planet.linuxaudio.org

January 27, 2023

Linux – CDM Create Digital Music

Surge XT hybrid synth is now a free set of modules for VCV Rack

Free meets free: in a labor-of-love community project, soft synth Surge XT is now available as an exquisitely designed set of modules for VCV Rack. It combines two of the best open-source projects for software synthesis lovers, bringing new ways of patching to both. And that means all this power is on macOS, Windows, and Linux, all three.

The post Surge XT hybrid synth is now a free set of modules for VCV Rack appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

by Peter Kirn at January 27, 2023 04:34 PM

January 26, 2023

rncbc.org

Qtractor 0.9.31 - A Winter'23 Release


Hello again,

Qtractor 0.9.31 (winter'23) is out!

Change-log:

  • Fixed a off-by-one rounding error on MIDI clip offset and lengths that were leaving some clips unlinked on load.
  • LXVST_PATH environment variable now accrues to VST_PATH for Linux-native VST2 plug-ins search path and not taking over in precedence anymore.
  • Fixed an old mistake on custom aliased CLAP and VST3 plugin paths.

Description:

Qtractor is an audio/MIDI multi-track sequencer application written in C++ with the Qt framework. Target platform is Linux, where the Jack Audio Connection Kit (JACK) for audio and the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (ALSA) for MIDI are the main infrastructures to evolve as a fairly-featured Linux desktop audio workstation GUI, specially dedicated to the personal home-studio.

Website:

https://qtractor.org

Project page:

https://sourceforge.net/projects/qtractor

Downloads:

https://sourceforge.net/projects/qtractor/files

Git repos:

https://git.code.sf.net/p/qtractor/code
https://github.com/rncbc/qtractor.git
https://gitlab.com/rncbc/qtractor.git
https://codeberg.org/rncbc/qtractor.git

Wiki (severely outdated; help wanted!):

https://sourceforge.net/p/qtractor/wiki/

License:

Qtractor is free, open-source Linux Audio software, distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2 or later.

Cheers && Keep the fun!

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by rncbc at January 26, 2023 06:00 PM

January 25, 2023

blog4

Notstandskomitee remixes TET

If you happen to like EBM you might enjoy the remix Notstandskomitee did a while ago for the Hamburg act TET Travailleur En Trance, which they now released along their single Cybertronic Man, its the 3. track, the Augmented Body Mix:
https://tet-ebm.bandcamp.com/album/cybertronic-man-digital-12

by herrsteiner (noreply@blogger.com) at January 25, 2023 08:44 PM

rncbc.org

Vee One Suite 0.9.29 - A Winter'23 Release


Hello there,

The Vee One Suite of old-school software instruments,

  • synthv1 as a polyphonic subtractive synthesizer;
  • samplv1 a polyphonic sampler synthesizer;
  • drumkv1 as yet another drum-kit sampler;
  • padthv1 a polyphonic additive synthesizer.

Are here released for the (northern) Winter'23 season...

All still delivered in dual form:

  • a pure stand-alone JACK client with JACK-session, NSM (Non Session Management) and both JACK MIDI and ALSA MIDI input support;
  • a LV2 instrument plug-in.

A brief change-log applies for all in common:

  • Bumping copyright headers to the brand new year.

The Vee One Suite are free, open-source Linux Audio software, distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2 or later.

 

synthv1 - an old-school polyphonic synthesizer

synthv1 0.9.29 (winter'23) is out!

synthv1 is an old-school all-digital 4-oscillator subtractive polyphonic synthesizer with stereo fx.

LV2 URI: http://synthv1.sourceforge.net/lv2

website:
https://synthv1.sourceforge.io
http://synthv1.sourceforge.net

project page:
https://sourceforge.net/projects/synthv1

downloads:
https://sourceforge.net/projects/synthv1/files

git repos:
https://git.code.sf.net/p/synthv1/code
https://github.com/rncbc/synthv1.git
https://gitlab.com/rncbc/synthv1.git
https://codeberg.org/rncbc/synthv1.git

 

samplv1 - an old-school polyphonic sampler

samplv1 0.9.29 (winter'23) is out!

samplv1 is an old-school polyphonic sampler synthesizer with stereo fx.

LV2 URI: http://samplv1.sourceforge.net/lv2

website:
https://samplv1.sourceforge.io
http://samplv1.sourceforge.net

project page:
https://sourceforge.net/projects/samplv1

downloads:
https://sourceforge.net/projects/samplv1/files

git repos:
https://git.code.sf.net/p/samplv1/code
https://github.com/rncbc/samplv1.git
https://gitlab.com/rncbc/samplv1.git
https://codeberg.org/rncbc/samplv1.git

 

drumkv1 - an old-school drum-kit sampler

drumkv1 0.9.29 (winter'23) is out!

drumkv1 is an old-school drum-kit sampler synthesizer with stereo fx.

LV2 URI: http://drumkv1.sourceforge.net/lv2

website:
https://drumkv1.sourceforge.io
http://drumkv1.sourceforge.net

project page:
https://sourceforge.net/projects/drumkv1

downloads:
https://sourceforge.net/projects/drumkv1/files

git repos:
https://git.code.sf.net/p/drumkv1/code
https://github.com/rncbc/drumkv1.git
https://gitlab.com/rncbc/drumkv1.git
https://codeberg.org/rncbc/drumkv1.git

 

padthv1 - an old-school polyphonic additive synthesizer

padthv1 0.9.29 (winter'23) is out!

padthv1 is an old-school polyphonic additive synthesizer with stereo fx

padthv1 is based on the PADsynth algorithm by Paul Nasca, as a special variant of additive synthesis.

LV2 URI: http://padthv1.sourceforge.net/lv2

website:
https://padthv1.sourceforge.io
http://padthv1.sourceforge.net

project page:
https://sourceforge.net/projects/padthv1

downloads:
https://sourceforge.net/projects/padthv1/files

git repos:
https://git.code.sf.net/p/padthv1/code
https://github.com/rncbc/padthv1.git
https://gitlab.com/rncbc/padthv1.git
https://codeberg.org/rncbc/padthv1.git

 

Cheers && Have (lot's of) fun!

