Nudging and time-alignment

Synchronising computers and audio softwares together is a rather difficult process. Some people have built careers trying to tackle this problem. You are very unlikely to get proper synchronisation out of the box. It’s not because Sardine is incapable of doing it, it’s just that the topic is very complex and that there are lot of different places where things can go wrong.

You already know about the Ableton Link clock that you can take advantage of to synchronise code or sound with your friends. It does 90% of the job. However, you might have to flick Sardine just a little to get it properly on time. Think of it as putting your finger on a vinyl disk while it is playing, just like a DJ.

  • the midi.nudge attribute can help you to add a little delay to your MIDI output: midi.nudge = 0.2.
  • the dirt.nudge attribute can help you to add a little delay to your SuperDirt output: dirt.nudge = 0.3.
    • it is actually recommanded to do so in order to give time to the system to react to instructions in time!

By preparing carefully before a session, you should be able to time-sync properly with your friends. The same also applies for recording! If you see ever see that Sardine is spitting out MIDI too soon or too late, you can even try an additional trick:

@swim(snap=0.5) # change this variable
def midifun():

The snap argument will start the function before or after the first beat of the measure. A snap of 0.5 means that we want to start half a beat after the beginning of the bar. It can be a negative value too.