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Version 3.1.0 - 'Sauna'

23rd Jan, 2018 (view commits):

The major feature of this release is that it brings v3 functionality to Windows. Windows now supports all the good stuff listed alongside v3.0.x including live_audio, midi, osc and much more. See v3.0.1 and v3.0.0 release notes below for more infomation.

Of course, no new release comes without new features, and there are a number of additions and improvements on all levels. Firstly, we are honoured to include a number of wonderful new samples kindly recorded and released into the public domain by our friends Mehackit. If you aren't already aware, Mehackit organise and run creative coding workshops all around Finland and Europe and were a core part behind the CodeBus Africa project which used Sonic Pi to engage almost 2000 African students with creative code. Our favourite of these samples is the new :ambi_sauna which has given us the name for this release.

We have added support for Ogg Vorbis encoded audio files .ogg and .oga. These are lossy encoders similar to .MP3 but free from license restrictions. See:

Another notable addition is the increase in translation coverage across a number of languages. If you still feel the translation for your language could be improved, please do consider joining in the crowd-sourced effort here:

We have also included some styling tweaks to the GUI - to make it look even cleaner and also work better when projecting code with visuals underneath.

Finally, this release also gives me the opportunity to welcome Ethan Crawford to the Core Team. He has been a prolific contributor to the project over the years and his keen eye for detail has helped polish Sonic Pi from the rough stone it once was to the shining gem it is today.

Have fun and enjoy the new features - especially you lovely Windows users!

Breaking Changes

  • The synth chip_noise now has standard default envelope opts (sustain: and release: are now 0 and 1 respectively (as opposed to 1 and 0))

New Fns

  • set_audio_latency! Apply positive or negative timing offset for audio events to allow for any timing differences between OSC/MIDI events caused by external latencies (such as wireless speakers).
  • midi_pc for sending MIDI Program Change messages


  • Add support for Ogg Vorbis encoded audio files .ogg and .oga.
  • Add new samples (kindly recorded and released into the public domain by Mehackit).
    • new glitch_ sample group containing sounds with a glitchy texture.
    • new mehackit_ sample group with sounds of old toys
    • new samples: :perc_bell2, :perc_door, :perc_impact1, :perc_impact2, :perc_swoosh, :ambi_sauna, :bd_mehackit, :sn_generic, :loop_3d_printer, :loop_drone_g_97, :loop_electric, :loop_mehackit1, :loop_mehackit2, :loop_perc1, :loop_perc2, :loop_weirdo,


  • Add new in_thread forum to the community listings (and update other entries).
  • Many, many translation additions and improvements for a multitude of languages. The tutorial is now available in German, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Dutch, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, and Russian.
  • GUI now lets the user know when the buffer capacity has been exceeded on macOS and Linux (Windows behaviour is currently unchanged). This capacity limitation will be addressed more thoroughly in a future release.


  • Stop the internal sample pattern matcher from duplicating matches in some cases.
  • Stop pro icon preference from resetting to 'off' when switching from dark to light mode

Version 3.0.1 - 'IOIO'

28th July, 2017 (view commits):

This is a minor release addressing a few bugs and includes a small number of modifications.

Breaking Changes

  • Raspberry Pi only - based on a request from Raspberry Pi we have removed the ability to switch between HDMI and headphone output as this is now duplicate functionality to what is now available in PIXEL. Now, to change audio output, you need to right-click on the audio logo in the menu at the top right of the screen.


  • The IO menu has been slightly tweaked to improve amount of space used.


  • The Time State system no longer maintains a history of all events - instead it retains at least 20 events for each path and beyond that culls events 30s in the past.


  • Fix minor issues with docs (grammar and rendering).
  • Incoming OSC now correctly handles OSC paths which contain capital letters.

Version 3.0 - 'IO'

18th July, 2017 (view commits):

This release is our most ambitious to date. The goal is to open up the code within Sonic Pi to the outside world. We want you to be able to both manipulate the real world to change the code and change the real world with the code. Input Output. IO.

We have therefore focussed on getting events and audio in and out of Sonic Pi in new ways whilst keeping to our philosophy of simple code, live manipulation, and strict, powerful timing. This release introduces a number of brand-new components:

  • Time State - a powerful new time-based deterministic shared memory system
  • MIDI - support for input and output of MIDI
  • OSC - support for sending and receiving OSC messages on the network.
  • Live Audio - for getting multiple streams of audio into Sonic Pi
  • Multi-channel audio out - for outputting multiple streams of audio.
  • Audio Buffers - for internal recording of audio enabling the creation of loopers.

It's important to mention that MIDI and OSC output functionality is possible due to a new well-timed scheduler. This was built in a remarkable programming language called Erlang which is now part of the Sonic Pi distribution. We have had the great honour of one of Erlang's co-creators, Joe Armstrong working directly with us on the implementation of this scheduler and we look forward immensely to continuing to work with him on new functionality.

Another very important part of this release is the addition of Robin Newman to the core team. We have always been consistently impressed with his fearless and experimental attitude - pushing Sonic Pi into new areas with ease. We're excited that he's decided to join our core team and hope you're as excited by his future work with us as we are.

Finally, we're really very excited about what new kinds of instruments people will be able to create with this new technology both in the classroom and on stage at musical festivals. Sonic Pi has now become a fully programmable music studio. Have fun live coding!

Breaking Changes

  • Ring's .pick now returns 1 element by default. Previously calling .pick on a ring would pick n elements randomly from the ring (including duplicate picks) where n would be the size of the ring. With this change, .pick only returns a single element. This makes it similar to choose.

New Fns

  • midi_* - many new MIDI-specific fns such as midi_note_on, midi_pitch_bend, midi_cc, midi_clock_tick. See new tutorial section for more information. These fns send MIDI messages to connected MIDI devices. Incoming MIDI is received via the new event log.

  • with_swing - add swing to successive calls to do/end block.

  • get - get a named value from the Time State at the current time. This will return the last value entered. Previous values can be read when within a time_warp. Has full support for OSC

  • set - set a named value in the Time State at the current time. Future values can be set when within a time_warp.

  • use_real_time - convenience fn for setting the schedule ahead time to 0 for the current thread. Very useful for removing latency from live loops that are working with external cues (such as MIDI or OSC).

  • use_midi_defaults - set defaults to be used for all subsequent MIDI calls. Similar to use_synth_defaults. Also available: with_midi_defaults.

  • use_osc - set the default hostname and port number for subsequent outgoing OSC messages. See also with_osc.

  • osc - send Open Sound Control messages in time with the music to default hostname and port

  • osc_send - similar to osc but requires you to specify the hostname and port

  • use_sched_ahead_time - set the schedule ahead time specifically for the current thread. Also available - with_sched_ahead_time.

  • current_time - return the current logical time.

  • assert_error - An assertion to ensure the specified block of code raises the specified error.

Synths & FX

  • New synth live_audio - directly stream audio from your soundcard as a synth.

  • New FX record - enables you to internally record any audio into named buffers. Perfect for building looper systems.

  • New FX :sound_out - stream out audio to a specific output on your sound card. This enables multi-channel audio out.

