Ciaramella, a declarative audio programming language

Started by stefano, Jan 17, 2023, 08:59 PM


Domain-specific languages (DSLs) are ubiquitous in computer science and engineering today. You can find one or more successful examples in most engineering subfields, e.g., MATLAB for numerical computing, R for statistics, Mathematica and Maxima for symbolic computation, VHDL and Verilog for hardware description, SQL for querying relational databases, HTML and CSS for web hypertext and layout... and the list goes on and on.

When it comes to audio programming languages there's no shortage of proposals either, yet in my experience none is taken seriously enough in the music tech industry to be used in actual products or even for prototyping (perhaps I might be partly wrong, but this is what I've witnessed so far). The academia also seems to largely ignore them, with the exception of the people directly involved in their development and a few enthusiasts. In pratice, it seems to me that prototypes are actually developed in Matlab and Python, while production code is mostly written in C/C++.

While I don't necessarily believe that experts tend to choose their tools wisely, I think I can easily see why these tools are failing at being useful enough to get adopted for their intended purpose, and I also think we can do better. That is why we funded a doctoral position last year to research and develop Ciaramella, a new audio programming language that can actually be used.

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