Enzien closing down. Heavy lives on

You might have heard that Enzien Audio, makers of the Heavy Pure data compiler, are closing shop. You probably also know that we use Heavy to compile Pure data patches for the OWL.

By the end of the month the Heavy website and online compiler are going off line, apparently for good.

But this is not the end of Heavy!

Enzien are generously open sourcing the compiler behind Heavy, hvcc, which will shortly be published on Github. Meanwhile we are working closely with them to create a new, open, online compiler service that anyone can use. This will provide continuity not only for OWL patch creators but for all Heavy users.

We’re sad to see Martin Roth, Joe White and the rest of the Enzien team disband but grateful to them for the amazing work they’ve done, and know they’ll go on to do even greater things in the future.


Hi @mars, sad news but great silver lining. I will start integrating hvcc into howl as soon as the source is available.

Btw: I’d like to put an idea out there i had the other day regarding the future of howl: I have had a few people inquire about supporting other HW besides the OWL devices (e.g. organelle, bela, terminal tedium etc…). I have been teaching myself DSP for a few months now and am currently writing a book documenting the process. One thing that was tedious is getting a complete sandbox running with which to develop and test SW FX or synths with. I now rely on Octave, Wolfram, Pd and an array of 3rd party tools to do the job. So I thought It would be convenient to take Howl to a new level in future. It could run a web interface with which to compile and run patches with plus a mini lab style environment that can put a patch in a test loop providing input audio test signals, regular audio input, oscilloscope, spectrogram, phase response etc. The web interface could also deploy to connected targets.

This should be possible to accomplish somehow with the help of emscripten comp. and webassembly right? This might actually also be interesting for you to use in future if it worked out to sort out the web target for owl (unless you’ve of course already solved this :wink: )? What do you think, does this make sense?

A complete DSP sandbox would be amazing! As a companion to a book on learning DSP I think it could be super helpful to a lot of people.

Do you think it would be possible to make it somehow modular, so that a vagrant or docker image is dedicated to each HW platform? I think it would make maintaining it easier. What we find already with the OWL compiler is that since we support different languages, each one has its own specific set of requirements. Combining them can be tricky, as you know yourself from making HOWL!

Also have you had a look at integrating emscripten yet? Installation is a bit of a beast, takes up about 3Gb of disk space using the emsdk.

We will have an update to OwlProgram ready for when hvcc goes public that will let you compile locally.

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Hi @mars,

Thanks for the feedback. Yeah, I will actually start publishing some blog entries and the book content I have written up until now soon, so people can start looking into it and following along in the process if they are keen. It’s already been an interesting journey and it has definitely caused some grey hair in the process, too :D.

You’ve got a valid point there. As a first step I was going to draw out a software architecture for the new concept. I could share it here for review, any help and discussions about this are appreciated.

I’ve looked at it a bit but not enough yet, I will take a more detailed look when I do the software architecture as I need to gauge the effort a bit to get all of this running.

Talk soon,

Just to let you know that Enzien is now down, but you can still compile OWL Pd patches using our online compiler.

This Friday we’re going to try to deploy an update so that you can compile any Pd patch and get the C code, as a replacement of the enzien service. This will be open to non-OWL users too!

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@mars, thats great news.

I just starred heavy on github, and im currently working on a plan for howl in the future. howl will have to integrate hvcc now. After that ill add faust and i think some more handy debug features that can read processor load, loaded patch, user slot content and program to slot etc.

also, alongside howl, ill start a new docker container project that can compile dsp patches to web targets (probably starting with webassembly). ive read a bunch about it now and its quite fascinating. the contianer will contain the wasm toolchain and a simple dsp test lab to debug your patches with (testloop with audio in, and some metering like oscilloscope, fft, phase response etc.).

still have to compare against owl programs web target to see what youve been doing in the past but im thinking it could be a very useful tool to have a little lab in the pocket if you’re on the road or just dont want to install a lot of third party tools for development.


Here are the instructions for compiling (non-OWL) Pure data patches with Heavy on rebeltech.org:
Compile Pure data patches with free online Heavy compiler – Rebel Technology

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