Sample-accurate processing

So far, we saw that control ports / parameters would have a single value member, which as one can expects, stays constant for at least the entire duration of a tick.

However, some hosts (such as ossia score) are able to give precise timestamps to control values.

If an algorithm supports this level of precision, it can be expressed by extending value ports in the following way:

struct { 
  static consteval auto name() { return "Control"; } 

  /* a value_map type */ values;
  float value; 
} control;
  • value will always carry the "running" value at the beginning of the tick, like before.
  • values is a type which should be API-wise more-or-less compatible with std::map<int, type_of_value>.

For every message received in the tick, values will be set (which means that they can also be empty if no message at all was received on that port).

There are actually three options for implementing values.

  • Option A: std::map<int, float> values: the simplest case. Can be slow. A helper which uses boost::small_flat_map is provided: it provides neat performance and won't allocate unless the port is spammed.

  • Option B: std::optional<float>* values;: here, a std::optional<float> array of the same length than audio channels will be allocated. Indexing is the same than for audio samples.

  • Option C can only be used for inputs:

struct timestamped_value {
  T value;
  int frame;
  std::span<timestamped_value> values;

This is the most efficient storage if you expect to receive few values (and also the most "my device has extremely little RAM"-friendly one), however the ability to just do values[frame_index] is lost as the index now only goes up to the allocated messages (which can be zero if no message was received for this tick).


A single helper is provided for now: halp::accurate<T>.

It can be used like this to wrap an existing control type to add it a sample-accurate storage buffer:

halp::accurate<halp::val_port<"Out", float>> my_port;
halp::accurate<halp::knob_i32<"Blah", int>> my_widget;