[gst-devel] Distributed pipelines and modular synthesis ramble

Owen Fraser-Green owen at discobabe.net
Mon Feb 26 15:46:29 CET 2001


I'm new to this list and in fact to gstreamer as a whole. I found my way 
over here from Slashdot as I suddenly became convinced gstreamer offers the 
best stream processing architecture I've seen on Linux so far. In 
particular I like the seperation of filters from the sinks and sources.

One thing that occured to me was that there are two big benefits of such a 
pipeline architecture one of which has been thoroughly explored, plugins, 
but the other I havn't seen much mention of. That is the ability to 
distribute components in the pipeline to a network of machines beyond a 
simple client-server model.

The reason I see this as a useful feature is because, as far as I can tell, 
the gstreamer architecture would lend itself perfectly to real-time modular 
synthesis e.g. Reaktor ( http://www.native-
instruments.de/english/2_products/1_reaktor/1_reaktor.html )whereby audio 
signal generators (sources) are connected to a network of filters and out 
through an audio channel (sink). One of the limitations I've found using 
Reaktor extensively is that when I have a couple of synthesizers running 
simultaneously alongside a sequencer, my machine practically freezes. I've 
started thinking recently about the posibility of making a distributed 
modular synthesizer so I can put the processor intensive parts on some 
other machine(s) that doesn't affect the rest of the applications running.

In fact, maybe you guys are sitting on a revolution in music production as 
a whole whereby the traversal of sound processing from dedicated hardware 
to computer software could become complete with just a few PCs sitting 
around the studio with gstreamer pipelines doing all the number crunching. 

Has this been brought up before? Would this be a viable application for 
gstreamer? Or should I go back on the medication?


     Owen  Fraser-Green             "Hard work never killed anyone,
     owen at discobabe.net              but why give it a chance?"

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