Robin's Latest Site

Robin's expertise is in audio/video post-production and related hardware/software research and development.

Currently Robin mainly works as contractor for Harrison, Manufacturer of the World's Finest Consoles, acts as core-developer for Ardour and develops a line of professional Audio Plugins.


· 18.09.2009 12:58 · Robin Gareus

FOMS 2009

foms3.jpg This years FOMS (Foundations of Open Media Software) Workshop took place in Hobart, Tasmania and has not only been fun but also a great success!

The focus was on video & film, development of multimedia and collaborative video editing software such a metavid, and videobin as well as free video codecs: dirac and ogg.

foms2.jpg Quite a few of the short-term Community Goals have been tackled, not only resulting in interesting discussion on ffmpeg-devel, but also yielding funding for open media now to publicly document codecs and prior art as an anti-patent strategy. started to index FLOSS authoring tools as a first step to indicate gaps for a professional workflow and and and..

FOMS was a very busy two days, extending into a multimedia mini-conf at LCA and quite a few days of hacking thereafter, not to mention the T42 bar evening excursions.

· 01.02.2009 06:25

linux film browsing

Happy new 1984 2009! Neujahr what a great day to update the blog.

I spent the quiet days unwrapping the web-interface of the sodankyla film server; adding an audio-decoder and streaming capability. Quite a cool gift for media archivers. It's the last piece of infrastructure before work on the compositor and session management can begin. I've attached a few screenshots of the bare-bone interface: seeking to frames and streaming/exporting an excerpt.

The PHP front reports few new dokuwiki plugins; that require documentation and announce emails. I'm about to put it all together by concluding updates to the web-style over the next week.

  • tagentry - provides checkboxes to assign tags to a DokuWiki page.
  • tbt - renders time based text.
  • dokuladspa - visualize LADSPA plugins and demonstrate effect presets on a wiki page.
  • metabox is being rewriten and the tagmatrix plugin is having a comeback..

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“Diane, when two events happen simutaneously, pertaining to the same object of inquiry, we must always pay strict attention!” (Agent Dale Cooper in Twin Peaks)

DIY festival

I've been one of the lucky persons to have been at the last weekend. A festival for art and technology hosted at the Dynamo in Zürich. Apart from there amazing collection of Theremins, there were quite some impressive installations, performances and talks.

Under the motto do it yourself together; we've conducted a touch-screen workshop based on frontera and The standards were quite high: One team set up improvised screens using a beamer and two web-cams. While an other team worked with pure-data, MAX/MSP|| and|processing on interaction and design. Communication between the screen and visualization software was done with OSC. We ended up with a virtual Theremin, some touchable flame/interactive flare animations and even improved justpoint software tools with long awaited user-feedback. Really impressive for only an afternoon of work.

It's been one of the best hands-on workshops and even better you had an amazing taste for music and community. I had a great time. Many thanks to the organizers of the festival and anyone involved.

· 15.12.2008 00:24 · Robin Gareus

Wicked Game

I've been too busy the last weeks to keep up with blogging. So here's a few more updates before x-mas. I'm thinking of attending 25c3 and to check out the dokuwiki developer room there. After all kind of Audio/Video coding I think I need a break and write some different languages before heading to FOMS and LCA mid Jan 2009.

I'm following the discussion on oAuth-body signatures which won't be hard to add to liboauth and might also become a requirement for the dokuwiki PubSub plugin; but for the time being I am laying low, lurking on that end.

I've finally improved my knowledge of c-sound - something I've been wanting to do ever since I first heard and learned it at the LAC 2006. - With Wicked in need for a lot of atmospheric sounds I've fired up Algoscore to produce a score and had lots of fun spending hours tweaking csound instruments. For the title song I've used hydrogen and AMSynth; mixing and mastering is due next Tuesday. hang in there.

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· 14.12.2008 16:02 · Robin Gareus

Unusual Workflow

It's been almost two months since the last post which I mostly spent pushing open-source tools to the limit with film-postproduction.

Looking at the rushed scans for the Wicked offline-edit, I noticed that some sound-clips have gone missing and only the 16 bit versions of the audio have been synced to the new-timecode. No EDL has been provided by Filmmore either. dang.

Before starting to count frames, slates and reels: The scanned pictures contains a printed version of the camera-timecode which was derived from the audio-recorder's SMPTE/LTC. So if one could parse the camera timecode one can relate the original-audio clock to the timecode of the offline-video..

Since the original EDL was no-where to be found and a second scan is not an option, I set out on this unusual workflow:

  1. dump timecode for each audio-file
  2. decode each video-frame, crop the timecode and OCR it to ASCII text. Then save the frame-number along with each detected timecode.
  3. assign audio-files for given timecode to the video-frame, reassign audio-timecode (drop gaps) and write EDL that matches the analyzed video.

