Skip to content

First of all, I have not forgotten about Project CX5M. I put it on hold to move to a new house, and continued the hold while I put together a proper video production space in my new house.

And while I would like to release a video on the Yamaha Music Computer on this inaugural International Music Computer Day, that's not going to happen today.

There's always next year. However, I won't feel obliged to wait that long if I have a video ready sooner.

Secondly, I think June 5th should be International Music Computer Day. At 10AM, drink a cup of coffee and watch a YouTube video on the Yamaha CX5M. Or even better, if you have a CX5M, pull it out for old time's sake.

Why 10AM? Well, CX is the roman numeral for 110 and binary 110 is 6. And M is the roman numeral for 1000. And since Doc Brown's first time machine was destroyed... Er, since there was no electricity in 1000 A.D., we'll settle for the 1000 being ten-hundred hours, or 10:00AM local time.

Or listen to your favorite 80's album featuring the Yamaha DX21 or Yamaha DX7 synthesizer.

You're still stuck on coffee? Fine, whatever, just drink a glass of your favorite beverage.

Or go for a ride on your Yamaha motorcycle, I'm not picky; but if you choose the motorcycle ride option, you might want to consider finishing your coffee first. (Or whatever you picked to drink, but that better be a legal beverage to consume before operating a motorcycle.)

But what do I know, I can't even ride a bike, much less operate a motorcycle. But it seems both methods of conveyance require both hands to operate safely.

Now if anyone can find Doc Brown's other time machine...

The following are resources to help you continue your journey into live coding with Sonic Pi.

Sonic Pi

Download Sonic Pi, see example scripts, download materials for teaching Sonic Pi in the classroom, and more!

Live Coding Education

This is the Tutorial I used as the basis for a speech I gave at the Piney Mountain Toastmasters (Charlottesville, VA) meeting on August 30, 2017.

Getting Started with Sonic Pi

A learning page on Sonic Pi from the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

Music Note to MIDI Note Table

Use this helpful table to convert MIDI notes found in Sonic Pi scripts you see online to the actual music note. Remember that “Middle C” is in the 4th octave, and is MIDI note 60. (This table was found on this blog post by Andy Murkin. Andy's blog post has nothing to do with Sonic Pi, but is linked here as the citation.)

The MagPi Essentials: Code Music with Sonic Pi

MagPi is the official Raspberry Pi magazine published by the Raspberry Pi Foundation. This is an entire 109 page issue devoted to Sonic Pi, and the PDF version is free to download!

Materials for Classrooms

I thought I would include links to additional classroom learning materials that I found during my research on Sonic Pi.

Sonic Pi Lessons

A 5 lesson plan from the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

Sonic Pi: Live and Coding

An 11-week lesson plan for incorporating Sonic Pi in the classroom. Includes a set of short films and inspirational works by artists. KS3 in the UK roughly equates to Middle School age, for those of us in the States.

Happy Live Coding!

With a name like Sonic Pi, you might think that The Live Coding Music Synth for Everyone (their words, not mine) forgot about everyone not using the Raspberry Pi. However, that's where the name Sonic Pi might be a bit misleading — it was developed in collaboration with the Raspberry Pi Foundation, so comes pre-installed on Raspbian images for the Raspberry Pi.

Sonic Pi is also available for Windows, Macintosh, and Linux. So how would you get started with Sonic Pi on the computer you already have? I thought you would never ask.

Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi loves Sonic Pi so much that it comes pre-installed on the current Raspbian images for the Raspberry Pi. All you need to do is download the current Desktop version of Raspbian from the Raspberry Pi Foundation. You can also download the current version of NOOBS and use that to install Raspbian.

If you're not sure how to write the downloaded image to an SD/microSD card, their website has instructions you may follow.

Windows, Macintosh, or Linux

For the remaining three operating systems, proceed to the Sonic Pi website and download the installer for your operating system. They also have installation directions available.

For Windows, they also have a version that does not need to be installed, but may be simply copied to and executed from a removable USB drive. This would be a good option if you need to try Sonic Pi on a computer you do not own.