Releasing a new Overtone

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Arne Brasseur

Nov 3, 2023, 4:45:53 AM11/3/23
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Hello friends of Overtone!

The last release of Overtone is already from May 2019, and a bunch of fixes and improvements have accumulated on the main branch. Sam has been so kind to give me access to both the repo and to the clojars group, and I'm planning to get a new release out very soon (probably today), and hopefully more regular releases after that.

Chatting with folks in the #overtone channel on Clojurians slack (, read-only archive:, it seems like there is still significant interest in Overtone. This project is one of the reasons I fell in love with Clojure a decade ago, and I'd like to do my part to keep it relevant and accessible into the future.

That said I already have a lot on my plate, including running a company and maintaining a lot of open source , so I mainly want to be a conduit and facilitator over here, encouraging others to contribute, and getting the right people talking to one another.

I encourage people here who are still interested in Overtone to keep an eye on the slack channel, as that seems to be the most active place where people are still talking about Overtone. I will encourage folks on slack to sign up for the mailing list as well. I like mailing lists, I'm old school like that, and for some things long form slower discussion is so much better than ephemeral chat.

In the short term I could really use some help to triage all the issues (116) and PRs (8) that have accumulated on Github. Here's an overview of the current PRs, and how you can help resolve them:


  A ten year old PR about sync-event being broken. Does no one
  actually use sync-event? The diff looks plausible, it adds a
  bunch of tests as well, but unsurprisingly it no longer applies

  What we need here is for someone to open a REPL, verify that
  sync-event is indeed broken, and if so to rebase this branch on
  current `main`, try it out, and submit a new PR.


  Adds the ability to slide to the stringed instrument ns, and an
  example to demonstrate how it works. Looks cool, some minor
  code style issues.

  We'd need someone to try it out to make sure it actually works,
  then we can merge and address any styling issues afterwards.


  A rather specific thing, a fix for the Korg nanoKONTROL2. I
  left a comment, from looking at the code I can see how this
  would be an issue, but the proposed fix could break existing
  code. I left a comment proposing an alternative solution. Would
  be great if someone could make a new PR for that. And even
  greater if someone who owns a nanoKontrol could actually test
  it. It's a very small change.


  Adds a timeout param to `sample`, so it doesn't time out when
  loading really big sound files. The diff seems reasonable, it's
  a bit of change because the param has to be threaded through a
  number of calls, but looks like the author made some effort to
  keep things backwards compatible. It has conflicts, so would be
  great if someone could rebase it, make a fresh PR for it, and
  also just run the code once so we have one extra pair of eyes
  confirming that it works.


  WIP PR touching the JNA code. Title is "fix internal linux
  server", but the linked issue is about "Windows 64 bit".
  I think we can let this rest for the time being, we probably
  need a broader conversation around the JNA stuff.


  Left a comment, as I suspect there might be a better solution.
  In any case needs a rebase.


  Big WIP PR reworking the JNA code, replacing clj-native with
  techascent's JNA library. Not touching this yet until I've had
  more time to dig in to the JNA stuff.


  Fixes one of the composition examples (clapping-music), looks
  like some of the freesound links has gone dead. From the
  comments it seems there's a concern that some of the new samples
  are "clicky", which someone suggested could be addressed by
  adding an envelope.
  Probably still better to have clicky samples than a broken
  example, would be great if someone could try this out and
  report back, or maybe even add that suggested envelope around
  the samples.

I have some ideas about what's next, and will see if I can facilitate conversations around that, but it would be great if we could first do some spring cleaning (it's spring somewhere, right?).

Thank you!
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