[PD Sound Design] Red Tower

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/51809009″>BladeSynth #1</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user9996693″>Gregore</a&gt; on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

The Red Tower has a chord based sound that changes every bar to progress the music. The reason this tower represents the chord is because of its radial attack. It’s attack is made up of many tiles closely knit together that light up at the same time.

rjlib – making some noise

For a quick start, replicating our live tutorial:

1. In Pure Data go to Preferences > Path and add the “rj” and “pd” folders you downloaded from the rjlib github.
2. Open “rj/s_cwc-help.pd” and press “pd detailed help”

This will get you something with a GUI to play around with. You can start from some presets. Those sliders drive a 4 harmonic oscillator synth. You can modulate it with a waveshaper and FM (frequency modulation) stage.

To go on exploring, the rjlib wiki gives a nice general overview. Just some shortcuts:

1. Open rj/OVERVIEW.pd and you can click through a list of the objects available. They are split into readable categories. Probably the best start is with the Synths section.

2. When you are confortable with the structure, open the help files straight from the rj folder. Their prefixes help you understand what they do:

s_ synthesizers and instruments
m_ mapping objects (translate events into parameters of synths and effects)
e_ effects and filters
c_ control data generation objects
u_ utilities
g_ GUI objects

rjlib – a pure data abstractions library


Rjlib comes to us courtesy of the RdDj Sonic Network.

Reactive music, that’s what they call those tunes I had on my iPhone. Check them out:


The Pure Data abstractions library we were playing with is maintained by them. They call it rjlib:


Under the hood, RjDj scenes are created and run using Pure Data vanilla. So, this means we can learn from their work and maybe even use it. Most of the patches in the “rj” library of abstractions are © Reality Jockey Ltd. but can be distributed freely according to the terms of the GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE v3.

This means we can freely use them, modify them and even distribute them with our changes and added work. The only condition is that anything we derive from those abstractions should follow the same rules. And “free” doesn’t mean we can’t charge for it, but also make it available and open. Which is something I would like to do anyway. In the same spirit that I learned from other people’s work, I would like to share our own little experiments. I think this only applies to sound and music, though. So if Nargus makes an awesome new A.I. algorithm, as it will not be derived from this library, he can still keep it secret and make millions 🙂

Some other files in there have been imported from outside sources, but their comments describe the authors and the license to apply. As an example, the ADSR abstractions and the e_vocoder include code written by Miller Puckette and others. So they are copyrighted according to the Standard Improved BSD License. Which basically asks us to credit their original authors. Again, something that they didn’t really have to ask 😉

I’ll make another post to give some pointers on how to use the library. Dan is the one who will probably use it more, but I think you guys will also have fun with it. Meanwhile you can check out the example scenes on the distribution, just open the “_main.pd” file in those “.rj” dirs. Hello World World World is a good start 😀