Re: [linux-audio-user] pd

New Message Reply About this list Date view Thread view Subject view Author view Other groups

Subject: Re: [linux-audio-user] pd
From: Frank Barknecht (
Date: Thu Mar 21 2002 - 19:21:37 EET

Bob Ham hat gesagt: // Bob Ham wrote:

> On Thu, 2002-03-21 at 14:21, Frank Barknecht wrote:
> > We're helpful folks out there ;)
> I've just begun the (I expect, very extended) transition from windows to
> gnu/linux for music and I'm still looking for programs to help me. In
> windows, I pretty much just use cool edit and logic audio, so I'm new to
> a lot of the programs (and it seems, paradigms) that people seem to be
> using in gnu/linux and hoping someone could help me understand things a
> little better.
> One of those programs is pd (and, it appears, jMax et al.) The FAQ
> tells me "Pd is a real-time software system for live musical and
> multimedia performances" which.. err.. could mean anything :) What
> precisely is it, how do you use it to make audio, and how might it aid
> me in producing music?

PD, jMax and Max/MSP are very different from a Logic/CoolEdit setup. Of
course, the best way to learn PD ist just installing it, you can do this in
Windows if you like, it's the same interface and a lot of people on pd-list
(still) use Windows. After installation go to "Help->Pure Dokumentation"
and open and look at all patches once. This will keep you busy for hours.

The basic concept in PD is in its name: "Pure Data". That means, that PD
gives a framework to handle all kinds of data in a similar way: audio data,
midi data, numbers and strings, graphics, Open Gl models, mpeg-Movies
uname it...

This "similar way" for all data is graphical programming. Don't let the
word programming turn you off, although one can do a lot of logic and stuff
in PD, basically it's just creating and connecting more or less basic
building blocks. You arrange these blocks on a white sheet of virtual
paper, on the canvas. PD has three main kinds of objects (there are some
more, for example the important "array", but i won't go into that much
detail here):

1. "real" objects like filters, oscillators, midi input objects, etc.
2. numbers
3. messages

Most objects have inlets and outlets. With the mouse, one can connect
inlets and outlets with thin lines. They represent the flow of signals and
messages in a PD patch. You can for example connect a number object by
klicking its outlet to an oscillator's inlet, which then will change the
frequency of the osc. If you then connect the osc to the digital audio
converter, the dac~ object in PD, which represents your soundcard, you will
hear a sine tone at the frequency you selected in your number object.

Messages have a similar function. For example if you want to save some
data of e.g. an array, you can send a message to the array: "save
yourdata.txt" and the array will save it.

What PD can do for you as a Logic user converting to Linux is for example
working as a software synth. I use the more or less exotic instruments, I
write in PD as instruments controlled by the midi sequencer MusE. MusE has
built-in software instruments, but I prefer to build stuff myself.


                                                 __    __
 Frank Barknecht       ____ ______   ____ __ trip\ \  / /wire ______
                      / __// __  /__/ __// // __  \ \/ /  __ \\  ___\	
                     / /  / ____/  / /  / // ____// /\ \\  ___\\____ \	
                    /_/  /_____/  /_/  /_//_____// /  \ \\_____\\_____\
                                                /_/    \_\ 

New Message Reply About this list Date view Thread view Subject view Author view Other groups

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b28 : Thu Mar 21 2002 - 19:49:11 EET