Tiny Python drum machine
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boops is an incredibly simple Python drum machine. It doesn't keep time well but it does make fun noises.

It's somewhat based on the Beats Drum Machine project.


Clone the repo and install the requirements with pipenv:

> pipenv install

Find some samples. The included test.boops uses the Hammerhead samples from the ruby Beats Drum Machine. Extract these into samples/hammerhead to keep things organised.

Run boops with your .boops file as the last argument (there are no other arguments):

> python boops.py test.boops

While it's running you can modify the test.boops file to change the beat.

Boops file format

  • Lines that start with # and blank lines are ignored

  • Lines that start with -- are metadata

    • -- tempo: <xx> will set the tempo
  • All other lines must follow the format <sample> <bar>

    • Where <sample> is a WAV file for your sample
    • And <bar> is a space-separated list of . or x
      • x is a boop
    • You can use any number of whitespace characters to separate things (i.e. you want to line up multiple beats, or separate into bars)


  • Trying to do two things at the exact same time in Python is perilous
  • Disabling garbage collection is a relatively OK thing to do
  • Using numpy arrays to represent the WAV files results in much more consistent playback
  • Musical terminology is not my thing
  • I have very little musical talent