PortAudio wrapper for the Julia programming language, compatible with the JuliaAudio family of packages
102 Stars
Updated Last
1 Year Ago
Started In
March 2016


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PortAudio.jl is a wrapper for libportaudio, which gives cross-platform access to audio devices. It is compatible with the types defined in SampledSignals.jl. It provides a PortAudioStream type, which can be read from and written to.

Opening a stream

The easiest way to open a source or sink is with the default PortAudioStream() constructor, which will open a 2-in, 2-out stream to your system's default device(s). The constructor can also take the input and output channel counts as positional arguments, or a variety of other keyword arguments. If named keyword arguments latency or samplerate are unspecified, then PortAudio will use device defaults.

PortAudioStream(inchans=2, outchans=2; eltype=Float32, samplerate=48000, latency=0.1)

You can open a specific device by adding it as the first argument, either as a PortAudioDevice instance or by name. You can also give separate names or devices if you want different input and output devices

PortAudioStream(device::PortAudioDevice, args...; kwargs...)
PortAudioStream(devname::AbstractString, args...; kwargs...)

You can get a list of your system's devices with the PortAudio.devices() function:

julia> PortAudio.devices()
14-element Vector{PortAudio.PortAudioDevice}:
 "sof-hda-dsp: - (hw:0,0)" 22
 "sof-hda-dsp: - (hw:0,3)" 02
 "sof-hda-dsp: - (hw:0,4)" 02
 "sof-hda-dsp: - (hw:0,5)" 02"upmix" 88
 "vdownmix" 66
 "dmix" 02
 "default" 3232

Reading and Writing

The PortAudioStream type has source and sink fields which are of type PortAudioSource <: SampleSource and PortAudioSink <: SampleSink, respectively. are subtypes of SampleSource and SampleSink, respectively (from SampledSignals.jl). This means they support all the stream and buffer features defined there. For example, if you load SampledSignals with using SampledSignals you can read 5 seconds to a buffer with buf = read(stream.source, 5s), regardless of the sample rate of the device.

PortAudio.jl also provides convenience wrappers around the PortAudioStream type so you can read and write to it directly, e.g. write(stream, stream) will set up a loopback that will read from the input and play it back on the output.


If you are experiencing issues and wish to view detailed logging and debug information, set

ENV["JULIA_DEBUG"] = :PortAudio

before using the package.


Set up an audio pass-through from microphone to speaker

stream = PortAudioStream(2, 2)
    # cancel with Ctrl-C
    write(stream, stream)

Use do syntax to auto-close the stream

PortAudioStream(2, 2) do stream
    write(stream, stream)

Open your built-in microphone and speaker by name

PortAudioStream("default", "default") do stream
    write(stream, stream)

Record 10 seconds of audio and save to an ogg file

julia> import LibSndFile # must be in Manifest for FileIO.save to work

julia> using PortAudio: PortAudioStream

julia> using SampledSignals: s

julia> using FileIO: save

julia> stream = PortAudioStream(1, 0) # default input (e.g., built-in microphone)
  Samplerate: 44100.0Hz
  2 channel source: "default"

julia> buf = read(stream, 10s)
480000-frame, 2-channel SampleBuf{Float32, 2, SIUnits.SIQuantity{Int64,0,0,-1,0,0,0,0,0,0}}
10.0 s at 48000 s⁻¹

julia> close(stream)

julia> save(joinpath(homedir(), "Desktop", "myvoice.ogg"), buf)

Play an audio signal through the default sound output device

using PortAudio, SampledSignals
S = 8192 # sampling rate (samples / second)
x = cos.(2pi*(1:2S)*440/S) # A440 tone for 2 seconds
PortAudioStream(0, 2; samplerate=S) do stream
    write(stream, x)