A bit overwhelmed with the amount of reading material

Hi, totally new to Nyquist and a nudge in the right direction would be appreciated. I’m pretty much swamped by the sheer volume of the Nyquist reference manual and I basically only have an idea on what I want the plugin to do.

The gist of what I want to write is something that performs whatever “Change Speed…” does randomly in a specified range of time intervals, at random frequencies (also in a specified range). In essence I want it to randomly change the frequency (without preserving its length) of randomly portioned time segments of a track.

What functions should I be looking at?

You’ve not picked an easy project for a first project.

One way to accomplish the task is with the function “snd-compose” http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~rbd/doc/nyquist/part8.html#index687
An example of using snd-compose can be found in “turntablewarp-ms”. Unfortunately this is a very old plug-in and not written very clearly, but may give some idea: http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Nyquist_Effect_Plug-ins#Turntable_Warping_MS

Another approach would be to use a variable delay. See snd-tapv: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~rbd/doc/nyquist/part8.html#index692
Example (try this on mono track)

(setf maxd 0.1)
(snd-tapv *track* (/ maxd 2.0) (mult (/ maxd 4.0) (sum 1 (lfo 1))) maxd )

The tricky part in both cases is working out what settings are required to produce the desired effect.