mnt produce, the hacker's digital audio workstation (linux)
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mnt produce 0.1.0

a new, minimal linux DAW (mainly a sequencer) for hackers.

  • scalable vector UI based on the GLV toolkit
  • minilisp as scripting language / project file format and for keybindings
  • connects via JACK MIDI to synths and audio hardware
  • connects via multiple JACK Audio outputs to plugin racks for mixing

produce screenshot from feb 22, 2015

design goals

  • do one thing well: comfortable editing of tracks and regions.
  • focus on speed, responsiveness and productivity.
  • no "modes" or "tools".
  • integrate well: produce is designed to work well in a JACK environment and leverage its robust mixing and routing.
  • be visually pleasing: reduce clutter and balance colors. work well on high resolution screens.

mouse commands

  • click on a track: select that track, deselect all regions
  • click on a region: select that region, deselect all others
  • shift-click on a region: add that to selection
  • drag on track: selection rectangle, selects multiple regions at once
  • drag regions: change region start points
  • ctrl-drag regions: drag a copy of the selected regions to start points at mouse cursor
  • drop audio file (e.g. from thunar): create new track whose regions will trigger a converted version of the dropped audio file

dragged and added regions will snap to 1/2 beat points.

default keyboard commands

  • - zoom out
  • + zoom in
  • left scroll left
  • right scroll right
  • , move playhead left
  • . move playhead right
  • space toggle play/pause
  • l load project
  • s save project (will overwrite the current project file!)
  • d delete selected track
  • t create empty track (currently useless because you cannot change a track configuration yet)
  • a create region in mouse-hovered track at hovered position
  • 1 set duration of selected regions to 1/4 beat
  • 2 set duration of selected regions to 1/2 beat
  • 3 set duration of selected regions to 1 beat
  • 4 set duration of selected regions to 2 beats
  • b "bounce" project (from loop in to loop out marker); this will play back your song from loop in to loop out and record the JACK system output to a file called jack_capure_XXX.wav where XXX is an increasing number.

keyboard bindings can be adjusted by editing init.l.

other GUI features

  • loop in (white square) and loop out (pink square) markers can be dragged to define loop/project area
  • edit or drag BPM (beats per minute) number in upper left corner

bugs/missing features

  • grid supports only 4/4 measure
  • GLV has messed up keyboard scan codes, so project name text field will behave strangely; for me, del/backspace are swapped, cursor keys produce characters; will replace with zenity
  • tested on 2560x1600 resolution; element size factors hardcoded, will be moved to init.l
  • velocity not editable yet
  • fixed maximum project size 400 bars; will be editable soon


  • sox for audio file conversion (optional, required if you drag in audio files)
  • zenity for text input dialogs (optional, required for lisp evaluation)
  • mhwaveedit for editing audio files (optional, required if you want to edit audio files from within a produce project)
  • modified GLV toolkit (included, modified font drawing line width)
  • modified freeGLUT (included, modified to allow responding to X11 events like drag&drop)
  • libsndfile
  • X11

highly recommended

  • LADI session handler / gladish is useful for saving and loading your session state, JACK connections and starting all the necessary applications.
  • bristol emulates a ton of vintage synths and can be controlled by produce via MIDI ports
  • calfjackhost for running an effects plugin stack.

building / running

the included produce binary and libs are built on x86_64 debian 8. no other distributions have been tested, but your feedback is appreciated.

if you want to build yourself, do this:

  1. install build dependencies: apt-get install libsndfile-dev libgl1-mesa-dev libglu1-mesa-dev libglew-dev libx11-dev libxt-dev libxi-dev libxrandr-dev libjack-jackd2-dev g++ build-essential
  2. build modified libraries: ./
  3. build produce: ./
  4. run: ./


  1. drop in some audio samples (one at a time). a track for each will be created
  2. press a while hovering over empty positions in the track; regions will be created
  3. select all regions by clicking or dragging up the selection rectangle
  4. press 1 to set all regions to 1/4 duration
  5. important by default, you will hear nothing. you need to connect produce's JACK audio outputs to your system outputs. the easiest way is to do this in qjackctl or gladish (preferred). in the latter, just drag lines from produce's audio output ports to your system output ports.
  6. press space to toggle playback. you should hear something.
  7. to add a midi octave starting with note C3 on midi port 0, press (. a popup should appear. enter (octave 3 0). 12 tracks will be created, labeled with their MIDI note numbers.
  8. launch your favorite synth app (or connect a hardware synth), for example monobristol, set the MIDI channel to 1 (or omni).
  9. using gladish, connect produce's MIDI output port 0 to your synth.
  10. create MIDI regions by hovering over your MIDI tracks and press a to create actual notes.
  11. toggle playback using space and your synth should play back your notes.
  12. press s to save your project. next time, load it using l.

license / credits

produce is free software.

license: MIT

copyright 2014-2015 Lukas F. Hartmann / @mntmn /