[Haskell-cafe] wondering on Haskell kickstarter project: VST plugin / mobile synthesizer

Evan Laforge qdunkan at gmail.com
Sun Dec 20 18:41:05 UTC 2015

It sounds hard to get enough interest for significant funding, because
it's a niche of a niche.  And, at least if I am anything to go by, the
niche is occupied by especially iconoclastic sorts.  For instance,
even though I'm very much interested in that kind of thing, and would
like to do something myself, I would only do it for the the purpose of
using something better than MIDI, because there are already tons of
MIDI using VSTs out there.  Doing something different would give an
opportunity to easily support things that are awkward in MIDI, and
offline incremental rendering would allow expensive synthesis and
unlimited polyphony.  Also it would be nice to have a programmable
sampler which is not as hilariously terrible as kontakt.

So I wouldn't really be personally interested, unless it had some
unique gimmick that made it more interesting than all the existing
VSTs, or if perhaps it were about establishing low level libraries
that would make it easier to do what I'm interested in.  In fact your
existing work with csound-sampler is already somewhat along those
lines since it makes all the csound stuff available with a nice
haskell frontend.

But even then... though I wish you luck and I do support the general
idea of more of this kind of thing happening, software development is
really expensive.  It seems to me pretty much the only way it can work
is for an interested individual to do on their own for free.  Either
that, or an established product with aiming at the most mainstream
possible market, e.g. ardour.  And even then it will likely struggle.

On Fri, Dec 18, 2015 at 3:22 AM, Anton Kholomiov
<anton.kholomiov at gmail.com> wrote:
> I'm wondering if it's good idea to make crowd-founding project
> for  a synthesizer written in Haskell. What's your opinion?
> Would you like to support such a project?
> I've made a prototype:
> https://github.com/anton-k/tiny-synth
> It's a desktop synthesizer, a collection of instruments. About 150
> instruments
> written in Haskell. It works with midi keyboard. You can try it out with
> USB-midi device.
> The UI is written with Python and audio engine is
> written with Haskell. I use my library csound-expression to
> generate the code for Csound. The Csound is an audio programming language
> it can be used as C library.  There are bindings to many languages and it
> can work on Android / iOS.
> Right now I've made a prototype for desktop. The big plan is to
> create VST/AU/Lv2 plugins and mobile versions for Android and iOS.
> [1] https://github.com/anton-k/tiny-synth
> [2] http://hackage.haskell.org/package/csound-expression
> [3] https://github.com/spell-music/csound-expression
> Cheers,
> Anton
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