This page shows possible ways to achieve common (or not so common) musical goals. There are often many ways to do a thing and there is no right or wrong. The fun part is that each representation will give you different impulses when improvising.


An arpeggio is when the notes of a chord are played in sequence. We can either write the notes by hand:

note("c eb g c4")

…or use scales:

n("0 2 4 7").scale("C:minor")

…or chord symbols:

n("0 1 2 3").chord("Cm").mode("above:c3").voicing()

…using off:

  .off(1/3, add(2))
  .off(1/2, add(4))

Chopping Breaks

A sample can be looped and chopped like this:


This fits the break into 8 cycles + chops it in 16 pieces. The chops are not audible yet, because we’re not doing any manipulation. Let’s add randmized doubling + reversing:

.sometimesBy(.5, ply("2"))
.sometimesBy(.25, mul(speed("-1")))

If we want to specify the order of samples, we can replace chop with slice:

  .slice(8, "<0 1 2 3 4*2 5 6 [6 7]>*2")

If we use splice instead of slice, the speed adjusts to the duration of the event:

  .splice(8, "<0 1 2 3 4*2 5 6 [6 7]>*2")

Note that we don’t need fit, because splice will do that by itself.

Filter Envelopes

Using lpenv, we can make the filter move:

note("g1 bb1 <c2 eb2> d2")

The type of envelope depends on the methods you’re setting. Let’s set lpa:

note("g1 bb1 <c2 eb2> d2")

Now the filter is attacking, rather than decaying as before (decay is the default). We can also do both

note("g1 bb1 <c2 eb2> d2")

You can play around with lpa | lpd | lps | lpd to see what the filter envelope will do.

Layering Sounds

We can layer sounds by separating them with ”,“:

note("<g1 bb1 d2 f1>")
.s("sawtooth, square") // <------

We can control the gain of individual sounds like this:

note("<g1 bb1 d2 f1>")
.s("sawtooth, square:0:.5") // <--- "name:number:gain"

For more control over each voice, we can use layer:

note("<g1 bb1 d2 f1>").layer(

Here, we give the sawtooth a vibrato and the square is moved an octave up. With layer, you can use any pattern method available on each voice, so sky is the limit..

Oscillator Detune

We can fatten a sound by adding a detuned version to itself:

note("<g1 bb1 d2 f1>")
.add(note("0,.1")) // <------ chorus

Try out different values, or add another voice!


Here is a simple example of a polyrhythm:


A polyrhythm is when 2 different tempos happen at the same time.


This is a polymeter:

s("<bd rim, hh hh oh>*4")

A polymeter is when 2 different bar lengths play at the same tempo.


This is a phasing:

note("<C D G A Bb D C A G D Bb A>*[6,6.1]").piano()

Phasing happens when the same sequence plays at slightly different tempos.

Running through samples

Using run with n, we can rush through a sample bank:


This works great with sample banks that contain similar sounds, like in this case different recordings of a tabla. Often times, you’ll hear the beginning of the phrase not where the pattern begins. In this case, I hear the beginning at the third sample, which can be accounted for with early.


Let’s add some randomness:


Tape Warble

We can emulate a pitch warbling effect like this:

note("<c4 bb f eb>*8")
.add(note(perlin.range(0,.5))) // <------ warble

Sound Duration

There are a number of ways to change the sound duration. Using clip:

note("f ab bb c")
.clip("<2 1 .5 .25>")

The value of clip is relative to the duration of each event. We can also create overlaps using release:

note("f ab bb c")
.release("<2 1 .5 .25>")

This will smoothly fade out each sound for the given number of seconds. We could also make the notes shorter by using a decay envelope:

note("f ab bb c")
.decay("<2 1 .5 .25>")

When using samples, we also have .end to cut relative to the sample length:

s("oh*4").end("<1 .5 .25 .1>")

Compare that to clip:

s("oh*4").clip("<1 .5 .25 .1>")

or decay:

s("oh*4").decay("<1 .5 .25 .1>")

Wavetable Synthesis

You can loop a sample with loop / loopEnd:

note("<c eb g f>").s("bd").loop(1).loopEnd(.05).gain(.2)

This allows us to play the first 5% of the bass drum as a synth! To simplify loading wavetables, any sample that starts with wt_ will be looped automatically:

note("c eb g bb").s("wt_dbass").clip(2)

Running through different wavetables can also give interesting variations:


…adding a filter envelope + reverb: