Laying the Foundation

The Plan

The overall goal of this channel is to create an audiovisual playground that I use to create music, videos, graphics, and even games live on stream!

All tools will be purpose-built for myself. I don't intend for others to use my tools at first, but over time I might be able to add a level of polish that would enable others to use them.

Audio Tools

  • Synthesizers of various types (additive, subtractive, FM, wavetable, sampler)
  • Effects processors of various types (compressor, limiter, noise gate, reverb, chorus, flanger, etc)
  • Custom music creation environment on Linux powered by JACK or Pipewire (DAW)

Visual Tools

  • Custom video creation and editing environment
  • Visual effects processors of various types
  • Audio visualizations of various types
  • Motion graphics tools for video animations and still graphics (video thumbnails, etc)
  • Whiteboard tool for drawing diagrams live in streams (and possibly for videos)


  • Low-level custom C libraries (the core of all tools will be written in C!)
  • Custom programming tools for quick live programming of native applications and audio plugins
  • Custom Scheme-inspired scripting language that powers the various tools and serves as an authoring and data format


  • Custom live streaming software that integrates the various tools I make
  • Live-rendered scenes, video filters, generated graphics, viewer-interactable components, etc


I enjoy programming for the creative value and to see what I can accomplish.

  • Create background music and graphics for my YouTube channels
  • Produce a full album of music created with my own tools
  • Design a really unique streaming experience
  • Create Free Software games

I want to do all this while making the experience of watching it fun and interesting!

All of this won't be achievable in the short term: I see it as a long-term adventure in creativity.

The Design

To accomplish all of this, I've got a specific design in mind:

  • Write all multimedia components in C (or similar low-level language)
  • Use Guile Scheme as the interactivity layer (at first)
  • Create an Emacs package to facilitate interactivity and rapid development
  • Use GNU Guix as the orchestrator for development, distribute tools via a channel
  • Be pragmatic, but ultimately write things as "from scratch" as I can!

The source to everything will be available as I write it, most likely licensed as GPL 3.0.

The Starting Point

  • Get the basic infrastructure set up for the C core with the Guile Scheme layer
  • Set up a SDL window to start experimenting with graphics (later write our own graphics layer)
  • Start building a graphics tool to make video thumbnails and stream graphics


Here's what I'd like to accomplish today:

DONE Create a basic C application that loads Guile Scheme engine

DONE Start a REPL and get it loading inside of Emacs

DONE Start building the "language" for describing graphics scenes

DONE Set up SDL so that we can start drawing things to the screen

DONE Figure out how to use guix shell to create a reproducible dev environment

TODO Get something rendering on the screen!

TODO Push the initial code to GitHub

Next Steps

TODO Don't show Guile Scheme banner when starting flux-studio

TODO Figure out why init-graphics can't be accessed in flux graphics module

TODO Figure out why init-graphics is crashing the process, can we come up with a good debugging strategy (running via gdb)

TODO Get something rendering on the screen!