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@elemaudio/plugin-renderer

The official package for rendering Elementary applications within an audio plugin.

Currently, applications using this renderer must be run from within the Elementary Plugin Dev Kit, which is installed separately, and currently supported only on MacOS 10.11+.

info

The @elemaudio/plugin-renderer package is available both on the public npm registry and in the Elementary private registry.

Installation

First, the npm package.

npm install --save @elemaudio/plugin-renderer

Next, download the latest plugin binaries here, then:

  1. Open up the DMG file and drag the appropriate plugin format to your install directory. Typically the VST3 will go in ~/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/VST3, and the AU in ~/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/Components.
  2. Spin up a new web application dev server on https://127.0.0.1:3000. For a quick example, try create-react-app out of the box. See the note below on provisioning a dev certificate for serving your app over https.

At this point, with your dev server running, you can open the Elementary Plugin Dev Kit inside your DAW and see your web application rendered there within the plugin window. Now we wire up Elementary as in the example below to start making noise.

Example

import {el} from '@elemaudio/core';
import {default as core} from '@elemaudio/plugin-renderer';

core.on('load', function() {
core.render(
el.mul(0.3, el.cycle(440)),
el.mul(0.3, el.cycle(440)),
);
});

core.initialize();

Usage

import PluginRenderer from '@elemaudio/plugin-renderer';

// Or,
import {default as core} from '@elemaudio/plugin-renderer';

initialize

core.initialize()

The default export from the @elemaudio/plugin-renderer package is a singleton instance which communicates with the underlying plugin host. That instance must be initialized after you've added a listener for the load event.

This method takes no arguments; configuring the input layout, sample rate, and block size is typically done via the plugin host.

render

core.render(...args: Array<NodeRepr_t | number>) : RenderStats;

Performs the reconciliation process for rendering your desired audio graph. This method expects one argument for each available output channel. That is, if you want to render a stereo graph, you will invoke this method with two arguments: core.render(leftOut, rightOut).

The RenderStats object returned by this call provides some insight into what happened during the reconciliation process: how many new nodes and edges were added to the graph, how long it took, etc.

Events

The NodeRenderer singleton instance is an event emitter with an API matching that of the Node.js Event Emitter class.

The renderer will emit events from underlying audio processing graph for nodes such as el.meter, el.snapshot, etc. See the reference documentation for each such node for details.

Virtual File System

Unlike the Web Renderer and the Offline Renderer, the Elementary runtime in the Plugin Renderer does have access to your file system. Therefore when you try to reference sample files during your render step, such as with el.sample({path: '/real/path/on/disk.wav'}, el.train(1), 1), Elementary will attempt to find and load that file from your file system.

Currently, only wav files are supported for this file loading mechanism.

info

In a near future update, the PluginRenderer will move to using a virtual file system like the Web and Offline renderers. At that time, loading directly from disk during render() will be deprecated.

MIDI

The PluginRenderer does not include MIDI support itself.

Dev SSL Certificate

One thing to note, in order for the Plugin Dev Kit to load from 127.0.0.1, we need to equip the dev server with a valid SSL certificate to serve over https. There are various ways of doing this depending on which framework you're using. For example, create-react-app can be invoked with an HTTPS=true environment variable, and a custom SSL certificate using SSL_CRT_FILE and SSL_KEY_FILE.

$ BROWSER=false HTTPS=true SSL_CRT_FILE=./localhost-cert.pem SSL_KEY_FILE=./localhost-key.pem npm start

To generate a valid, custom SSL certificate, we recommend mkcert configured against a local certificate authority.

Specialization

There are a few features of the PluginRenderer that are unique to the audio plugin context.

Event: '/macro/\*'

The /macro/\* event fires any time one of the eight macro parameter values changes inside the DAW itself. These events will be enumerated by the index of the parameter changed. That is, when the first parameter is changed the event name will be '/macro/0', when the second parameter is changed, the event name will be '/macro/1', etc.

The argument given to any subscribed callbacks will simply be the new parameter value as a number on the range [0, 1].

Example:

core.on('/macro/5', function(v) {
setCutoffFrequency(20 + v * 18000);
});
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Note: currently these 8 parameter values cannot be written from JavaScript. This will be addressed in a forthcoming update.

Event: 'playhead'

The playhead event fires regularly to relay information about the host transport.

interface PlayheadEvent {
bpm: number,
timeSigNumerator: number,
timeSigDenominator: number,
sampleTime: number,
ppqPosition: number,
ppqLoopStart: number,
ppqLoopEnd: number,
isPlaying: bool,
isRecording: bool,
isLooping: bool,
};

Example:

core.on('playhead', function(e) {
console.log(e);
});

Window Size

You can configure what size the plugin window takes by serving a static configuration file from your dev server at https://127.0.0.1:3000/elementary.config.json. This file must match the example JSON specification below.

{
"window": {
"width": 565,
"height": 280,
"maxWidth": 1130,
"maxHeight": 560,
"minWidth": 565,
"minHeight": 280,
"resizable": true,
"preserveAspectRatio": true
}
}

Limitations

The Plugin DevKit itself currently ships with the follow constraints:

  • It's currently MacOS only, 10.11+.
  • It's branded the "Elementary Dev Kit" and will show up in your DAW that way
  • It only exposes 8 parameters (which you can wire into your app, see below)
  • It will only load your code from https://127.0.0.1:3000
  • Only effect plugins are properly supported (MIDI information is not yet propagated)
info

In a near future update, we will formalize the process for shipping a production version of your plugin after building with the Plugin Dev Kit. That process will remove the above limitations.