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Type: spread :: (a -> t -> Pattern b) -> [a] -> t -> Pattern b

The spread function allows you to take a pattern transformation which takes a parameter, such as `slow`, and provide several parameters which are switched between. In other words it 'spreads' a function across several values.

Taking a simple high hat loop as an example:

d1 $ sound "ho ho:2 ho:3 hc"

We can speed it up by different amounts, such as by 2x:

d1 $ fast 2 $ sound "ho ho:2 ho:3 hc"

Or by 3x:

d1 $ fast 3 $ sound "ho ho:2 ho:3 hc"

But if we use spread, we can make a pattern which alternates between the two speeds:

d1 $ spread fast[2,3] $ sound "ho ho:2 ho:3 hc"

Note that many functions now allow pattern input. This is equivalent to the above

d1 $ fast "<2 3>" $ sound "ho ho:2 ho:3 hc"

Note that if you pass ($) as the function to spread values over, you can put different functions as the list of values. For example:

d1 $ spread ($) [density 2, rev, slow 2, striate 3, (# speed "0.8")] $ sound "[bd*2 [~ bd]] [sn future]*2 cp jvbass*4"

Above, the pattern will have these transforms applied to it, one at a time, per cycle:

  • cycle 1: density 2 - pattern will increase in speed
  • cycle 2: rev - pattern will be reversed
  • cycle 3: slow 2 - pattern will decrease in speed
  • cycle 4: striate 3 - pattern will be granualized
  • cycle 5: (# speed "0.8") - pattern samples will be played back more slowly

After (# speed "0.8"), the transforms will repeat and start at density 2 again.


A convenient shorthand for spread ($)


fastspread works the same as spread, but the result is squashed into a single cycle. If you gave four values to spread, then the result would seem to speed up by a factor of four. Compare these two:

d1 $ spread ($) [gap 4, striate 4] $ sound "ho ho:2 ho:3 hc"

d1 $ fastspread ($) [gap 4, striate 4] $ sound "ho ho:2 ho:3 hc"


spreadChoose (alias spreadr) works the same as spread, but the values are selected at random, one cycle at a time. For example:

d1 $ spreadChoose ($) [gap 4, striate 4] $ sound "ho ho:2 ho:3 hc"