  • New FX :sound_out_stereo - similar to sound_out but streams out to a pair of consecutive audio card (left and right) output channels.

  • New FX eq - Parametric EQ with three centre freqs - low, mid & high - all with Q values and gain (-1 -> 1). Also has low and high shelves with centre freqs and slope adjustment.

  • New FX tremolo - simple tremolo effect which modulates the volume within the do/end block.


  • New 'pro' icon set for performances.
  • New GUI translations for the following languages: (BS) Bosnian, (CA) Catalan, (CS) Czech, (DA) Danish, (EL) Greek, (ET) Estonian, (HI) Hindi, (ID) Indonesian, (KO) Korean, (PT) Portuguese, (TR) Turkish, (ZH) Chinese
  • Added new pane for displaying new cue events (including incoming OSC and MIDI)
  • Added new IO preferences tab for configuring MIDI and network settings.
  • Automatically autocomplete sync, cue and get or set
  • Increase width of autocompletion popup.

Documentation & Examples

  • New articles on additive and subtractive synthesis techniques.
  • New example piece 'Cloud Beat' by Pit Noack


  • Teach time_warp about input ranges. It now works similar to at in that it can now take two lists of args - times and values - which represent a list of time destinations to be visited in turn.
  • Ensure any unprinted messages are displayed if an exception occurs.
  • Teach range to work as expected with both floats and ints.
  • Teach rings a new chain method - .scale which will return a new ring with all elements multiplied by the scale value.
  • The fn control now returns the node you're controlling.
  • Add many new chords


  • Fix randomisation aspects of :slicer, :wobble and :panslicer FX (i.e. via the probability: opt).
  • Fix file path drag and drop on Windows to not accidentally prefix path with /.
  • Teach chord_invert and sample to work with floating point args.

Version 2.11.1 - 'Hack'

16th Dec, 2016 (view commits)

This is primarily a maintainance release containing a number of bug fixes and minor tweaks. The feature set remains unchanged from v2.11.

One of the core bugs fixed in this release is an issue with the return key within some Japanese layouts. Another important change is the unification of the font on all platforms to Hack. This is from the same family as Menlo and Bitstream Vera (the previous fonts for Mac and Linux respectively) and a dramatic improvement to the Courier font previously used for Windows.


  • Move all platforms to the same font - Hack.
  • Improve initial log information and messages.
  • The scope axes are no longer shown by default for a cleaner look and feel.


  • Add new MagPi article on sample stretching.


  • Ensure chord_invert's shift value is a whole number - otherwise it is possible to get into an infinite recursion.
  • Ensure thread locals have correct default values on clear. When a run is created, the thread is given a set of default thread locals. Previously clear removed all thread locals. Now, we reset the thread locals to the defaults for a brand new thread.
  • Fix line reported on syntax error.
  • Fix unknown synth error message.
  • sync can once again handle multiple cues correctly.
  • Fix boot issues for users that don't have a standard /etc/hosts file that contains an entry for localhost.
  • sample_duration now handles onsets, slices and sustain.
  • Fix issue with return key not being recognised with Japanese keyboards.
  • Fix sporadic flickering of current line on Raspberry Pi.
  • Fix errors in buffer 0 being reported as being from buffer 3.
  • Fix scrollbar background colour on Windows in dark mode.
  • Improve error message reported when required ports are not available at boot.
  • Fix issue with calling control on a chord group.
  • Fix rand and rand_i to honour their arguments.

Version 2.11 - 'Time Warp'

3rd Nov, 2016 (view commits)

This release is the biggest and most adventurous release yet. There are as many (invisible) modifications and improvements to the internal systems as there are new external features that you can see and play with. The aim was to create a solid foundation for new and exciting features both in this release and in preparation for future releases.

We also open our arms to welcome two new Core Team members - Luis Lloret and Adrian Cheater. Both have made generous and substantial contributions to this release. Thank-you. Sadly we also say farewell to Jeremy Weatherford. Please extend your kind thoughts and gratitude to Jeremy for all of his contributions - in particular for turning the Windows release from a possibility into a reality. Luckily Luis has kindly stepped in to maintain the Windows installer.

The main visible feature is the new scope visualisers. The overall audio output can now be visually monitored by one of three wave form visualisers. Firstly there is the individual left and right channels, next is a single mono scope which is mixed down from the stereo channels using RMS and finally there is a Lissajous scope which displays phase differences between the left and right channels. Typically the mono output will be most useful. Use the preferences pane to hide and show each of these scopes. All of them may be viewed at the same time if necessary. Thanks to Adrian Cheater for the core work behind this feature.

We now have support for multi-channel input (up to 16 channels) via the new sound_in* synths for systems that have audio in. This opens up the possibility to use Sonic Pi as an FX unit for vocals, guitars and any other audio source.

Another exciting new feature is the sample opt onset: - which lets you play a specific percussive part of a sample. This uses an automatic onset detection algorithm to determine all the points in the sample that go from quiet to loud quickly such as a drum, synth or bass hit. For example, this allows you to take a complex drum sample and trigger each of the individual drums in your own order and to your own timing.

Finally, translations are now crowd-sourced and small or large contributions for any language can be made here: If your language isn't yet available or you would like to improve things, please join in the effort. Thanks to Hanno Zulla for making this possible.

Breaking Changes

  • sample now supports the opt path: which enables the sample's path to be overridden.
  • use_sample_pack is now deprecated and no longer available. Consider using the new filter system. See documentation for sample for more details.
  • current_sample_pack is now deprecated and no longer available.
  • inspect has been removed. (Standard printing now calls Object#inspect by default)
  • load_sample now only loads the first matched sample. load_samples now loads all matched samples.
  • Remove SuperCollider server automatic reboot system as it was badly conflicting with machines that went into a 'sleep state' (for example, when a laptop is closed). The fn reboot is still supported and may still be triggered manually if required.
  • Calls to play, synth and sample now consume all their arguments before testing to see if the synth should be triggered. This ensures all declared rands are consumed. This change might therefore potentially modify your random stream consumption. Consider using rand_back or rand_skip to re-align the stream if necessary.
  • New threads now start with a fresh set of tick counters and a new random stream.
  • It is no longer possible to use lambdas as values for synth defaults. This is because synth defaults are shared across thread boundaries and there is now a new safety system that only allows immutable/serialisable values to be used. Unfortunately Ruby has no notion of a 'pure' function and each lambda captures over its environment and therefore may contain free variables pointing to mutable data. A replacement system for describing a simple set of pure functions is being designed.

New Fns

  • reset - resets the user's thread locals (such as ticks and rand stream index) to the snapshot of the state as recorded at the start of the current thread.
  • clear - clears all the user's thread locals to a blank state.
  • time_warp- allows whole blocks of code to be shifted forward or backwards in time up to the value of current_sched_ahead_time.
  • rand_look - generate a random number without consuming a rand by looking ahead in the random stream.
  • rand_i_look - generate a random integer without consuming a rand by looking ahead in the random stream.
  • run_file - Runs the contents of file at path as if it was in the current buffer.
  • run_code - Runs the contents of the specified string as if it was in the current buffer.
  • Numeric#clamp - max and minimum bound (will clamp self to a value <= other and >= -1*other
  • set_recording_bit_depth! - set the bit depth for WAV files generated by recording the audio. Default is 16 bits, and can now be set to one of 8, 16, 24 and 32. Larger bit depths will result in better quality audio files but also much larger file sizes for the same duration.
  • scsynth_info - obtain information about the running audio synthesis server SuperCollider such as the number of available busses and buffers.