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by rncbc at January 25, 2023 06:00 PM

January 23, 2023

GStreamer News

GStreamer 1.22.0 new major stable release

The GStreamer team is excited to announce a new major feature release of your favourite cross-platform multimedia framework!

As always, this release is again packed with new features, bug fixes and many other improvements.

The 1.22 release series adds new features on top of the previous 1.20 series and is part of the API and ABI-stable 1.x release series of the GStreamer multimedia framework.

Highlights:

  • AV1 video codec support improvements
  • New HLS, DASH and Microsoft Smooth Streaming adaptive streaming clients
  • Qt6 support for rendering video inside a QML scene
  • Minimal builds optimised for binary size, including only the individual elements needed
  • Playbin3, Decodebin3, UriDecodebin3, Parsebin enhancements and stabilisation
  • WebRTC simulcast support and support for Google Congestion Control
  • WebRTC-based media server ingestion/egress (WHIP/WHEP) support
  • New easy to use batteries-included WebRTC sender plugin
  • Easy RTP sender timestamp reconstruction for RTP and RTSP
  • ONVIF timed metadata support
  • New fragmented MP4 muxer and non-fragmented MP4 muxer
  • New plugins for Amazon AWS storage and audio transcription services
  • New gtk4paintablesink and gtkwaylandsink renderers
  • New videocolorscale element that can convert and scale in one go for better performance
  • High bit-depth video improvements
  • Touchscreen event support in navigation API
  • Rust plugins now shipped in macOS and Windows/MSVC binary packages
  • H.264/H.265 timestamp correction elements for PTS/DTS reconstruction before muxers
  • Improved design for DMA buffer sharing and modifier handling for hardware-accelerated video decoders/encoders/filters and capturing/rendering on Linux
  • Video4Linux2 hardware accelerated decoder improvements
  • CUDA integration and Direct3D11 integration and plugin improvements
  • New H.264 / AVC, H.265 / HEVC and AV1 hardware-accelerated video encoders for AMD GPUs using the Advanced Media Framework (AMF) SDK
  • applemedia: H.265 / HEVC video encoding + decoding support
  • androidmedia: H.265 / HEVC video encoding support
  • New "force-live" property for audiomixer, compositor, glvideomixer, d3d11compositor etc.
  • Lots of new plugins, features, performance improvements and bug fixes

For more details check out the GStreamer 1.22 release notes.

Binaries for Android, iOS, macOS and Windows will be provided in due course.

You can download release tarballs directly here: gstreamer, gst-plugins-base, gst-plugins-good, gst-plugins-ugly, gst-plugins-bad, gst-libav, gst-rtsp-server, gst-python, gst-editing-services, gst-devtools, gstreamer-vaapi, gstreamer-sharp, gst-omx, or gstreamer-docs.

January 23, 2023 10:00 PM

Linux – CDM Create Digital Music

Tuning into Arabic music: electronic-vocal duo Rust and Hany Manja (with Bitwig Studio download)

Making instruments work in tune with musicians and singers means making them work with more than 12-tone equal temperament alone. So it's great to see this profile of Hany Manja and his duo Rust with Petra Hawi. Plus Bitwig Studio users can get your hands (and ears) into the action - with a Micropitch download.

The post Tuning into Arabic music: electronic-vocal duo Rust and Hany Manja (with Bitwig Studio download) appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

by Peter Kirn at January 23, 2023 09:48 PM

digital audio hacks – Hackaday

Reading Data From a CD, With a Microscope

There was a time when electronic engineering students studied the audio CD, for all its real-world examples of error correction and control systems. There’s something to be found in the system still for young and old though, and thus we were intrigued when we saw [Peter Monta] reading the data from a CD using a microscope.

CDs encode data as so-called pits and lands in a spiral track across a metalised surface, with a transition from pit to land signifying a logic 1 and a missing transition signifying a 0. Reading a section of the raw data is achieved in the first part of his write-up, but in the next installment he goes further into retrieving more data through stitching together microscope pictures and writing some code to retrieve data frames. He’s not quite at the audio playback stage, but he’s planning in the future to spiral-track a full image to rip an entire disc.

There are plenty of CD drives around to read audio the conventional way, but the techniques here still find a use where less ubiquitous media has to be read. In the last decade for example there was an effort to read the BBC Domesday Project from the 1980s, as it became clear that few of the original readers survived in working order.

by Jenny List at January 23, 2023 06:00 AM

Help make Ardour 7.3 better: a simple thing for everyone

The source code of Ardour now contains support for searching both global and per-session preferences/properties. However, for this to be truly useful, we need to add “metadata” for each option: essentially a list of keywords for every option (which will also be translated/translatable).

It’s not really very obvious how to organize the effort to collect these keywords together with the relevant option, but to some extent that’s a brute force effort that can be done after we collect a bunch of them.

So, your task, oh lovely Ardouristas, is to add to this thread, as a list of lines that look something this:

“Display selection clock” : visible clock selection hide show display

i.e. some string corresponding (roughly) to what is visible in the GUI, followed by a list of (english) space separated keywords that you associate with that preference item.

The more metadata we get, the more searchable preferences will become, and the easier it will be for everyone to find relevant preferences. Thanks in advance for your help!

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by Paul Davis at January 23, 2023 01:04 AM

January 22, 2023

Home on Libre Arts

Weekly recap — 22 January 2022

There have been many interesting updates in the last 3 weeks, I’ve picked the ones I can realistically handle. Highlights: OBS Studio 29, Pinta 2.1, HDRView 1.7.1, Synfig 1.4.4, Ossia Score 3.1.6, and more.

Creative Freedom Summit

Videos from Creative Freedom Summit 2023 are now available on PeerTube.

It was a three days long online conference on January 17-19, mostly centered around visual design, 3D, and a tiny bit of video editing, featuring members of Fedora Design team, Inkscape contributors, David Revoy, Pat David, and others. A very impressive lineup!

There will be a retrospective of the event at FOSDEM this year.

GIMP

Since my last weekly recap shortly before the new year, the team added support for PSD clipping paths and made several more features multi-item aware, like locking, hiding, and color-tagging layers, channels, and paths.

