Scripted audio effects


The Spotify music streaming service has become hugely successful. And like many other Internet behemoths, it's success is partly built on open source. The quality of the Ogg Vorbis audio codec and container has helped Spotify differentiate itself from the other streaming services, for example. While Spotify doesn't use the open source version of Qt, its adoption would have helped fund the Free version. It's also published a number of open source projects of its own, with pedalboard being its latest. Pedalboard is an audio effects library for Python, which may sound overly technical for most people, but it really does have genuine utility for most of us. If you've used the Audacity audio editor, for example, you'll be used to the idea of processing your audio with audio effects one at a time. Pedalboard allows you to do this in real time, with whatever effects you choose, and even includes some of its own – all tied together with a little Python.

Pedalboard includes several "bread-and-butter" effects to help with general audio issues. These include convolution (an effect that imbibes the acoustics of a real or digital space from an impulse), a compressor, chorus, distortion, gain, filters, limiter, phaser, and reverb. These are all of a very high quality, and despite being only useful to Python programmers, the documentation makes them accessible to anyone with only a smattering of Python experience. But the best feature is one that would previously only be feasible for experienced programmers: adding external effects. Pedalboard can use VST3 plugins alongside its own, and they can be used in your code just as easily as the native plugins. There's nothing else quite like this, with the closest alternatives being perhaps SuperCollider or Pure Data, but neither have the convenience and ubiquity of Python.

Project Website

Even Python beginners can access cutting-edge audio effects with Spotify's pedalboard.

Modern editor

Buy this article as PDF

Express-Checkout as PDF
Price $2.95
(incl. VAT)

Buy Linux Magazine

Get it on Google Play

US / Canada

Get it on Google Play

UK / Australia

Related content

  • FOSSPicks

    Graham recently found the perfect use for his old Nintendo DS Lite. Thanks to having exactly the same screen resolution, it now runs the brilliant ZXDS Sinclair ZX Spectrum emulator.

  • Big Shot: OpenShot Video Editor Version 1.0 Released

    Video clip editors have been in short supply under Linux. Jonathan Thomas is now trying to fill that gap with the first stable version of the OpenShot Video Editor.

  • FOSSPicks

    This month Graham looks at Firefly Synth, Faircamp, Gnome Web, GPlates, Flowblade, CorsixTH, and more!

  • Video Editor Roundup

    In a comparison test, we checked out nine free video editing programs: Cinelerra, Flowblade, Kdenlive, Kino, Lightworks, LiVES, OpenShot, Pitivi, and Shotcut.

  • FOSSPicks

    Over the past couple of months, Graham's ever-versatile Steam Deck has synced books to an e-reader, played movies on a television, joined Mumble, recorded two podcast episodes, and even played a few games.

comments powered by Disqus
Subscribe to our Linux Newsletters
Find Linux and Open Source Jobs
Subscribe to our ADMIN Newsletters

Support Our Work

Linux Magazine content is made possible with support from readers like you. Please consider contributing when you’ve found an article to be beneficial.

Learn More