[gst-devel] I want to do an audio app

Tim Hockin thockin at hockin.org
Sat Sep 21 16:54:02 CEST 2002

Hey all, just joined the list.

I've been working for a few weeks, and thinking for a few months, on an
audio application.  Specifically, something akin to FruityLoops under
windows.  Something that integrates sound creation, effects, outpit and
parameter control.

As I was banging out a plugin API, I was pointed at GStreamer.  Now, it
seems that a LOT of work has gone into GStreamer and the goals are FAR
loftier than my own.  However, it is horribly complicated.  I guess that is
the price you pay for total flexibility.

I'm not sure yet that GSTreamer meets all my needs, and I just can't seem to
get gst-editor to do ANYTHING but dump core.

Here are my thoughts after playing with and reading on GStreamer for a few
days.  I'd love for people to address them, point out where I am wrong, or
where docs are wrong, etc.

1) It takes too much effort to write a plugin.  One has to learn all the
GLib, GObject and GStreamer APIs.  It has taken me days to figure out what
is going on in the examples, and they are very simple.

2) The plugins are too granular for my needs.  What I want is: 
	"load this mono synth and convert it to stereo"
	"connect it to this FX Bus, which has N effects, all stereo"
	"connect all the FX Busses to the master bus"
	"send the master output to {OSS, ALSA, file, whatever}"
I'd need to build a way to group many GST plugs into atomic units

3) I'm concerned about performance - some of the tracks I've seen in windows
used 50 or more simultaneous voices at times, and it was REALLY hard on the
CPU.  GStreamer seems very higly normalized, which adds a lot of overhead -
is it a real problem I should worry about?

4) The bleeding edge tools needed to build GStreamer made it VERY hard for
me to get installed and running - and I know what I am doing.  An average
user would NEVER be able.

5) The GStreamer goals really seem to be very focused on playing media
(especially video) and doing magic.

6) Has anyone started an app like this?

I'm still torn between finishing my own, much simpler, plugin API and using
GST.  I need something to sway me :)

Looking for ideas and thoughts, I need a spur.  :)  Nice work, though, it is
definitely a very cool project already.


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