There are at least 15 patches from CmykStudent in the Merge Requests queue: MyPaint Brushes v2 support, further TIFF/PSD support improvements, various color picker improvements. But also a few patches from Lloyd Konneker, the current maintainer of the Resynthesizer plugin.

I don’t think GIMP is going to ship the plugin, but it looks like Resynthesizer will be 100% ready for GIMP 3.0 release.

Pinta 2.1

Cameron White released an update of the simple image editor. Highlights of the new version:

  • WebP support (requires webp-pixbuf-loader)
  • Full support for dark mode
  • Snappier canvas rendering
  • Transparency mode in the Gradient tool: change the alpha channel rather than paint a color transition
  • Taking screenshots under Wayland works now
  • Virtual file systems support (Google Drive et al.)

Cameron is currently busy porting the program to GTK4. Seems like we are going to see the results of that later this year.

HDRView 1.5.2→1.7.x

I need to be really careful with this one, because this is one of those cases where people easily get overexcited and develop unrealistic expectations. HDRView is a research-oriented image viewer developed by Wojciech Jarosz for himself and his students at Dartmouth College, with OpenColorIO-based color management and support for Apple XR (EDR) and 10-bit displays.

The program, however, can create new images and edit existing ones (Brush, Erase, Clone, Measure, Rectangular Selection), but no layers or masks.

There have been multiple releases in the last month or so, so to recap:

  • OpenEXR 3 support
  • A few new filters
  • Clarberg’s equal area spherical mapping
  • Main menu and scrollbars now available (UI is built with NanoGUI)
  • Keyboard shortcuts system revamped, several new shortcuts added

The next version with arrive with simplistic support for associated alpha and a gradient fill tool. Both features are already in the main development branch. I’ve built it and can confirm that the candles are burning :)

I can totally see the temptation: HDRView has strong foundations for becoming a serious image editor, but this is simply not where the developer needs it to go. So please don’t give Wojciech a hard time.

Shortcut Composer 1.1

This is a Krita plugin by Wojciech Trybus, that adds a custom circular (pie) menu with most useful commands.

The new version adds basic editing of the menu: entries can be dragged around, values can be added and deleted. It is now also possible to create a shortcut that will add a new layer with a particular blending mode.

Synfig 1.4.4

This is purely a bugfix release that you can get here. I don’t cover Synfig very often on Libre Arts, But I finally got some info on project’s plans for this year and added it to the annual recap/preview.

OBS Studio 29

The new version focuses on encoding improvements and comes with all flavors of AV1 support: AMD AV1 Encoder for the RX7000, Intel AV1 Encoder for Arc GPUs on Windows, Intel HEVC Encoder on Windows, native HEVC and ProRes encoders on macOS. It also arrived with an upward compressor filter and a 3-band equalizer filter. Here is a release preview from November:

Ossia Score 3.1.6

There have been a few updates of the Ossia Score interactive sequencer lately. This is a little outside my area of expertise, so I’m not a very good judge of the project. But I know there are several intermedia artists reading Libre Arts, so this is clearly for you.

The latest release delivers hardware-accelerated video decoding, an audio streaming decoder (rather than loading everything to memory), and first step towards a fully functional WebAssembly build. I also can’t help myself noticing that the previous release featured NDI 5 support.

Get the latest release here.

Ardour

There have been a few much welcome changes in Ardour’s main development branch in the past 3 weeks. You can now use your MIDI keyboard to tap tempo by pressing keys, and support for VST3 plugins with multiple I/O busses is now available. Both patches were added by Robin Gareus.

Paul continues hacking on the velocity editing lane (which the community already christened ‘poppilols’ as a ‘lollipops’ anagram).

PlugData 0.6.3/0.6.4

This project isn’t yet very well know, although I expect it to gain a lot more following. PlugData is effectively PureData packaged into a modern UI built with JUCE and available as a standalone application, as well as VST3, LV2, and AU plugins.

The new version supports autopatching, has connection visualization improvements and support for Heavy compiler which makes it possible to turn PureData patches into audio plugins.

Artworks

The post here won’t do the original work justice, so check out this ultra wide painting by Fredrik Persson, made with GIMP:

A Silver of SPring

Speedpainting by Sylvia Ritter (Krita):

Speedpainting 20012023

First Light by Philipp Urlich (Krita)

First Light

Low-Poly Forest Morning by Alx3DThndr (Blender)

Low-Poly Forest Morning

Libre Arts is a reader-supported publication. If you appreciate the work I do, donations are once again possible. You can subscribe on Patreon or make a one-time donation (see here for more info).

Support Libre Arts at Patreon

January 22, 2023 07:59 PM

January 21, 2023

blog4

Elektronengehirn concert Helsinki 24. March

Next Elektronengehirn concert will be 24. March 2023 at Oksasenkatu 11, Helsinki, Finland, performing the 'piece for modular synthesizer and real estate data', part of the project The Big Crash.

http://www.thebigcrash.net

by herrsteiner (noreply@blogger.com) at January 21, 2023 05:32 PM

January 17, 2023

VST 3 multi-bus support

Starting with tomorrow’s nightly build, Ardour 7.2-123 supports VST3 plugins with multiple I/O busses. This allows for instrument plugins to have dedicated additional outputs.
Notably drum software which have direct outs (e.g. ezdummer, AD2), and also VST3 synths (e.g. surge) can now be used to their full potential.

Since the plugin meta-data is cached, this change requires VST3 plugins to be re-scanned, which can be initiated in Ardour Menu > Window > Plugin Manager.

This is a significant change, and while it holds up well in preliminary testing, there might be plugins that have issues. Please test, and if you encounter issues with a specific VST3 plugin it would be great if you could file a bug report at tracker.ardour.org. So that by the time we release Ardour 7.3 most kinks are worked out.

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by Robin Gareus at January 17, 2023 09:28 PM

January 16, 2023

KXStudio News

Carla 2.5.3 released

Hello everyone, it is release day again, sorta..
This time we have a single update for Carla.

Carla is an audio plugin host, with support for many audio drivers and plugin formats.
It has some nice features like automation of parameters via MIDI CC (and send output back as MIDI too) and full OSC control.

