[PD] help_random/seed

Martin Peach martin.peach at sympatico.ca
Sun Jul 5 18:44:05 CEST 2009

cem guney wrote:
> hi,
> thanks much for your response!
> also in regards to your explanation,
> "It would be nice if the random source could be independently specified 
> for all the pd objects that use random numbers,
> since the count of unreachable combinations when using the standard 
> deterministic chaos generators is infinite"
> any application examples as to why it would be nice if the random source 
> could be independently specified?

Well I think it's mainly a philosophical thing about the meaning of 
'random', but probably there are sequence generators for music that 
sound different with 'truly' random vs pseudo-random numbers. Sometimes 
you may want a repeating chaotic sequence, sometimes a completely random 

For cryptography, as in a one-time pad, pseudo-random is relatively easy 
to crack. There are at most 65536 different sequences with typical 
pseudo-random generators, but that's not any inherent limitation of 
pseudo-random, just the particular implementation that's often used.

Also with games like rolling dice or shuffling cards, you probably want 
it to be completely unpredictable, or regular players will begin to 
recognize patterns.

Pseudo-random white noise playing at audio rate will actually be a 
repeating waveform several minutes or hours long. It's up to you if that 
matters or not.


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