Synths & FX

  • New synth :tech_saws - an implementation of a slightly modified supersaw.
  • New synth :sound_in - reads audio from the sound card.
  • New synth :sound_in_stereo - reads audio from the sound card.
  • All FX now have a pre_mix: opt. This allows the audio flow to completely bypass a given FX (unlike mix: which passes the audio through the FX but modifies the amplitude afterwards).
  • Teach control to manipulate the last triggered synth by default. For example, control amp: 3 will set the amp: opt of the last triggered synth to 3. However, control foo, amp: 3 will still specifically control synth foo.


  • New opt slice: - lets you play a specific slice of a sample. The default number of slices is 16 which may be changed with the num_slices: opt. Sample is divided equally into the number of slices without regard for audio content and onset points. The slice: opt also works with pick for triggering random sample slices: sample :loop_amen, slice: pick.
  • New opt onset: - lets you play a specific percussive part of a sample. Uses automatic onset detection to determine the points in the sample that go from quiet to loud quickly. Unlike slice:, onset: does not necessarily divide a sample into equal onsets - some onsets will be smaller or bigger than others and the number of onsets is determined by the algorithm and isn't known in advance.


  • New scope visualisers.
  • Allow files to be dragged from the OS into the text area. This inserts the file/folder name as a string.
  • GUI now remembers the last directory you saved or opened a file to/from as the default location for next time.
  • Swap align button for a scope button. Given that alignment now happens automatically, a specific button seems somewhat redundant. Instead we now have a button for toggling the visibility of the scope(s).
  • Loading multiple samples simultaneously is now much faster.
  • Preferences have been slightly re-organised.
  • Preferences now has a Master volume slider which controls Sonic Pi's audio amplitude independently from the system volume.
  • All buttons now display status message + shortcut where available.
  • Enable app transparency slider for Windows.
  • Dark and light theme colours have been slightly polished and unified to use the same logic.
  • On multi-screen systems, fullscreen mode now defaults to the app's current screen.


  • Translations are now crowd-sourced. See:
  • Improve docstring for live_loop.
  • Add 3 new MagPi articles on amplitude modulation, performance and practice techniques.
  • Add missing pulse_width: opt to flanger FX doc.


  • Improve log messages written to ~/.sonic-pi/log
  • Improve booting on Mac in the case that the audio card's rate can't be determined.
  • Massively improve boot stability on Windows.
  • Improve error message for play_chord when notes isn't list like.
  • The number of samples that may be loaded at any one time has been increased from 1000 to 4000. However, memory limitations still apply (4000 1MB samples will require 4000MB of free system memory)
  • pick now returns a lambda if no list is given as the first argument (which makes it useful for using with sample's onset: and slice: opts.
  • Audio server is now paused when app is not in use - reducing CPU load and battery consumption.
  • Error messages now report names matching the editor tabs such as buffer 0.


  • Decrease duration of :loop_tabla so that it correctly loops. (Length reduced to 10.674 seconds).
  • Enforce UTF-8 encoding of all incoming text.
  • Fix :reverb FX's mix: opt to ensure it's in the range 0 to 1.
  • sample nil now no longer plays a sample - it was incorrectly defaulting to the first built-in sample (:ambi_choir)
  • pick's skip: opt now works as expected: pick(5).drop(1) == pick(5, skip: 1)
  • sample now prints a 'no sample found' message with both sample nil and sample [] rather than incorrectly playing the first built-in wav file.
  • Limit :piano synth to notes less than 231 as higher values crash the audio server.

Version 2.10 - 'Cowbell'

Friday 15th April, 2016 (view commits)

"I gotta have more cowbell!" - The Bruce Dickinson

The main feature in this release is the completely new sample system for working with large folders of samples. You can now easily index into and filter over whole folders of samples with a simple yet powerful filter system. This system has been in development for over a year now and has been tuned and tweaked over many performances and practice sessions. See the documentation and examples for sample as well as the new tutorial section 3.7 for details.

We also have a number of exciting new sounds to play with including some beautifully sounding chiptune synths, fun retro FX and new drum samples including a full tabla set and a cowbell.

Finally, even more boot issues on both OS X and Windows have been fixed, making this the most polished and stable release to date.

Now go and get your live code on!

Breaking Changes

  • use_sample_pack_as and with_sample_pack_as have been removed.
  • A synth opt value of nil now no longer resolves to 0.0. Instead it masks any defaults and ensures the downstream default (for the actual synthdef itself) is honoured. This allows you to override any existing synth defaults specified via use_synth_defaults for a given synth trigger.
  • Default schedule ahead time is now 0.5s on all platforms for consistency (except for Raspberry Pi 1 which remains at 1s).

New Fns

  • current_random_seed - Get the current seed value of the random generator.
  • set_cent_tuning! - global tuning.
  • on - similar to if but behaves the same as the on: opt for synths and samples.
  • halves - create a ring of successive halves.
  • doubles - create a ring of successive doubles.
  • pick - similar to shuffle but allows duplicates. You may also specify how many items to pick.
  • fx_names - create a ring of all available FX.

Synths & FX

  • New synth :dtri - detuned triangle waves.
  • New synth :pluck - a lovely synthesised plucked string.
  • New synth :chiplead - retro NES style lead synth.
  • New synth :chipbass - retro NES style bass synth.
  • New synth :chipnoise - retro NES style noise synth.
  • New FX :whammy - low-tech transposition effect similar to the Digitech Whammy guitar pedal.
  • New FX :octaver - low-tech octave effect similar to early guitar pedals.
  • New FX :vowel - modifies incoming signal to match human vowel sounds.
  • New FX :mono - mono effect for summing stereo channels.
  • :tanh FX is now more crunchy by default.
  • :compressor and :krush FX now correctly honour the mix: opt.


  • Samples in FLAC format (Free Lossless Audio Codec) are now supported!
  • The sample fn gained source and filter pre-opts. You may now specify a number of parameters directly before the opts which describe both folders containing samples and filters over those folders to allow you to easily and quickly work with large sample sets. See Section 3.7 of the tutorial for more information.
  • Samplers now have hpf: and lpf: opts. Any cutoff: opts are automatically switched to lpf: and any errors will be reported with an lpf: prefix.
  • The sampler synth gained a compressor enabled via the compress: opt. This means you can now compress any triggered sample directly without the need to reach for an FX.
  • Samplers gained the pre_amp: opt which applies the amp at the beginning of its internal signal chain. You can use this to overload the new compressor.
  • Samplers now have both high pass and low pass filter envelopes which behave similarly to the amplitude envelope but control internal hpf and lpf FX. These are available via new opts which mirror the standard envelope opts but with a hpf_ and lpf_ prefix (such as hpf_attack, lpf_decay_level and friends).
  • Passing a directory path to load_samples will now load all the samples within that directory.
  • Passing a directory path to free_samples will now free all the loaded samples within that directory.
  • Samples are now loaded asynchronously in a separate thread. This therefore doesn't block the current thread and cause any subsequent synth/sample triggers to be late.
  • Sample trigger logging now includes the directory of the contained sample.
  • Samples are now reloaded asynchronously after a server reboot (and therefore no longer block execution).
  • Add new :tabla_ sample group with a range of tabla drum sounds.
  • Add new :vinyl_ sample group with a range of vinyl scratches and hisses.
  • Add new samples: :drum_cowbell, :drum_roll, :misc_crow, :misc_cineboom, :perc_swash, :perc_till, :loop_safari, :loop_tabla.


