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This question is supposed to be subjective.. well I need to ask this one way or the other... soooo:

As a project I wanted to create my own music sequencer (like a drum machine or synthesiser) from scratch. At the moment I'm not sure as to which hard- and software would be best for me to use.

I was thinking about using some Raspberry Pi Model as my hardware, to code the music sequencer programm I would want to use Java and the casing will be 3D printed.

My Questions are:

  1. Is Raspberry Pi a good hardware for a professional music tool like this?

  2. If yes, then which components should I use for good audio quality?

  3. Should I use Java or are there better option available in other languages?

I would very much appreciate your help, this could be a potential kickstarter project but I'll need to create a good prototype first, so any suggestions would be immensely usefull.

EDIT: People were misunderstanding my question so here some more explanation:

I was sent here from stackoverflow.. if this is still the wrong place to ask this question I'll have no idea where to go else.

If you suggest looking at linux music sequence you do not understand my question correctly. I want to make the sequencer software myself, I'm a programmer.

What I was looking for is a neat small computer which can be built into a casing. I want to make a physical "instrument" with buttons and such. I know there is this thing called HiFiBerry, but I don't know if this will suffice for good music quality like you would have in an audio interface.. so I hope this makes things a little clearer :)

Thanks!

closed as too broad by Aurora0001, joan, Dmitry Grigoryev, Ingo, flakeshake Sep 19 '18 at 9:33

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • This is the wrong sort of site for this sort of question. raspberrypi.org/forums would be a better fit. – joan Sep 18 '18 at 10:56
  • you are asking the wrong question .... the RPi is a linux machine ..... do search about linux music sequencer – jsotola Sep 18 '18 at 19:30
  • Hello, I was sent here from stackoverflow.. sooo whatever. If you suggest looking at linux music sequence you do not understand my question correctly. I want to make the sequencer software myself, I'm a programmer. What I was looking for is a neat small computer which can be built into a casing. I want to make a physical "instrument" with buttons and such. I know there is this thing called HiFiBerry, but I don't know if this will suffice for good music quality like you would have in an audio interface.. so I hope this makes things a little clearer :) – Miger Sep 19 '18 at 8:42
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I already did something similar few years back. And that was very nicely working. Raspberry Pi is powerful enough, and probably even too powerful for that ahah. But well here's what I did at the time :

I used the Pi + alsa + a I2S DAC, the annoying part would be the mixing part, in order to do that I used FMOD, but now that I have a better understanding of the ARM processor, I would probably go for coding a mixer myself (which I did afterward), and at some point optimize with NEON instruction.

Another way you could do the software audio stage would be to use gstreamer, it's very nice in order to do some custom filtering/mixing/effects etc, although I don't know if that's working fine with a Pi, but my first guess is that it is.

Then for the data structure, I guess a lot are possible, but it depend the kind of sequencer you want, it's easy if you only want to play samples. Just use an array that you check one step at a time an trigger sample accordingly. But if you want to do for instance chords midi-sequencing then you'll see that sequencing is way more complicated than a simple trigger for wav sample. You'll have to think about different length step and different notes playing at the same time on the same midi channel. I did that one and it wasn't easy trust me...

I wouldn't recommand using java for embedded audio devices, it does not really make any sense... Use C, or C++ but java is a terrible idea, you're way too far from the hardware.

Afterward once you'll have your first prototype using all that and rasbian, go for a custom Yocto or Buildroot recipe, in order to have the perfect distribution for your product.

Once you'll be at this step, hardware would have to be designed, but that's a whole other subject.

If you have any question feel free to contact me in mp. I'm still working in this kind of project, and would be happy to help.

SUM UP :

  1. Is Raspberry Pi a good hardware for a professional music tool like this?

Yes it is indeed, if you doubt it please give a try to : http://www.warmplace.ru/soft/sunvox/ the work there is insane, and this is how far you can go with a DAW within a Pi

  1. If yes, then which components should I use for good audio quality?

I would suggest a I2S DAC, but that would let you with only 1 audio output, if you want more, you'll need to built it yourself or to add an external audio soundcard.

  1. Should I use Java or are there better option available in other languages?

Never use Java in an embedded project, VM are the worst option possible, event more when you want to use it for an audio project. Use C/C++ it's much more effective and more close to Linux and Hardware.

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    This is exactly what I was looking for :) Thank you a lot for your insight, now at least I know where to start and what to consider, thanks thanks thanks.. was almost giving up hope I'd get good and usefull answer :D – Miger Sep 19 '18 at 10:50
  • If you have any other question I would probably be able to guide you through. But I recommend you to post the question on the raspberry pi official forum, you'll find some nice support there.Give me a sign ;)! – YCN- Sep 19 '18 at 13:47
  • Thanks for the insights. gstreamer is working on the Pi. I have used mopidy which relies on gstreamer. – Ghanima Sep 19 '18 at 16:45

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