Basic Rhythms

This document will be a list of some basic rhythmic techniques that are designed to deliver a simple, solid rhythmic base. Strategies for modifying these simple units will be detailed in the following document.

Preamble: How to construct rhythms

According to the Pbind docs, duration using Pbinds are determined using the following:

delta The time until the next event. Generally determined by: dur The time until next event in a sequence of events stretch Scales event timings (i.e. stretch == 2 => durations are twice as long)

I generally use \dur for basic rhythms, and when Pbinds are placed directly within ProxySpace, the \dur argument is in sync with the ProxySpace TempoClock, which is specified in Setup.scd. This automatic synchronisation is very handy for keeping all of your rhythms running to the same tempo.

As stated in 3.1, for the most part all percussion I use will be sample-based. For playing samples using Pbinds, I have written two simple SynthDefs (which can be found in the SynthDefs.scd file in setup) - bplay and vplay. bplay is a simple buffer player that takes the following arguments:

bplay is a general purpose sample player, which is designed for playing back percussive sounds. It is by far my most used SynthDef, and will almost inevitably be used to build the percussion in my sets.

vplay also takes another argument:

which is for playing specific sections of a sample, or to create particular effects by cutting the playing of percussive samples short.

'The' kick

The iconic sound of a 4/4 kickdrum is probably a good starting point. A dur of 1 will play a kick on every beat of the clock
Stored as snippet kick

~k = Pbind(\instrument,\bplay,\buf,d["k"][0],\dur,1,\amp,1);;

Alternate-beat snare

Played alongside the 4/4 kick, a snare on every other beat
Stored as snippet snare

~sn = Pbind(\instrument,\bplay,\buf,d["s"][0],\dur,2,\amp,1);;

basic hi-hat pattern

Quarter-note closed hi-hats with random amplitude, good for fleshing out basic rhythms
Stored as snippet hat

~h = Pbind(\instrument,\bplay,\buf,d["ch"][0],\dur,0.25,\amp,Pwhite(0.25,1);

3/4 note clap

A clap every 0.75 beat. When played against the rhythms above will add a nice polyryhthmic feel
Stored as snippet clap

~c = Pbind(\instrument,\bplay,\buf,d["c"][0],\dur,0.75,\amp,1);;

off-beat open hi-hat

An open hi-hat played every beat, offset every half. I use it alongside straight kicks for a kick-hat-kick-hat pattern. The sample here also sounds really good if it's switched out for some vocal chants. Note the dur uses an infinite Pbind inside of another Pbind to offset a regular pattern - this is a complexity of offsetting rhythms in SuperCollider, and is one of the only instances in which I currently do it.
Stored as snippet oh.
The offset dur is stored as snippet offbeat

~oh = Pbind(\instrument,\bplay,\buf,d["oh"][0],\dur,Pseq([0.5,Pseq([1],inf)],inf),\amp,1);;