  • Add new preference to enforce strict synth/FX timing. When enabled synths and samples no longer trigger if it is too late - instead they are silent and print a warning message. This behaviour ensures samples or synths are never triggered out of time.
  • New load button which will load the contents of a file into the current buffer.
  • The vertical bars which help visualise nesting now render in a contiguous fashion over blank lines.
  • C-k now nukes over trailing whitespace.
  • load_sample now has sample autocompletion.
  • GUI now correctly reports if the host is a Raspberry Pi 3.
  • New editor preference - Log Auto Scroll. When enabled will always scroll log to the bottom after printing every new message.
  • Whitespace at top and bottom of buffer is no longer trimmed.
  • Hitting RETURN now auto-indents the buffer - ensuring that the cursor is moved to the correct indentation on the following line.
  • Added Chinese Simplified GUI translation.
  • Log visibility now correctly matches GUI preference.


  • New tutorial section 3.7 on Sample Pack Filters.
  • New appendix sections.
  • Examples for sample fn have been completely rewritten and extended.


  • scale and chord can now handle being passed no tonic such as: (chord :minor) which will return a ring of offsets from 0.
  • chord learned new variants: add2, add4, add9, add11, add13, madd2, madd4, madd9, madd11, madd13
  • The ring's .take method can now take more elements than the original ring by wrapping around: (ring 1, 2, 3).take(5) #=> (ring 1, 2, 3, 1, 2)
  • Rings may now be added or subtracted from each other e.g. (ring 1, 2, 3) + (ring 4) #=> (ring 1, 2, 3, 4)
  • Adding or subtracting a number from a ring will create a new ring with the number added or subtracted from each of the original ring's elements: (ring 1, 2, 3) - 1 #=> (ring 0.0, 1.0, 2.0)
  • Calling (ring 1, 2, 3).take(0) will now return an empty ring.
  • density now complains if it isn't passed a do/end block.
  • Improve error messages for use/with_synth when accidentally passed opts.


  • On OS X only raise an error on boot if it's clear the sound card's in and out rates are different.
  • Improve robustness of boot process on Windows.
  • Rest notes are no longer printed if synth logging is disabled.
  • No longer apply synth defaults to FX.
  • You may now control opts that have no associated info (previously it would raise a 'not modulatable' error).
  • Fix index lookup of Vectors.
  • Fix C-i doc lookup shortcut to work with :tb303 synth docs.
  • C-i now always displays docs where available (previously it was possible for docs not to be displayed).
  • Sliding between chords now works correctly
  • Windows version will now boot on mutiple networked machines logged in with the same account.

Version 2.9 - 'Venster'

Thursday 31st December, 2015 (view commits)

Hot on the heels of the previous release comes v2.9 codenamed Venster (Dutch for window). This release has a specific focus on fixing all the known issues with Sonic Pi running on Windows. If you've tried Sonic Pi on Windows before and had issues, make sure to try it again with v2.9. If you're still having issues on Windows please do let us know so we can fix it as soon as possible.

For all you Raspberry Pi and Mac OS X users - you're not left out. Sonic Pi is just as stable as it was before (if not more stable) and v2.9 comes with a surprising amount of tweaks and features for its short 1 month development cycle. There's two new FX to play with: tanh and gverb as well as a heavily revamped logging system which is much clearer about printing which opts are actually being used for your synths and samples. Finally, we now include of all the published MagPi magazine articles in the tutorial. We also now have Hungarian and Norwegian translations of the GUI.

Happy Live Coding!

Breaking Changes

  • Rename fn invert_chord to chord_invert
  • Sampler no longer mixes rate: and pitch_stretch: opts. It's now possible to set the rate: independent of the pitch: modification caused by pitch_stretch.

New Fns

  • block_duration - returns the duration of the given block in seconds (not scaled with the BPM).
  • block_slept? - returns true if the contents of the block slept or synced.
  • synth_names - returns a list of all the available synths
  • reset_mixer! - resets the main mixer back to its default values.
  • sample_free - unload a sample from memory to free up memory usage.
  • sample_free_all - unload all samples from memory.
  • use_octave - similar to use_transpose but for whole octaves.
  • with_octave - similar to with_transpose but for whole octaves.
  • use_merged_sample_defaults - similar to use_merged_synth_defaults but for samples
  • with_merged_sample_defaults - similar to with_merged_synth_defaults but for samples
  • use_cent_tuning - uniformly tune all subsequent notes in cents
  • with_cent_tuning - uniformly tune all notes in cents within the block

Synths & FX

  • New FX tanh - for more distortion goodness.
  • New FX gverb - a different reverb FX to play with.


  • Synths and samples now also log defaults set by use_synth_defaults and friends.
  • Opts are logged in the order they were defined with local opts first followed by inherited opts.
  • BPM scaling is now accounted for in logging vals.
  • Log metadata such as run number and time is now printed in a more code-like way: as a hash of key value pairs.
  • C-k will now kill multiple lines if lines end with ,.
  • When saving a buffer a .txt extension is automatically added to the file name if none specified.
  • Add Hungarian and Norwegian translations of GUI.
  • Add Spanish translation of tutorial.
  • Add title to main window - enables Sonic Pi to be selected in screensharing app lists such as Google Hangouts and OBS.
  • Add autocompletion for tuning systems.


  • Add 8 complete MagPi magazine articles to the tutorial in appendix A.
  • Add new example 'ambient experiment' by Darin Wilson.
  • Add new example 'chord inversions' by Adrian Cheater.
  • Change tutorial license to CC-BY-SA 4.0.
  • Add instructions for compiling and building on Windows.
  • Many, many minor tweaks and improvements.


  • Add sync: opt to live_loop and in_thread. This now syncs the live loop once on creation. Similar to the delay: opt. If both sync: and delay: are specified then the delay happens before the sync.
  • The synth fn can now play chords with the notes: opt such as: synth :dsaw, notes: (chord :e3, :minor). This will return a single controllable synth node representing all the notes similar to play_chord.
  • BPM scaling and other normalisation is now honoured when controlling nodes
  • The on: opt is now honoured when playing chords.
  • Samplers sound signal now bypasses filter envelope when not used.
  • It is now possible to use externally defined FX synths by passing a string as the FX name: with_fx "my_shiny_effect". This needs to be loaded manually via load_synthdefs.
  • OS X now supports rates other than 44.1k provided they are similar for both audio in and out.
  • Run code in ~/.sonic-pi/init.rb on launch if it exists.
  • If environment variable SONIC_PI_HOME is set it will be used over ~ as the root of the user's .sonic-pi directory (used to auto-save files and store logs).
  • Default sound card selection is now honoured on Raspberry Pi - so you may now use your IQaudIO hat (or similar) out of the box.


