Work on Marsyas started in 1998 during my second year of graduate studies in Computer Science at Princeton University under the supervision of Dr. Perry Cook. The main motivation behind the design and development of the toolkit was and still is to personally code the majority of the tools I need for my research in order to have understanding and control of how they work. Marsyas has been used for every paper I have published since that time. I continued to add code to Marsyas until 2000 when it was clear that certain major design decisions needed to be revised. That made me start a major rewrite/redesign of the framework and that was the start of the first “real” Marsyas version which was numbered 0.1. Soon after Sourceforge was used to host Marsyas. Version 0.1 is still widely used by a variety of academic and industry groups around the world but it is slowly being phased out. .
In 2002 while being a PostDoctoral Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University working with Roger Dannenberg I decided to start porting algorithms from the Synthesis Toolkit (STK) by Perry Cook and Gary Scavone into Marsyas. This effort as well as many interesting conversations with Roger made me rethink the design used by Marsyas. The result was to move to a dataflow model of audio computation with general matrices instead of 1-D arrays as data and an Open Sound Control (OSC) inspired hierarchical messaging system used to control the dataflow network. Marsyas 0.2 is now almost to the point of supporting the full functionality of Marsyas 0.1. Hopefully the writing of this manual will help users migrate from version 0.1. If you are a user that has done work in 0.1 it should be relatively straightforward to figure out how to recode your algorithms in version 0.2. Also if you have code in 0.1 that you would like help porting in 0.2 I would be more than happy to help - just drop me an email.
The community of Marsyas developers has grown over the years with currently (Spring 2009) approximately 4-5 developers committing regularly code and close to 30 developers having committed code over the past few years.
We are very proud that Marsyas is used for a variety of projects in both academia and industry and looking forward to continue growing and expanding the framework with your help.
George Tzanetakis (gtzan at cs dot uvic dot ca)