[PD] Clustering

gerard van dongen gml at xs4all.nl
Fri Jun 3 15:18:27 CEST 2005

On Fri, 03 Jun 2005 06:34:45 +0200, Matthew Polashek <matt at tinysongs.com>  

> Hi!
> Does anyone here know if it's worth my time to investigate clusterin a  
> few 64 bit
> AMD Linux machines to make a massive PD box?  Does that add latency?   
> Any ideas?

It all depends on what you want to do.
I think normal clustering (beowulf-type) would be very difficult since pd  
is not written with that kind of distributed processing in mind.
The easiest way would be to run different pd's on the different machines  
and have them communicate through OSC or netsend and netreceive.

Here is becomes a matter of what you want to do.
Sample synchronized synthesis distributed across computers routed to a  
central computer with the main soundcard is a different problem from lots  
of more or less independent "instruments" using their own sound card.
The latter is much easier of course. And easiest of all is one computer  
for sound and one computer for graphics talking to each other over the  

You could try jack-udp for sample sync stuff. There are a couple programs  
in beta stage floating around that try to do jack over ethernet. With  
various levels of syncing.
The basic idea is that on the master machine the are regular (or  
in-process even) jack-clients that connect to the network and on the slave  
machines a network driver running the jack graph, ignoring the local sound  
But people have also been working on syncing multiple machines with  
multiple soundcards.
It is all very beta software AFAIK, and the people working on it are  
testing mostly with just two machines I think.

YMMV as they say, it sounds like a fun way to spend the summer at least


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