  • Fix number of synth validation errors.
  • Fix sporadically failing boot issues on Windows
  • Add auto-reboot functionality for audio server. This now detects errors in the server (such as a killed or zombied process) and automatically reboots it to enable Sonic Pi to continue without a full restart. Reboots automatically reload all loaded samples and synthdefs.
  • sample_duration now correctly takes account of TL defaults set by use_sample_defaults.
  • Sampler opts pitch_stretch, beat_stretch and rpitch can now be used in TL defaults.

Version 2.8 - 'Karlsruhe'

Friday 20th November, 2015 (view commits)

This release, named after Karlsruhe, one of the home cities of live coding, is mainly a maintenance release with a strong focus on both performance, stability and documentation. This is therefore the fastest and most stable release of Sonic Pi ever with a massive 10% performance improvement on the original Raspberry Pi 1. It also ships with new translations in Polish, Japanese and French. Many of these improvements (such as the complete rewrite of the OSC stack) are not documented in this release list but can instead be found in the commit logs over on Github.

However, not to go unnoticed are a number of exciting new features. For example we now have a new Band EQ FX, the ability to use MIDI note names such as :e5 as values for opts such as cutoff:, and new powerful cutoff envelopes on the sampler.

Breaking Changes

  • Shortcuts for switching buffers have changed. They are now M-{ and M-} for switching left and right respectively.
  • sync no longer inherits BPM by default. Set the bpm_sync: opt to true to enable BPM inheritance.
  • Random seed generation for new threads is now reset on calls to use_random_seed.

New Fns

  • octs - returns a ring of successive octaves.
  • assert - for raising an exception if the argument is not true.
  • assert_equal - for raising an exception if the two arguments are not equal.
  • bt - converts the specified time w.r.t. the current BPM.
  • inspect - similar to print but prints the inspected version of the argument.


  • New translations for Polish, Japanese and French.
  • Improve efficiency of logging panel.
  • M-RET is now a duplicate shortcut for running the code.
  • Log title bar is now hidden in full-screen mode.
  • Log - don't display └ or ├ if the line is blank, instead display │
  • Add sample name autocompletion to more fns such as sample_duration.


  • New tutorial section on ring chains (chainable functions for modifying rings)
  • Tilburg 2 example slightly tweaked for Raspberry Pi 1 compatibility.
  • Many minor tweaks and improvements in all areas.

Synths & FX

  • New FX - Band EQ for attenuating or boosting a specific frequency band.
  • New synth - DPulse - a detuned pulse wave.
  • Sampler now has a cutoff envelope which can be accessed via new opts which mirror the standard envelope opts but with a cutoff_ prefix (such as cutoff_attack, cutoff_decay_level and friends).
  • Sampler now correctly handles samples with different sample rates.
  • Bitcrusher FX now has an internal low pass filter modifiable via a new cutoff opt.
  • Panslicer now correctly honours min and max pan values.
  • New default opt on: for both sample and synth. This acts like if but ensures all the opt vals are evaluated (useful if wanting to keep the consumption of random streams or ticks consistent even when not triggering a synth.
  • MIDI opts such as cutoff: can now accept note names such as :c4.
  • FX learned the global slide: opt to match synths.


  • Massive performance improvements.
  • Teach play_pattern_timed to handle rings.
  • current_transpose now returns 0 if there is no current transposition.
  • BPM scaling is now honoured when controlling synths and FX
  • All with_fx* fns now return the result of their block.
  • spark now handles rings correctly.
  • spark now treats booleans as 1s and 0s so you can now spark rings of bools.
  • puts, print and mc_message now handle multiple message arguments

Bug Fixes

  • Ensure with_fx doesn't swallow TL modifications such as transposition, current synth etc.
  • Ensure with_fx doesn't affect random seed.
  • Improve reliability of boot process on Mac and Windows.
  • The FX pre_amp: opt is no longer scaled w.r.t. the current BPM.
  • Fixed GUI side of update checking system.

Version 2.7 - 'Rerezzed'

Thursday 10th September, 2015 (view commits)

This release brings a substantial change to the random number generator. This has the unfortunate side effect of breaking backwards compatibility. If you have been using rand, choose, shuffle and friends to create predictable patterns for your riffs, your code will produce different results in this release. Please let me apologise and say it's for a good cause. So what is this good cause? Well, you can now jump backwards and forwards through the random stream giving you way more creative control than before! The random stream is now also unified with the random stream on the synthesis server allowing you to sync behaviour between synths and code. Exciting times.

The sampler has also been super charged. We can now easily change the rate via MIDI note intervals with rpitch: and stretch the sample whilst preserving pitch via pitch_stretch: (although with variable results ;-)).

Finally you can now control the global mixer with set_mixer_control! for those full filter sweeps over the entire sound...

Have fun and happy live coding!

Breaking Changes

  • Complete rewrite of random number system. This means if you've been combining calls to use_random_seed with randomisation to create predictable melodies/rhythms/timbral manipulations you will unfortunately get different results in v2.7. This change is to synchronise both the Ruby rand stream with the one in SuperCollider as well as enabling the reversal of calls to rand via rand_back.
  • sync now causes the BPM to be inherited from the thread calling the matching cue. This may be disabled with the new bpm_sync: opt.
  • rrand and rand now return 0 if called with 0.
  • invert_chord now handles negative inversions in a more musically appropriate manner..

New Fns

  • ratio_to_pitch which provides the inverse of pitch_to_ratio
  • midi_notes - returns a ring of numbers (mapping the source ring/array through the fn note).
  • rand_back - reverse the random stream and 'undo' calls to rand
  • rand_skip - skip forward through the random stream.
  • rand_reset- reset the random stream to the last seed.


  • It is now possible to toggle the commenting of whole selections or individual lines with the shortcut M-/.
  • Added Icelandic translation.

Synths & FX

  • All synths learned the decay_level opt to allow the sustain phase to shift between two distinct values. The default value for decay_level is to mirror sustain_level: thus preserving current behaviour.
  • play and synth have now learned the pitch: opt to match sample. This just increments or decrements the final note.
  • sample now correctly validates opts.
  • sample learned the pitch_stretch: opt which combines rate: modification (similar to beat_stretch: with pitch:. Attempts to maintain the pitch whilst simultaneously changing the rate. The underlying implementation is very basic and can easily destroy the sound.
  • sample learned the rpitch: opt for simple rate pitch modulation. This modifies the rate to match the specified number of MIDI notes relative from the current pitch. For example, a rpitch: of 12 would double the rate.
  • The unit of the FX :echo's decay: opt is now beats and the value is scaled with the BPM.


  • Most examples have been tweaked to sound good with the new random generator.
  • Tilburg has been replaced with Tilburg 2. Play it and get your Algorave on!