'wicked' xjadeo & ardour session I'd estimated it to take 3-4 hours and ended up spending a day:

Already the first step introduced quite some delay: sfinfo does not inform one about extended WAV headers. libsndfile supports it and I was looking for sndfile-info -b but was more quick to write some c-code re-using xjadeo's SMPTE parser and moved on to step two, which surprisingly was much quicker: Using vextract from sodankylä, it took less than a minute until I started to pass frames to an OSC tool. The first test with gocr was a success. I tried with tesseract and ocrad, both of which have a higher setup-cost, require more tuning and even turned out to be less efficient (char-set configuration, processing time). So gocr it is, for good measure I've forked vannotate and in not time I had two text-files: One with audio-, one with video timecode at two AM in the morning.

Step (3) turned out to take most time: I implemented the offset calculation before taking a nap; and spend another two hours to write and debug a perl-script to generate - not an EDL - but an ardour session file. You won't believe how I high I jumped when it loaded the first session with 100 clips automatically arranged on four tracks!

I justed completed step (4): bounce the tracks and master a preview DVD; quite easy with mencoder, dvdauthor and mkisofs. I've used my trusted dvdmaker script.

The sources are available with the sodankylä project and may end up as Plugins or interoperability tools for open-movie-editor, Contact me if you want to push this project. For what it's worth: I've also prototyped an EDL editor using a AJAX/JSON interface to sodankylä and started to implement having learned from the prototype, but for now I'm back to sound-design. I also need to arrange travel to FOMS 2009, and I received an invitation to join the SLUG club. I'm really looking forward to escape this murky and damp Amsterdam.

· 14.12.2008 14:02 · Robin Gareus

wicked days

I spent the last days on the Wicked film set; driving the Chevrolet Impala set-car in gorgeous weather with an amazing team in the Amsterdamse Bos. Thanks everyone! Before post-production (and sodankyla development) begins I'm just about to release oauth-utils, preparing for the dokuwiki oAuth plug-in. Oh, a film-website is also on my ToDo list, besides ..well you don't wanna know. Stay tuned for more pictures!

Related to the movie-shooting I've been busy porting libltcsmpte to AVR-C and built myself a LTC SMPTE timecode reader. What else?

Arjan, Eelko and me are going to host the touch-screen workshop based on Frontera's justpoint at the DIY festival in Zuerich, CH. I'm looking forward to that, so I've updated the wordpress at, the content and a new release is due around end of November as is the sound-track for Wicked. I'm firing up compiling ardour. See Ya.

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· 17.10.2008 17:41 · Robin Gareus


I'm just recovering from the conference where I forged some new contacts and renewed many old. The week before picnic we had the chance to build and design interactive installations presented at the conference in a 5 day hackers-camp. We rented a house with 30 people and as you can imagine there was little time for sleep. Besides supporting the camp on oAuth and anyMeta. I've added the breedr on my ToDo stack: A pond filled with sand in which virtual creatures dwell in an environment linked to the internet-world; reacting on internet-traffic, user-profile-changes or interacting directly via RFID triggers. Come with a friend and cross breed web-DNA to make a link.

The source is online at the breedr trac, read more on our project page. Mediamatic has the picture.

I'll cite my friend Luis, whom I teamed up with for the Breedr project: «The group of people that have shared a roof over the last week is pretty amazing. The array of skills, the variety of views, the camaraderie and the relentless commitment on parade over the last week are truly awesome.»

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· 01.10.2008 20:11 · Robin Gareus


Since Friday I'm hacking almost non-stop for the picnic conference where registered conference visitors keep their online-profile on a RFID-chip (ik-tag or i-tag) which they can use to sign up for workshops, participate in games, make friends/exchange contacts, get consumption vouchers, etc. throughout the conference.

Besides being back coding for mediamatic's anyMeta CMS (here: Community Managemet System), I've teamed up with Luis, Sly, Thijs and Neil to build The Breeder: an installation where you can interact with a virtual creature that «lives on your RFID tag».

Besides feeding the creature with input from your personal-profile and online activity, you can meet with your and other creatures for reproduction at a pond-like portal (beamer, pond with white sand, camera, rfid-readers) that will be exhibited during the conference staring next Wednesday. The Breeder will visualize meta-activity of conference-visitors in a game like environment (processing/java) where creatures can reproduce when their owners meet and recombine genes of their profiles. Furthermore interaction is not limited to the pond: Users can download a screenshot/snapshot of their pet or enter a communication that their creatures stroke up.. - I'm out to walk my amoeba.

It's a very ambitious project, even more so given a 5 days timeframe from idea until deadline.. You can follow development at our project trac/wiki.

· 22.09.2008 00:54
start.txt · Last modified: 22.02.2019 20:59 by rgareus