Coincidentally, I just began working on an audio library. See a parallel
thread that I'm about to start.

On Sat, 12 Nov 2005 at 18:39 +0900, michael.schwab / yale.edu wrote:
> What is Ruby's preparedness to do audio and midi processing? Are there
> existing classes, things in progress, programs, or interfaces with
> other technologies?  Does Ruby have special tricks that might play
> well into the analog-ish algorithms of audio processing? Or simple
> ways to map the many controls on a keyboard to different processes?
> What about the possibilities of interfacing these usb devices with web
> apps? Or building a top-notch mic preamp with software?

There's a midi lib that looks pretty good (I can't remember if I've used
it before, how is that for odd?). There's gstreamer in ruby/gnome,
there's NArray for roll-your-own, there's ladspar for using LADSPA
plugins. The excellent snd can be extended in either scheme or ruby,
however ruby came second and things are very scheme-like still. If
someone was interested in helping Bill I'm guessing he might be amenable
to making it more ruby-like. There's some special-purpose libs for
things like libvorbis, as well. Someone has a partial pd interface, too.

There's all that, but there's nothing coherent. Doing audio in ruby is
a bumpy road still. But there's lots of potential.

> There are many music products without doubt, but it's still in many
> ways a field that is far from actualization - I think it could be a
> lot better and there are still a ton of stupid obstacles in the way of
> making great music. All of you can attest that the use of electronic
> instruments and software in professional music usually seems far from
> ideal. Tools like Garageband that let you tweak the algorithms with
> faithful semi-analog charm are loads of fun - except that they're
> often underpowered in exactly the wrong ways and you can't really get
> past stage 1.6 of your songs.

There's lots of great stuff on linux, at varying degrees of polish.
Nothing really in ruby (yet), but worth checking out. Start here:
http://linux-sound.org and here: http://hans.fugal.net:2500/

> I think simplicity is called for, and there are definitely some great
> apps like Cacophony out there that feel great to use. At the same
> time, the biggest problem with the klunkier software is the learning
> curve of finding what all the buttons and menus do - maybe an app that
> talked to you or gave brief slideshows and videos about its features
> would be more 'intuitive' and less frustrating. Or perhaps open
> sourcing your riffs is the best way to get them worked on and improved
> - a p2p network for these music files could be a beast of an
> institution.
>
> It's stuff like this that makes me wish I was staring down a G6
> release rather than an Intel laptop. I think possibly the best
> strategy for making Ruby into a musical instrument will be to
> interface it with some existing programs that run on OSX - possibly
> including Apple's libraries and software instruments. A front end that
> let you custom-map your midi controller's knobs and buttons with a
> minimum of hassle, a usable interface for changing the shape of your
> sound waves as if with a pencil, a way to synchronize recording on
> multiple computers, a scale generator that could give you more than
> twelve tones in an octave.. there are relatively bland but there are
> definitely cool innovations that could come to the field. 


All great topics for the linux-audio-{users,developers} lists.  That is
the place for open source audio software discussion these days, even
cross-platform stuff written in ruby.

> What do you think - could Ruby be part of the answer?

It could. Go forth!

If you're interested in hearing some music made with open source
software (including one of my own pieces where ruby was involved as a
sort of glue), go to http://lam.fugal.net

-- 
Hans Fugal
Fugal Computing