Robin's Latest Site

Robin's expertise is in audio/video post-production and related hardware/software research and development.

Currently Robin mainly works as contractor for Harrison, Manufacturer of the World's Finest Consoles, acts as core-developer for Ardour and develops a line of professional Audio Plugins.


'sup Doc?

It's been a long time coming,…

I have recently defended my doctoral Dissertation (PDF) on The Ardour DAW – Latency Compensation and Anywhere-to-Anywhere Signal Routing Systems at the University Paris 8.

Many thanks for everyone who helped make this happen, friends close and far and all the wonderful people who joined me during various periods along the road in the last 5 years. It's been quite a ride! Dr. Robin

· 03.04.2018 19:31 · Robin Gareus


Since Friday I'm hacking almost non-stop for the picnic conference where registered conference visitors keep their online-profile on a RFID-chip (ik-tag or i-tag) which they can use to sign up for workshops, participate in games, make friends/exchange contacts, get consumption vouchers, etc. throughout the conference.

Besides being back coding for mediamatic's anyMeta CMS (here: Community Managemet System), I've teamed up with Luis, Sly, Thijs and Neil to build The Breeder: an installation where you can interact with a virtual creature that «lives on your RFID tag».

Besides feeding the creature with input from your personal-profile and online activity, you can meet with your and other creatures for reproduction at a pond-like portal (beamer, pond with white sand, camera, rfid-readers) that will be exhibited during the conference staring next Wednesday. The Breeder will visualize meta-activity of conference-visitors in a game like environment (processing/java) where creatures can reproduce when their owners meet and recombine genes of their profiles. Furthermore interaction is not limited to the pond: Users can download a screenshot/snapshot of their pet or enter a communication that their creatures stroke up.. - I'm out to walk my amoeba.

It's a very ambitious project, even more so given a 5 days timeframe from idea until deadline.. You can follow development at our project trac/wiki.

· 19.02.2018 15:57 · 0 Comments

linux sound tags

Categorizing linux audio applications

As a first step to clean up the tag mess at I started to visualize “the problem”. It turns out there are ~1800 tagged pages with ~200 unique tags1).

Most of the tags go back to headlines in the original data of All applicable headings (<h1>..<h5> and <li><b>..) were used as tags for a given link in a flat structure. However interrelations between the tags (headings) have been maintained by tagging the tags themselves. 57 of the 203 tags are not tagged (orphaned, loose), these are either top-level-tags or new additions that have not yet been categorized. An index of all tags can be generarated at; a text-file is available with the sources below.

The most commonly used tags are:

  154 software_sound_synthesis_and_music_composition_packages
  145 other_documentation_and_newsworthy_items
  137 all_things_jack
  119 midi_software
  115 linux_audio_tools
  113 tools_to_make_tools
  110 signal_analysis_processing_software
  102 on-line_articles


I trashed the initial intention to reduce the number of tags to a manageable amount. On the contrary: some of the multi_word_tags shall be broken up, and the overall conclusion is: We just need a better user-interface to browse and assign tags.

dokubookmark already prototypes a check-box interface to manage tags. For the apps-wiki a tag-cloud or hierarchical display would be needed to ultimately improve usability.

More discoveries

Now made visible, I discovered a bug in the tag-inheritance parser which imported the data from linux-sound to the apps-wiki. There are additional false tags to content where a sub-level heading was not closed. Most prominently affected are SOAL and openAL.

I'm pondering on a re-import of the data but that would require magic to merge the updates. Magic is the cue, so I'm now writing a perl-script to manage, rename and clean up the tags:

Source image of all tags (1.8MB)

The data was generated from the wiki-content (dokuwiki text files) using this greppy shell-script and graphviz. The png/jpeg images turned out to be rather large (2400×2200 pixel ~2MB). I suggest you download look at the SVG or render images from source.


The color of each tag gives a hint on how often it is used. This value is also printed in brackets after each tag-name. red color increases with more common usage. white indicates end-points and the shades of blue/green jump at usage-counts < 20 , < 40 , >= 40.

Arrows should go from parent topic-tag to child tag - but the current script does not filter out back-links so the direction is more or less random. it is not relevant for this analysis anyway.

1) numbers as of august 9 2008
· 19.02.2018 15:57 · 0 Comments

e-forecast @ FIAC

Snapshots of the emotion-forecast as presented during FIAC at the Showoff festival in Paris.

View Image Gallery (images by M. Benayoun)


· 19.02.2018 15:57 · 0 Comments

Big Screen Plaza, NYC


Streaming Museum, an international public art and online museum, will celebrate its fourth anniversary on January 31 with the US premiere of ”Emotion Forecast” and ”Occupy Wall Screens”, real-time artworks by the renowned French artist Maurice Benayoun. The exhibition will be on view for one month at Big Screen Plaza in New York City and through 2012 at

“Emotion Forecast” and “Occupy Wall Screens” are part of Maurice Benayoun's ongoing series on the “Mechanics of Emotions” which translate emotions into maps, performances, the Emotion Vending Machine, and sculpture relics of the world.

The artworks have been developed by Robin Gareus, at the CiTu-Paragraphe Lab of the University Paris 8, in the frame of The Art Collider project as a part of the PUF program of the FACE Foundation in collaboration with the SFAI (San Francisco Art Institute).

Streaming Museum is the first global public space and online hybrid museum with collaborating locations and cultural centers on 7 continents. The 30 x 16.5 ft. HD format screen of Big Screen Plaza is located at 29th Street and 6th Avenue, adjacent to the Eventi Hotel.

