libmapper: a library for connecting things

Participants: Stephen Sinclair
Joseph Malloch
Vijay Rudraraju
Jerôme Nika
Marcelo M. Wanderley
libmapper logo
Funding: FQRSC (McGill Digital Orchestra)
NSERC Discovery Grant (Wanderley)
License: GNU LGPL version 2.1 or later.
Time Period: 2010–present (ongoing)


This library is a system for representing input and output signals on a network and allowing arbitrary “mappings” to be dynamically created between them.

A “mapping” consists of an Open Sound Control stream being established between a source signal and a destination signal – the source is translated to the destination's expected format, with some mathematical expression used to condition the transmitted values as desired. This can be used for example to connect a set of sensors to a synthesizer's input parameters.

For a more in-depth overview of the library's concepts and history, check out the README file. To get started quickly with libmapper, be sure to check out the tutorials.

libmapper is part of the Software Tools for Mapping project. It provides the functionality needed to easily add mappable signals to your software that can be connected using various graphical interfaces. It is one component of the on-going Software Tools for Mapping project, representing research into tools for creation of, experimentation with, and visualization of mapping strategies for digital musical instruments. See those pages for example videos showing the Mapper in action.




Joseph Malloch, Stephen Sinclair and Marcelo  M. Wanderley. "Distributed Tools for Interactive Design of Heterogeneous Signal Networks". Multimedia Tools and Applications, vol. 74, number 15, Springer US, 2014, pages 5683-5707. DOI: 10.1007/s11042-014-1878-5.


Joseph Malloch. "A Framework and Tools for Mapping of Digital Musical Instruments". PhD thesis, McGill University. Thesis defended on November 04, 2013.


Joseph Malloch, Stephen Sinclair and Marcelo  M. Wanderley. "A network-based framework for collaborative development and performance of digital musical instruments". In Richard Kronland-Martinet, Sølvi Ystad and Kristoffer Jensen , eds. Computer Music Modeling and Retrieval - Sense of Sounds, LNCS, vol. 4969, Springer-Verlag, 2008, pages 401–425.