[chuck-users] OT: Reader Internals, PD and Super Collider for Accessible, Conventional Modular Environment

Michal Seta mis at artengine.ca
Wed Nov 21 15:29:16 EST 2007

On Nov 21, 2007 12:18 PM, Veli-Pekka Tätilä
<vtatila at mail.student.oulu.fi> wrote:
> Given that PD is described as a data flow language is there a textual,
> human readable and writable format, in which I could do PD patches
> without the graphics? Put another way, what did the author use for
> debugging before the GUI? At least there's some kind of exchange format
> for Max. So I could probably write perl scripts around that, as a
> desperate measure. Can I run PD on the command line as well?

the file format is described here.
 I don't know if it actually is "human readable" but you could
probably figure out of writing patches with text (or develops your own
frontend).  The thing is that pd's server-client architecture is not
all that well designed so I am not sure if you could get far with it.

You may wish to take a look at DesireData
which is for of Pure Data and where the server client separation is
hopefully better.
This project isn't necessarily moving along very quickly but perhaps
with higher user-base (and maybe some coding help) it could develop
into something worthwhile.  The main developer is pretty busy with
various other projects.

What might interest you even more, is nova
another PD fork which also separated server-client architecture and
AFAIK you can describe the dataflow with a textual syntax.  I have not
used it yet but although it's fairly young project, Tim is apparently
using it already for live performances.

I did not follow this discussion up til now so I am sorry if I miss
some important point, but perhaps CSound would be an option for you.
The drawback of yousing CSound is that it is not really suitable for
making sounds "live" (you must define your instrument and compile it
before you can use it) but there are interfaces made for Java, C#C++,
Tcl, Python, Lisp and whatnot which allow you to use CSound from
within those programming languages.  Perhaps it could lead to some
highly personnalized and specific use.

> Ideally I'd definitely hope there's a dedicated language, to which
> format do the graphical widgets reduce internally, is there PD bytecode
> like there's a virtual machine in ChucK?

No, pd is not a compiled language.  Unlike supercollider, csound,
chuck, the file simply describes the order in which various objects
are connected.  The beauty of it is that the audio processing runs all
the time while you patch so you don't have to reload the file
everytime you make a change.

> So something Altera like, with Perlish slices, Ruby:ish
> anonymous functions and other goodies
> would be ideal i.e. too good to be true. NOt to mention ChucKian time
> handling, that's something I like very much along with the assignment
> operator.

Nova might be your cup of tea but I am afraid it follows the PD model
of audio signal treatment which is block based.  By default those are
64 sample blocks.  Youcld run it at 1 sample blocks but it becomes
very inefficient for real-time work at that point.

Hope that helps,


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