[Haskell-cafe] Ideas

Andrew Coppin andrewcoppin at btinternet.com
Sat Aug 25 14:49:24 EDT 2007

Philippa Cowderoy wrote:
>>> I have some (very expensive) software called Reaktor. You draw boxes and
>>> lines, it does DSP algorithms. You build synthesizers and effects boxes
>>> with it.
>> That sounds exactly like PureData - you can also do graphics as well
>> with PureData, the demo I saw was very cool. Of course, PureData is
>> written in C with Haskell as an extension language.
> Reaktor is rather nicer to use than PureData though, in that it's designed 
> to work with mainstream sequencers (or any VST - I work with trackers 
> myself) and be used by non-hackers. Also, I'm not entirely sure it's fair 
> to say that it has Haskell as an extension language as such - but Claude's 
> slides'll give a better explanation than I can.

Reaktor has a few limitations though.

1. It's virtually impossible to debug the thing! (I.e., if your synth 
doesn't work... good luck working out why.)

2. It lacks looping capabilities. For example, you cannot build a 
variable-size convolution block - only a fixed-size one. (If you want to 
draw *a lot* of wires!) If you look through the standard library, you'll 
find no end of instruments that use a "hack" of using voice polyphony to 
crudely simulate looping... but it's not too hot.

Would be nice if I could build something in Haskell that overcomes 
these. OTOH, does Haskell have any way to talk to the audio hardware?

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