[PD] basic questions by a beginner in Pd concerning a project using Pd

Hans-Christoph Steiner hans at at.or.at
Wed Jun 29 22:01:27 CEST 2011

Welcome Maureen!

On Jun 29, 2011, at 3:01 PM, Maureen Anderson wrote:

> Hello,
> I'm completely new to Pd and trying to follow the Pd floss tutorial  
> and Johannes Kreider's "Loadbang" to learn the basics of Pd.  I have  
> a project goal/idea I would like to experiment with both for its own  
> sake, but also as a way to learn the program.  Below is a  
> description of what I would like to do followed by questions  
> concerning developing it.
> Project description
> I would like to create a datafile of video and/or video files.   
> Audio files would be a collection of speakers of languages other  
> than English or "speaking in tongues" which could be mixed in real  
> time by either some other group of people speaking English (or  
> creating whatever sound) into a microphone to "simulate" or be mixed  
> as what the "real time speaker/activator" is saying.  This has  
> nothing to do with speech recognition, but "sound recognition??"   
> The video idea is similar.  A camera is set up stationary in a  
> controlled room recording hours of dance footage (same light, same  
> space, same color, one figure in the same clothing moving in  
> space...the only variable being unchoreographed movements that get  
> habituized over time though not learned by rote).  With the same  
> concept as the audio (though with the same human figure/dancer and  
> not a new actor/activator), the movement in the space in individual  
> frames per second would be matched up with a similar frame in the  
> datafile remixing individual frames to simulate the real time  
> action.  I have seen similar works to this and would like to see if  
> I could work with such a project and if so what issues might pop up  
> as a result (for example, what kind of control might I be able to  
> have over the fluidness/chopiness of snippets one after the other).

This is possible, but non-trivial.  If you are willing to put a solid  
chunk of work into it, you can learn enough Pd to get this working.  
Scrambled Hacks is an elaborate project that has some of the core  
functionality that you might be interested in.  It catalogs music by  
sound, to be played back by live beatboxing:


> Questions concerning project:
> 1.  What kind of credit/citation could/should one give for help  
> given by others?  For example, if a person uses patches developed or  
> created by someone/group/string of developers, what kind of credit  
> do any of you think a person could or should give?  I'm not  
> necessarily talking about copyright laws, licensing or legal matters  
> per se, but what are people's thoughts about the ability, right and/ 
> or responsibility to give credit where credit is due with open  
> source software?  This is a subjective/philosophical question, any  
> opinions are welcome.

I personally want people to use my stuff first and foremost, and give  
credit if they can.  But I don't want copyright law, licenses, etc. to  
get in the way of people creating work.  I think is the central idea  
of Free Software.  In terms of what people post to this list and the  
various Pd patches, tutorials, and documentation that's out there, I  
think if you do your best to give credit where you think people  
deserve it, you'll be fine.


> 2.  Based on my description, would such a project or set of projects  
> technically even be possible?  I've tried to be as clear as possible  
> in my description in its initial conception.  Would Pd be a good  
> program to execute it?  Which would be better, video or audio  
> material, as a starting point to begin with in trying to mix in the  
> way I have described above in real time?
> 3.  In the Pd floss manual, there is a link to dataflow tutorials as  
> a .zip from the flossmanuals website, but I can't seem to access  
> it.  Any reason why this might be?
> 4.  I'm trying to learn Pd from the ground up because that is all I  
> have at the moment...it feels like I'm mining metals to create  
> pigment in order to make paint in order to make a painting.  As a  
> painter, I actually learned a lot about creating pigments after  
> years of painting with pre-given paint in tubes.  How can one  
> balance the user/programmer issue?  I think this relates back to  
> question one.
> Thanks in advance for anyone who could address any of these questions!
> Mo
> -- 
> maureenjolie at gmail.com
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"Free software means you control what your computer does. Non-free  
software means someone else controls that, and to some extent controls  
you." - Richard M. Stallman

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