Same as last time for v2.5.2, this update backports fixes from the main development branch into the stable 2.5 series.
The more substantial stuff will come for 2.6.0, still a few months away.

Changelog

  • Always set time frame information for JUCE hosted plugins
  • Fix canvaspreview out-of-bounds panning for patchbay
  • Fix receiving LV2 atoms bigger than 32kB
  • Fix peak metering reading values out of bounds
  • Fix missing </li> code in about information string
  • Support the more verbose LV2 MIDI CC definitions
  • Use SDL driver by default on Haiku

Downloads

To download Carla binaries or source code, jump on over to the KXStudio downloads section.
If you're using the KXStudio repositories, you can simply install "carla".
Bug reports and feature requests are welcome! Jump on over to the Carla's Github project page for those.

by falkTX at January 16, 2023 04:06 PM

January 15, 2023

Home on Libre Arts

2023 in preview

When I started interviewing FOSS developers some 18 years ago, 7 out the 19 projects covered in this recap did not even exist, 2 were still distributed as proprietary software only, and most of the other projects were so far from their proprietary counterparts that it took a really boneheaded person to stick around in the hope to watch them flourish.

It is 2023 now. The struggle to keep feature and UX parity with proprietary counterparts is far from over for free/libre software projects. But the boneheaded people among us also have something to celebrate. We are witnessing that moment in time when, despite its many shortcomings, free software is good enough to help us do our job. Not in every use case, but increasingly often and pretty darn efficiently.

This is the moment where you can do an architectural design for a client with BlenderBIM, use OBS to screencast the process, then use Kdenlive to cut raw footage of that house being actually built, compose the background music with MuseScore, record a voiceover with Audacity, mix and master the entire soundtrack with Ardour, then publish the video to YouTube. And, for the most part, this will be business as usual.

Without further ado, I’m giving you the annual recap/preview of FOSS projects across the ecosystem: image editing, painting, photography, 3D, special effects, CAD, animation, video, and audio.

GIMP

2022 was a really busy year for the project: late binding for CMYK, text outlines, Align/Distribute revamp, floating selections gone, linked layers replaced with layer sets, all the file format support updates… Phew!

There is very little left to do before version 3.0 can be released. The last major change is rewriting the menus code because the old way was obsoleted in GTK3. The team also started saying no to major new features. Most recently, they moved vector layers from 3.0 to 3.0.2. That would be one hell of a minor update!

Once version 3.0 is tagged and released, the team is likely to spend the first few weeks or months fixing bugs then move on to new stuff.

What should we expect in 3.2? Definitely some kind of non-destructive editing.

Possible:

  • AnySpace, which is the codename for a project resulting in editing possible in any color space based on any color model.
  • Vector layers and link layers. Both features have an unfinished implementation (in dedicated branches) and look like an obvious fit for the version 3.2.
  • GTK4 port, but really, only if they want to shoot themselves in the foot.

Both AnySpace and vector layers largely depend on CmykStudent staying active in the project. Link layers are Jehan’s baby, he’s known to scrap some of his experiments, but this one is clearly not of of them.

A full GTK4 port would be a major change because it would likely involve rewriting parts of GIMP with a scene graph and Vulkan and updating the code related to input devices which sounds like a major undertaking.

I’d be a fool to give you any estimations for v3.2 time of arrival. It does look like a multi-year effort though. If the team manages to keep the focus narrow enough (which hasn’t been the case so far), they can probably pull it off in two-ish years. Otherwise it will be another 4-5 years with development releases and backports into the stable branch.

Krita

In 2022, developers released version 5.1. Here are some of the release highlights:

  • More changes can be done to multiple selected layers
  • JPEG-XL is now supported, and support for WebP, Photoshop layered TIFF and Photoshop project files has been improved
  • Painting performance is now better, especially on Android
  • The fill tools now support continuous fill

With Krita 5.1 and its bugfix updates out of the way, developers are now actively working on the next feature release, 5.2, currently expected later this year. There is no roadmap per se, at least, for now. But there are some interesting changes proposed for inclusion. Here are some of them:

  • Modernized and optimized PNG file format support. Krita will get things like progress reporting for reading and writing PNG files.
  • Various EXR and TIFF exporting improvements
  • Faster time-to-first-render with OpenGL
  • Finalized rewrite of text layout code with Raqm, FreeType and Harfbuzz, which is a contemporary text layout stack with a very good support for OpenType features
  • Animation audio rewrite and use of FFmpeg for importing and exporting of video files, as well as fractional frame rates support

And then there’s under-the-hood work like the transition to using the Lager library to simplify separating UI from the backend and creating more sophisticated brush engines.

There is also ongoing work on improving the UI and functionality of various features like the drawing assistants, palettes, and the welcome screen. On a slightly more technical side, Krita is moving to Qt 5.15 and, later on, Qt6. They are also planning a switch to QML.

darktable

During the pandemic, the team had to deal with an influx of contributions and switched to two releases a year. So two major new versions were released in 2022: 4.0 and 4.2. As usual, the latest release was around winter holidays, so it’s too early to make predictions about features going (or not going) into the next one.

There’s nothing fancy going on in the 4.4 pipeline right now (again, too early). But while looking at pull requests, I stumbled upon something I can’t quite wrap my head around. Apparently, two very common operations, rotating and cropping, still cause a lot of grief for darktable users and require further tweaking.

Even more puzzling is a suggestion to map a double ‘r’ key press to activating rotation. Darktable is very configurable indeed, and being able to set up arbitrary shortcuts and even use something like Loupedeck is great. But I can’t help myself wondering if the team might want spending some quality time with UX people. Darktable is very powerful software that would really benefit from streamlining the UI. The team do have the development expertise to fix these and other issues.

vkdt

In 2019, Johannes Hanika started working on a full darktable rewrite with acyclic graphs and Vulkan (and Imgui instead of GTK). The program incorporates a lot of ideas from darktable in a more modern approach to designing the architecture. For one, almost everything is done on a GPU. Which means you will need something more powerful than an integrated Intel GPU with its homeopathic-sized memory.

