[PD] ANN: munger1~ port (from the Percolate library)

Kevin McCoy km.takewithyou at gmail.com
Tue Mar 13 16:42:09 CET 2007

Just to let you know a couple of things:

I'm excited to use this object but compiling flext against STK is
proving to be quite irritating.  After the modifications you suggest
to flstk.h, I am getting the following error:

/usr/bin/libtool: can't locate file for: -lstk
/usr/bin/libtool: file: -lstk is not an object file (not allowed in a library)
make[1]: *** [pd-darwin/release-shared/libflext-pd.0.5.1.dylib] Error 1
make: *** [build-release-shared] Error 2

This is not your fault, obviously :) I will post this to the flext
list if I can't find anything searching.

So I cannot compile munger1~ yet until I get a working flext/STK
install.  However, I noticed a small mistake in your readme:  The
instructions say to go into the munger1~ and execute flext's build.sh
script, but it can actually only be executed from your source
directory because it needs the package.txt file to run.  So I made the
correction and turned it into:

5) Once stk and flext are compiled, go into munger1~ folder, cd to the
source directory, and type:

<path to flext folder>/build.sh <platform> <compiler> <build/clean/install>

Attached is the corrected README.txt file.  I hope to get this flext
junk worked out soon so I can start using this object!

Thanks for all your work, and if you had any ideas about this flext
problem you could chime in, but it sounds like your plate's full for


On 3/13/07, Ivica Ico Bukvic <ico.bukvic at gmail.com> wrote:
> > just to understand: the win munger1~ PD binary is not
> >  included, right? (I only see a .mxe...)
> > Do you have plans to include it in the future
> > (I do not have flext on win at the moment) ?
> >
> > Thanks for sharing this work.
> >
> > regards,
> You can build it yourself. It shouldn't be too hard. Instructions are
> included in the Readme.
> Best wishes,
> Ico
> _______________________________________________
> PD-list at iem.at mailing list
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munger1~ (March 12, 2007 1.0.0 release)
a realtime multichannel granulator
a.k.a. the swiss-army-knife of realtime granular synthesis

a flext (cross-platform PD & Max/MSP) port of
the munger~ object from the PeRColate library (0.9 beta5)

Original PeRColate library by:

Dan Trueman http://www.music.princeton.edu/~dan/
R. Luke DuBois's http://www.lukedubois.com/

Flext port and additions by:
Ivica Ico Bukvic http://ico.bukvic.net
Ji-Sun Kim hideaway at vt.edu

Released under GPL license
(whichever is the latest version--as of this release, version 2)
For more info on the GPL license please visit:


Many thanks to Dan Trueman for open-sourcing this great object!


If you simply intend to use prebuilt binaries, please skip to the INSTALL section. Otherwise take a big breath and read on...

1) You need stk library which can be downloaded from:


2) You need to also install latest flext library (this is a library that allows for creation of externals for both Max/MSP and PD using the same source). Version 0.4.x can obtained from the following link:


Latest CVS version (0.5.1) is found in the Pure-Data CVS (this one is recommended):


3) If you are using latest CVS version (0.5.1) Before compiling the source you will need to add the following to the top of the flext/source/flstk.h file right below the #define __FLSTK_H:

#ifdef PI
#undef PI

This step will probably become quickly obsolete once Thomas updates CVS. Until then, this is needed to be able to compile flext against stk.

4) To compile flext, read flext instructions (it boils down to running build.sh with appropriate parameters and then editing two simple config files, i.e. "build pd gcc build" or "build max gcc" or "build max msvc" etc.)

Your will need to edit buildsys/config-<platform-compiler-pdormax>.txt to adjust paths to various folders.

Then you will need to edit config.txt file. You do not need to include SndObj for this external but you do need stk option to be properly set. On Windows+MSVC, STK flag at the time of this release does not work, so you will have to use included testmunger1 MSVC project file and adjust path settings to compile munger1~.

5) Once stk and flext are compiled, go into munger1~ folder, cd to the source directory, and type:

<path to flext folder>/build.sh <platform> <compiler> <build/clean/install>

NB: on Mac <build/clean/install> is not needed. On Windows, please use MSVC and open the testmunger1 project file in the root of the folder.

6) Once compiled, your binary will be created in a <maxorpd-platform> subfolder (i.e. pd-linux, or max-darwin), followed by another subfolder which reflects whether a threaded or singlethread flext was used. Inside you will find your external.


You can either use the prebuilt externals (found in the bin/ folder) or ones built using the "SOURCE INSTALL" instructions above. Binaries are provided for Intel-based Macs, Win32, and Intel-based Linux OS. The included prebuilt binaries DO NOT REQUIRE you to install flext or stk as these are statically linked.

1) Copy the external in your externals folder (i.e. /usr/lib/pd/extra or C:\Program Files\Cycling '74\MaxMSP 4.6\Cycling '74\externals\, or "Applications/MaxMSP 4.6/Cycling '74/externals)

2) Copy appropriate help file (found in the help/ folder) into the help folder (i.e. /usr/lib/pd/doc/5.reference or C:\Program Files\Cycling '74\MaxMSP 4.6\max-help, or "Applications/MaxMSP 4.6/max-help)

NB: Pd help file has a ".pd" extension, while Max/MSP help file has a ".help" extension.

