial usage though, so I think I’d pay for an alternative if I wanted to make a release on Spotify.


Yes sounds like your own chamber orchestra!

That’s interesting, I’ll have to remember that - midi cable back into the same interface. I bet that will be the answer to some future problem.

So you’re using SPi to trigger other sound sources (BBCSO), and not using SPi’s voices? I think SPi makes a fab conroller.

The setup I’ve created is more for live work, and involves SPi as the hub, the contoller, sending midi to other devices - but I’ve gone for separate devices, a mix of hardware and software synths but also audio generated in SPi itself. All of which goes into a standard audio mixer.


A chamber orchestra is the dream!

I just expanded the number of voices to 32, using loopMIDI for the second port, and the program runs without a single timing warning or CPU spike :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

Yep, I used to have a MIDI option which would use SPi’s built-in voices if false, but I decided to use exclusively MIDI for this project. I found that everything sounds pretty good with the built-in voices, but the feedback I got wasn’t of the same opinion, so I’ve stopped using them for now. Anyways, Sonic Pi is the only controller I know how to use, and it works really well :heart:

Cool, live coding, and with both hardware and software synths! I have a Serum template project, and I just haven’t added synths to my instrument list yet. The most notable hardware synth user I can think of is Caterina Barbieri, whose music and ideas (from interviews) I really admire.

Is the audio mixer also hardware? It sounds like a lot of routing, but also really tangible! The physical process of making music is something I haven’t explored, beyond the MIDI keyboard.

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I think that using Sonic Pi as a controller is great - much more flexible than a DAW in session mode. Everyone else wants to use Ableton, they don’t know what they are missing! Not everyone can code though.

Yes, the audio mixer is also hardware. I’m aware that everything can be done on computer, and probably on one computer. I just want to explore other things. Also for live work it’s nice to have lots of kit and a plate of colourful spaghetti. Gives out a more Wizard of Oz feel I think.

In one band I play amplified harmonica - you know with the vintage-style mic cupped in the hands? It’s often been a talking point for the audience who want to know how these crazy sounds are being made.

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Haha, there really is no going back now that I’ve found Sonic Pi!

It’s much more of a show with hardware :blush: Add live coding to the mix, and it’s an analogue-digital bonanza ~

Woah, that’s so cool! Amplified harmonica, I didn’t know that existed :exploding_head:

Hey @d0lfyn,

it’s really wonderful to welcome you here to our community. I hope you choose to stick around for a good while.

May I (cheekily) suggest one slight tweak to your post-graduation job plans. Instead of that crusty while loop, use an exciting live_loop and also don’t forget to rest and sleep!

live_loop :life do

Seconded! sleep is so important :smile:
And welcome Daniel, great to have you here :+1:

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Hey Sam,

How right you are! Thanks for making my day with that thought. Life is what we make it. A live_loop it is.

I look forward to many happy years spent with this community :blush: Thanks for welcoming me.

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Yes, I’ve got to rest and sleep :sweat_smile: Interesting projects keep me going, and I do get a little obsessed.

Happy to be here!

hi @d0lfyn !
Welcome in this forum. i have seen some tweets about your sonic pi exploration, very good stuff :slight_smile:

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Hi @nlb,
Thanks for welcoming me to the forum! I’m glad you like what you’ve seen :smiley:

Welcome @d0lfyn! I’ve been following your work on Twitter, periodically replying but not sure it comes through since I limit followers.

Anyway, great work. Your work has inspired me to dig out my genetic algorithm work and use Sonic Pi to code my ideas instead of wrangling them through a DAW. It truly has been game changing for me.

Please keep it up. I’ve learned quite a few interesting techniques by studying your code and following your progress. I look forward to seeing more of what you come up with!



Hi Chris!

Oh no, I apologise. I’ve seen posts indicating they’d been replied to, but with no replies in the threads. I thought it was an error. I’ve sent you a follow request. We should be able to chat from now on.

Thank you for your praise. I’m beyond happy to hear that my work has inspired you! Yep, those initial explorations were really exciting for me, and I wonder whether I could breathe some of that life into my latest project, which is much more standardised, controlled, and… non-biological.

Anyways, I’m on it! If you ever want to chat, please feel free to contact me.


You have some interesting code here Daniel. I look forward to playing with it, a d to seeing it develop further.

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I’m really glad you find it interesting! I’ll keep going where the music takes me.

hi from guelph

^ _ ^

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yay, live coders from around the area! nice to meet you ^^

No worries. My twitter handle is “crscheid”. Cheers and keep up the great work!

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