Making Connections

In this example we will show how to create a plugin instruments and effects and connect them using MIDI and audio connections.

The signal path for this example:

System MIDI Input => Instrument Plugin => Effect Plugin => System Audio Output

MIDI Input

First we will create the MIDI input, and store it in a script variable using the new slot operator:



midiInput <- Midi.Input("myinput")


The Midi.Input object represents a system MIDI input to the script, at creation time we specify the name of the connection as it will appear to the system. If this line executes we should be able to see the input, in e.g. QJackCtl.

On the system side this input can connect to a MIDI hardware device or other software application, on the script side it can connect to any object that takes MIDI input (known as a Midi.Sink). In this example we'll use an intrument LV2 plugin that takes MIDI input and produces audio output.

Instrument Plugin

The next step is to create the instrument plugin. When we create an LV2 plugin we have to specify the URI that identifies which plugin we want, in this case we have chosen the Monosynth LV2 instrument from Calf Studio Gear.



synth <- Lv2.Plugin("http://calf.sourceforge.net/plugins/Monosynth")


Now we use a connection operator to connect the MIDI input to our plugin:



midiInput => synth


Now any midi messages that come in via the midi input will be sent to the primary MIDI input of this plugin.

Effect Plugin

Now we want to enhance the sound of our instrument plugin by adding an effect plugin to our signal chain, in this case we have chosen the Reverb plugin, also from the CALF plugin suite. We create the plugin in the exact same way we created the instrument plugin, by specifying its URI:



effect <- Lv2.Plugin("http://calf.sourceforge.net/plugins/Reverb")


Now we use the connection operator to make the audio connections between the output of the instrument and the input of the effect. Note there will be two audio connections in this case because both plugins are stereo, the connection operator will create both connections:



synth => effect


Note this is the same operator that we just used for the MIDI connection! This operator => is called the multiplex connection operator and can be used to connect script objects via either MIDI or audio connections, according to the following logic:

Note that the multiplex connection operator will never make audio and MIDI connections at the same time.

There is one other connection operator, the direct connection operator which we will see later in this example.

Audio Output

At this point we can play MIDI notes on the instrument and audio would flow into the reverb effect but we would still not hear anything - the effect plugin's audio outputs are not connected to anything.

To fix this we create a StereoOutput object that connects to the main system outputs:



mainOutput <- Audio.StereoOutput("main", true)


Finally we use the connection operator in order to make the audio connections from the effect plugin to the system outputs.



effect => mainOutput


Chaining Connections

The evaluated result of a connection operation is simply the left hand side object which allows chaining.

In this example so far we have made the connections one at a time, more typically we would chain these connections to show the signal path more clearly:



midiInput => synth => effect => mainOutput


Direct Connections

The multiplex connection operator is designed to solve the most common connection types but it does not work for all cases. In order to make more precise fine-grained connections we can use the direct connection operator.

For example, let's reconnect the synth plugin to the reverb plugin but "cross cables" when we do, so the left synth output goes to the right input of the reverb and vice-versa:


synth.output[0] -> effect.input[1]
synth.output[1] -> effect.input[0]

Note we are using the input and output busses of the plugin to specify the channel of each, these are properties of Audio.Sink and Audio.Source respectively.

Objects of type Midi.Sink will have a bus called midiin and any Midi.Source will have a property midiout, these can also be indexed and connected using the direct connection operator.

Stay Alive

At this point if we ran the script it would create our desired signal path and then immediately terminate. There are no scheduled events of any kind in this script so the script process does not know to stay alive.

To solve this we issue the Script.stayAlive() command which keeps the script process active until:



Script.stayAlive()


Now the script is complete, any MIDI notes we send to the input will play on the synthesizer plugin thru the effect output to the system outputs.



Complete Script

midiInput <- Midi.Input("myinput")

synth <- Lv2.Plugin("http://calf.sourceforge.net/plugins/Monosynth")

midiInput => synth

effect <- Lv2.Plugin("http://calf.sourceforge.net/plugins/Reverb")

synth => effect

mainOutput <- Audio.StereoOutput("main", true)

effect => mainOutput

midiInput => synth => effect => mainOutput

synth.output[0] -> effect.input[1]
synth.output[1] -> effect.input[0]

Script.stayAlive()


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