A collaboration workflow from sound-based composition to performance of electroacoustic music using Pure Data as a framework

Author: Kyriakos Tsoukalas

Download full paper: Media:A collaboration workflow of electroacoustic music using Pd.pdf

This paper describes a workflow for composers, engineers and performers to collaborate, using Pure Data as a framework, towards the design of electroacoustic musical instruments intended for live performances of sound-based music. Furthermore, it presents some considerations about live performance and ideas of creating collaboration tools, possibly as Pd[[Pure Data]] a dataflow programming environment GUIGraphical User Interface plugins.

By choosing Pd[[Pure Data]] a dataflow programming environment as DSPDigital Signal Processing – Digitale Signalverarbeitung engine and automation software, users are able to program in a graphical programming environment. A programming project approach such as the «incremental-build model», may result in a more rapid development of a musical instrument, based on early performance testing, reuse of software and progressive refinement of modules. Τhe visual programming environment of Pd[[Pure Data]] a dataflow programming environment could be used by different users as a collaboration environment that combines a visual representation of the automation and DSPDigital Signal Processing – Digitale Signalverarbeitung programming within a patch-file. When the case is that the composer, the engineer and the performer is the same person and assuming that this person is sufficiently knowledgeable in each domain of expertise, then the case seems to be ideal from a transfer of ideas point of view but enervates the energy that will be spent in each domain of expertise, since it will be a portion of the total energy of one person. In the case of an association of a composer, an engineer and a performer, the labor is divided to three people and the case becomes more complicated from a transfer of ideas point of view, but gain in knowledge diversity. Composers could design data-flow diagrams for the sound processing as planned by their composition ideas. Then engineers could validate and, in collaboration with composers, clarify the different parts of the diagrams. In order to program a sound synthesis engine as planned by a composer's diagram, engineers could develop new and use any available class of Pd[[Pure Data]] a dataflow programming environment or external libraries and abstractions to shorten development time. The performer's interface could be based on a separate device-focused (sensors-equipped, handheld, tangible, etc) (sub-)system, that would communicate with Pd[[Pure Data]] a dataflow programming environment. Such an approach should transfer to new projects the dexterity gained with certain devices and custom systems by the performers to succeed in embodiment of control parameters through effective mapping of dexterous gestural abilities. Furthermore, making available the mapping of control parameters for calibration by the performer himself, should help his practice gain in quality. Pd[[Pure Data]] a dataflow programming environment software is used by many electroacoustic composers and engineers, who share resources and publish their work and tools online. Exploring the field of electroacoustic music becomes more fruitful by succeeding in implementing new compositional ideas. The workflow ideas described in this paper aim at helping projects of collaboration in electroacoustic musical instrument creation, run with consistency to the initial idea.


Kreativfonds Bauhaus-Univeristät WeimarElectronic Arts Blog für digitale SpielkulturThe Mozilla FoundationAllied Vision TechnologiesReality Jockey Ltd.Freistaat ThüringenBauhaus-Universität WeimarHochschule für Musik Franz Liszt WeimarFraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMTStadt WeimarKlassik Stiftung WeimarNKFaculty of MediaStudio for electro-acoustic MusicKulturTragWerk e.V.Elektronisches Studio der TU BerlinMaschinenraum Hackerspace WeimarParlomar5 e.V.Lab for Electronic Arts and PerformanceRadio Lotte WeimarSponsors and partners of the 4th internationals Pure Data Convention in Weimar 2011

4th international Pure Data Convention 2011 Weimar ~ Berlin