[PD] PD i education

Anders Friberg andersf at speech.kth.se
Wed May 30 08:56:07 CEST 2007

We are using pd as the main tool in our course about musical 
communication ranging from basic synthesizer construction to 
sensors/video/sound interactions.

We chose it since it is free and available on all platforms making it 
easy for the students to use it. pd is a little bit hard to start with 
due to the lacking coherence and documentation but the pd-extended 
version has helped a lot (Thanks Hans!). We do everything "pd-extended 
compliant" now. Also a number of master thesis students as well as 
researchers are using pd in projects right now.

I think the basic tutorials, such as the tutorial patches included in pd 
and Miller's tutorials, are pretty good to get started and understand 
the concepts. However, the most common problem is the following:
I want to do this <operation> - is there block that can do it and what's 
the name of it?
In the majority of cases in the beginning there is actually already a 
block that can do it but there is no way to find out except browse the 
whole documentation including all packages and guess. It used to pop up 
a text file with blocks ordered according to purpose in vanilla pd which 
I think was of great help. I suppose this is considered to lowtech and 
inflexible considering all the packages etc.
Anyway, some way of going from <function> to block would improve the 
usability of pd enormously. I think this is something we could engage in 
given that there are some simple tasks to do. For example, could the 
different blocks be give a category (e.g. "audio"), subcategory (e.g. 
"filter"), library (e.g. "zexy"), a one-liner description (e.g. 
"one-pole filter") and then include that in the browser so that you can 
sort and display according to categories?

Hans-Christoph Steiner wrote:
> We've been using Pd to teach sound and soon sensors/interaction here:
> http://idmi.poly.edu
> I try to make all my materials freely available.  It seems that we  
> should all work together and come up with some kick-ass teaching  
> materials.  Plus I think it would save us all a lot of work in the  
> long run.
> You might also be interested in Miller's new book which using Pd  
> directly to teach DSP:
> http://www.worldscibooks.com/compsci/6277.html
> .hc
> On May 29, 2007, at 6:32 AM, Mikael Fernstrom wrote:
>> I use PD with our MA/MSc students in Interactive Media and (some) in
>> Music Technology here at the University of Limerick.
>> http://www.csis.ul.ie/imedia/
>> http://www.ccmcm.ie/
>> http://www.idc.ul.ie/
>> - Mikael Fernström
>> On 29 May 2007, at 09:39, Eirik Arthur Blekesaune wrote:
>>> Can anybody help me point out who uses PD to teach electronic
>>> music? ..
>>> (Algoritmic) Composistion
>>> Synthesis
>>> DSP-theory
>>> real-time performance
>>> What are the pros and cons for using it to teach DSP-theory?
>>> Best,
>>> Eirik Blekesaune
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