Introduction to Live Coding Music with TidalCycles

Introduction to Live Coding Music with TidalCycles

By Alexandra Cardenas

Saturday November 20th

4 – 7pm Berlin time (GMT +1)


This workshop will introduce you to TidalCycles, the most used free/open-source software for live coding music. You will be creating patterns of sound in real-time and learning about algorithmic composition and programming simultaneously. For this, we will use Estuary, a platform for collaboration and learning through live coding that lets you play TidalCycles from any browser.

Tidal Cycles, or ‘Tidal’ for short, is free/open-source software written in Haskell. Tidal is using SuperCollider, another open-source software, for synthesis and I/O. Tidal Cycles allows you to make patterns with code. It includes language for describing flexible (e.g., polyphonic, polyrhythmic, generative) sequences of sounds, notes, parameters, and all kinds of information. Tidal is used by a large community of musicians for composition, improvisation, and exploration of algorithmic music. Share, explore, join an algorave, compose your next track, make music. 

Estuary is a platform for collaboration and learning through live coding. It enables you to experiment with TidalCycles in a web browser. Estuary is also free and open-source software. 

This workshop will introduce you to TidalCycles’ powerful syntax as well as the global community of live coders behind it. You’ll learn how to join the live coding communities both physically and online so you can have access to information, education, and events wherever your location is. You will have the skills to make your first sounds and participate in your first performance by the end of the workshop.

Topics of the workshop:

*What is live coding?

*Meet the community

*What is TidalCycles?

*What is Estuary?

*Cycles and Patterns

* Tidal’s Mini Notation

*Audio effects

*Ideas to plan a performance

*Closing performance


  • Computer

  • Connection to the internet

  • Any web browser

Level: No previous knowledge of programming or music is needed.

Artist Bio:

Alexandra Cardenas’ work focuses on the algorithmic behavior of music and the exploration of musicality within code. She is a core member of the international live coding and algorave community and performs worldwide using the live coding platforms SuperCollider and TidalCycles. In 2017, she was the Chair of the International Live Coding Conference in Morelia, Mexico. Alexandra studied music composition at the Los Andes University in Bogota, Colombia, and later completed a Sound Studies and Sonic Arts Master’s Degree at Universität der Künste, Berlin.

Entry Fee: Voluntary donation. Suggested donation for this workshop: € 10 per session.

We particularly encourage women, non-binary, trans, queer, bipoc and differently abled persons to apply. To make sure we can facilitate your ability, please get in touch with us at

Language: English

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