Editing in vkdt

The program does expose the compositing graph to users although that’s not a prominently placed feature:

Nodes in vkdt

In its current state, vkdt looks and feels rather technical and has some feature discoverability issues, same as darktable. Apart from a few long threads at Pixls, it hasn’t yet received as much attention from users and developers alike. This is likely to change in 2023: Johannes recently made the first public release, so it’s in the hands of the people now.

RawTherapee

RawTherapee developers gave users a bit of a scare significantly decreasing activity in 2021 and almost entirely dropping out in the first half of 2022. Nevertheless, they did release version 5.9 with almost three years worth of changes: a spot removal tool, a local adjustments tool, a perspective correction tool, and various other new features and improvements.

RawTherapee 5.9

Most of the development is now happening in branches. By the looks of it, there will be enough work done for a new release later this year. They are adding the “Inpaint Opposed” highlights reconstruction method that you’ve seen in darktable 4.2 last year. There’s structure masks, multiple external editors, favorites management, and more.

Inkscape

If the past few releases are any indication, we are going to see v1.3 around April/May 2023. There has been a lot going on since v1.2:

  • new Shaper Builder tool to combine and subtract objects on the canvas,
  • a whole new editor for pattern fills,
  • revamped Live Path Effects dock,
  • improved Layers and Objects dock,
  • redesigned Filter Editor dock,
  • support for OKLab and OKLch color spaces,
  • support for margins on pages with on-canvas controls.

There’s even experimental OpenGL canvas rendering. And even more quality of life changes are in the pipeline right now.

Inkscape 1.3

There is also some initial work being done on a GTK4 port, but that is likely to be postponed. It’s going to be a huge change for the project, and it’s probably a little too late to try fitting this into the current development and release cycle.

Personally, I’m very happy to see Inkscape team being this active. Even though technically Inkscape still doesn’t have full-time developers, they’ve been kicking some serious ass and I hope like hell that’s how things are going to be for years to follow.

Scribus

Frankly, version 1.6 is long time overdue. The officially stable 1.4 series is extremely obsolete in virtually every aspect. If you still use it (why would you?), you don’t get a lot of really useful stuff, such as orphans and widows control, footnotes and end notes, cross references, a whole new text layout engine with support for RTL scripts and advanced OpenType features, PDF 1.6 exporting, and the list goes on.

These and many other changes are the results of the last nearly 14 years of development. I’m not kidding you here. The 1.5 branch was created in May 2009 by the late Peter Linnell. So all this and more is coming soon enough. According to Craig Bradney, the team is planning v1.6.0 release in 2023, as well as one or two 1.7.x releases.

My overall impression of the project’s situation hasn’t changed much since this video from two years ago:

The project badly needs both more developers and UX/UI love. Jean Ghali and Craig Bradney are pretty much on their own with this.

Blender

Right now, there’s not a terrible lot of information about what’s coming in v3.5 simply because it’s still at the alpha stage (v3.4 was released only a month ago).

So far, the assets browser and pose library received an update, and work on assets management is continuing. There are some Grease Pencil improvements, Open Shading Language can now be used with OptiX on the GPU, and then there’s this:

Most recently, the team posted about their progress adding a Metal-based viewport for macOS users. Long story short: impressive speed-up for rendering, still work to do on playback.

BlenderBIM

This seems to be the most actively developed free/libre BIM (Building Information Modeling) authoring software today. The project gradually switched from monthly releases with less changes to just a few releases a year, but with a ton of changes. So if you’ve been wondering why it’s not being talked about as often, that’s probably why.

Even with just three releases last year, it’s still well over a thousand of new features, enhancements, and fixes, most notably:

  • Brickschema integration by creating a 2-way link between IFC BIM models and Brickschema BMS models.
  • 2D drawings generation finally available
  • MEP modeling improvements: adding, removing, and editing ports for for ducts, pipes, and various equipment.
  • Federated IFC models with very fast loading and real-time navigation
  • New wall, slab, profile, and stair editing tools
  • New material and style manager and support for rendering styles and textures
  • Model loading to be 50% faster on Blender 3.3+

Dion Moult already made the first release this year, and it’s featuring the work of his GSoC2022 student Martina Jakubowska who made it possible to take buildings created with Sverchok nodes and parametrically convert them to IFC models. I don’t have the latest news from Dion regarding his plans, but I’ll update this post when I do.

Update: the main objective for 2023 is to improve stability and basic maturity of the package.

FreeCAD

The team released v0.20 last year with numerous improvements in virtually every workbench shipped by default: better architecture tools, more FEM features, easier to use drafting tools and 2D hatching, better Interoperability with OpenSCAD, and so much more.

There have been a lot of changes to make it worth cutting v1.0 later this year, especially in the Sketcher and TechDraw workbenches. The caveat here is that the team really want to have the infamous toponaming issue solved, but the existing patch has been proving difficult to merge. So it looks like v1.0 is not guaranteed this year. You can count on many other improvements to be added though!

Natron

I know people are looking forward to Blender’s real-time compositor project, but in the meantime Natron is a very capable software that (unlike Blender) supports OFX plugins.

Natron 2.5.0

(Screen capture from a recent impressive tutorial in Russian above)

The project hasn’t yet recovered from all the team changes years ago. Most work is still done by just a few people (Martin Rodriguez Reboredo recently joined the team). In he past few years, it’s been mostly under-the-hood changes that need to be done to make way for new fancy things later on.

Version 2.5.0 was released with a functional port to Python 3 in November 2022. Version 2.6.0 is coming soon with even more internal changes: a complete port to Qt 5.15, experimental support for Wayland, experimental support for CMake build system, and experimental Apple Silicon builds (already available). Once 2.6.0 is out, the team can re-focus on user-visible changes coming in 2.7.0 eventually.

One way to help them is for someone with DevOps skills to volunteer to help with Windows builds. This is what Ole-André Rodlie does currently, but he feels like his time is better spent working on core Natron issues/features.

Synfig

The team released two updates of the stable version last year and had two GSoC students. For 2023, their plans include finalization of MSVC/vcpkg support (one of the GSoC projects), support for Windows 11 ARM and macOS on M1/M2. They also intend to add support for application theming and simplify image resizing.

