Console quick startΒΆ

Note: the pippi console currently depends on ALSA, and is therefore linux-only. The core dsp system is however fully cross platform.

Pippi only supports python 2.7.x at the moment, so verify that’s what you’re using

$ python –version

The pippi console runs in the current directory, and uses any correctly formatted instrument scripts it finds as voices.

First, create a very simple instrument script:


from pippi import dsp

def play(ctl):
    # Default args to tone produce a 1 second long sinewave at 440hz
    out = dsp.tone()

    # Reduce the volume of the beep by 90%
    out = dsp.amp(out, 0.1)

    # Pad the output with 0.5 seconds of silence
    out = dsp.pad(out, '', dsp.stf(0.5))

    return out

Start pippi:

$ pippi

Run the example generator script:

^_- play beep

The ``^_- `` is just the cheeky prompt for the pippi console.

The command play can be shorted to p - it must be followed by the filename of an instrument script in the same directory.

Note: everything below is outdated - the console is currently being rewritten!

While the instrument plays, open the file ‘’ in the ‘orc’ directory with your favorite text editor and find the line that reads freq = tune.ntf('a', octave=2).

Try changing 'a' to 'e' or 'f#'. Or maybe try changing octave=2 to octave=4 or octave=10. Or find sine2pi and try changing it to tri, impulse, vary or hann.

Back in the pippi console, type i to get a list of the currently playing voices:

^_- i
01 gen: EX dev: default bpm:120.0

Change the global bpm:

^_- bpm 110

Stop the currently running voice - we give the s command a param 1 because that’s the id of the voice we’d like to stop.:

^_- s 1

Start a group of 10 voices with the example generator:

^_- group 10 -- ex re

Pippi just sends each voice stream to alsa for summing, so we get some interesting distortion effects because every sound is playing very loudly.

Have each voice choose a random volume on each iteration. Find the appropriate line and change it to read:

volume = P(voice_id, 'volume', default=dsp.rand(0, 20)) / 100.0

Above we’re trying to read a parameter passed in at the pippi console to set the volume. Since we didn’t give the generator any volume param when we started our voices, it uses the default value passed as the third argument to P which in this case is a random number between 0 and 100, updated on each iteration.

Try setting the 5th voice’s volume to 50. We can use the u or update command to change a running voice’s parameters as it plays.:

^_- u 5 v:50

Now lets make the rhythm a bit more interesting. Find the line where a value is assigned to beat and update it to read:

beat = dsp.bpm2frames(bpm) / dsp.randint(1, 4)

Vary the chosen octave:

freq = tune.ntf('a', octave=dsp.randint(1, 5))

Randomly choose from a given set of pitches:

freq = tune.ntf(dsp.randchoose(['a', 'c#', 'f#'], octave=dsp.randint(1, 5)))

Apply an amplitute envelope to the beep. After line 34 (where we set out to our beep sound) and before line 37 (where out is passed into dsp.pad and silence is appended to the end) try adding:

out = dsp.env(out, 'sine')

Each voice begins playing as soon as rendering is finished, and the last iteration has also finished playing. To force voice playback to quantize to the master bpm, we can give any voice the qu command.

To update every voice spawned from the example generator, adding the qu command, type:

^_- uu ex qu

To stop every voice currently playing (but allow each iteration to play though before stopping):

^_- ss

Check out the documentation for pippi for more code examples you can use in generator scripts. I also have a small but growing collection of instruments and recipes for pippi in my repo.