Pure Data: an open source visual language for multimedia

This page summarizes the projects mentioned and recommended in the original post on news.ycombinator.com

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  • PureeData

    PuréeData is a browser-based GUI interface for a remote PureData server, allowing real-time collaborative patching for anyone, anywhere.

    Funny seeing Pd randomly on the front page of HN! I once (a LONG time ago) built a browser-based GUI for a remote Pd server: https://github.com/t3db0t/PureeData

  • Camomile

    An audio plugin with Pure Data embedded that allows to load and to control patches

    You can compile to vst with camomile as well, I wanted to mention.


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  • plugdata

    Pure Data as a plugin, with a new GUI

    … and load a Pd environment as a DAW plugin with PlugData https://github.com/timothyschoen/PlugData

  • csound

    Main repository for Csound

    Seeing your use of past-tense here, I have to plug: I'm a 25 year+ Csound enthusiast. Still very happily composing with Csound along with the rest of the small but committed community. Being a lifelong programmer, I prefer it to Pd, Max and Supercollider, and think many HN folks would too.


    You may find better instruction material than you had in the past in the excellent Csound Floss manual.


  • pure-data

    Pure Data - a free real-time computer music system

    > Any criticism or unwelcome suggestions are treated as an insult to Miller Puckette and the proponent is attacked, ignored, or advised to implement it themselves (ie to go away and not come back).

    I don't think this holds for the general case, but there a certainly a few users caught up in Stockholm Syndrome :-) I can assure you that the developer team (which I am a part of) is very well aware of Pd's limitations and problems. Pd has seen quite significant UX improvements over the last few years, but the pace of development is very slow. Anyway, if you have specific criticism, suggestions or feature requests, feel free to open a ticket on GitHub: https://github.com/pure-data/pure-data.

    As a side note, the minimalistic GUI itself won't change since it is an intentional design decision by Miller, but there is some effort to abstract the core/GUI communication to allow alternative GUI implementations. (Personally, I really dislike the current Tcl/Tk GUI - not because it's minimalistic, but because it's slow and buggy.)

    > and idiosyncratic terminology (eg PD refers to module connectors as 'patch cords' just like on an analog modular synthesizer or mixer, but what synth people commonly call a pulse or a trigger is a 'bang' in PD).

    Pd's 'bang' belongs to the control/event domain, you can't really compare it to trigger/pulse in modular synthesizers. (FWIW, there are several Pd externals that implement audio-rate triggers.)

    > You can make it do anything, but unless you already have a very specific goals you will spend most of the time reinventing wheels in parameter space.

    That's a fair point. It's important for people to understand that Pd vanilla is really a programming environment with only a minimal set of built-in objects that allow you to build higher-level abstractions. You definitely need a set of "abstractions" or libraries to be productive. Fortunately, there are many existing Pd libraries and they can be easily installed with Pd's package manager "Deken". The most extensive one is "ELSE" with nearly 500 objects, containing everything from band-limited ocillators, filters, sequencers, GUIs, etc. Personally, I have my own collection of abstractions that I made over the last years.

    That being said, I would agree that you should always pick the right tool for the job. Just as you wouldn't write your website in C, you wouldn't pick Pd for typical EDM stuff (unless you have a very good reason). But for prototyping and experimental electronics it's a fantastic tool, I think.

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NOTE: The number of mentions on this list indicates mentions on common posts plus user suggested alternatives. Hence, a higher number means a more popular project.

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