sciss / fscape-next

Audio rendering software (in progress), based on UGen graphs. Mirror of



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An audio rendering (offline signal processing) library. Although not optimised for it, it can also be used to process still images and image sequences (aka videos). This project should eventually become the next major version of FScape, an experimental music and sound signal processing workbench. As of this writing, the library is still experimental (although very useful, and I have used it in several projects). It has basic integration with Mellite, but since Mellite does not yet offer "widget programs", it currently does not replace FScape (version 1) yet.

FScape(-next) is (C)opyright 2001–2018 by Hanns Holger Rutz. All rights reserved. This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU Affero General Public License v3+. To contact the author, send an email to contact at

FScape contains code adapted from Praat by Paul Boersma and David Weenink, published under the GNU General Public License v2+.


FScape 2 builds with sbt and Scala 2.12, 2.11. It requires Java 8.


The following dependency is necessary:

"de.sciss" %% "fscape" % v

The current version v is "2.17.3".

The following sub modules are available:

"de.sciss" %% "fscape-core"  % v  // core library
"de.sciss" %% "fscape-lucre" % v  // integration with SoundProcesses


Please see the file


The goals of this project are:

  • completely separate GUI and processes
  • move from Java to Scala
  • reformulate modules as a graph of small modular DSP blocks
  • DSP blocks are modelled as UGens similar to those in ScalaCollider, with the crucial difference that in FScape processes run in non-realtime and usually will have a bounded duration
  • currently UGens graphs will be translated into an Akka Stream graph, hopefully providing a robust streaming API and the possibility to customise parallelism
  • provide a simple DSL similar to ScalaCollider for users to write their own DSP graphs
  • integrate these graphs into Mellite

FScape (v2) provides a set of unit generators in the package de.sciss.fscape.graph which roughly follow the idea of UGens in ScalaCollider. Or more precisely, the building blocks are of type GE or graph element. A graph element can abstract over UGens (introduce pseudo-UGens) and abstract over the number of channels (perform a late multi-channel-expansion). The inputs of a graph element are usually other graph elements. Primitive numbers are lifted to graph elements implicitly. Unlike the real-time counterpart ScalaCollider, graph elements may last for a specific number of frames.

Some have an infinite duration, e.g. generators such as SinOsc, DC, or WhiteNoise. Others have a finite duration, e.g. AudioFileIn. Filters usually end, when their "hot" input (typically the first input) ends, while they cache the values of auxiliary inputs. For example, if you write Sliding(in, 512, 32) you are creating sliding and overlapping windows over then input in. The window size here is 512 and the stepping size is 32. Both 512 and 32 are constants that have a duration of one frame, but Sliding keeps processing until the hot input, in, terminates. If one wanted to modulate the window size, a dynamic signal could be used instead of the constant.


The following program reads in a monophonic sound file and outputs a logarithmic gray scale sonogram PNG image:

import de.sciss.fscape._

val fIn       = new"input.aif")
val specIn    = AudioFile.readSpec(fIn)
val fOut      = new"sonogram.png")
val fftSize   = 8192
val timeResMS = 4.0   // milliseconds
val winStep   = math.min(fftSize, (timeResMS / 1000 * specIn.sampleRate + 0.5).toInt)
val numWin    = ((specIn.numFrames - fftSize + winStep - 1) / winStep).toInt
val numBands  = 432
val dbMin     = -78.0
val dbMax     = -18.0

val g = Graph {
  import graph._
  val in        = AudioFileIn(file = fIn, numChannels = 1)
  val slid      = Sliding(in, fftSize, winStep)
  val winFun    = GenWindow(size = fftSize, shape = GenWindow.Hann)
  val windowed  = slid * winFun
  val rotWin    = RotateWindow(windowed, size = fftSize, amount = fftSize/2)
  val fft       = Real1FFT(rotWin, size = fftSize)
  val constQ    = ConstQ(fft, fftSize = fftSize, numBands = numBands)
  val norm      = constQ.ampDb.linLin(dbMin * 2, dbMax * 2, 0.0, 1.0).clip()
  val rotImg    = RotateFlipMatrix(norm, rows = numWin, columns = numBands, mode = RotateFlipMatrix.Rot90CCW)
  val specOut   = ImageFile.Spec(width = numWin, height = numBands, numChannels = 1)
  ImageFileOut(file = fOut, spec = specOut, in = rotImg)

val ctrl  = stream.Control()
import ctrl.config.executionContext
ctrl.status.foreach { _ => sys.exit() }

The actual DSP program is written inside a Graph { } block, which you can think of as a variant of ScalaCollider's SynthGraph. AudioFileIn reads and streams a sound file, Sliding produces overlapping windows, these weighted by a Hann window, then rotated in their phase, then the Fourier transform is taken. The ConstQ element applies filters to the spectrum that give us the squared magnitudes of the logarithmic frequency bands (we use the defaults of ConstQ here). The norm variable captures these magnitudes in a useful range for representation as gray scale pixels. Before the image is written out, we rotate it, so that time corresponds to the x-Axis and frequencies corresponds to the y-Axis. Note that FScape does not have a dedicated 2-dimensional image signal type, instead images are transported as 1D signals, scanning from left to right and top to bottom. You could expand the example to process a stereo sound file by changing to numChannels = 2, all other UGens would automatically multi-channel-expand. In the end you could decide to mix the two channels together (make sure to clip the sum, otherwise you may see wrapped pixel values):

ImageFileOut(file = fOut, spec = specOut, in = (rotImg.out(0) + rotImg.out(1)).min(1.0))

Or you could decide that they should indicate the red and green channel, and add an empty blue channel:

val specOut = ImageFile.Spec(width = numWin, height = numBands, numChannels = 3)
ImageFileOut(file = fOut, spec = specOut, in = Seq(rotImg.out(0), rotImg.out(1), DC(0.0)))

For more examples, browse the 'test' sources. Also see the API Documentation.


  • early blog post:
  • future versions may take some lessons from the Patterns project, namely to use typed streams instead of the opaque GE. Currently, GE can "hide" different element types such as Double, Int, Long. This may create confusing behaviour with regard to some arithmetic operators, and also it makes it unclear what the underlying type may be. Secondly, the notion of resettable programs is introduced by Patterns and may provide a powerful application in FScape, too. Thirdly, we may want to create a bridging mechanism between the two, so that one can use patterns for low throughput symbols, take advantage of the powerful collections-style operations in Patterns, while using FScape for the actual DSP signals.
  • to replace FScape v1, we would probably add an abstraction to Mellite that allows one to write "widget programs" which can thus represent the module GUIs of FScape v1.
  • the "hot" inlet style can lead to very confusing behaviour (see issue #7) of the seemingly symmetric BinaryOp; notably a + b may not behave the same as b + a, because in the first case the output stream ends when a ends, and in the second case the output stream ends when b ends. So 1 + SinOsc(...) creates a stream with the length of one sample frame, while SinOsc(...) + 1 creates an infinite stream. This will be addressed in an upcoming version.