Audio plugin generator


Thanks to its 1990s heritage, Pure Data looks a little rough around the edges, but it's far from being abandonware. In fact, this brilliant graphical programming environment for audio and media processing has found its niche in a 21st century obsessed with creative expression. What makes Pure Data so effective, and different from the block-like approach of something like Scratch, is that it implements a paradigm more like "functional" programming than procedural. The graphical blocks of processing follow the data rather than the program logic, and that's what makes it so good at processing video, MIDI, OSC, and audio data, and especially, the creation of audio processing and generating tools. But turning your Pure Data projects into something you can share or use within your favorite audio software is a difficult proposition. This is why you need Camomile.

Despite the graphical nature of Pure Data, or more accurately its GEM GUI, there's not much to look at in Camomile. It's primarily a command-line tool that's compiled against common plugin formats, such as LV2 and VST on Linux, as well as the JUCE GUI plugin toolkit. At its simplest, you create a folder for your preexisting Pure Data audio effect or instrument, move the files into this folder, and create a new text file; then execute camomile against the path to your plugin. The plugins will be built automatically, and you then just need to copy the compiled files into the paths your audio software is expecting (/usr/lib/vst, for example). The documentation is excellent, and there are several examples that compile automatically included in the package. But there's also an excellent guide on building plugins from scratch, and this too is a great way of combining both Pure Data and the essential plugin functionality we all require when working with audio.

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If the lack of audio plugins on Linux is holding back your creativity, create your own plugin with Camomile!

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