[PD] Feedback discussion

Mathieu Bouchard matju at artengine.ca
Wed Sep 16 20:34:16 CEST 2009

On Wed, 16 Sep 2009, Derek Holzer wrote:

> I can't really say from a supra-atomic standpoint I could agree with 
> you, but I'd settle for the speed of light,

Oh yes, the speed of light (in vacuum) is quite exactly the maximum 
propagation speed.

> Which is quite a bit faster than your average blocksize or even a single 
> discrete sample--assuming that a complex digital system like Pd could 
> react effectively at single-sample speed.

Ok. Yeah, a continuous signal theory will be usually much more accurate in 
imitating nature than any discrete sampling. What I'm saying is that it 
still fails at it, both because NaN doesn't tend to occur in nature, and 
because the actual signal has a "grain texture" that is both unlike 
ordinary smooth continuity and any ordinary discrete sampling. And most 
likely, if you play with really fine-grained feedback, you will 
more often encounter situations where an ordinary continuous model 
will fail to imitate reality, than if you're doing non-feedback 

> Really though, must everything really be so complicated Mathieu?

I'd like to ask you! From my point of view, I saw instantaneousness as a 
complication in the conversation, which I could have dealt with by 
ignoring it, but instead I chose to talk about it. The latter is more 
proactive in making the complication go away... but at the same time, it 
makes the complication stick around while we're talking about it.

> Not everything can be so easily described with mathematics.

Sure, but where they do apply well, it's tempting to make use of them. 
Even when just fooling around, you can fool around better when you have a 
better intuition, and one of the ways of bettering intuition is to play 
around with reason (and another one is just hands-on experience).

> I also like to sip single malt whiskey during the last evening hours of 
> a summer headed towards autumn...

If you were on my front porch we could enjoy that or a bottle of 
Trois-Pistoles while watching big maples slowly turn yellow and red, but 
right now we're talking on the net about music-making and hopefully trying 
to do more of a dialogue than «I like noise» «me too». It doesn't *have* 
to include explicit references to math, but it's hard to do without any, 
and as you didn't prevent yourself from saying «digital» «analogue» 
«discrete» «continuous», I supposed we were largely talking about math 
(and/or physics, which in many respects is indistinguishible from math 

> I merely wanted to share my (unsatisfactory) experiences with feedback 
> scenarios in Pd. Your Mileage May Vary.

Well, I merely wanted to share my comments about your account of your 
experiences with feedback... and possibly elucidate some of your comments, 
if you will.

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| Mathieu Bouchard, Montréal, Québec. téléphone: +1.514.383.3801

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