Feb 10, 2012

Pd Recipe Book ―Let's begin sound programming with Pure Data

This is a basic how-to-book about "Pure Data (Pd)", an open source software to learn sound programming
utilizing graphical programming environment. Pd has the same roots as Max/MSP, and plays the sounds by
connecting small boxes called "object" to control data flow.
This gives you a recipe of rhythm machine, synthesizer, and many more to build up interactive system structure.
Suitable for beginners.

Author: Seiichiro Matsumura Price: 3400yen +tax (ISBN 978-4-86100-780-4)
Format: 182×257㎜,344pages, Softcover with Jacket
Language: Japanese / 24th February 2012

This is a basic how-to-book about "Pure Data (Pd)", an open source software to learn sound programming
utilizing graphical programming environment.
"What is sound programming?" "What is different from normal making of music?" "I have never heard about Pure Data, how can I use it?" I can imagine many questions from you.

Plainly speaking, sound programming is to design a play sound by computer programming. It depends on the person who utilizes it if it becomes a "normal music". One might come to the point of what is the definition of "normal music" as proceeding sound programming. The real thrill of it is to make a program by trial and error by approaching sound data directly.

"What if I hit a sound on this condition?"
"What if I create a sound with this data?"
"What if I pull this sound apart and put them into a process
to reconstruct based on a specific rule?"

Through trials and errors like above, the result will be a different value from "normal music".
In short, that will become a value as "YOUR MUSIC".

Computer technology has accomplished a remarkable progress and the environment which surrounds music production has also changed it a lot. The best change is especially that the equipment of music production has become "cheap" and "high performance."
When you would like to make a sound like powerful orchestra, it is possible by around 30,000 yen synthesizer, and, if you would like to attach the effect of rich reverberation to the sound, a free plug-in PC software is developed by volunteers, and is exhibited through internet.

Music software such as the sequencers to create musical sequence (performance data) and
DAW software, which used to be more than 100,000yen once, have fallen to about 20,000yen.
It is just an overwhelming environment for a music creator and the one aim to be.
Moreover, such a tool is very easy-to-use, and it is not so hard to learn the operation method, either. You can master immediately even if you do not know how the inside of the tool operates and is processing as well as you can drive a car even though you do not know a mechanism of an engine.

Of course, I do not intend to deny a user mastering such useful tools overflowing in public, and making a sound and music for one's purpose at all. The merit of getting expected effects easily and quickly brings unfathomable beneficence in music production,and the existence of the tool which helps its realization is indispensable.

However, if one, who has this book in hand, think to get an expression of music or sound from a different point of view? After understanding the principle of sound process as digital data using useful tools such as electronic instruments and software products, which realize as if it is something simple, what if one thought that he would like to try various ideas about the sounds which he had?

It may be said that it is an inefficient distance while swinging by here and there,instead of the distance in a straight line making full use of the useful tools toward the goal of "music to express."

However, it is also true that there are the people those who want to enjoy the process of combining parts and finishing a plastic model of a car over many hours rather than looking at it and enjoying the completed one.
it is no doubt that the same pleasure exists as for sound expression, too. Is it a thorny path that,to dare to choose and apply a trial-and-error method in the present environment where is a flood of useful tools, or is it rather extravagant?

Anyway, this book carries out to help you to go into the world of sound programming, using the excellent programming environment called Pure Data,which excels in approaching and doing a trial-and-error method for sound digital data.

This book is written to conquer two missions.

One is to broaden the world of sound programming for inexperienced people in touch with the way to think about programming and control of data flow.

Pure Data is not a kind of program environment which one inputs a character and write a program source code but has a graphical interface such as connecting a box called 'object' to another box by lining, and create a program called 'patch'. That is totally different interface from other programming languages, there is an easy aspect for inexperienced people in programming.

However,it is easy to enter though, not like a toy at all, a full-scale of sound processing is possible. Explaining about how to assemble the patch of such Pure Data step by step,the essence of sound programming can be learned simultaneously. And this book introduces various "sound ideas" to realize as "recipe" as indicated on the title.

The other one is to overcome a language difficulty.

Pure Data is a free open source software. Consequently, it has been accepted all over the world and there are many users and developers. Also a lot of communities on internet and its workshop is held monthly somewhere in the world. Moreover, many educational authorities apply Pure Data to study sound programming. Not only an academic world,but Pure Data is used in quite a lot of commercial industry.

However,unfortunately, it has not been become popular a lot in Japan. One of the main reasons is a language difficulty.Pure Data is all in English from menu to help file, even communications among communities on internet.
Moreover, no help file or objects (command) has been perfectly gathered based on a reason that it is an open source, or the contents of some files are for those who have already the knowledge of sound programming to some extent. However, I think it is very wasteful not to use this application currently used all over the world, and not to go into the world of sound programming because of its specialty or the barrier of language. So, this book explains to even a fine procedure supposing a beginner to use Pure Data. That is because I would like you to exceed and minimize the barrier of language variance.

I hope this book will help people to get into sound programming world as many as possible and let their ideas into forms in future.

Seiichiro Matsumura


CHAPTER 1 Introduction
 INTERVIEW Frank Barknecht

2.1 Create Pd patch
2.2 Put menu / Help files
2.3 Object and help files
2.4 Details about each menu
 INTERVIEW Gunter Geiger

CHAPTER 3 Rhythm Machine
3.1 A brief overview about Rhythm Machine
3.2 step 1 Upload sound files
3.3 step 2 Play uploaded sound data in Array
3.4 step 3 Record a sequence
3.5 step 4 Play a sequence
3.6 step 5 Unite playing sound and loop sound of sequence
3.7 step 6 Sub patch conversion for easy to look
3.8 step 7 Put an oscillosope to check the sound
3.9 step 8 Operation when patch is open
3.10 step 9 Add tracks

CHAPTER 4 Synthesizer
4.1 A brief overview about Synthesizer
4.2 step 1 Create a simple sine wave
4.3 step 2 Create attack and release of a sound
4.4 step 3 Program a free time code for attack and release of a sound
4.5 step 4 Alteration between attack and release
4.6 step 5 Improvement of Envelope Generator (EG)
4.7 step 6 Set up a slider
4.8 step 7 Put Envelope Generator(EG) part into Abstraction
4.9 step 8 create a sequencer of ON/OFF of sound, Pitch and Velocity
4.10 step 9 Unite synthesizer and sequencer on sine wave
4.11 step 10 Apply modulation for sound amplitude
4.12 step 11 Apply effect
4.13 step 12 Change a wave form of oscillator
4.14 step 13 Create various sound source of synthesizer

4.15 step 14 Apply a filter
 INTERVIEW Aymeric Mansoux

CHAPTER 5 Interactive System
5.1 Free Looper
5.2 Time span and sound at randam
5.3 Control instrumental sound by voice
5.4 Control playback movies by the pitch of voice
5.5 Air drumming through webcam
5.6 Change sound pitch and length freely
5.7 Phrase Slicer
 REPORT Pd-con report

APPENDIX:Pd object reference

also recommended;

Pd-Graz (ed.) bang. Pure Data (1. International PD-Convention Graz)

Kreidler, Johannes loadbang. Programming Electronic Music in Pure Data