++ed by:

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Joel Roth


Nama - digital audio workstation

Nama is a lightweight digital audio workstation using Kai Vehmanen's Ecasound as the audio engine.

New projects begin with a mixer, can include track, bus, effect, send, insert, mark, region and fade objects. Facilities are provides for mixdown, and mastering.

Command language and help system

Nama has its own command language. Commands have full names and shortcuts. A "for" loop allows commands to be repeated over multiple tracks, which can be designated as a list, by the name of their bus, or by the name of a user-defined group. Nama has the concept of a currently selected object. At any time, there is usually a current bus, current track and current effect. Track commands will act on the current track, bus commands will act on the currently selected bus. The help system provides searchable access to documentation for all Nama commands and shortcuts, and for LADSPA, LV2 and Ecasound effects.


Nama creates signal processing graphs for the Ecasound engine; applies fades, effects and edits to the audio streams; and manages successive configure-run cycles. If jackd is running, Nama will automatically map soundcard IO via JACK.

When a user command causes a major configuration change, Nama reconfigure the Ecasound engine then manages the engine's realtime operation. While the engine is running it allows live effect controller inputs from MIDI devices, GUI effect sliders, and text commands, as well as preprogrammed envelopes.

User environment

In addition to executing its own commands, Nama will pass commands to Ecasound, Midish, the Perl interpreter or the shell.

Nama's optional Tk-based GUI can coexist with the terminal. It does not display a waveform, however Nama can spawn an Audacity or MHWaveedit instance to view/edit a waveform. Nama uses Git to manage project state, which is serialized as JSON files.

Project reuse

Three types of templates are available to reuse project components: effect chains, effect profiles, and project templates. Applying an effect profile creates named tracks, each with a list of effects and inserts. (Nama's mastering network is stored as an effect profile.)


Installing Nama and its Perl Dependencies from CPAN

The following command will install Nama, automatically pulling in all Perl modules required to run Nama in text mode:

                cpanm Audio::Nama

However if you don't have cpanm, this should still work:

                PERL_MM_USE_DEFAULT=1 cpan Audio::Nama

To use the GUI, you will need to install Tk:

                cpanm Tk

You may optionally install Audio::Ecasound to run Ecasound via libecasoundc:

                cpanm Audio::Ecasound

You can browse the sources or download a tarball via:


Installing Nama from your distribution's package manager

Debian (testing, unstable)

You can install Nama from Debian by typing:

                apt-get install nama


                aptitude nama

To use Nama's GUI, you will also need to install Tk:

                apt-get install perl-tk

Ubuntu (lucid, maverick)

Use Ubuntu's package Add/Remove tool.

Arch Linux

Build from Source

If you want to inspect or modify Nama's internals, you can pull the source code as follows:

                git clone git://github.com/bolangi/nama.git

Consult the BUILD file for build instructions.

Non-Perl Dependencies

(These dependencies are pulled in automatically if you install Nama in a Debian system.)

The Ecasound audio processing libraries should be installed. Ecasound should be compiled with support for LADSPA, libsndfile, libsamplerate and JACK. Ecasound may be obtained from http://ecasound.seul.org/ecasound/ or as precompiled binary package for your Un*x distribution.

The LADSPA SDK is required to autosense LADSPA plugins and scaling hints. It is available at:


In particular the utility program 'analyseplugin' must be installed in a directory in your execution PATH.

Nama's mastering mode uses a number of LADSPA plugins in a reasonably flat starting configuration. provided that the user installs the plugins listed in the default configuration file .namarc.

Git is required to utilize Nama's source control and undo features.

Unless specified otherwise, this code is 2003 - 2013, copyright Joel Roth

All rights are reserved except as provided by the Gnu Public License, version 3, as detailed in the file COPYING provided with this distribution.

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