This is the follow on to How to live code music – Beginners.

We will now show you how to adapt your live code music so you can change the speed, pitch and texture. This will allow you to improvise, compose and structure your sounds to make it more interesting and complex. You can either go through the step by step instructions or scroll down to see a video of how this is coded and how it sounds to learn how to create your own.

How to change the speed

When you are happy with your basic cycle you can start to mash things up a bit and mix up all the different sounds and repetitions of beats. You can also start changing the speeds.

To play your pattern twice as fast you need to input this code before the main sound code.

fast 2 $ sound "bd bd [cp bd] bd"


To play your pattern twice as slow you need to input this code before the main sound code.

slow 2 $ sound "hh cp [bd bd] sd"


You can also code when you want the speed can change during the cycle. If you want the sound to speed up every 4th cycle and be twice as fast, code

every 4 (fast 2) $ sound "bd bd bd bd"


How to change the pitch

To change the pitch of computerised sounds you actually need to change the speed of the frequency.

After you main rhythm, code # speed "2" to increase the pitch higher or "0.5" to decrease the pitch lower. Here is a live code example of using a range of speeds to change to change the pitch.


How to change the texture

You can add voices and synth sounds to change the texture of your live code music.

To include the sound of someone saying numbers, include the code sound "numbers:2"

You can then include a number before repeating this for other numbers or previous adaptations of code you like.


Finally, you can also make your live coding sound more synthesised by using "arpy" after the sound code. This is really effective especially when you make changes to speed and pitch.


You now have the advanced skills to develop your coded music further. If you would like to find out even more about how you can use Estuary to try other coding or even to collaborate with others, there are helpful tutorials on the main page.

As with most things, it’s best to explore your digital music creativity now that you have a few live code tricks to use. As a learn’d live code performer once said, this process is for

artists who want to learn to code, and coders who want to express themselves“.

With big thanks to David Ogborn for creating Estuary which enables enquiring minds and coders to explore the vast possibilities of creative code.

And with just as much thanks to Antonio Roberts for having devising and delivering step by step live music coding workshops for our young people during BOM’s 2021 PULSAR summer camp.