JuliaCon 2023

Sound Synthesis with Julia
07-27, 15:30–15:40 (US/Eastern), 32-123

We describe and demonstrate a method to use Julia to generate music on a computer. While electronic music generation has had a long and distinguished history, the use of the Julia programming language provides benefits that are not available using traditional tools in this area.


Most electronic music synthesis software today is written in C/C++. This is usually due to the performance requirements that are necessary in this domain. The use of Julia however brings two distinct advantages to this area.

First, using a high level, dynamic programming language, allows for a wider and more productive range of experimentation. The use of Julia allows for the performance characteristics to me met, while working in an easy to use language. Second, the wide range of high quality mathematical libraries in Julia, from FFT to differential equation solvers, allows for the use of high level constructs, further increasing the productivity of the artist.

In this talk, we show a set of fundamental building blocks for music synthesis in Julia. From wave generators to filters to amplifiers, we will see how these can be built with simple Julia functions, leveraging the existing ecosystem. We will show that Julia's ability to build abstractions without sacrificing performance is crucial to this use case.

I am a high school student interested in the intersection of programming and music.

Avik Sengupta is the head of product development and software engineering at Julia Computing, contributor to open source Julia and maintainer of several Julia packages. Avik is the author of Julia High Performance, co-founder of two artificial intelligence start-ups in the financial services sector and creator of large complex trading systems for the world's leading investment banks.