Bespoke: live graphical language for granular synthesis

This post is a slight provocation in that the inventor of Bespoke ("A modular DAW...") does not describe or promote his work as a programming language.

In Bespoke, programmer/composer/performers construct live dataflow graphs. Edges are each one of just a few types: MIDI signals (an interchange standard for real-time control of electronic instruments), digitized audio signals, and control signals.

In contrast to edge types, nodes in the graph vary without bound, each transforming inputs to outputs in specialized ways. Nodes have internal state and can expand the amount of state.

Composites of nodes can be regarded as themselves nodes (conceptually and practically).

Because programmers are meant to be able develop and modify programs while they are running, the types of data flowing on edges are necessarily manifest types. Type checking (trivially matching the types of data sources and syncs) happens on the fly as code is composed. One can't draw a "wrongly typed" program in this system -- midi outputs go to midi inputs and so forth.

The separation of types such as audible, control, and MIDI signals arises solely due to the kinds of physical equipment used to receive or output such signals. E.g., if you try to play midi wire signals over a speaker, there's little if anything to hear. One can easily imagine a slight generalization of bespoke in which, at core, all packets are untyped.

Packet transmission is necessarily noisy in the sense that the language provides no guarantees about packet delivery. For example, an audio signal might arrive at a different sampling rate and width than it was transmitted with. Packets may be dropped or spurious ones inserted. As a practical matter, stronger guarantees about packet transmission can be promised by implementations.

In the bespoke we see, there is a global clock and packets are timestamped though they may be transmitted and received before their timestemp time. This aspect of packets is specific to the music-making domain though it presumably has wider applicability. One can easily imagine a bespoke core that lacks that kind of synchronization other than that transmissions temporally precede receptions.