More Zen, Man!

Not the first time for this topic. Not at all..

You ever look around on the internets and see some projects that speak to you a little? Like you see “Download in FLAC, MP3, OGG.” And then you think, “FLAC? really? for an album? dang. …I like writing headers for audio formats.”

That was random, huh? But it’s the little things like that that are important to remember when you dive back into optimizing 10,000 of rpc code, or figuring out why your stupid Qt combobox pop-up looks a little different on mac. Shit.

I’m tellin’ ya man, those simple things are the things that really get our gears turning. When you finish a major work of complexity, what is it that you appreciate after it’s done and works well and everything? It’s the feeling of sitting back and feeling the simplicity of the function painted plainly in contrast to the complexity concealed within. It’s like an instant of grace that happens like 1/100 minutes that I work on any given project.


Recently I’ve been tasked with moving from writing more and more docs on the scripting engine, to trying to cut down on the system calls made to the mach kernel to operate the pipe between audio->scripting processes. This shit is super complicated. There’s #ifdefs, and // german comments, and mach calls VS win32 calls, etc.

Then I take a step back and get tapped on the forehead with the thought of a FLAC header. so simple. I cant wait to be a project lead in a time when I have the resources to make my own decisions. What an idea. Man-power available for good testing. Some sort of loose but consistent process for tracking workload. Individual responsibility depicted in a simple progress-bar (thank you trac).

But most of all, the greatest simplicity to toss into that “back in the day we yusta'” talk, is the simplicity if the finished product. You load and play an instrument, add another and a side-chained compressor, and get off to dance-land. There’s no more audio locks, xml attributes, platform-sepcific code, no more multi-national arguments about the overhead of a semaphore lock when the semaphore is guaranteed free. Jesus.


In code, the next best level of simplicity is to have the time available to you to sit down and just dig your little fingers into the steaming guts of that knob’s painting routine. It’s an ellipse. With a two-toned bevel. On one side only. Fuck the bevel, just antialias. Small value text, extremely accurate integer and float value representations for any unit. dB Hz % ms. All as good as the other.

Bring it back, baby, just bring it back. Get right into that knob, and just make it as nice as you possibly can. Then move on to the next thing. Ahhhhhhhhhh. peace.

Looks like someone had a good day designing.
By | 2017-04-27T10:34:38+00:00 January 6th, 2011|Ableton|0 Comments

Leave A Comment

9 + 1 =