liblscp  0.9.90


Hi all,

On the path to a GUI for linuxsampler, I've been taking some of my spare time by writing an early implementation for the LSCP (the LinuxSampler Control Protocol), as defined from the current available draft document (

My implementation, while still rather crude, is taking the form of a programming library for plain conventional C, codenamed liblscp.

One of my objectives is that liblscp evolves as the implementation for a linuxsampler API, while being a fair abstraction for the network and/or IPC aspects of LSCP.

For the facts, liblscp is actually a wrapper for the LSCP specification, taking all the TCP/UDP socket communication into it's main control, hiding all or some of the protocol bureoucracy from the user and exposing a simple and opaque C programming language interface, mainly by mapping events to user function callback handlers.

The design of liblscp assumed that the programming interface provided is useable and applicable either for server (linuxsampler itself) and/or client (gui's) development.

Some design features (no rocket-sci here :)

Please note that (as usual :) documentation is none at this stage but I'll challenge you to look at the source code provided on the tarball below. A barebones server and client test programs are included (lscp_server_test and lscp_client_test).


As a quick reference for the client programming, one links to liblscp to create a client instance handle, just like this:

    #include <lscp/client.h>
    lscp_client_t *client;
    client = lscp_client_create (server_host, server_port,
        client_callback, client_data);

where server_host is the hostname of the server we wish to connect, and server_port is the respective port number; client_callback is the client supplied callback function that will handle every server notification event; client_data is intended for client context and will be fed to client_callback without intervention.

The client may issue a request to server by use of:

    lscp_client_query (client, query);

where you'll submit a single command to the server and wait for it's response. The query string must be null terminated. The server response result maybe retrieved by:

    char *result;
    result = lscp_client_get_result(client);

and the eventual error status code:

    int errno;
    errno = lscp_client_get_errno(client);

The client callback function must have the following prototype (lscp_client_proc_t):

where event is the specific event type notification, buf will be a pointer to the event text which is buflen bytes in length; client_data is exactly the same value given on lscp_client_create call.

This callback function is the place to handle all server notifications and will be only called if the client is currently subscribed. No response from the client is expected while processing an event within client_callback.

A client subscribes to receive event notifications by calling:

    lscp_client_subscribe (client, events);

after which it will start receiving events by means of the supplied client_callback function. To unsubscribe and stop this deliverance:

    lscp_client_unsubscribe (client, events);

Finally, when a client is about to quit, the proper terminator is in order:

    lscp_client_destroy (client);

As for the current protocol draft (11), the client interface already maps the following functions defined in <lscp/client.h>, one for each corresponding LSCP comand, and regarding the sampler channel space:

    lscp_get_available_engines (client);
    lscp_list_available_engines (client);
    lscp_get_engine_info (client, engine_name);
    lscp_get_channels (client);
    lscp_list_channels (client);
    lscp_add_channel (client);
    lscp_load_engine (client, engine_name, channel);
    lscp_set_channel_audio_device (client, channel, audio_device);
    lscp_set_channel_audio_type (client, channel, audio_type);
    lscp_set_channel_audio_channel (client, channel, audio_in, audio_out);
    lscp_set_channel_midi_device (client, channel, midi_device);
    lscp_set_channel_midi_type (client, channel, midi_type);
    lscp_set_channel_midi_port (client, channel, midi_port);
    lscp_set_channel_midi_channel (client, channel, midi_channel);
    lscp_set_channel_midi_map (client, channel, midi_map);
    lscp_set_channel_mute (client, channel, mute);
    lscp_set_channel_solo (client, channel, solo);
    lscp_set_channel_volume (client, channel, volume);
    lscp_load_instrument (client, file_name, instr_index, channel);
    lscp_load_instrument_non_modal (client, file_name, instr_index, channel);
    lscp_get_channel_info (client, channel);
    lscp_get_channel_voice_count (client, channel);
    lscp_get_channel_stream_count (client, channel);
    lscp_get_channel_buffer_fill (client, usage_type, channel);
    lscp_reset_channel (client, channel);
    lscp_remove_channel (client, channel);
    lscp_reset_sampler (client);
    lscp_get_server_info (client);
    lscp_get_total_voice_count (client);
    lscp_get_total_voice_count_max (client);
    lscp_get_volume (client);
    lscp_set_volume (client);

Specific for sampler channel effect sends control:

    lscp_create_fxsend (client, channel, midi_controller, name);
    lscp_destroy_fxsend (client, channel, fxsend);
    lscp_get_fxsends (client, channel);
    lscp_list_fxsends (client, channel);
    lscp_get_fxsend_info (client, channel, fxsend);
    lscp_set_fxsend_name (client, channel, fxsend, name);
    lscp_set_fxsend_midi_controller (client, channel, fxsend, midi_controller);
    lscp_set_fxsend_audio_channel (client, channel, fxsend, audio_src, audio_dst);
    lscp_set_fxsend_level (client, channel, fxsend, level);

