Sonic Pi by Samuel Aaron (http://sam.aaron.name) will turn your Raspberry PI 4 into a programable synth
There are numerous synths, samples and effects that can be combined in real-time to create your own original sounds.
At the end of this project, you will have a fully functioning synthesiser capable of outputting music via HDMI, external speakers or an amplifier.
Your Pi should automatically detect your audio output device, either HDMI or analogue if speakers are attached. Check this by right clicking on the Speaker icon in the top right hand corner of the menu bar of your Pi. There should be green tick against your audio output. If not then select the appropriate output.
Sonic Pi uses accurate real-time sound synchronisation and does not currently work with Bluetooth speakers and wireless headphones.
If you want a really powerful sound connect the audio output to a stereo amplifier using the 3.5mm audio jack.
The top left pane contains a series of buffers where you write the code that controls your music. You can use them to have several bits of code at the ready so that you can structure different parts which you can play simultaneously. You can edit a piece of code while it’s running, the changes won’t be implemented until you press Run.
The bottom left contains the tutorial, code examples, synths, music samples and effects which appear in the adjacent pane when you make a selection. The top right pane contains the log which shows the code being executed so you can see what is running.
live_loop :drumble do sample :ambi_choir, rate: 0.3 sample :loop_amen, rate: 1 sleep sample_duration :loop_amen, rate: 1 end
You can adjust the size of the code using the Size- and Size+ buttons on the top right of the code window
You should now be hearing the famous Amen break playing on loop.
live_loop :sythaptor do use_synth :tech_saws play 51 sleep 0.25 use_synth :blade play 38 sleep 0.25 use_synth :prophet play 57 sleep 0.25 end
Your should now be hearing a 3 voice synth loop
• Press Stop to stop the sound.
Effects or ‘FX’ can add distortion, echo and reverb to your sounds. These can be chained together and modified while the sound is playing. Using FX adds another level of richness to your mixes.
live_loop :slide do with_fx :echo, mix: 0.3, phase: 0.25 do sample :guit_e_slide, rate: 0.5 end sleep 4 end live_loop :boom do with_fx :reverb, room: 1 do sample :bd_boom, amp: 20, rate: 1 end sleep 4 end
Your should now be hearing loops playing with echo and reverb
When you have created a great sounding mix and you want to save it and play it on other devices, Sonic Pi can export it to .WAV format.
Raspbian contains various apps that you can install to convert WAV files into other formats. Use Preferences > Add / Remove Software from the main menu, you can then search for apps and install them. Soundconverter can convert WAV files into MP3 format.
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