Akademy/2022/Workshop: Making Zynthbox Playground Modules

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< Akademy‎ | 2022

When, Where, and What?

Room 3 – 4th October 17:00

First things first: Zynthbox is a free software music noodling platform, or workshop if you will, for easily experimenting with and capturing musical ideas. One of the things the platform has is a kind of free-form part-logic, part-visual plugin system called Playground Modules. These modules can provide anything from, say, a couple of buttons that throw some midi notes into the ether to make the synths make a noise, through visually dense keyboard systems (like the included notes grid), chord generation tools, to full blown sequencer editors (like the included step sequencer), to automatic note generators which interact with Zynthbox' playback system in real-time while playing.

Plan of Approach

At this workshop, we will first do a quick introduction to Zynthbox itself, so you can more easily see where the playground modules fit in, followed by a short introduction to how to actually build the things, and distribute them to people via Zynthbox' sharing site (which lives alongside the KDE Store).

What should you know before we start?

I'm not going to be teaching anybody QML here, so you'll need to come prepared for that (sorry, we don't have time, but i'm told it's easy enough if you have a working understanding of react and similar web frameworks). Outside of that, i am going to try and show you what you need to do, but if you want to prepare ahead of time, and of course i would certainly recommend that you at least skim through it, you can take a look at the Playground Modules wiki page here: https://wiki.zynthbox.io/index.php?title=Playground_Modules

If you want something to actually run the thing on, you're going to need a Raspberry Pi 4, and optimally a touch screen (we target a 1024x600 one, so that'd be your best bet). I will have one with me, but of course that's only one, so plan accordingly ;)

PS: "Why is this at a KDE Conference, when it's not a KDE project?" you ask very sensibly. Zynthbox' UI stack is based heavily on a pile of KDE technologies, primarily but not limited to Kirigami, KWin, and KNewStuff, and i am just really keen to show it to people :)

Notes for the wrapup

TBW, obviously ;)