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Rings are the arrays of Sonic Pi, and the best way to arrange notes

Ring Managers

These are tools for better accessing, adjusting, and using values from rings


If you’re making a ring by hand and want to include some rests, put in :r to not play anything for that note. In this example, ring :e3, :e3, :r, :g3, :r, :r, :r, :a3, it will play two notes, rest, play another note, then rest for three notes before the last.


.look is a slightly different version of .tick. While .tick increases the ring index, .look plays the current ring note without increasing the index.

Ticking an array twice makes it start moving through the ring. Using tick and then look makes it stay on the first note until it get’s ticked again. Be sure to test uses of look to make sure it’s staying where it needs to.

Ring Constructors

Ring constructors are shortcuts to make different types of rings with different values. They’re useful for quickly making different sounds or beats.


Requires a starting note, an ending note, and a spacing value. It returns a ring starting from the ending value, with each one incremented by the spacing value. Once it reaches the end it starts over.

live_loop :range do
  play range(50, 60, 1).tick  # 50, 51, 52, 53, 54...
  sleep 0.1


Bools lets you quickly create a ring of true/false boolean values, which can then be used to trigger sounds as needed.

live_loop :bools do
  # The returned pattern is * _ * _ *
  # Each asterisk is a true value. The below code only plays the note on "true," creating a rhythm
  if (bools 1,0,1,0,1).tick then
    play 60


Knit lets you combine several repeated values together in a larger sequence. It must be given an even number of arguments, and each pair of arguments is (in order):

  1. The note, or notes, to play
  2. The number of times that note is repeated
play (knit 60, 4, 65, 3, 67, 1)
# 60, 60, 60, 60, 65, 65, 65, 67, and repeats

play (knit :a1, 2, [:c1, :c2].choose, 1).tick
# Plays :a1 twice, one random selection from the array (:c1 or :c2), and repeats

play (knit chord(:b, :minor), 3, chord(:a, :major), 1).tick
# Plays three b minor chords, one a major chord, and repeats


Spread takes two values - the first is the number of active beats, and the second is the total beats they’re distributed across. The distribution is done automatically through Euclidean Distribution, which basically tries to space them as evenly as possible.

What’s literally returned is a ring of boolean values, with the true values distributed based on the params. These can be used in a few different ways.

# This sample plays on the true values and are silent otherwise
live_loop :spread_1 do
  if (spread 3, 8).tick then # * _ _ * _ _ * _
    play 60
  sleep 0.5

# The samples being played alternate based on the returned booleans
live_loop :spread_2 do
  (spread 5, 14).each do |b|  # * _ _ * _ _ * _ _ * _ _ * _
    sample b ?  :drum_tom_mid_hard : :drum_cymbal_closed, amp: 0.5
    sleep 0.25