The Player is the most basic way to create patterns - it uses a shorthand syntax, and uses patterns and arguments to make musical output.

Pa * d('bd cp', p=0.5)
  • Pa is a player - it acts on a pattern.
  • d() is the sender and provides the pattern. It takes any number of arguments.
  • * is the operator that assigns the pattern to the player.
    • * is equivalent to >>.
  • p=0.5 is an argument where p is shorthand for period.

There are 48 players by default:

# List of all players
all_players = [Pa, Pb, Pc ...Pz, PA, PB, PC, ... PZ]

Pattern arguments control the rhythm, pitch and timbre of the pattern. A Sardine pattern is a sandwich of values. Here is a player with a more detailed pattern:

Pa * d('bd cp', speed='1 2', shape=0.5, room=0.5, dry=0.25, size=0.1, p='0.5!4  0.25!2')
# This is easier to read
Pa * d('bd cp',
        speed='1 2',
        period='0.5!4 0.25!2'
  • p or period: the rhythm of each step in beats. It can be a number (single value) or string (pattern).
    • Period is always relative to the tempo.
    • Here the period is a string, which makes this a pattern. 0.5 and 0.25 divide the beat, and 0.5!4 means to repeat that step division 4 times.
    • The note values bd cp are applied to the step divisions of the period.
  • shape, room, etc.: these are parameters of the audio sampler, to shape the sound.

There are two types of arguments you can give to a pattern:

  • pattern-relative: these arguments determine how the pattern unfolds in time. These include: period, divisor, rate.
  • instrument-relative: these arguments control parameters specific to SuperDirt / MIDI / OSC. For the SuperDirt sampler parameters, refer to the Audio Engine Reference in the sidebar.

Numbers vs Strings: Numbers are just numbers and can be integers or floats (decimals). Strings are interpreted as patterns that are evaluated based on the syntax used. They move in time with each step. In the example above the pattern "0.5!4, 0.25!2" as interpreted becomes: [0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.25 0.25].


  • Players (Pa) are used together with an operator (>>) and pattern sender.
  • Patterns are a complete description of an algorithmic musical expression: pitch, timbre, rhythm, etc.
  • Patterns are a collection of values or other patterns and can take an indefinite amount of arguments.
  • Patterns use a special syntax as 'strings'.