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extending_the_effects_engine_report_w8

Hello,

As you know, I am currently working on adding LV2 support to Mixxx. I and my mentor, Daniel, thought of implementing such support by using an external Jack host for LV2 plug ins. This had the advantage that an external process dealt with samples processing. We could use well tested software solutions such as Jalv, or calfjackhost (bundled with calf plug ins). Here[1] is the sketch for this approach. To be able to implement it we must make use of the Jack API directly, as shown in this[2] picture. This approach is useful for the advanced user, who wants full control of Mixxx's streams. Not only does it provide LV2 support but also can be used for VST plug ins or Hardware effects.

However, after requesting feedback from the community, Ryan responded and advised us to implement native LV2 support for Mixxx. The advantage of native LV2 integration is that every user can benefit from it, it works seamlessly with Mixxx, no tweaks are required to make it functional. The normal user won't see a diference between native effects and LV2 ones. The steps towards basic LV2 integration are the following (I must thank Ryan for his detailed description):

  • Create an LV2Backend class which inherits from EffectsBackend
    • This backend class is responsible for enumerating (finding) and instantiating effects
  • Create a new class which receives an LV2 plugin manifest, parses it and obtains a Mixxx EffectManifest
    • This is an important step because Mixxx relies on EffectManifests when creating slots for effects and its parameters
  • Add an LV2 effect wrapper class
    • It has to send parameter updates to the plug in instantiation as well as processing audio samples using the plug in.

Below is a diagram of the LV2 architecture I'm trying to implement:

For the first step (parsing the LV2 plugin manifest into an EffectManifest) I'll be using lilv[3]. It is the recommended way for hosts to add LV2 support. Audacity is already using it. I started to get accustomed to lilv by writing a simple, separate program which enumerates the available LV2 plug ins and identifies each plugins' parameters. You can find it here[4]. Based on those LV2 Ports I will create corresponding EffectParameters (currently I can create only potmeters, since the code for buttons as effect parameters is not merged yet; hopefully it will be soon). Here are some useful lilv functions:

  • Create the world which is responsible for plug in discovery
    • LilvWorld* lilv_world_new();
  • Load all available plug ins
    • void lilv_world_load_all(LilvWorld*);
  • Get the loaded plug ins
    • const LilvPlugins* lilv_world_get_all_plugins(LilvWorld*);
  • Iterate through them
    • LILV_FOREACH(plugins, iter, container);
    • plugins is a keyword, lilv's FOREACH macro takes into account this keyword and knows to call lilv_plugins_* functions
  • Get the name of a plugin
    • LilvNode* lilv_plugin_get_name(const LilvPlugin*);
    • const char* lilv_node_as_string(LilvNode*);

Another task I worked on this week was removing the static keyword from the Bessel Filters. This means that Equalizers who use Bessel filters are now receiving frequency corners changes as well. Here[5] is the branch I've worked on. As you remember, I fixed the crackles heard during the change of frequencies for Butterworth filters. However, those crackles were removed only in ButterworthEQEffect, because inside EngineFilterBlock a new set of filters is created each time one of the frequencies is changed. I refactored the EngineFilterBlock class by moving the filter creation inside the constructor. Now, when frequency corners are changed, we only update the filters as opposed to creating new ones.

At Owen's suggestion, I wrote a unit test for the alias control feature. I built Mixxx with test=1 flag and read about Google' C++ Testing Framework.

Yours truly,
Nicu Badescu

[1] - http://i.imgur.com/Kd7REQh.jpg
[2] - http://i.imgur.com/m69xLKU.jpg
[3] - http://drobilla.net/software/lilv/
[4] - https://gist.github.com/badescunicu/44bff3b9e24fd905806c

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extending_the_effects_engine_report_w8.txt · Last modified: 2014/07/27 18:09 by badescunicu