Is sonic pi music creation basically mostly sampled based music.
@btaylor - whether the bulk of music created with Sonic Pi has been sample based, hard for me to say without hearing/seeing a wider range of performances.
As for whether you are mostly limited to sample based creation when making music with Sonic Pi, definitely not - it is just as possible to compose and perform music predominantly with synths - either those built in to Sonic Pi, or external software or hardware synths. (I have tended more towards synths rather than samples myself).
A lot of the code I’ve come across in the forums actually seems to be synthesized using Sonic Pi’s built in instruments and telling the program to play notes while manipulating the sound’s parameters. Often the melody is nested in various FX to change the texture of the sound, make it reverb, delay, etc.
That sort of melody writing can pair well with samples. This guy combines all of what I’ve mentioned pretty well even including some effects:
One thing I hope to see more people doing is importing their own external samples to chop in Sonic Pi. Manipulating and swapping out folder sets of my own sample library is endlessly entertaining. Much of the music I create falls into this category and I have a few examples that show off well.
All the glitchy portions packed into this song are external sample manipulations:
The majority of this beat was done in Sonic Pi. In particular I think the vocal sample that was brought into Sonic Pi sounds pretty trippy after pitching, chopping and delaying:
The only difficulty with using external samples seems to be planning. I usually have to pitch a lot of my samples so they sound nice together. It’s also good to play out my BPM ahead of time so my looping samples will loop properly. Also if I change the BPM or do any detuning I have to be careful when adding a melody later because there could be an unnatural disconnect between my samples pitch and the melody’s pitches. If I’m conscious about what I’m doing, I can usually avoid these pitfalls.
The greater the variety of techniques you delve into the more power you’ll have at your disposal. Learn all you can, the more power to you.