Every function in the Sardine Pattern Language can be applied conditionally. To do so, use the special cond keyword argument. This keyword is available for every function. There are many types of conditions you can apply on your pattern and you can even create your own types of conditions.

There is no True or False statement in SPL. Conditions are created by using binary values:

  • 1 represents truth: True.
  • 0 represents false: False.

The function above will turn the sequence into a palindrome but only on beats 1 and 3:

Pa * d('(pal F A C E ::cond (beat 0 2))')

Of course, the rabbit goes down and you go after it. Any condition can receive conditions, etc...

If condition

The if condition is a binary condition: it will execute something if true (1), something else if false (0). In the following example, the function will play a clap for every pair bar (2, 4, etc.) and another sample on every odd bar.

Pa * d('(if (every 2) cp sid')

The nif function can be used to reverse the logic (not if) just by typing one letter Saving 20 milliseconds is important because life is too short.

While condition

The while condition is an unary condition: it will execute something if true (1), nothing at all if false (0). In the following example, the function will sometimes play a clap:

Pa * d('(while rand*5>2 cp)')

In that specific case, as a demonstration, we craft our own condition by using the greater-than (>) operator. In the semblance of if and nif, there is also a nwhile condition to reverse the condition logic.

Special condition functions

Some functions from the library can be used to build more complex conditions in conjunction with if or while. Use them wisely:

Function name Arguments Description Result
beat ... numbers 1 or more beats numbers to match Boolean
phase low high Check if currently in-between range of phase (between 0.0 and 1.0) Boolean
every ... bar_numbers Similar to TidalCycles every function. Will be true every x bars. Boolean
proba probability Simple probability in % Boolean
modbar choice faces Simulation of a dice with n faces. Boolean
obar None Check if the current bar is odd Boolean
ebar None Check if the current bar is even Boolean
modbar modulo Modulo against current bar number Boolean

The beat function is a great to start with because it is also very simple. Let's play a clap on the start of the bar:

Pa * d('(if (beat 0) cp)')

Let's add another beat to the equation. It will now also play on the following beat of the bar:

Pa * d('(if (beat 0 1) cp)')

You get it. Other functions are working in a similar fashion. These functions are cool but you might have guessed already that you can craft your own functions yourself if you are clever enough :) If you think of some cool functions to add, I'll be more than happy to include them into Sardine :)