Glaxnimate

This animation editor has been around for less than 3 years, it’s not hugely popular yet, but it’s been getting traction lately.

Glaxnimate 0.5.x

Here are three major reasons for that: active development, exporting to animated SVGs, Lottie files, and animated Telegram stickers, and — most recently — support for Glaxnimate sequences in Shotcut and Kdenlive thanks to the MLT framework. So people are beginning to make little fun projects with this combo:

I talked to Mattia Basaglia (who you might know from his earlier project, Knotter) about his 2023 plans. In a nutshell, there’s already a number of new features ready to release, like animated positions on a path, basic support for RIVE animations, and better UI for smaller screens. Apart from that, layer masks are likely to get improvements.

Kdenlive

Last year, the team delivered a strong series of updates of this non-linear video editor. Here are the changes that I personally find interesting:

  • Numerous usability improvements, e.g. the Render dialog and the Settings dialog have been updated
  • Improved system for tagging clips in the project bin, where you can now add, edit and reorder tags
  • Guides and Markers overhaul, with a new Guides dock, guides categories, and support for exporting guides as chapters
  • Basic subtitle styling
  • Glaxnimate integration and Lottie support
  • Audio recording overhaul

Kdenlive 22.12

But most importantly, the team secured the development fund of slightly over 20K euro to finance development of the following features:

  • Nested timelines, which is already a work in the progress, expected to ship in 23.04
  • Improved effects workflow, expected later in 2023
  • Performance boosts, also expected later in 2023

The team also mentions several other goals: improved keyframing with easing types and curves, better support for video formats with alpha, support for projects with multiple resolutions, Qt6 and KF6 migration, and a render server. There are also various subtitles related improvements and new features in the works. And that’s just the things that are known beforehand. There will be more than that.

There’s also a roadmap that gives a fairly good idea what’s planned short-term and long-term.

Olive

There’s been an impressive amount of changes in Olive in 2022: WYSIWYG text editor, drawing shapes and transforming clips in the sequence preview, chroma key nodes, a basic color grading node, better performance when moving a lot of clips around, markers rewrite, the return of audio recording, subtitle renderer and editor, basics of multicam editing, a ton of usability improvements… Wow, let’s make a stop here. That’s easily a few major releases worth of work already.

Olive 0.2.0 pre

I’ve been using Olive in real projects of tiny calibre (think 2 to 5 minutes long YT videos) and I’d say there are two major problems: stability and masks. I commonly do 2 to 4 hours long editing sessions, and in that time, it’s common for Olive to freeze 3 to 5 times. The program becomes unresponsive and it’s easier to kill it, restart, and do crash recovery than wait an unlimited amount of time for Olive to unfreeze. As for masks, there’s a very promising patch to make them way easier to use.

Just applying the most useful patches and fixing crashes and freezes would make Olive 0.2 a video editor you can easily recommend. At this point, however, I don’t feel confident saying that version 0.2.0 will definitely be out in 2023. The rewrite has been taking a long time, there’s no two ways about it. That and Matt moving to a different continent last year (Australia to USA).

On the other hand, as far as I can tell from conversations on Discord, there are no major changes planned until the release is done. It’s mostly bugfixing ahead. Crossing fingers then.

Ardour

Last year’s release of version 7.0 opened the doors to a whole lot of new possibilities with the new non-linear sequencer. Ardour can only do playback of clips and cues so far, but recording clips is on the radar and likely to happen in the 7.x series.

What is definitely coming this year is simplified editing of notes’ velocities in a separate lane. This is one of the features users have been requesting for a very long time. There’s a development branch with some pre-alpha quality code. Extremely early work — I’m not even sure I should be posting the screenshot below. But the feature is being actively worked on, and it’s finally coming.

Lollipops in unstable Ardour

This arrival of cues in 7.0 is triggering another major change. As soon as you have cues, there needs to be some sort of a clip editor easily accessible in the Cue view. So it’s coming too, for audio and MIDI clips alike. And that, in return, means that Ardour can finally provide an alternative workflow for editing MIDI clips: in a context-sensitive bottom pane and, alternatively, in a separate window. Implementation details will be figured out along the way.

Another thing that is very high on the list of priorities is further work on tempo-mapping: building tempo maps that reflect live performance to allow better integration of computer-driven parts of a composition.

And then the team expect to see support for at least one and possibly three Novation Launchpad surfaces landing, with deep integration for Cue control and performance.

Zrythm

Alex was very active with Zrythm development throughout 2022. Here is a really compressed summary:

  • Various UX/UI improvements and quality-of-life changes like adaptive snapping
  • 14 built-in plugins, incl. compressor, delay, gate, distortion, reverb, parametric EQ, and more
  • Various drawing, DSP, and MIDI event processing optimizations
  • A LOT of work on chords, including inversions, transpositions, presets and preset packs, recording to chords tracks
  • More exporting features including support for AIFF, AU, CAF, W64
  • ECMAScript support for scripting in addition to Guile

But above all — a lot of bug fixes, because, let’s face it, it’s still the main issue in Zrythm, not the features (which are sufficient to start making music).

I’m not entirely sure the final release could be out this year. The status changed from alpha to beta in March 2022, but it seems like there’s a never-ending stream of bug reports. But at some point though, Alex will have to call it a day and tag a release. Let’s hope it’s sooner rather than later.

Audacity

Last year, the combined old/new Audacity team delivered non-destructive stackable effects — something the community had been hoping for since early 2000s. This came with support for VST2 and VST3 effects.

They also had a successful Google Summer of Code project that is going to be merged after some changes — an option to display musical time (bars) in the horizontal ruler and a ‘Linear dB’ option in the vertical ruler — both contributed by Michael Papadopoulos.

The current activity in the project has multiple directions.

Paul Licameli is rewriting the monolithic source code into modules and libraries, and making various parts of the code toolkit-agnostic. This work also contributes to the Qt port (see below) in a major way.

Paul and another developer, Pietro Marcello, already spent some time making native plugins realtime-capable. Paul is now adding support for parallel processing to native plugins.

