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Feedforward, an experimental editor for TidalCycles (c) Alex McLean 2018 Released under the terms of the GNU Public Licence version 3


Please let me ( know if you get it installed on Windows 10 and how.

Installation on Debian

First install ncurses:

apt-get install libncurses5-dev

Install feedforward (into ~/.cabal/bin) with:

git clone
cd feedforward
cabal install

Installation on Arch

Set these in ~/.cabal/config

library-vanilla: True
shared: True
executable-dynamic: True


Then do a cabal update

Then clone latest Tidal repository and do a cabal install there.

git clone
cd Tidal
cabal install

Then clone this repository, and execute the following

git clone
cd feedforward
cabal update
cabal install c2hs
cabal install ncurses --flag force-narrow-library
cabal install


If you do not have ncurses installed already, you can install it on OSX with:

brew install ncurses

ncurses install info available at

Next, install feedforward into ~/.cabal/bin with:

git clone
cd feedforward
cabal install

Then follow the usage instructions below.

VU meters

To get in-text VU meters on patterns, switch on RMS sending from SuperDirt.

Before starting SuperDirt, do this: s.options.maxLogins = 8;

After starting SuperDirt (e.g. with SuperDirt.start), do this: ~dirt.startSendRMS;.

Do all this before starting feedforward.

The VU meters will also work if you use the latest develop version of superdirt.


At the moment it sends a lot of info to stderr, which you'll need to direct somewhere, e.g. by running like this:

feedforward 2> err.txt

If .cabal/bin isn't in your path, you could run it with:

~/.cabal/bin/feedforward 2> err.txt

At the time of writing..

  • Some emacs keys work for navigation. (^n, ^p, ^a, ^e, ^b, ^f, ..)
  • Alt-Enter to evaluate all the code in the buffer
  • F2 replays a previous session (experimental)
  • F10 quits
  • ctrl-h hushes everything
  • ctrl-l redraws the screen (in case something gets corrupted)
  • Different patterns automatically get sent to different orbits
  • There is no cut and paste yet
  • Mouse clicks position the cursor on some terminals, but it's a bit clunky
  • alt-0 .. alt-10 toggles patterns on and off

By default, feedforward will work with SuperDirt, running on the same computer. To switch between Classic dirt and SuperDirt, edit Feedback/Edit.hs and look for dirt = ... Set it to either dirt = Classic or dirt = Super.

The stuff in Drum/ is a server for laptop ensembles, for centralised recording of keystrokes and for taking coordinated snapshots. Probably not interesting to you just yet.


This is very early stage software, but I'm nonetheless happy to hear bug reports: