[sdiy] audio microprocessors and C++

Jason Proctor jason at redfish.net
Thu Mar 6 03:01:31 CET 2008

speaking as a long-time software & synthesis geek and short-time 
hardware geek, i'd love to have a 2U MOTM-format module which has a 
set of analogue DC-coupled ins & out, a chunk of DSP in the middle, 
and a USB port or ethernet or something for uploading new programs.

(i know this sounds like the CVS, and that's an option, but we're 
talking concepts)

for many software people, low-level programming is the perfect 
antidote to years spent wondering why some class library or operating 
system feature doesn't work right, misbehaves once in a blue moon, 
takes forever, or whatever.

not to mention the space and cost required by a general purpose 
hardware solution. how many soundcards are DC coupled? only the RME 
ones, IIRC, and they're expensive. build a couple of these modules, 
which sit nicely with the other modules in your rig, and instantly 
the gaps in every modular manufacturer's product line are filled.

the only thing so far holding me back has been time, the 
PC-dependency of a lot of solutions (i don't have a serial port on my 
Mac, hence no CVS), and my snobbishness on choice of language. 
ideally i'd like to program it in C/C++, or even Java (Jazelle is 
probably fast enough to run a VM for control-type modules, dunno 
about audio processors), but if it comes to it, assembler is fine.

my 2c

>On 6 Mar 2008, at 00:01, Julian wrote:
>>I was wondering as to how feasible it would be to convert this into 
>>hardware?  What i should be reading, and what i should be asking 
>>him (i have little experinace with C++ and he has little experiance 
>>of electronics)
>Why would you want to? You can buy a motherboard, add a disk drive, 
>install Linux or even (the horror...) Windows on it, put it in a 
>small box or a rack, and have a wide-open real-time DSP system, 
>either compiled from the ground up or patched together using PD, 
>Max/MSP, Supercollider or (as a last resort) Csound.
>Or you can spend years kludging together some horrible homebrew 
>thing that does a couple of audio tricks not terribly well.
>Quad-core PCs are affordable now and will spectacularly outperform 
>almost any dedicated hardware solution. The only exception would be 
>a rack full of specialised DSP hardware - something like Kyma, but 
>more up to date.
>Synth-diy mailing list
>Synth-diy at dropmix.xs4all.nl

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