Labeled MIDI controller values in Ardour

A while ago, I implemented MIDI patch, controller, and note name support for Ardour.

There was one thing missing from that work: labelled controller values. This is particularly useful for controllers that don't represent a continuous numeric parameter, but instead have a set of specific values. For example, the Moog Minitaur supports CC #86 to control the LFO sync clock division, but it's not obvious how a 0-127 number maps to a clock division. From the manual, we can learn that 61-67 is "1/4", 68-73 is "1/8 Dot", and so on.

Translate that information into standard MIDINameDocument format, and a few hours of hacking later... voila, Ardour displays something sensible when hovering over an automation point instead of a meaningless number.

Ardour displaying a labelled MIDI controller value when hovering over
an automation point.

If you want to add support for your MIDI device or program, my .midnam documents for the Moog Minitaur, MF-104M, and MF-108M, included in the Ardour distribution all contain examples of labelled values. It should be relatively obvious how to copy and modify these for other devices.

MDA.LV2 1.2.2

mda-lv2 1.2.2 has been released. This is a port of the MDA VST plugins to LV2.


  • Fix compilation against LV2 < 1.8.0

BLOP.LV2 1.0.0

blop-lv2 1.0.0 has been released. This is a port of the BLOP LADSPA plugins by Mike Rawes to LV2.

MDA.LV2 1.2.0

mda-lv2 1.2.0 has been released. This is a port of the MDA VST plugins to LV2.


  • Fix tuning of Piano and EPiano at sample rates other than 44.1 kHz
  • Fix const-violating casts

Jalv 1.4.4

jalv 1.4.4 has been released. Jalv is a simple but fully featured LV2 host for Jack which exposes plugin ports to Jack, essentially making any LV2 plugin function as a Jack application. For more information, see


  • Add -c option for setting controls from the command line
  • Add --no-menu option for jalv.gtk
  • Don't expose non-MIDI event ports to Jack
  • Hide controls for ports with notOnGUI property in generic UI (based on patch from Robin Gareus)
  • Support ui:portMap feature to allow UIs to avoid hard-coded port indices (useful for compatibility and separately distributed UIs)
  • Preset menu support for Qt (patch from Timo Westk√§mper)

Sratom 0.4.4

sratom 0.4.4 has been released. Sratom is a library for serialising LV2 atoms to/from RDF, particularly the Turtle syntax. For more information, see


  • Escape invalid characters when writing paths as URIs
  • Fancier printing without subject and predicate

Lilv 0.18.0

lilv 0.18.0 has been released. Lilv is a C library to make the use of LV2 plugins as simple as possible for applications. For more information, see


  • Allow lilv_state_restore() to be used without passing an instance, for restoring port values via a callback only
  • Fix unlikely memory leak in lilv_plugin_instantiate()
  • Support denoting latency ports with lv2:designation lv2:latency
  • Allow passing NULL port_class to lilv_plugin_get_port_by_designation
  • Call GetProcAddress with correct calling convention on Windows
  • Add support for running plugins from Python by Kaspar Emanuel
  • Clean up after test suite so multiple runs are successful
  • Add lilv_port_get_node() for using world query functions with ports
  • lv2info: Don't display invalid control maxes and defaults (patch from Robin Gareus)
  • lilvmm.hpp: Add wrappers for UI API

Suil 0.8.0

suil 0.8.0 has been released. Suil is a library for loading and wrapping LV2 plugin UIs. For more information, see


  • Add suil_instance_get_handle (patch from Rui Nuno Capela)
  • Fix compilation errors on some systems
  • Upgrade to waf 1.7.14

Interactive force-directed graph layout in Ingen

GraphViz has, unfortunately, broken reverse compatibility of their library API, which has been nagging as a maintenance headache for FlowCanvas and its successor Ganv for a while now. It would be nice to just get rid of that dependency altogether...

Meanwhile, I had to write some force-directed graph layout (FDGL) code for another project...

... You can probably see where this is going. In the spirit of it theoretically being a holiday (there are no holidays in practice in grad school), I spent some time implementing live FDGL in Ganv, and recorded a video of interactive layout in Ingen to show progress.

One nice thing about using live FDGL in a program like Ingen is that the user can customize the layout in an intuitive tactile way, since objects behave physical laws. This video demonstrates some manual rearranging of a patch, and a total reconfiguration by switching the signal flow direction. Manual tweaking of the layout like this was not possible with the previous GraphViz-based layout code.

It took quite a bit of tweaking to get the physics working well, so layouts looked good but the patch didn't explode if there are disconnected components. It's still not quite ideal, but usable.

This is implemented at the Ganv level and thus works in Ingen (as shown), Patchage, and Machina. I'm still not confident enough in this implementation to enable it by default and/or drop Graphviz quite yet, but the adventurous who follow svn, ./waf configure --debug --fdgl. If you're hit by the graphviz breakage (and I still haven't fixed the check...), add --no-graphviz to work around the problem.

Suil 0.6.16

suil 0.6.16 has been released. Suil is a library for loading and wrapping LV2 plugin UIs. For more information, see


  • Fix suil_instance_extension_data() for UIs with NULL extension_data
  • Fix crashes and resizing for X11 in Qt (patch from Rui Nuno Capela)

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