ELE 2.01


    Dear Friends,

    I would like to thank everybody who has contacted me regarding ELE for their support and suggestions.  Probably some of you are wondering why I have abandoned GTK+ and X for this latest version of ELE.

    In this version, I wanted to get better reliability and performance, as well as an easier to use GUI.  The old GTK+ interface had way too many dialog boxes on the screen.  I could never click on the right spot.  And to smoothly tweak out a parameter with a scrollbar was beyond my coordination skills.  Furthermore, dragging around GTK+ controls often caused dropouts and glitches in the sound.  ELE is very CPU intensive, and the ear is incredibly sensitive to any mistakes.  As it is a low-latency realtime effects program, the usual buffering techniques to avoid such problems (like a Discman with its 10 second dropout buffer) could not really be performed.

    I had a fun time playing with SVGALib, and have gone in a totally different direction with the interface this time.  All commands are entirely keyboard driven, the mouse is only used to be locked to parameters for smooth, effortless tweaking.  Different functions have been segregated - looping, sampling, recording are all done on one screen, while effects are done on another.  Everything that I want to use is on the screen at the particular time that I want to use it, with no digging around through layers of windows.  I hope that this is compatible with other's ways of working as well.  This may adversely affect people who want to use ELE while simultaneously chatting on IRC and typing papers - but you can still switch virtual consoles with the ALT-Fn commands or the CTRL-ALT-Fn commands while X is up.  It'll still keep playing and effecting, though there will be glitching if you are loading the CPU, using lots of RAM, or doing lots of disk I/O.

    There's been a bit of work done on making the effects sound somewhat nicer.  Also, it doesn't crash nearly as much.  I will do my best to keep ELE 2 a reliable program - don't hesitate to let me know of hardcore crashing and stuff like that, especially if it is reproducible.  Sometimes I think that buggy software, especially if free, especially if it does something you want, is worse than no software at all.  You just keep trying, trying to make it work, but it keeps crashing, and since it's free, you can't even get angry and demand your money back!  For instance, Netscape for Linux - is that the crashiest thing ever, or what?

    In the future, I might make an X version using a similar interface to the SVGALib one.  I could just have a window with 640x480
pixels..... now that I've figured out how to get along without a big pile of dialog boxes.  I would also like to support multiple-axis mice and trackballs in the future - then you could have more knobs to tweak with!  And I'd love it if somebody could hook me up with a clean-sounding, CPU-efficient, pitch shifting routine, or a neat EQ algorithm better than the one I'm using for parametric resonant low-high pass filtering, or an algorithm that could simulate a cranked tube amp with dual 4x12 speaker cabinets ...... I can dream, right?

    Hope that you all have fun with this,