More information:

· 19.02.2018 15:57 · 0 Comments

back from Finland

nordkapp_jump.jpg After some creative interlude we eventually completed Carolina's trip from Ushuaia all the way down south to NordKapp, spending two weeks in Finland's Lappland on the way. - gorgeous and relaxing.

Besides an unbelievable ammount of unripe berries we did encounter too many mosquitoes (not bugs and luckily no sand-flies), yet found free-wifi in the most unexpected spots under the midnight sun.

Starting off with the night train from Helsinki to the midnight-sun film-festival in Sodankylä..

small picture gallery

· 19.02.2018 15:57 · 0 Comments

MPC4d fun

I pulled into Nashville, Tennessee,…

· 24.11.2015 09:55 · Robin Gareus

Don't break the chain - a year on github

I'm a miserable blogger. Even small attempts to write something short regularly once per week failed in the past.

Trying to get to the bottom of this, I realized that the issue here is blogging: I'm generally not interested to shout out my opinion one-way to the public at regular intervals. But what about other areas of communications? For example programming language code?

Another aspect that I noticed to distract me are lack of constraints: Focus on a topic is beneficial to weave a chain. …and the key ingredient for me is a good challenge to motivate me.

Recognizing one's shortcomings is the first step, playing to one's strength.. et voila.

I set out a year ago today (after the skiing holidays), and the rest is [in the] git history :)

I killed two birds with one stone: combine my interest as user and developer in the Linux Audio ecosystem in general and responsibilities I shouldered there, with the endeavor to set a good example on the following statement:

If every Linux Audio developer would make regular contributions to the GNU/Linux Audio ecosystem, the overall state would increase rapidly.

The idea came up in the wake of one of the most active thread on the linux-audio-dev and -users mailing lists 2/Feb/2013 "So what do you think sucks about Linux Audio?". Well, instead of bitching about, I opted to provide a different response, “A patch a day keeps bit-rot away” :)

The contributions made over the last year are spread out about half/half to projects of my own and to projects with a different lead-developer or maintainer.

As for the former, I've been most active in meters.lv2, the goal being to make GNU/Linux even more suitable as a platform for Pro-Audio work. Regarding the latter I became a major contributor to the flag-ship of Linux Audio: The Ardour3 Digital Audio Workstation. On the sidelines there were (and are) many more projects, not all of them on github.

I'm not personally interested in data-mining and analyzing the commit-log for patterns. The general Mantra of it all is “Find something that you're interested in, can do, and do it”. The only problem here is that eventually there's much more to do that there is time for doing it. Luckily there is some overlap with many projects as well as with my personal and professional use-cases which makes it easier to set priorities, even though not necessarily favorable ones from the 'fun' point of view.

Another related issue is that collaboration requires communication with other authors, which can prevent a regular code-contribution pattern. While this is a good thing in general (plan, think and discuss first), it did not aid the challenge at hand… In fact, this “Don't break the chain” coding endeavor required a bit of time-planning in itself to be useful.

The hard part to keep this up was after around 3 month (late spring) and then again later in August/September (summer holidays). Here, I motivated myself with a small side project there: I can now say “I wrote git …on github” :)

Eventually a git commit became daily routine, just like reading mail. A git commit can be anything from a simple one line typo fix to a major rework of a piece of code so the measure of actual contributions is somewhat meaningless, but as the Scottish say: “Many a mickle makes a muckle.”

GitHub rightfully counts bug-reports as contribution to a project, though in my case the goal was a daily contribution to the master branch of some project (not counting fun projects such as the git-message).

Anyway, it's been a rewarding experience and I'm planning to keep this going, maybe not as rigorously as during the last year, since other (non code) projects are about to become more central in the not too distant future. Either way I gave up for good on trying to repeat a feat that I managed from age 15 to 25: Play at least 1 hour guitar every day.

meters.lv2 - advanced audio level meters

Coming late to my own party..

In the wake of overhauling Ardour's bar-graph meters, I've taken the time to implement corresponding needle-style meters and more.

meters.lv2 features 10 needle-style meters: Mono and stereo variants of DIN, Nordic, EBU, BBC and VU types (which are based on jmeters by Fons Adriaensen).

Additionally it includes a Stereo Phase Correlation Meter, an EBU-R128 Meter with Histogram and History display, a Digital True-Peak Meter, a Stereo Phase Scope (Goniometer), a 31 Band Spectrum-Analyzer and six K-meters (mono,stereo versions of the K12, K14 and K20 K meter-standard by Bob Katz).

Source-code, information and screenshots can be found at

Alexandre Prokoudine has written a nice blog-post over at LGW and gave away a hard-copy of the “Audio Metering. Measurements, Standards, Practice” book by Eddy Brixen to celebrate the release.

meters.lv2 would not be what it is without the various contributions from Fons Adriaensen, David Robillard, Chris Goddard and Axel Müller. Thanks to Jaromír Mikeš they are already packaged in debian, part of the x42-plugins package.

Ardour 3.2

Ardour 3.2 has been released featuring the videotimeline and a lot of other things that I've been working on on the past years, months and weeks!

I count myself lucky that after all that work, I don't need to write the announcement by myself. Let the buzz begin.


Many thanks to everyone who contributed, provided feedback and support. In particular Chris Goddard, Thomas Vecchione and Paul Davis. Not to mention the projects on who made this possible in the first place – most notably ffmpeg.

The source-code is available out there and if you don't want to get the official ready-to-run application, various multimedia GNU/Linux distributions have already picked it up.

· 15.06.2013 16:26 · Robin Gareus · 0 Comments
start.txt · Last modified: 22.02.2019 19:59 by rgareus