[PD] some thinkings about Pure-data

Olaf Matthes olaf.matthes at gmx.de
Wed Jun 25 19:30:08 CEST 2003

abel.jerome at free.fr schrieb:
> I've seen some patches PD on websites recommanded on the mailing list and I'm a
> little disappointed. Just 10 or 15 patchs on the Web, it's a joke?
> Tell me more about the PD communauty, maybe the main purpose is to create
> externals?

Hi Jerome,

I think one of the main reasons for what you describe is that externals
can be published 'as is'. They don't need any special explanation except
their help patches. They are one of the smallest parts you can get.
Highly specialised and (relatively) easy to explain. Think of complex
patches, most of them would be far too complex to describe. 

My main use of Pd is to control interactive installations and there, a
lot of different sensors and / or interfaces are used to control the
sound / video being generated. Such patches have no (or at least
reduced) value when used in a different context. They need special
hardware (that I might build for one special purpose) and are optimised
for _one_ situation.
At the moment I'm trying to reuse one of my own patches I did about a
year ago but I realised very soon it would have been easier to create a
new one from scratch. (At least my) patches are growing all the time and
get 'dirty'. At first they look good but don't really do what I want. In
the process of setting up an installation I usually spend two or three
days patching in the gallery space (if possible) when everything
(=hardware) is set up. I need the actual situation, have to hear what's
happening and how it fits the sourroundings. In that period the patches
grow very fast and get more and more 'untidy'.

But you're right, I spend about 90% of my time with Pd coding externals
or building hardware. I don't know wether this is a good or a bad thing.
Pd (or Max/MSP) allows me to code the parts that I feel are missing. I
don't know any other tools that could be extended that easily.

Of course, there might be other points of view from poeple using Pd to
make music...

[I don't know where creativity ends and 'presets' start. One of the very
good things about Pd is that everyone has to create it's own patches.
Like in the old days with analogue synthesizer _without_ factory presets
and 'custom memory banks' where everyone had to make ones own sound. It
helps you to create your individual sound because this sound is based on
your individual patches. 
But, yes, of course, we need example patches showing how to use the
objects. And, me culpa, I sometimes do use Pd's example patches as a
starting point for my own stuff.]


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