  • Auto-align code on Run.
  • live_loop learned the seed: opt which will set the new thread with the specified seed prior to initial run.
  • Add check to ensure BPM is a positive value.
  • density has now been taught to handle values between 0 and 1 which will now stretch time for the specified block.
  • Errors now no longer print out crazy print version of context object i.e. #SonicPiSpiderUser1:0x007fc82e1f79a0
  • Both in_thread and live_loop have now learned the delay: opt which will delay the initial execution by the specified number of beats.
  • Buffer and thread name are now printed on error.
  • sample_duration now understands all the opts that you can pass to sample
  • It is now possible to do basic arithmetic on symbols representing rests: :r + 3 returns :r (a rest plus any MIDI note shift is still a rest).

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed crash when synth args were specified as Rationals.
  • note_info now correctly handles octaves.
  • Fix windows paste shortcut C-v.
  • Teach invert_chord how to properly handle out of range index ranges.

Version 2.6 - 'Algorave'

Thursday 30th July, 2015 (view commits)

The laser beams sliced through the wafts of smoke as the subwoofer pumped bass deep into the bodies of the crowd. The atmosphere was ripe with a heady mix of synths and dancing. However something wasn't quite right in this nightclub. Projected in bright colours above the DJ booth was futuristic text, moving, dancing, flashing. This wasn't fancy visuals, it was merely a projection of Sonic Pi running on a Raspberry Pi. The occupant of the DJ booth wasn't spinning disks or playing MP3s, she was writing, editing and evaluating code. She was live coding and this was an Algorave.

This release is codenamed Algorave to celebrate that Sonic Pi is now ready to be performed within nightclubs as well as still being a fantastic tool for learning how to code creatively. There are many improvements as detailed below. However, let's just take a brief look at some of the most fun. Firstly we have the new error reporting system to make it easier to find and debug your errors. Syntax errors are now blue and runtime errors pink. We also have a new look and feel including a new dark mode for performing in dark places. We also have some fantastic new synths, FX and have even improved the standard synths. For example, sample now lets you stretch to match the beat with the beat_stretch: opt and change pitch with pitch:. The slicer FX now sports a fantastic deterministic probability: opt for creating and manipulating rhythmic structures with ease. Finally there's the new thread local tick/look system which will revolutionise the way you work with rings within live_loops. Of course there's so much more too!

Enjoy this release and happy Algoraving!

Breaking Changes

  • The res: opt for all synths and FX now has range 0->1 rather than 1->0. This means that a higher res value results in more resonance. This will hopefully be more intuitive to beginners and less surprising for people with existing synth knowledge.
  • The fn stop has been renamed to kill for killing specific synths. In its place a new fn stop has been added to stop a given thread or live_loop.
  • invert_wave opts are now inverted. The default is now 0 which has the same behaviour as the old 1. This means that it's more intuitive to use the opt as to invert the current wave, you now specify: invert_wave: true, rather than invert_wave: false. This shouldn't affect any code which doesn't explicitly set the invert_wave: opt. Pieces which have explicit inversion need to swap all 0s for 1s and vice versa.
  • The res: opt for rrand and rdist has been renamed to step: to avoid confusion with the resonance opt for cutoff filters.
  • Rename pitch_ratio to pitch_to_ratio to keep in line with other similar fns such as midi_to_hz.

New Fns

  • New thread-local (i.e. live_loop local) counter system via fns tick and look.
  • New fn vector which creates a new kind of Array - an immutable vector (SPVector) which is now the default base class for all rings.
  • New fns use_sample_defaults and with_sample_defaults which act similarly as their *_synth_defaults counterparts but for samples not synths.
  • New fns use_tuning and with_tuning for exploring other tuning systems such as :just, :pythagorean, and :meantone.
  • New fn invert_chord for chord inversions.
  • New fn current_beat_duration for returning the duration of the current beat in seconds.
  • New fn note_range for returning a range of notes between two notes with a pitches: opt for constraining the choice of filler notes.
  • New fns scale_names and chord_names for returning a ring of all chords and scales.
  • New example rerezzed - strongly influenced by Daft Punk's track derezzed.
  • New example reich phase - a nice way of combining live_loops and tick to create sophisticated polyrhythms.
  • New fns use_cue_logging and with_cue_logging for enabling and disabling the logging of cue messages.


  • New visual look and feel including a new Dark Mode for live coding in night clubs.
  • New preferences for hiding/showing aspects of the GUI such as the buttons, log, tabs etc.
  • New preference for full screen mode.
  • Improve error message reporting. Syntax errors are now made distinct from runtime errors with colour-coded messages. Also, the line number of the error is much more visible, and the line of the error is highlighted with an arrow in the left-hand margin.
  • Workspaces are now named buffers. This is a smaller word which works better on lower res screens and is also a lovely term used by a number of wonderful programming editors such as Emacs.
  • Print friendly messages to the log on boot.
  • Add pref option to check for updates now.

Synths & FX

  • New FX - krush for krushing the sound.
  • New FX - panslicer similar to slicer and wobble but modulates the stereo panning of the audio.
  • New synth subpulse for a full range pulse with extra bass.
  • New synth blade - a moody Blade Runner-esque synth violin
  • New synth piano - a basic piano emulation. Only capable of whole notes.
  • FXs slicer and wobble now have a wonderful new probability: opt which will only slice on (or off depending on wave inversion) with the specified probability. The behaviour is deterministic, so repeated calls with the same seed: and probability: opts will result in the same behaviour. Great for adding interesting rhythmic variation to sound.
  • FXs slicer and wobble now have smoothing opts for even more control over the resulting wave form.
  • Teach sample the opt beat_stretch: for modifying the rate of the sample to make sure the duration of the sample is n beats long (with respect to the current bpm). Note: stretching the beat does change the pitch.
  • Teach sample the opt pitch to enable pitch shifting on any sample.
  • FX flanger's feedback mixing is now more fair and is less likely to hike up the amplitude.


  • Teach note_info to also handle a number as its param.
  • Teach factor? to handle division by 0.
  • Teach load_sample to throw exception when passed an empty path.
  • Now throws an exception when you attempt to create an empty ring.
  • Rings are now immutable (in the Clojure sense) which means they can be safely passed to multiple threads/live_loops without any issues.
  • Teach use_sample_bpm the opt num_beats: to indicate that a given sample consists of a specific number of beats.
  • Teach comment and uncomment to require blocks.
  • Teach synth chord groups to allow their notes to be controlled individually to allow transitions between chords.
  • Throw nicer exception when unable to normalise synth args
  • Teach chord the new opt invert: as a shortcut to the new invert_chord fn.
  • Teach sample_duration about the opts start: and finish: and envelope opts such as attack: and release:. This allows you to replace any call to sample with sample_duration to get the exact duration of that call.
  • Teach chord the opt num_octaves to enable the easy creation of arpeggios.
  • It is now possible to set the block type in the Minecraft API.

Bug Fixes

  • Fix bug in with_sample_pack_as to now correctly accept a block.
  • mc_surface_teleport no longer throws an error.
  • Array#shuffle now works correctly with the random seeds for deterministic behaviour.
  • Fix broken behaviour with multiple nested calls to *_sample_bpm.

