How Floodtide works

Here is some information about how Floodtide works.

Tide sensor

At the start of the Floodtide process is a sensor in the water which reads the speed of flow. We use the Nortek Vectrino - an acoustic doppler velocimeter. This is managed by custom software to read the Vectrino and upload data about the speed of flow to our server every 5 seconds.

Floodtide server

Tide data from the server is stored on our server so that people performing Floodtide can access it. You can see the data by opening a Floodtide Notation window or looking at the graph.

How the notation is generated


Tempo follows the rate of tidal flow - as the current gets faster so does the music!


Rhythm is generated by converting the live tide rate into a binary number. Where there is a 1 in the binary number a note is generated at that beat of the bar.


There are different pitch schemes. In all cases a set of pitches is generated and the 'rhythm' algorithm chooses which pitches are presented in the music.

Tide graph Info for performers How Floodtide works Big tide display Archive
Floodtide Version 2.0 March 2015