Dmitry Vedenko is working on the port to Qt/QML. The relevant branch has just become public on GitHub but it doesn’t do anything yet. This will take a while. In fact, if the work on MuseScore’s visual update is any indication, I don’t think we are going to see a Qt-based release this year. The new UI design is in the works though. Here’s one of the mockups:

Audacity mockup

So for 2023, I see a potential for one or two larger updates delivering somewhat cleaner UI and performance, but much of the work will continue to be under the hood.

MuseScore

Shortly before the new year, the MuseScore team released much anticipated version 4.0 that is a complete overhaul of the program. Massive engraving improvements, new playback engine, huge free-of-charge sample library (downloadable separately), an entirely new user interface, VST3 support (sans Linux for now), and other changes are well worth the wait.

I don’t believe you could possibly miss the video by Martin Keary about the process of developing this version of MuseScore, but if you did, I do recommend watching it even if you have nothing to do with score engraving.

The community’s response to the release is overwhelmingly positive. I’ve watched a bunch of reviews of v4.0 on YouTube. People are going completely gaga about the release. One interesting idea I picked up in one of the reviews is that MuseScore now absolutely needs a video player for scoring music to footage synced to the timeline.

The first bugfix update is coming soonish, but right now the team is discussing the roadmap and will hopefully announce their plans to the community next week or so. Don’t know what they will announce, what I do remember is that they postponed the plan to add a sequencer and a full-blown pianoroll editor to be able to release v4 in this century. There also used to be an initiative to develop more guitar-centric features. How much of that is being planned — we’ll soon find out!

In conclusion

First of all, if you made it this far, wow!

The FOSS ecosystem today has this tantalizing effect: so many interesting new projects to try, so much to discuss, but we still have no human clones and the old-fashioned multiplication way takes years and no following-in-the-footsteps guarantee (perhaps, it’s for the better).

Like I said in the beginning, we are very fortunate to be where we are today. Things could have been worse. We could have been running 3DS Max on Windows Me (yikes) in a doomsday bunker (double-yikes), while eating radioactive rats (okay, enough).

I’m very thankful to each and every developer kind enough to respond to my messages and providing insights into their development plans. Also, huge thanks to David Revoy being this awesome no-nonsense person who showed us the way back when few people believed Linux could be a sensible platform for a 2D artist. The featured illustration is his work of art.


Libre Arts is a reader-supported publication. If you appreciate the work I do, donations are once again possible. You can subscribe on Patreon or make a one-time donation (see here for more info).

Support Libre Arts at Patreon

January 15, 2023 07:51 AM

January 14, 2023

GStreamer News

GStreamer 1.21.90 pre-release (1.22 rc1)

The GStreamer team is excited to announce the first release candidate for the upcoming stable 1.22 release series.

This 1.21.90 pre-release is for testing and development purposes in the lead-up to the stable 1.22 series which is now feature frozen and scheduled for release very soon. Any newly-added API can still change until that point, although it is extremely unlikely for that to happen at this point.

Depending on how things go there might be more release candidates in the next couple of days, but in any case we're aiming to get 1.22.0 out as soon as possible.

Preliminary release notes highlighting all the new features, bugfixes, performance optimizations and other important changes will be made available in the next few days.

Binaries for Android, iOS, Mac OS X and Windows will be available at the usual location in due course.

Release tarballs can be downloaded directly here:

As always, please let us know of any issues you run into by filing an issue in Gitlab.

January 14, 2023 01:00 AM

January 10, 2023

Internet Archive - Collection: osmpodcast

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January 10, 2023 07:56 PM

January 02, 2023

digital audio hacks – Hackaday

Generative Music Created in Minimalistic Javascript Code

Dittytoy recreation of Jean-Michel Jarre's Oxygene Part IV

Dittytoy user [srtuss] has recreated one of the most influential works of electronic music in an elegant nineteen kilobytes of Javascript code. The recreation of Jean-Michel Jarre’s Oxygene Part IV on the Dittytoy platform, currently in beta, plays live right in your browser. Dittytoy empowers users to create generative music online using a simple Javascript API. Syntax of the API is loosely based on that of Sonic Pi, a code-based music creation and performance tool.

“Oxygene (Part IV)” was recorded by Jean-Michel Jarre in 1976. It was Jarre’s most successful single, charted on the top ten in several countries, and was more recently featured in the Grand Theft Auto IV video game. In the 1990s, famed electronic music innovator Brian Eno used the term “generative music” to describe music generated by an electronic system comprising ever-changing elements that may be algorithmic or random.

Recreation of Jarre’s work required modeling the Korg Minipops 7 drum machine, one of the instruments presented in our slew of open-source synthesizers.

by Joseph Long at January 02, 2023 12:00 PM

December 31, 2022

Testbit

ZCAM-js - A ZCAM implementation in JavaScript

Earlier this year I had to investigate perception of colour attributes for some of my projects. There exists a long history of colour models that try to approximate perception, each with its own shortcomings and complexities. For a decent modern colour space suitable for image processing and with…

December 31, 2022 03:50 AM

December 20, 2022

KXStudio News

Cardinal 22.12 released

Greetings everyone, we have yet another release of Cardinal, this with some great module additions.
Cardinal is a free and open-source virtual modular synthesizer plugin.
It is based on the popular VCV Rack but with a focus on being a fully self-contained plugin version.