Version 2.5 - 'Craft'

Monday 13th April, 2015 (view commits)

This release comes with support for Minecraft: Pi Edition installed on the Raspberry Pi. You can now create music with Minecraft visuals or even code up a synth score in Minecraft blocks and read and play the score from Sonic Pi! Another exciting aspect of this release is much improved editor functionality for navigating around and manipulating code via keyboard shortcuts. This means that live coding just got a lot more fun. The keyboard shortcuts are based on the standard shortcuts provided by GNU Emacs - the oldest and most powerful text editor in use by wizard programmers today.

Breaking Changes

  • invert_wave now defaults to 1 everywhere. I found I always inverted the wave every time I used a synth/fx where wave inversion was key. This seemed like such a better default I've broken compatibility for it. Apologies if this has affected you.
  • The flanger FX now defaults the optional arg stereo_invert_wave to 1.
  • Renamed FX ring to ring_mod to reduce the potential for confusion with the ring datastructure.
  • Tab now indents current line or selection rather than inserting a useless tab character.


  • Support for programming Minecraft Pi Edition.
  • sync now accepts multiple cue ids and will sync on the first matching id.
  • New fn pitch_ratio for converting a midi note to a frequency ratio. Useful for tuning samples.
  • New fn line for creating a line from start to finish with a specific number of slices.
  • New fn spark for displaying lists of numbers in a fancy text-graph (▁▃▅▇) in the log.
  • On stop, amplitude of output slides down over 1s to silence for a smoother transition.
  • sample_duration now scales result based on current BPM.
  • range now accepts optional args: inclusive: and step:.


  • German translation of GUI and tutorial. Simply open Sonic Pi with a machine with a German localisation setting.
  • Display GUI fully maximised when opening for first ever time.
  • Workspace indexing now starts at 0 to match standard programming indexes.
  • New shortcuts - M-< and M-> for switching workspaces.
  • Many new Emacs-based code navigation and editing shortcuts. See the shortcut cheatsheet in the built-in tutorial for more information.
  • Increase height of doc and error panes.
  • Improve error pane colour scheme.
  • Auto-align now trims whitespace from start and end of buffer.
  • Add preference toggle to hide/show line numbers.
  • Documentation now supports semantic formatting and highlighting.
  • Docsystem tabs are now positioned at the bottom for better navigation.
  • New preference to hide/show line numbers in editor.

Synths & FX

  • New FX - :pitch_shift

Bug Fixes

  • Fix OSC lib to properly encode multibyte chars such as UTF8
  • Fix sporadic issue on some platforms when trigging percussive sounds within a reverb FX caused a serious audio overload.
  • Add missing fn metadata for *_sample_bpm
  • Fix synth metadata for FX :bpf.
  • Fix arg metadata for use_sample_pack_as
  • Rings now pretty print themselves as (ring 1, 2, 3) rather than [1, 2, 3].
  • C-k keyboard shortcut now copies text into the clipboard.
  • Scales and chords now return actual rings rather than ring-like things.
  • Improve Ring Mod FX arguments
  • Exceptions created within with_fx are now raised correctly.

Version 2.4 - 'Defrost'

Wednesday 11th February, 2015 (view commits)

A quick release following v2.3 to address an issue with the GUI freezing on specific CPUs. However, although this release has had a small development cycle, it ships with three fantastic features. Firstly we now have the spread fn which provides an amazing way to create interesting rhythms with very little code. Secondly we can now use cutoff: on any sample massively increasing their timbral range and finally we have three exciting new synths for you to play with. Have fun!

Breaking Changes

  • Unfortunately 5 pre-release synths accidentally slipped into v2.3. Three of them have been polished up and are in this release (one with major changes including a name change). However, the other two have been removed.


  • New fn spread for creating rings of Euclidean distributions. Great for quickly creating interesting rhythms.
  • GUI now automatically appends a : to the FX opt autocomplete list
  • Synths and FX now raise an exception if any of their non-modulatable opts are modulated. This is disabled when the pref 'check synth args' is unchecked.
  • GUI now renders pretty UTF-8 └─ ├─ characters when printing in the log on RP.
  • Improve docstrings for sample player.

Synths & FX

  • New Synth :dark_ambience, an ambient bass trying to escape the darkness.
  • New Synth :hollow, a hollow breathy sound.
  • New Synth :growl, a deep rumbling growl.
  • Sampler synths now sport built-in rlpf and normaliser FX. These are disabled by default (i.e. won't affect sound of the sample) and can by enabled via the new cutoff:, res: and norm: opts.

Bug Fixes

  • Fix insanely obscure bug which caused the GUI to freeze on certain platforms (32 bit Windows and RP2 with 2G/2G kernel).
  • Remove DC Bias offset from Prophet synth (see

Version 2.3 - 'Bitcrush'

Wednesday 28th January, 2015 (view commits)

Breaking Changes

  • Playing chords with the fn chord now divides the amplitude of each resulting synth by the number of notes in the chord. This ensures the resulting amplitude isn't excessive and is normalised.
  • Chords now evaluate their args once and those args are used for all synth triggers. This means random values are only generated once and are similar across all notes in the chord. Previous behaviour can be obtained by calling play multiple times with no interleaved sleeps.
  • Ensure each new thread's random number generator is unique yet seeded in a deterministic manner. This stops random vals across at from being identical.
  • range is now exclusive: (range 1, 5) #=> (ring 1, 2, 3, 4)


  • New fn density for compressing and repeating time Dr Who style. For example, wrapping some code with a call to density of 2 will double the bpm for that block as well as repeating it twice. This ensures the block takes the same amount of time to execute while doing double the work.
  • New fns with_bpm_mul and use_bpm_mul which will multiply the current bpm by a specified amount. Useful for slowing down and speeding up the execution of a specific thread or live_loop.
  • New fn rdist - generate a random number with a centred distribution
  • New examples: square skit, shufflit and tilburg


  • Teach control to ignore nil nodes i.e. control nil, amp: 3 will do nothing.
  • Teach Float#times to yield a float to the block. For example, 3.4.times {|v| puts v} will yield 0.0, 1.0 and 2.0.
  • Synth, Sample and FX args now handle bools and nil correctly. true resolves to 1.0 and false, nil resolve to 0.0. This allows you to write code such as: play :e3, invert_wave: true
  • Teach at to handle varying block arities differently. See docs for more detail. Original behaviour is preserved and only extended.
  • App now checks for updates (at most once every 2 weeks). This may be disabled in the prefs.
  • Teach :reverb FX to extend its kill delay time with larger room sizes to reduce the chance of clipping.

Synths & FX

  • New FX bitcrusher - for crunching and destroying those hi-fi sounds.
  • New FX flanger - a classic swhooshing effect typically used with vocals and guitars.
  • New FX ring - ring modulation for that friendly Dalek sound
  • New FX bpf - a band pass filter
  • New FX rbpf - a resonant band pass filter
  • New FX nbpf - a normalised band pass filter
  • New FX nrbpf - a normalised resonant band pass filter

New Samples

  • perc_snap - a finger snap
  • perc_snap2 - another finger snap
  • bd_ada - a bass drum
  • guit_em9 - a lovely guitar arpeggio over Em9

Bug Fixes

  • Namespace live_loop fn and thread names to stop them clashing with standard user defined threads and fns.
  • GUI no longer crashes when you start a line with a symbol.
  • with_fx now returns the result of the block
  • Kill zombie scsynth servers on startup for better crash recovery.
  • Handle paths with UTF8 characters gracefully
  • Force sample rate for output and input to 44k on OS X. This stops scsynth from crashing when output and input sample rates are different.