3) Start your app (PD or Max) and create object called munger1~. Right-click (ctrl-click on Macs) and select "help" and this should open the help file with additional documentation.

Questions? See OVERVIEW for contact and Q&A info.



The following is Ico's FAQ, so it may or may not reflect other project participants' opinions, including original author(s) of munger~, flext, etc.

Q: Why porting to flext?
A: Flext library (by Thomas Grill) is a layer which allows creation of externals for both Max/MSP and PD without any alterations to the code (obviously once it is adapted to use flext). While there have been a number of Max/MSP <-> PD external ports in the past, many of them have become outdated because such attempts required either maintaining one code full of ugly #ifdefs, or worse--maintaining two sources. Either way, what usually turned out to be the case is that original authors did not have the time, interest, or simply the software/hardware to deal with the newly generated overhead and/or test the code, while volunteers who made the original porting efforts eventually moved on to other projects. The result was/is outdated and/or broken externals. Flext circumvents this problem by allowing one clean code to compile on both platforms while also supplying in many cases cleaner (more legible) API and (as a whipped cream on top) object-oriented environment (C++).

Q: Why bother with PD <-> Max/MSP cross-platform compatibility...
   ...when I use only <insert-your-favorite-application-here>?
   ...<insert-your-favorite-application-here> is better?
A: Choice is what makes us human (this is also what makes Arts so vibrant and exciting). And while everyone's welcome to express their own preferences, we also have to realize that in this case these same preferences are also the main cause of a virtual divide which manifests itself at everyone's detriment. Wouldn't it be nicer if we could share externals transparently, or even better, open PD patches in Max and vice-versa? This would help in both the cross-pollination of ideas as well as creative efforts. This project has also taught me that creating flext-ready externals is as easy if not easier (due to the aforesaid API's legibility) than native objects (whether that be PD or Max/MSP). Finally, if all else fails, such externals are bound to reach wider audience, and are much easier to maintain if cross-platform compatibility is to be pursued.

Q: If flext is so cool, why don't we see more porting efforts?
A: Good question. The fact is that flext is much more widely known among PD users than it is among the Max/MSP community, so this seemingly one-way road may have contributed to the current situation. One could only hope that projects like this may help reverse this unfortunate trend.

Q: So, is all really that peachy in the flext-land?
A: Well, our lives teach us that nothing is truly free in this world. Flext is no exception. Its "fees," however are not tied to our checkbooks. Rather, they manifest themselves in a slightly greater CPU overhead in signal flow due to message translation. Thus, one could consider flext a "middle-person" between the <app-of-your-choice> and the external. This, however, in today's world is so negligible that during the testing phase I was unable to measure any noticeable CPU-overhead difference.

Another consideration is that flext might not be complete (see KNOWN ISSUES for an example). That being said, in its current state it did the trick for a relatively complex external such as munger~ or even FFTEASE collection which had been ported several years ago. All this leads me to believe that it is more than ready for the day-to-day use.

Q: I already have Dan and Luke's awesome PeRColate lib. Why should I download this one?
A: This is a cross-platform port of the latest version with several new features. Thus, it allows for those platforms which have not had the beta6 available (Linux, Windows) to finally dig into all the goodies it brings. Plus you also get the cool stuff such as verbose modes, discrete panning, more thorough documentation, up to 500 grains per sample (instead of 50), up to 24-channel output (instead of 2 or 16, depending which one you used), etc.


munger1~ has been tested extensively on Linux+PD, OSX+Max/MSP and Win32+Max/MSP setups, suggesting that it should work on other setups as well. Your mileage may vary, though.

Currently there is only one known issue in the wild which requires changes to flext in order to be fixed. Namely, if you use munger1~ object in conjunction with an external buffer in PD (known as an array) and if you dubiously decide to delete that particular buffer in the middle of your performance while munger1~ is still associated with it, this will [unsurprisingly] crash PD. Max/MSP currently has a check implemented against that via flext layer so Max/MSP will simply stop outputting anything until buffer is reset. The flext author is aware of this and PD fix should appear in the flext CVS hopefully soon. That being said, the lingering question is why would you want to do this in the first place...

FYI, even though munger1~ allows up to 500 simultaneous grains per sample and has been compiled with all available optimizations (SSE, Altivec is supposedly available via flext but has not been tested), on MBP (Core Duo 1.83GHz) I was unable to get more than 160 simultaneous grains per sample (or ~32,000 grains/second) without dropouts, even though CPUs were not getting maxed out, so something else might be the cause of this limitation (flext?). Win32 machine (3-year old AMD64 3000+) fared marginally better at around 165 simultaneous grains per sample (or ~33,000 grains/second) before its CPU was maxed out. Linux on the same AMD64 3000+ hardware fared the best. It topped off at 47,999 grains per second at 48KHz sampling rate which for some reason the sampling rate appears to be the upper limit (i.e. if you run PD or Max/MSP at lower sampling rates, your upper limit will be restricted to the sampling rate), even though the code allows for multiple initiations of grains per cycle. This, however, is also the way original munger~ works.

An interesting bit is that while on Linux/PD combo 48K grains are already reached when we get 64 simultaneous grains, on Win32/Mac even 160 simultaneous grains yield only ~32-33K grains. Could this be a flext bug?

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