27.03.2010 gst123

I’ve released gst123 to the public today. Its a command line tool like ogg123 or mpg123, capable of playing MP3, Ogg, FLAC and whatever other audio files gstreamer supports. So it works well on music collections where not all files are encoded in the same format.

Since I’ve been using (and thus testing) it for quite some time now, it should just work. You can grab it here.

25.03.2010 Dear lazyweb … or: the perfect open source piano

From a composers point of view, it would be nice to have a piece of software which models a grand piano and covers the complete range of expressions which make a piano a piano. For instance, if you hit the same note harder (with higher velocity), the sound should not only be louder, but also sound more aggressive. Also using the sustain pedal has a significant influence on the sound (and cannot be simply modelled as not releasing the notes that are already pressed. Finally, and maybe hardest to model, different notes inter act with each other (one string putting another into resonance).

So, dear lazyweb, I do know commercial products for windows that deliver high quality piano sound, either as huge sample sets, or via physical modelling. But are there comparable high quality pianos which are open source?

21.11.2009 More secure than AES – mode FMC

Since I am planning a project which relies on storing encrypted information on a potentially hostile host, I tried to design a cryptographic mode, called mode FMC. This mode should, when combined with AES, provide a higher security margin than AES alone would. Basically mode FMC is a try to defend your private data (like credit card numbers or password lists stored in the application I am going to write) against yet to be discovered weaknesses in AES. As with any cryptographic project, it would be great to get review.
I’ve written a paper and published the code under LGPL. The code is implemented in C++ and includes a python binding.

13.06.2009 Porting BEAST on Windows

I’ve spent quite some time on producing a Windows Port of BEAST (a sequencer and modular synthesizer, formerly only available for Unixoid systems). Since I got tired of manually configuring / compiling packages, I implemented a python based build system like FreeBSD ports or Gentoo emerge. This build system works fine for BEAST, but it could also be used to maintain other ports of Gtk or Gnome software. Its called BeastBuild and installs everything required to build BEAST, like mingw/msys, gtk+, libguile and portaudio. Finally a user friendly installer is created, so if a user just wants to use BEAST, without building it, he can just simply use the installer. BeastBuild and the BEAST Installer are available here.

26.03.2008 Commercial BEAST support available

The german computer company TWC is offering commercial support for BEAST now. After having supported aRts and BEAST development by paying travel expenses, providing bandwidth, web space and mailing list services, this is the next logical step. So if you want a specific bug to be fixed, or buy a computer with BEAST preinstalled, you can now.
* german version of the BEAST/TWC page
* english version of the BEAST/TWC page

13.03.2008 BEAST joins LinuxAudio.Org

The sequencer and modular synthesis software BEAST is now member of LinuxAudio.Org. This is good news, because most musicians don’t know yet that Linux is a great alternative for making music. Supposedly its too hard to install, maintain and use; but if you look at what experienced users really can do with Linux, this seems like an unjustified opinion formed years ago, when Linux admittedly was not so easy to use. But these days are over. Fortunately :)

11.03.2008 The Fantasy Project

The Fantasy Project is an annual challenge. Each artist who participates can create his own song, as long as he uses the lyrics given below (“Jean Lucs Poem”) unchanged. All styles of music, such as classical, blues, rock, metal, rap, dance, techno, house, … are welcome.
* Fantasy III
* Fantasy II
All songs are under a Creative Commons license.

05.03.2008 My Job at MCS

Since Monday, I am working for MCS Hamburg, which is a quite professional internet provider and systems integrator. This means getting up earlier than I usually needed to, since I have to be here from 9am until 5pm. Howerever, this also means that I will be available on IRC, ICQ and via phone during these times in March. The MCS staff is very nice, and I enjoy working here a lot :).

28.02.2008 1000 EUR for free software development

Since I have a job next month, I can afford investing some money into the projects I work on. If you have contributed anything to a project I work on (BEAST, Rapicorn or LibSydney) and want to do some paid development, drop me an email. Its good if you either know something about music or coding, but its not a requirement – basically anybody can do something useful, like reporting bugs, writing documentation, designing sounds or writing songs and of course coding.

27.02.2008 Black is beautiful – green is essential

The results of the Hamburg election are these: people do care about clean air, clean water and life. Thats why 9.6% of them voted green. They also care about economics, finance, employment, and so on. Thats why over 42% voted for the current majors Ole’s CDU. Now even although nobody at the green election party on Sunday was too eager on negotiating with the CDU, I am wondering if we will finally see a black-green coalition in Hamburg. Its the coalition I favoured since I started reading Heiner-Geisslers (CDU/CSU) books on politics when I was in school. Will it happen in Hamburg? I think for fighting against climate change or sorting out inter-religious differences that make migration harder than it ought to be, a CDU/Green coalition would be the right thing to do. So please: do it!