Duncan McGreggor

Lisper, Erlanger, and LFE core contributor

Duncan started hacking in the early 80s on copies of the BSD games, was a linguist in the 101st Airborne Division, studied physics and applied maths at university, traveled to India to practice meditation and dialectic with monks in exile, and eventually joined a startup just before the Internet crash in 1999/2000. Somehow, that did not deter his life-long passion for programming: he started hacking on small, distributed services in the early 2000s, eventually became a Fellow at the Python Software Foundation, joined Robert Virding as a contributor to LFE, and coded in another Lisp for the USGS (LANDSAT data) and then NASA. Duncan is currently a principal engineer at MediaMath, dedicated to building better engineering teams and software engineering practices while also teaching new generations of engineers a love for the art.

While not built for sound or digital signal processing, Erlang excels in the realm where music control systems have converged: network message-passing. In this talk, Duncan will provide some background on the functional nature of electronics used in music, with a special focus on analog synthesis a la Moog modular systems. Previous sound-generation work on the BEAM will be covered before diving into a new effort along similar lines being made in Lisp Flavoured Erlang (LFE). Practical issues with integrating multiple well-established improvisational tools and music recording systems with a functional programming language will be covered. In addition, LFE's strength as a platform for creating DSL's will be discussed in the dual context of integrating systems and creating generative music.