Blog Post

An Audio Developer Diary -Take 2

Hello and welcome back to the first blog post in well over a year – I will try not to let it all slip away like that again.

So I accidentally ended up going back through the blog posts in this site – and re-read all the ones about being a Kontakt developer and the trials and tribulations of developing a product called Orbiter. It was informative and (surprisingly) quite enjoyable, though more than a bit geeky. So I thought it might be fun to do it all again, only this time from a slightly different perspective. A lot has changed in those two years for all of us.

The other thing I will try hard to do, and probably fail from time to time (so please forgive me), is not get so detailed about the ins and outs of the product. I built Orbiter and even I got lost reading back through all 24 posts about what a feature did or didn’t do, god help anyone else. The things I found most useful were the more overall “learnings”/ observations – some of which I even managed to keep in mind and execute(eventually).

So what were these “learnings” and how did I do?

  • I should know my limits – yeah I’m a bit better at this; but not much. I still try and make stuff that may be beyond my current knowledge/ability.
  • I should move to another development platform – Done! Tick! yep! (see below)
  • Try not to add a million things (less might well be more) – hmm, I think I’ve cut it down from a million to maybe a 100 thousand things – so there’s been some improvements here.
  • Finish one feature, and test it, before starting another – yes – but truth be told I think that’s easier to achieve in the development environment I now use – so I’ve been sorta forced into it.
  • Once a feature is IN then get it done – yes – again the environment is leading me down this path
  • An idea for a feature should stay just an idea for a week before committing to it, because it will change as you think about it. – oh well “sometimes” but other times the idea is just too cool to not be implemented the first chance I get.
  • Nothing gives better insight than playing the instrument – duh. Tho I’m known to forget this.
  • Refactoring is your GOOD friend – But no developer REALLY loves doing it. Still it gets done (sometimes).
  • Reusable components will pay off in the end – yep, again the environment I use has forced a lot of this on me.
  • Nobody cares, stop whining – really? what nobody? OK no whining….

So what’s different?

Well from a development perspective, I don’t build in Kontakt anymore. I use a development library/environment called HISE, along with a little C++ to allow me to ship plug-ins(VST, AU, AAX) and standalone apps (MacOS, iOS, Windows).

Next: how I make my living. I used to build Kontakt instruments for myself(and my partners) as a side activity from my day job as a real-time telecommunications person. These days I spend all my working hours building audio products, for my customers and for myself. Yep I’m a professional audio developer – with 15+ years of experience – man where did the time go?

Next time I will talk about one of the products I’ve been working on – called QUATTRO, – there’s an image of the main screen at the top there…so watch out for the next post…

Related Posts