Ah yes, the birth of yet another DAW. I think the main point of distinction is that it is (well, will be) written in Rust.


Here is the design doc:


My usual grumbles about DAWs apply here.

Why can't all these open source DAWs have a bit more fun with it? It all seems so homogeneous and boring. And you end up with homogeneous and stale music.

Make up some new conventions. Add a gaming aspect. Give it a face. Maybe you make so it's like being a gardener, but for sound? Add in a physics engine! The possibilities are endless.


Open source projects have nothing to lose. They don't need a huge audience. They aren't going to disrupt the music industry. Make it niche and interesting. And small. DAWs as we know them to be are really complex with very little payoff. Andrew Kelley started building a DAW, and decided it wasn't worth the effort, so he gave up and built the Zig programming language instead.

Main dev just commented on the HN post and stated some of the rationale behind it.

If you think that "I wanted to build a commercial quality FLOSS, saw all the existing ones, was disappointed, and decided to build my own." is an original thought, think again. What really makes you think you'll end up any better than the projects that are years to decades old made up of teams of people who had that exact same idea? How long do you think it took commercial DAWs to get to the state they are at today? And if you do manage succeed, what exactly is that supposed to accomplish?

Ignore that initial impulse to blindly clone these dinosaurs and save yourself the heartache. Do what comes next.

@paul FWIW respect to Kjetil who is quietly living this dream imho: users.notam02.no/~kjetism/radi (I still have yet to actually *use* radium but I keep thinking I should do some projects with it, seems like he's having fun with it.)

@luvsound I keep forgetting about that one. I wonder what the community is like there?

@paul I've only observed their bug tracking rituals

@paul in other words the mailing list is mostly release announcements and bug reports... :) pleasant but not much community type discussion that I've seen.

But I just noticed there is some activity on the forum!


@luvsound @paul sorry to randomly drop in on this thread but holy cow, I hadn't heard of radium before and I'm super intrigued. #puredata is embedded? the daw does granular synthesis!? Oh I'm definitely going to be trying this out

@cb @paul IIRC there's a python scripting API too. Please share your experience!

@luvsound @paul that has got to be the single most unique DAW interface I've ever seen and I'm now super intrigued to try it

@paul to be honest I'd like an open source DAW that worked like ableton - the "session" view where you can trigger clips (midi or audio) with a midi grid controller or the mouse and automate them and add randomness to everything made a big difference to how I make music. I get that it's another "copy this" thing but it's "copy this somewhat unique and interesting thing" not more of the same.

@martyn to me, you are describing a mechanic in DAW, not a DAW itself. I like copying mechanics! But it's different than making a DAW.

@paul definitely, just none has yet. That means my workflow that I enjoy using is limited to windows, which means asio hell.

Yeah, this is similar to how I started over a decade. I wanted FL Studio on Linux. I wanted Linux because I didn't have to pay money for it. My mindset has changed a bit since then.

Linux has it's own audio problems, and I've found Linux users *love* to talk about it.

Have you ever thought about building a little toy that is an MVP of the kind of workflow you want for sequencing and arranging (and it is a sequencing and arranging problem, you'll want to have something else handle things like synthesis and DSP).

@paul yep, many times, but, in true geek fashion, I already have more projects than heartbeats remaining lol (that is definitely a lyric going into a song)

@paul I wanted to be more supportive of this project, but it's pretty telling that their "not a screeenshot, this is a design mockup" image looks like you'd expect a crufty old open-source DAW to look.

I really wish literally any one of these "saw what was there, thought I could do it better" devs realized that the missing ingredient is usually any kind of fundamental UX design ethos.

@Miredly I wish these people actually knew how to use DAWs. I mean really know how.

I had the opportunity to see this assistant producer for Lady Gaga give a master class once where he pulled up one of the pro tools sessions for one of her tracks. This dude was a beast. I've never seen anyone fly through a DAW so quickly. It reminded me of an experienced programmer working in vim or emacs. Completely changed my perspective on what it meant to be a professional in the industry relying on this software literally every day for hours on end.

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