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.


setBfree - 3D openGL LV2 audio plugin

I've started to tackle a major todo item on the setBfree issue-tracker: the Organ needs a GUI :)

Well, strictly speaking it does not. All controls are available as MIDI-CCs, so when playing it using a midi-keyboard, a GUI is uncalled for. The GUI is completely optional. But setting up those MIDI-CC maps and midi-program-presets in the first place can be quite an advanced talk for musicians who are not comfortable with editing text config files. Also using when using the organ synthesizer as plugin in a sequencer MIDI-CCs are unwieldy for visualizing drawbar settings. Last but not least the GUI is bi-directional: the GUI is updated if the synth receives MIDI messages and can be used to quicky check the state (e.g. when loading midi-programs/presets) and changing values in the GUI sends corresponding midi feeback to the connected device.

A major factor in the GUI design decision was that GUI should run cross-platform and can be used in LV2 plugin hosts without causing ABI conflicts. The toolkit should also be reasonably lightweight. This basically ruled out gtk+, QT, FLTK and NTK :( Luckily there's OpenGL!

So if GL, why not 3D too?! In the context of an audio-plugin it's one of the most superfluous uses of 3D, ever, but WTH!

setBfree running as LV2-plugin in ardour – of course you can pan, zoom and tilt the 3D view :)

The 3D model was made with blender and the textures with gimp, the files are available with the source-code at github. The folder also contains a readme file with basic information.

Now, I'm not much of a 3D artist, hence Alexandre Prokoudine from has issued an open call.

For inspiration, here are some pictures that google found searching for Hammond B3.

Work on the GUI is still ongoing. It is already functional but work on many of the planned features - like interactive midi-maps, presets, etc - has only just begun.

Embedding Data in Applications

Have you ever wanted to include raw data - such as images - in an executable application file?
An application that can be compiled for any platform including Windows, Linux and OSX?
– Well, while I was working on harvid, I did.

It turned out to be quite easy - once you know how :) gnu/ld rocks, but as usual there are some issues – in particular on OSX.

Check out the complete embedding resources in executables story.

Reverse engineering the Digidesign 003R protocol

First heads up in 2013: I got nerd-sniped shortly after x-mas and reverse-engineered the Digi 003 Firewire protocol with Damien Zammit. The details are a long story, but linux-support for it is underway:

The rebased driver code is at and the broken-out digi003 driver is available from

CAC 3 - postdigital

The submission deadline for the 3rd Computer Art Congress - PostDigital Art - has been extended until June, 18.

CAC.3 invites artists, intellectuals, engineers and scientists to share and discuss their imaginations, creations, inventions and visions of the post digital art. The Call for Papers and Artworks can be found here.

· 07.06.2012 15:00 · Robin Gareus · 2 Comments
· 04.06.2012 13:35 · Robin Gareus · 0 Comments

German influence on the French Election

Taking a leaf out of Merkel's book, another German is trying to influence the French elections..

Last week I received a phone call by my collaborating artist and previous supervisor Maurice_Benayoun that there is interest to show a customized version of our project Emotion-Forecast during the final stages of the presidential election campaign for François_Hollande.

My first reply was: “I'm not interested in political statements. Yet the project is free-software, everyone can use and customize it for their needs.”

As citizen of the European-Internet, I am not allowed to vote in France - so here's my change to take some influence nonetheless. While I can't say that I'd vote for Mr. Hollande, I am certain that I don't want to continue living in a country ruled by Sarkozy. Decision-making by exclusion, fine.

So I spent a few hours hacking - which is fun anyway - and a few hours carefully translating English into French.. et voila. La prévisualisation est disponible en ligne.

I'm still undecided what I'd actually vote on next Sunday. Pretty much both options seem like dead-ends to me. Still, I'm happy that people's emotional-concerns are included in an election campaign, which otherwise is pretty much focused on the economic situation: jobs, taxes, dept-crisis,.. sprinkled of immigration and security concerns.

Even though this “emotional weather forecast” will likely be presented out of context of our initial intention, I very much welcome the opportunity that it may inspire some people at least.

Update: it is going to be presented on Sunday, May/6 at Place de la Bastille.

Update: article in huffingtonpost about the project[ion].

Die Luft der Freiheit weht

There could not be a better motto for the Linux Audio Conference 2012 than the one Stanford already chose: “videtis illam spirare libertatis auram”1). The 10 year anniversary of LAC marks the first time that LAC takes place outside of Europe, and the conference is packed with exciting and interesting presentations, concerts and installations. There's a good amount of sessions on Ambisonics, FAUST, Pure Data, and - although LAC unfortunately takes place parallel to the SuperCollider symposium - SC presentations as well as many other interesting projects.

The Conference Schedule has just been published and I'm eager to visit CCRMA which has been a supporting institution of Linux Audio ever since there has been any sound on GNU/Linux.

Besides reuniting with fellow LADs and meeting creative people from various fields, I'm looking forward to experience the 3D 22 channel sound system with speakers above, around and below the audience level in the CCRMA Listening Room.

Protest SOPA, PIPA et al.

As you may have noticed various sites and domains that I manage went black - or rather redirected to or to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

It probably does not wag the tail of anyone, but I felt that is incumbant upon me to express my support for freedom of speech and that I am prepared to defend it.

SOPA, PIPA - What is that?

The Stop Online Piracy Act is H.R.3261, and the Protect-IP Act is S.968 both are propsed laws in the US of A.

Why is bad?

The intent of both pieces of legislation is to combat online piracy. The problem is that the legislation, as written, is vague and overly-broad. The intention may be good and justified, but the implementation would be nothing short of legal censorship and discrimination.

It'd grant the executive the power to simply shut down information sources. In fact, if the law passes, it would not even require a court order to ban a service! A simple note would suffices to censor information, unless the provider of the content can prove and assure (monitor) that his/her site does not facilitate the commission of criminal violations.

There are times that everyday reasonable activities can be construed as piracy, but the actual problematic word is facilitating, as it opens the door to condemning sites that simply link to other sites.

Since the USA directly or indirectly controls most of the internet's infrastructure, and the proposed legislation has been written in a manner in which they specifically take into account “foreign rogue sites”, the legislation will, should it pass, have an impact upon the world as a whole.

These acts could have a significant impact on the way in which we currently use the internet: Free Speech is only as strong as the weakest link.

What to do about it?

Thanks to many activist sites (see links above and below) this is easy. If you are US resident, complain at your senator(s). If you are elsewhere, there are local efforts: e.g. join contacting the German minister of foreign-affairs who is supporting the law in the US!

Note that, Europe with the upcoming ACTA law is not too far behind. Act now!


For more information about SOPA/PIPA, please see:


Celebrating the inclusion of sndfile-waveform into libsndfile-tools sounds like this:

· 15.01.2012 02:20 · Robin Gareus · 0 Comments

Occupy Wall Screens


The world is #occupied by emotions.
The emotions are #occupied.
Occupy Wall Screens

preview: Emotion Forecast at the Big Screen Plaza, NYC. Image by Nina Colosi. Art by M. Benayoun & yours truly.

start.txt · Last modified: 22.02.2019 19:59 by rgareus