[PD] OpenAL with Pd? ...similar to Gem?

Mike Wozniewski mike at ozmediasolutions.com
Mon Feb 28 20:39:34 CET 2005

Hi all,

I was wondering if there has been any effort in developing OpenAL objects 
for Pd?

The 3D spatialization features of OpenAL are quite interesting to our group, 
and we are thinking of ways to direct Pd audio signals to an OpenAL output 
engine. I thought I'd ask first if anyone has tried anything of this sort 

There should also be some interaction with Gem in this case - because OpenAL 
is heavily influenced (in terms of syntax and model) by OpenGL, and users 
would probably like to use the two together. For example, we are creating a 
virtual 3D world where sound objects are graphically represented with Gem, 
and hence their audio would be spatialized in the same 3D coordinate system.

The first fundamental obstacle that we see is that of resource management. 
ie, which engine should have access to the soundcard drivers?

OpenAL has sources, and listeners. For sources, we can simply stream a Pd 
audio signal into an OpenAL buffer queue. This should be easy since these 
buffers live in regular memory. But listeners are a function of the 
soundcard, channel specifications, and speaker setup. This is more low level 
and might conflict with Pd.

Any thoughts? ...thanks in advance for any comments!


Some references:
Full user-guide: 
OpenAL explained: 

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