[PD] Music created in Pure Data

David Powers cyborgk at gmail.com
Sat Mar 24 00:20:12 CET 2007

I should probably clear up the whole "math" thing - what I did was
much more akin to DATA-BENDING, and parameter mapping, not math per
se. Essentially, 10000 digits of Pi were used as a giant data set to
drive things. In fact, I'm not sure how different it would sound with
random numbers as opposed to the PI data set - though the PI version
is determinate and always plays the same, I believe. The fibonacci
sequence structure was there though, and possibly the only overt
display of math, as that sequence controlled when different parts
began to fade in or out, within a set plan I'd laid out on paper.

Unfortunately, although the sound at the start is synthetic, it is
from a VST, and not synthesized in Pure Data. I'm not convinced I
could even run a big, polyphonic subtractive synth built in PD
currently, I fear with so much running it would most likely eat my
entire CPU on WinXP, so using VST's in PD has been my compromise.
Actually, because of that and time constraints, it was either use
VST's, or ditch Pure Data altogether for the project. The piece as a
whole did push my CPU pretty much to the limit, especially with the
reverb added.

The quacking = simple fm chirps, that wasn't how I originally intended
to realized that part of the composition, but the deadline for the
piece was today (on the microsound list). I do intend to make a new
version next week though, and if I'm lucky I can synthesize something
closer to my original intention in PD. Also, as I've said before,
low-level DSP isn't really my thing, I'm more into the composition
side of things and at least some higher level modular components.

Anyway, this piece realizes only about 1/3 of my original plan, though
now that the important abstractions are built I could realize new
versions more quickly.

I'll have a look at those abstractions, thanks! I must mention that
none of this stuff would be possible without ZEXY, Frank's list-abs
collection (and especially, I must mention the [line-interp] which I
only just discovered after working on a different solution to the same
problem, and Grill's [vst~]. So a big thanks to all those who
contributed in those projects!


On 3/24/07, padawan12 <padawan12 at obiwannabe.co.uk> wrote:
> Thanks for sharing that I enjoyed it. Some lovely sounds. I wasn't much
> taken with Mr quacky at the start :), but once that was over I enjoyed the
> textures and decelerating rythms. I don't hear how the maths works, but it
> works for me.
> If you like textures based on dilating/warping events the attached patches
> might inspire some ideas. The first is for an elastic object that gives
> up a little kinetic energy on each bounce, the other is a fragmentation
> model for something "falling apart" that uses bifurcation. They're
> for bouncing balls and breaking glass for me, but I think they have
> compositional uses if you twist em a bit.
> If that's a synthetic voice would you share your choir patch?
> cheers,
> Andy
> On Fri, 23 Mar 2007 15:06:09 -0600
> "David Powers" <cyborgk at gmail.com> wrote:
> > PiData, by Cyborg K aka David A. Powers.  All synthesis and sequencing
> > was done by a single Pure Data patch, rendered in a single take, then
> > normalized in an external sound editor. More complex synthesis and fx
> > were done with the aid of the Pure Data [vst~] object. The custom
> > [getpi] abstraction was used to output n digits of the first 10,000
> > digits of Pi at a time: all variable parameters, whether harmonic,
> > rhythmic, or synthetic were driven by instances of the [getpi]
> > abstraction. Overall rhythmic structure was based on the fibonacci
> > sequence: 8 + 13 + 21 + 34 + 21 + 13 + 8 + 34 + 21 + 13 + 8 = 194
> > seconds = 3:14. The piece took about 15-20 hours to complete,
> > including building abstractions from scratch within Pure Data.
> >
> > Link:
> > http://www.cyborgk.com/audio/cyborgk-pi_data.mp3
> >
> > *PS. This is the first time I have composed an entire piece in the
> > Pure Data environment...
> >
> > ~David
> >
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