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Using the Sonic Pi editor

Downloading and Installing the Sonic Pi Editor

Raspberry Pi

Sonic Pi is included in Raspbian, you can find it under the Programming section of the menu.

Windows, MacOS and Linux

Sonic Pi is available to download for MacOS, Windows and Linux.

Note that there’s a ‘Sonic Pi Portable’ option which will self-extract and run from a USB stick or a folder, this is useful if you can’t easily get software installed.

The Sonic Pi Editor

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The Sonic Pi Editor opens a set of buffers that you can easily move between to code music.

The editor has lots of friendly features for beginners including built-in help, syntax highlighting, command completion suggestions and helpful error messages.

The Log Viewer output window shows what sounds were played when which is useful for understanding complex programs.

Getting Help

The Sonic Pi Help section can be accessed by clicking the icon in the top-right of the editor.

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The help system build into Sonic Pi includes the following features:

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  • A complete tutorial covering all of the features of Sonic Pi
  • Examples of code that can be copied into a buffer and run. Editing these samples is a great way to get started
  • Lists of the synths, effects and samples that can be used
  • A language guide. You can also press ctrl+i over a keyword to learn the keyword syntax and options.

Sound settings

You can adjust the volume for Sonic Pi using the ‘Prefs’ menu.

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Saving and Loading

Sonic Pi programs are saved as .txt text files. They can be saved and loaded in the editor.

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The editor also automatically saves and loads the contents of the buffers.

Recording

Sonic Pi also supports recording of audio as .wav files. Click ‘Rec’ then ‘Run’ to start recording and then ‘Rec’ again to stop recording.

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Note that you can import .wav files into Scratch as sounds for sprites or the stage.

Further resources