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Shaden is a modular audio synthesizer. Patches for the synthesizer are written in a Lisp dialect. A REPL and HTTP interface are provided for interacting with the synthesizer in real-time. I started this project as a way of learning more about digital signal processing and music theory. Consider this an art project.

The name "shaden" comes from the Cycle of Galand book series by Edward W. Robertson.



On macOS you can install these dependencies with: brew install go portaudio portmidi

Getting Started


$ go get -u

CLI Usage


$ shaden -repl
> (define gen (unit/gen))
> (-> gen (table :freq (hz 300)))
> (emit (<- gen :sine))

Load File

$ shaden examples/frequency-modulation.lisp


$ shaden examples/krell.lisp
$ curl -X POST -d "(=> rise (table :x (ms 100))) ; ..."

This is my preferred way of interacting with the synthesizer. I've written a small Vim plugin that can send over snippets of Lisp code to the program for evaluation. You can find that plugin here.

The HTTP interface is limited to Lisp evaluation at the moment, but I have hopes of providing an API for direct graph manipulation via HTTP.


For a more information about the Lisp dialect bundled with Shaden, check out the wiki.


The best way to get to know the way patching works in Shaden is to look at the examples directory.

I gave a lightning talk at GopherCon 2018 about Shaden:

GopherCon 2018 Lightning Talk: Brett Buddin - Modular Audio Synthesis with Shaden

Shaden was used to create the intro music for the GothamGo 2017 and GothamGo 2018 conference videos. I frequently post patches I've created on Instagram.


🎧 A modular audio synthesizer.

Shaden Info

⭐ Stars 186
🔗 Source Code
🕒 Last Update 8 months ago
🕒 Created 5 years ago
🐞 Open Issues 1
➗ Star-Issue Ratio 186
😎 Author brettbuddin