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Thread: GNU Gets In The Music Production Business

  1. #1
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    Default GNU Gets In The Music Production Business

    Phoronix: GNU Gets In The Music Production Business

    The first official release of Cursynth was announced today, a GNU attempt at making a musical synthesizer...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTYzNDQ

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    Please, there is no need to throw your coke cans at them. It doesn't hurt you when it is being developed.

    Note that a lot of GNU projects have very little manpower -- there are hundreds of them.


    (it looks a bit like an April Fools but maybe there's something serious behind that)
    Last edited by Calinou; 03-18-2014 at 01:27 PM.

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    I have successfully compiled and ran Cursynth, but it does not expose audio outputs and a MIDI input as a JACK client and I'm unsure about how to navigate the synth using a computer keyboard. Also, you need to set the terminal large enough to accommodate the curses-based user interface before you launch cursynth and to get out of it, I'd have to close a terminal, which I couldn't figure out how to get back to the command prompt.

    However, the curses-based Cursynth is pretty interesting, if not for the negatives outlined above.

    (Oh, I did not check the README file, mostly because I'm used to figure out how to operate a synth program such as ZynAddSubFX and a couple of other mouse-based programs. It would be nice to provide a hint at the bottom of the screen for telling me what to do in a Cursynth.)
    Last edited by GraysonPeddie; 03-18-2014 at 01:46 PM.

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    Eh... I'd like to say this sounds cool but honestly, just seems kind of pointless.

    Is there really a need for a terminal-based softsynth?

    There are already many very good quality open source softsynths available. ZynAddSubFX is one, it already has tons more features, a GUI... why don't these people rather contribute on some existing open source audio project, many of which could use more developers?

    Even the specs seem kind of run-of-the-mill, nothing really special or innovative. Two oscs with fixed waveforms? MEH...

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    Quote Originally Posted by dee. View Post
    Eh... I'd like to say this sounds cool but honestly, just seems kind of pointless.

    Is there really a need for a terminal-based softsynth?

    There are already many very good quality open source softsynths available. ZynAddSubFX is one, it already has tons more features, a GUI... why don't these people rather contribute on some existing open source audio project, many of which could use more developers?

    Even the specs seem kind of run-of-the-mill, nothing really special or innovative. Two oscs with fixed waveforms? MEH...
    Well, it doesn't require X, so it's lighter than anything else. You can probably run this on calculators without problems.

    I always like ncurses frontends. They probably shouldn't be the only frontends, but the fact that they exist show the flexibility of the library, and allow for more flexibility as well (say, you have a server box that has a MIDI port, and it's the only box around that has one; it would be a shame to be required to install X just to make use of it).

    For similar reasons I have made CLArcomage, the command-line frontend to libarcomage, the Arcomage (card game) library I wrote. It's probably not used much, but it's cool and of educational value to have it available. The whole thing only takes a bit over 100 lines of code, so why not? It's also great for debugging the library (when you're not sure if the bug is in the library or the frontend).

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    Quality. Sure to impress people using VST instruments with polished and intuitive GUIs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreatEmerald View Post
    I always like ncurses frontends. They probably shouldn't be the only frontends, but the fact that they exist show the flexibility of the library, and allow for more flexibility as well (say, you have a server box that has a MIDI port, and it's the only box around that has one; it would be a shame to be required to install X just to make use of it).
    No need to install the X server, that's what the networking support is for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreatEmerald View Post
    Well, it doesn't require X, so it's lighter than anything else. You can probably run this on calculators without problems.
    Yes, if you can find a calculator that supports PCM signal output of any kind. And has ALSA/OSS drivers written for it.

    I always like ncurses frontends. They probably shouldn't be the only frontends, but the fact that they exist show the flexibility of the library, and allow for more flexibility as well (say, you have a server box that has a MIDI port, and it's the only box around that has one; it would be a shame to be required to install X just to make use of it).

    For similar reasons I have made CLArcomage, the command-line frontend to libarcomage, the Arcomage (card game) library I wrote. It's probably not used much, but it's cool and of educational value to have it available. The whole thing only takes a bit over 100 lines of code, so why not? It's also great for debugging the library (when you're not sure if the bug is in the library or the frontend).
    Well sure it makes sense for things like that, but a softsynth? Why would you ever use a X-less server as your synthesizer? I guess I'm just not seeing the usecase...

    I mean don't get me wrong, it seems like something the authors made just for fun, and if so, more power to them, who am I to criticize anyone's hobby. Just doesn't seem very useful to me.

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    Well if you want to turn an old laptop into a live synth, it can't get any better than that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by omer666 View Post
    Well if you want to turn an old laptop into a live synth, it can't get any better than that.
    Sure it can. Put some distro with a rt kernel and a lightweight desktop on it and there are numerous options that run well in realtime even on modest hardware. The GUI part isn't what's taking up most CPU resources, it's the DSP/synth code... and that won't change, even if your synth runs in terminal with an ASCII interface.

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