The main changes for this release are new modules (Sapphire, Stoermelder Pack-one and Surge-XT) and web-assembly related fixes.
Highly requested and specially interesting for users are the brand new Surge-XT modules, see Omri Cohen's video for a cool overview of what they can do.
As usual there are a few module updates too.

cardinal

Changelog

  • Add portable standalone Windows binaries
  • Add JTB Waves example/demo patch
  • Fix SSE not being enabled in pffft for 32bit builds
  • Improve docs for building Windows binaries
  • Stop using LTO for macos-universal builds

Module changes

  • Add Sapphire
  • Add Stoermelder Pack-one
  • Add Surge-XT
  • Update BaconPlugs
  • Update Befaco
  • Update MindMeld
  • Update PathSet

Module changes

  • Add Web-assembly build instructions
  • Enable brotli compression on release files
  • Enable emscripten --use-preload-cache flag, improves browser cache
  • Fix keyboard input having wrong keys
  • Fix mouse lock on chrome-based browsers
  • Fix versioning

Special Notes

  • Building now requires a compiler compatible with C++17
  • Windows builds now require 0x0600/Vista, needed for Surge

Downloads

The source code plus Linux, macOS and Windows binaries can be downloaded at https://github.com/DISTRHO/Cardinal/releases/tag/22.12.
Cardinal is released as LV2, VST2, VST3 and CLAP plugin, plus AudioUnit and JACK/Standalone for certain systems.

by falkTX at December 20, 2022 08:32 PM

fundamental code

SVN-Externs Considered Harmful

SVN externs are terrible and you shouldn’t use them. Also don’t use SVN if you’re able to avoid it, but that’s likely already done in modern organizations.

What is SVN?

Before digging into the meat of why svn externs are terrible, let’s start off with what SVN (Subversion) is; SVN is a system used to store source code and assets for software projects. The main repository is stored on a remote server and is represented as a collection of files and folders. You as a SVN user can check out any subfolder or file within a repository. In the case of an organization wanting multiple concurrent projects they’re stored in separate folders.

For one repository there is only a single history stored on the server that marches forward linearly with the revision id tracker which consists of a number counting up from the first commit. So you will see r1 (revision 1) all the way up to whatever stage the current history is in e.g. r14234. What about tagging a copy of source code or branching it to do separate development which later on gets merged? Well, SVN 'supports' those features, but at the same time it doesn’t really…​ A tag or a branch is just copying the files in a project to another named folder. There are conventions about the names and locations of those new folders, but it’s IMO a fairly weak feature.

What are SVN externs?

Let’s say that you have in your SVN repository two projects:

/ project1 / trunk
           / branches
/ project2 / trunk
           / branches

Perhaps project 2 uses project 1, or in other words it depends on that project’s code and resources. Dependency management is tricky and there’s a number of approaches, one of which is to copy code from project 1 into project 2, so when you build project 2, you end up building both projects together. However if you copy code from project 1, that means the copy can get out of date. So, instead you can reference the code from project 1 instead of copying it. That’s a good thing, right?

Well…​…​ no, not from my point of view, at least without additional semantics. Just inserting a reference isn’t a great thing because when you’re working on project 2 you shouldn’t be impacted negatively by changes in project 1 and thus you don’t want breaking changes to interrupt your development unless you’re agreeing to trying out those breaking changes. SVN externs will take a copy of whatever you point them at, which can be used responsibly.

Consider the previous example again:

/ project1 / trunk    /              src / library.h
           / branches / branch1    / src / library.h
           / tags     / release_v1 / src / library.h
                        release_v2 / src / library.h
/ project2 / trunk / dependencies / $external_resource
           / branches

Here $external resource can point to a known working copy of project one which isn’t expected to change e.g. /project1/tags/release_v2 . If that’s the target, then when release_v3 is changed, then someone in project2 can update the library they’ve chosen to use to /project1/tags/release_v3. But, here’s where svn-externs get to be evil: $external_resource can be /project1/trunk/, /project1/branches/branch1, an individual file like /project1/trunk/src/library.h, or even a reference to a different SVN repository that you don’t control at all e.g. https://example.com/totally/not/your/repository/library.h.

If it’s any of those locations, the developers on project 1 can make changes which without any release process are immediately reflected in project 2. Why is that bad? Well, developers in project 1 aren’t informed about who is using their code as such by SVN. Who knows if a single file that you made is essentially getting copied all over the place. Who knows if your self consistent build process is going to be scrambled by being only partially copied elsewhere? Since svn externs make it equally easy to grab parts of libraries and live/tagged versions it encourages other projects to use internals (they don’t need the whole library) and use development copies (who wants to update versions later on), which end poorly for people trying to work on the project getting sliced up. Those developers are left guessing who is using their code and how they’re using it since unless you write additional tooling it’s near impossible to know how many externs there are within a given repo.

If you think that’s bad, let me remark that recursive SVN externs are a thing and I’m thankful that it looks like they’re rarely used. At least that’s based on both git-svn and git-svn-ext struggling with those cases. Heck at least last time I tried to use it git-svn barely supported SVN externs.

Along the same lines of tooling breaking on externs, even good old commandline svn starts to get ugly with externs. SVN status, similar to other scm status tools, will output one line per file that’s modified.

So you might see:

D  oldcode.rb
A  newcode.py
M  workingcode.sh

That status would indicate that you deleted a ruby file, added a python file, and modified a shell script. The repository can contain many more files, but if they’re unmodified then you don’t get any status information on them because obviously you only care about what’s changed. Well, welcome to the world of SVN externs. Every Single Time you run svn status with a repository that has an extern it will end up having a X status on the file/folder that’s an extern reference. It doesn’t matter if it’s modified or not.

So you might see for a repository that you haven’t made any modifications:

X internal/project1
X vendor/libA
X vendor/libB
X vendor/libC

Performing status on external item at 'internal/project1':
   X internal/project1/recursive-extern

Performing status on external item at 'internal/project1/recursive-extern':

Performing status on external item at 'vendor/libA':

Performing status on external item at 'vendor/libB':

Performing status on external item at 'vendor/libC':

It’s maddening…​

Not to mention that working with svn externs isn’t via some 'svn extern' command, it’s via 'svn propget', 'svn propset', etc. It’s a thoroughly unpleasant experience through and through.

In conclusion, next time you hear someone complain about git submodules, feel free to say "hey, at least it isn’t svn externs".

December 20, 2022 05:00 AM

December 13, 2022

Ardour 7.2 released

Another month brings another Ardour release. Although the primary reasons to release 7.2 were to fix some egregious bugs with region automation and the tempo map, this version includes a nice collection of new features too, including MIDI Learn for cue slots, support for Ogg/OPUS compressed audio, importing lyrics from MIDI files and more.

See the full release notes for more information, and download as usual from https://ardour.org/download

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by Paul Davis at December 13, 2022 03:42 PM