Version 2.2 - 'Slicer'

Thursday 18th December, 2014 (view commits)

This release brings a number of nice enhancements. However the main feature is the accurate timing for triggering FX. This means you can now reliably use FX for accurate rhythmic purposes such as wobbling, slicing and echoes.

Breaking Changes

  • use_sample_pack_as now uses a double underscore __ as a separator between the user-specified alias and the sample name.

API Changes

  • Teach synth args to take prefixed maps: play 50, {amp: 0.5}, {release: 2}, amp: 2
  • Don't round Floats when user specifically prints them to log with puts
  • with_fx FX synths are now triggered using virtual time rather than real time. This means that FX can now be used for rhythmical purposes.
  • Work on new RingArray datastructure. This is essentially an array that wraps its indexes so you can use indexes larger than the array size.
  • New fn ring - (ring 1, 2, 3) creates a new ring array.
  • New fn knit - (knit :a1, 2, :c1, 1) returns (ring :a1, :a1, :c1)
  • New fn bools - (bools 1, 0, 1) returns (ring true, false, true)
  • New fn range - (range 70, 100, 10) returns (ring 70, 80, 90, 100)
  • New fn sample_loaded? - to detect whether a specific sample has been loaded

Synths & FX

  • Fixed regression in :tb303 synth - sound is reverted to v2.0 behaviour
  • New Synth - :square - Pure square wave


  • Help system now autodocks on close
  • Preferences are now remembered across sessions
  • On Raspberry Pi, previous volume and audio output options are forced on boot.

New Samples

  • bd_tek - Bass drum

Bug fixes

  • one_in now returns false if num is < 1
  • Ensure live_loop's no-sleep detector works within nested with_fx blocks
  • chord now returns a ring.

Version 2.1.1 - 'Firewall'

Tuesday 25th November, 2014 (view commits)

  • Windows version no longer needs special firewall exceptions to run
  • Added license information to info window
  • Minor grammar and spelling tweaks to tutorial

Version 2.1 - 'Core'

Friday 21st November, 2014 (view commits)

The focus of release is very much on technical improvements, efficiency and general polish.

The most obvious and exciting change is the introduction of the live_loop which will change the way you work with Sonic Pi. For more information on live_loop take a look at the new section in the tutorial. Another very exciting development is that v2.1 marks the official support for Windows thanks to the excellent work by Jeremy Weatherford. Finally, this release is also the first release where Sonic Pi has a Core Team of developers. Please give a warm welcome to Xavier Riley, Jeremy Weatherford and Joseph Wilk.

API Changes

  • New fn live_loop - A loop for live coding
  • New fn inc - increment
  • New fn dec - decrement
  • New fn quantise - quantise a value to resolution
  • New fn factor? - Factor test
  • New fn at - Run a block at the given times
  • New fn degree - for resolving a note in a scale by degree such as :i, :iv
  • New fn chord_degree - Construct chords based on scale degrees
  • New TL fn use_sample_bpm - for changing the BPM based on a sample's duration
  • New fn rest? - Determine if note or args is a rest
  • New fn vt - Get virtual time
  • New fn set_control_delta! - Set control delta globally
  • wait now handles both sleep and sync functionality
  • Allow first arg to play to be a proc or lambda. In which case simple call it and use the result as the note
  • Teach play to accept a single map argument (in which case it will extract :note key out if it exists.
  • Fns play and synth now treat 'notes' nil, :r and :rest as rests and don't trigger any synths.

GUI Modifications

  • Updated and improved tutorial
  • Much improved autocompletion
  • Add HPF, LPF, mono forcer and stereo swapping preferences to new studio section for use when performing with Sonic Pi through an external PA.
  • Shortcuts overhauled - now supports basic Emacs-style Ctrl-* navigation.
  • Shortcuts Alt-[ and Alt-] now cycle through workspaces
  • Shortcuts now work when toolbar is hidden
  • Font sizes for individual workspaces are now stored between sessions
  • Ctl-Mouse-wheel zooms font on Windows
  • Links are now clickable (opening external browser)
  • Entries in docsystem's synth arg table are now clickable and will take focus down to arg documentation
  • Stop users accidentally clearing entire workspace if they type quickly after hitting run
  • Hitting F1 or C-i over a function name now opens up the doc system at the relevant place


  • Reworked examples.
  • Much improved efficiency in many areas - especially for Raspberry Pi.
  • Avoid occasional clicking sound when stopping runs
  • Note Cb is now correctly resolved to be a semitone lower than C
  • Non RP systems now start with more audio busses (1024)
  • Array#sample and Array#shuffle are now correctly seeded with thread local random generator
  • Log files are now placed into ~/.sonic-pi/log
  • Chords and scales now wrap around when accessed from indexes outside of their range.
  • rand_i and rrand_i now correctly return integers rather than floats
  • rrand arguments now correctly handle a range of 0 (i.e. min == max)
  • Line offset in error messages is now correct
  • When saving files on Windows, CRLF line endings are used
  • Stop users defining functions with same name as core API fns

Synths, Samples & FX

  • New samples (bass drums, snares and loops)
  • Allow mod_range: opt to have negative values (for oscillating with lower notes)
  • Change slide mechanism to default to linear sliding with support for changing the curve type. All modifiable args now have corresponding _slide_shape and _slide_curve args.
  • Improve TB303 synth - now supports separate cutoff ADSR envelopes. New opts:
    • cutoff_attack:,
    • cutoff_sustain:,
    • cutoff_decay:,
    • cutoff_release:,
    • cutoff_min_slide:,
    • cutoff_attack_level:,
    • cutoff_sustain_level:,
    • cutoff_env_curve:

Version 2.0.1

Tuesday 9th September, 2014 (view commits)

  • Fix recording functionality
  • Improve documentation content and layout
  • Close off OSC server from external clients
  • Add History, Contributors and Community pages to info window
  • Improve startup speed on OS X
  • Re-work and add to shortcuts for key actions:
    • on RP they are all alt-* prefixed
    • on OS X they are all cmd-* prefixed
  • Improve highlighting of log messages (cue/sync messages are more clearly highlighted)
  • Log now communicates when a run has completed executing
  • Fix bug encountered when stopping threads in super fast loops (stopped comms with server)

Version 2.0 - 'Phoenix'

Tuesday 2nd September, 2014 (view commits)

  • Complete rewrite since v1.0
  • Support for Live Coding - redefining behaviour whilst music is playing
  • New timing system - timing now guaranteed to be accurate
  • Many new synths
  • New chainable studio FX system
  • Support for sample playback
  • Inclusion of over 70 CC0 licensed samples from
  • Support for controlling and modifying synth, fx and sample playback arguments after they have been triggered
  • Completely re-designed GUI
  • Help system with full documentation, tutorial and many examples
  • Record functionality (for recording performances/pieces)
  • Support for controlling system audio settings on RP