Specific to MIDI instrument mapping interface:

    lscp_add_midi_instrument_map (client, map_name);
    lscp_remove_midi_instrument_map (client, midi_map);
    lscp_get_midi_instrument_maps (client);
    lscp_list_midi_instrument_maps (client);
    lscp_get_midi_instrument_map_name (client, midi_map);
    lscp_set_midi_instrument_map_name (client, midi_map, map_name);
    lscp_map_midi_instrument (client, midi_instr, engine_name, file_name, instr_index, volume, load_mode, name);
    lscp_unmap_midi_instrument (client, midi_instr);
    lscp_get_midi_instruments (client, midi_map);
    lscp_list_midi_instruments (client, midi_map);
    lscp_get_midi_instrument_info (client, midi_instr);
    lscp_clear_midi_instruments (client, midi_map);

For the audio output and MIDI input device configuration interface, the following functions are respectively defined in <lscp/device.h>:

    lscp_get_available_audio_drivers (client);
    lscp_list_available_audio_drivers (client);
    lscp_get_audio_driver_info (client, audio_driver);
    lscp_get_audio_driver_param_info (client, audio_driver, param_key, deplist);
    lscp_create_audio_device (client, audio_driver, params);
    lscp_destroy_audio_device (client, audio_device);
    lscp_get_audio_devices (client);
    lscp_list_audio_devices (client);
    lscp_get_audio_device_info (client, audio_device);
    lscp_set_audio_device_param (client, audio_device, param);
    lscp_get_audio_channel_info (client, audio_device, audio_channel);
    lscp_get_audio_channel_param_info (client, audio_device, audio_channel, param);
    lscp_set_audio_channel_param (client, audio_device, audio_channel, param);
    lscp_get_available_midi_drivers (client);
    lscp_list_available_midi_drivers (client);
    lscp_get_midi_driver_info (client, midi_driver);
    lscp_get_midi_driver_param_info (client, midi_driver, param_key, deplist);
    lscp_create_midi_device (client, midi_driver, params);
    lscp_destroy_midi_device (client, midi_device);
    lscp_get_midi_devices (client);
    lscp_list_midi_devices (client);
    lscp_get_midi_device_info (client, midi_device);
    lscp_set_midi_device_param (client, midi_device, param);
    lscp_get_midi_port_info (client, midi_device, midi_port);
    lscp_get_midi_port_param_info (client, midi_device, midi_port, param);
    lscp_set_midi_port_param (client, midi_device, midi_port, param);

For editing instruments while playing them with the sampler:

    lscp_edit_channel_instrument (client, channel);

Most of these functions are wrappers to lscp_client_query, and some will handle and change the result string accordingly.


Likewise, and least important yet as for server programming, you create a server instance handle just like that:

    #include <lscp/server.h>
    lscp_server_t *server;
    server = lscp_server_create (server_port, server_callback, server_data);

where server_port is the port number where the server will be listening for connections; server_callback is the server supplied callback function that will handle every client request; server_data is any reference to data that will be fed into server_callback without modification.

The server callback function prototype is very similar to the client one (lscp_server_proc_t):

where conn is just a client connection handle, that shall be used for the server responses; the request text which has a length of reqlen bytes; server_data is the same value given on lscp_server_create.

There's two special server callback cases, flagged by a null request pointer and described with reqlen as a boolean value: when zero it announces a new client connection, otherwise it tells that a client connection has closed.

While handling each request the server must cook it's response and eventually issue the following:

    lscp_server_result (conn, result, reslen);

where conn is the client handle, and result is a pointer to the server response literal text of reslen bytes. Of course the response shall obey to the protocol specification.

The server issues a broadcast to its subscribers by simply issuing:

    lscp_server_broadcast (server, buf, buflen);

which will trigger the client callback function, which will be fed with an exact copy of buf/len; this is the intended way to deliver all notifications to each subscribed client.

When its time to shutdown the server instance, just don't forget to call the server destructor:

    lscp_server_destroy (server);

and we're done with the server.


Nuff said. If you care or dare, track the revolving under:

Please note that the code is known to compile and run on Linux AND on Windows (!). On Linux the main target is a shared library ( so remember to set your LD_LIBRARY_PATH accordingly before running the test programs.

A final disclaimer goes to the fact that I AM NOT a socket nor thread programming guru, whatsoever. So fundamental mistakes may be laying around, somewhere. Besides that ItJustWorks(tm:).

I'm eager to hear your feedback and comments. As usual, destructive criticism will be sent to /dev/null ;)

Hope to be on the right track, and towards linuxsampler integration.

Otherwise sorry for the bandwidth waste.


rncbc aka Rui Nuno Capela rncbc at

See also