A graphical front end for the SoundProcesses computer music framework.
Scala Other
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Mellite is a computer music application, implemented as a graphical front end for SoundProcesses. It is (C)opyright 2012–2016 by Hanns Holger Rutz. All rights reserved. Mellite is released under the GNU General Public License v3+ and comes with absolutely no warranties. To contact the author, send an email to contact at sciss.de.

The licenses folder contains the license headers for all dependencies and transitive dependencies. For the binary release of Mellite, source code is not included but available via the respective OSS project pages, as indicated in the license files, or—in compliance with GPL/LGPL—on request via E-Mail. All source code with group-ID de.sciss is available from github.com/Sciss.

The Mellite icon is based on the file MELLITE Taillée Hongrie.jpg, provided by Didier Descouens under CC BY 4.0 license.



  • A binary (executable) version is provided via GitHub releases. We provide a universal zip for all platforms as well as a dedicated Debian package.
  • The source code can be downloaded from github.com/Sciss/Mellite.


The following artifact is available from Maven Central:

"de.sciss" %% "mellite" % v

The current stable version v is "1.7.0". The experimental version is "2.9.0".


Mellite builds with sbt 0.13 and Scala 2.11, 2.10. The dependencies will be downloaded automatically from Maven Central repository, except for snapshots during development.

Dependencies not found are all available from their respective GitHub repositories, so in case you want to build a snapshot version, you may need to check out these projects and publish them yourself using sbt publish-local.

See section 'running' for ways of building and installing standalone bundles.


Please see the file CONTRIBUTING.md


The standalone jar, created via sbt assembly produces Mellite.jar which is double-clickable and can be run via:

$ java -jar Mellite.jar

Runnable packages can be created via sbt universal:packageBin (all platforms) or sbt debian:packageBin (Debian).


The API docs can be found online here: https://sciss.github.io/Mellite/latest/api/

Note that this project is in highly experimental state. While I have been composing already pieces with it, I recommend anyone to approach this with extreme care. I cannot guarantee that the application is bug free, in particular you may end up with a corrupt session database (although unlikely), and also I might introduce changes that render it impossible for new versions to open sessions created with previous versions. You have been warned!

A short screen cast from an older version is available on Vimeo.

Otherwise, here are some hints:

  • Mellite uses a persistent database to store your session. It means it keeps track of the history of your composition process. The data structures have been developed to provide good performance even under extreme growth of the data base. You will still notice an occasional sluggishness or GC pauses during your work. If you want a more traditional approach, have a look at the predecessor project Kontur. In particular, there is no undo-redo mechanism in place right now, although if you really mess up, you can still go to previous versions of your piece by creating a new cursor.
  • Mellite stores the session in an opaque folder ending in .mllt. On OS X this folder appears as a closed file. You should consider it as such. This "file" can easily grow to hundreds of megabytes during the course of a composition. This is "normal" behaviour, as the database keeps track of each and every action you perform.
  • To create a new project, choose File > New and select the database location. If you choose a confluent workspace, you will be presented with the cursor window which contains exactly one "master" cursor. Cursors can be understood as branches in a git repository. They represent historical trajectories. In most cases you will just use the one master cursor. If you select it and press "View", you are presented with the workspace elements view.
  • The workspace elements are an arbitrarily ordered collection of objects which constitute your composition: Audio files (also called AudioGrapheme), timelines, sound processes (Proc), actions, numbers and strings, code fragments, folders which help you to organise your elements.
  • Try creating a new timeline, by pressing the + button in the document elements view and selecting Timeline. Once this object has been created, select it and press the eye button to view it. This presents you with a rather traditional timeline view. Cursor and mouse navigation is somewhat similar to Eisenkraut and Kontur.
  • To create an audio region on the timeline, there are two possibilities. The most straight forward one is to open the sound file in Eisenkraut, make a selection and perform a Drag-and-Drop using the "Region" button in Eisenkraut. After you drop the region, Mellite will try to figure out the "location" of the sound file. Every sound file must be associated with an ArtifactLocation which is any parent folder of the sound file. The reason for this is that you may migrate your session to other computer or hard-drive, so we want to be able to adjust all sound file paths based on an exchange of their location. If there aren't any location objects in your session, Mellite will prompt you to choose a parent folder of the new sound file, for which a location object will then be created. You can also manually create artifact locations in the document elements view.
  • The second possibility is to add the sound file to the workspace elements view, then open the file (select it and press the eye button). This opens a sonogram overview of that sound. Due to some changes, playback is currently not enabled in that view, but you can make selections. Use the "Region" button to perform and Drag-and-Drop onto the timeline.
  • Sound processes have signal inputs and outputs (internally called "scans"). An audio file region by default has one output slot which is not connected. Therefore, starting the transport of the timeline will not have any audible effect. You first need to create an additional process which outputs to the sound hardware. The easiest approach is to add a global process (one that doesn't have a time span). The global processes are shown in the left hand side of the timeline windows. The + button can be used to add a new process. Adding a process gives you a "hollow" structure. It doesn't have a synth graph associated with it. So the first thing you ought to do is create at least one synth graph for routing audio to the sound card outputs. In the workspace elements view, add a Code object with type "Synth Graph". Select that object and press the eye button to edit the Synth Graph. A Synth Graph is any valid ScalaCollider SynthGraph body, plus there are additional elements contributed by SoundProcesses and Mellite.
  • You create a signal input via scan.In("my-name"). You may then use this input graph element and write it straight to an output, e.g. Out.ar(0,scan.In("in") will route an input to the first sound card channel(s) output.
  • Close the synth graph code editor, and drag-and-drop the code object onto the global process in the list view on the left-hand side of a timeline window. That assigns the particular synth graph to the sound process.
  • To associate a global process as output for an audio region, click on it in the list and drag-and-drop it onto the audio region. When you select an audio region, the corresponding connected global processes are automatically shown selected in the list. To disconnect, perform the drag-and-drop again.
  • You can also create programmatic regions on the timeline with the function tool (second icon from the right in the tool bar, resembling the synth def icon in ScalaCollider-Swing). By clicking and dragging you create a new hollow region. Again you can associate a synth graph by dragging-and-dropping a code object of type synth graph from the workspace elements view. You can connect processes with the patch tool (circular icon, looks like the Pure Data cursor). You start in the source process and drag to the sink process. Slots have to be made available by using scan.In and scan.Out in the synth graphs of the processes. Multiple choices are not handled yet.
  • There are a number of parameters which can be accessed in the synth graph. Scalar attributes are embedded using attribute("name").ir(default-value) or attribute("name").kr(...). Mellite automatically feeds the gain settings into an attribute called "gain". The gain settings are modified using the gain tool (up-down arrow). It also feeds the mute settings into an attribute called "mute" (1 is muted, 0 is not muted). The mute tool has a loudspeaker icon with an X. You can assign a single integer at the moment, using attribute "bus". You set that integer by creating an integer object in the document elements view, and dragging-and-dropping it onto the function region in the timeline. Finally, fade-in and out are available through the FadeInOut graph element. You will typically write FadeInOut("fade-in", "fade-out").ar. The fades can be adjusted with the fade tool which is has a triangular icon. Future versions of Mellite will have a proper handling and viewing of all sorts of attributes and scans. The current interface is limited to these parameters (unless you use the Scala REPL to add and modify them textually).
  • Actual sound production during transport must be enabled by booting the ScalaCollider server. This is done through the boot button in the "Aural System" palette window. You can specify the sound device to use and the number of output channels in the preferences.

I hope to be able to make a version that is more usable by other people in the future. As for now, you will need to be very inquisitive and patient to use this program!