[PD] So, what do you us this for?

Michal Seta mis at creazone.32k.org
Sat Dec 13 06:13:40 CET 2003

On Fri, 2003-12-12 at 18:48, Umiachi wrote:
> What do you use PD for? 

Some of the issues you describe seem to be handled better in linux. 
While I don't use pd that way, I assume that it wouldn't be too
difficult to use it with some sequencer (muse, rosegarden) and route
audio in and out (via jack) and control it with MIDI (or generate/mangle
MIDI and send it back to the sequencer).  Other platforms may not offer
such flexibility.

Personally, I started using pd because I could experiment with various
approaches to 1) composition (algorithmic/automatic), 2) interactive
improvisation, 3) prototyping (and using) various sound creation and
sound manipulation tools which are either: a) unavailable elsewhere, b)
if available, not flexible enough or c) too expensive.

There are, however, situations when I drop pd because another tool gives
me exactly what I need.  Sometimes, if I'm able to communicate with that
tool via pd, it's plus.

Keep in mind that my use of pd is performance (and improvisation)
oriented (mainly as a fairly versatile DSP box).

>  Sure, I can mangle samples in
> it (to be imported into another editor for touch up
> work, then exported to my samplers), but that's about
> all it's useful for it me at the moment. 

This is a very fine use, providing that what you do cannot be achieved
by some ready-made tools (unless you like to do it yourself, anyways).

> I can make midi synths, but since they can't be
> rewired (or hosted) in my DAWs, I loose out on a lot
> of functionality.

pd can be used as an additional soft-synth.  After  you have built your
synth you can assign it various MIDI controllers which can be driven by
your sequencer (I think that inter-application MIDI communication is
possible on all major platforms pd runs on).  If you cannot route your
pd audio back to your DAW then you could, at least, be able to record
the mix to DAT or some other external medium.  

> I can make generative music, but I'm more interested
> in manually sequencing abstraction.

I think that pd's strength lies in dynamism related to
interactive/algorithmic/generative/whatever type of use.  While you
could implement your own sequencer in pd, it's a bit pointless if you
use already quite powerful sequencers.  But, if you're into simplicity
you may wish to build a sequencer that operates exactly in the way you
want and get rid of the overhead that cubase or logic generates.  Up to

> So, maybe I can learn by proxy: What do you use this
> for? Anybody care to share (audio links would be nice
> as well)?

on www.creazone.32k.org follow these:

1) UniSexe (new pieces coming very soon, maybe over the weekend...)
2) ./MiS (only the first piece on the page is not pd but Max/MSP, it'd
be possible to port, the rest is guitar+pd)


./MiS	      _
      __  __ (_)___   Michal Seta
     / 	\/  \ _/^ _|
    /  	     V |_  \ @creazone.32k.org

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