A Pure Data interactive system that plays hardcore drumbeats when it’s not receiving any audio input.
At the start of winter break, I wanted to make some music and burn off some steam. The “Interactive Hardcore Music System” was the perfect solution for both. Here, I talk through the Pure Data patch explaining how it works and how I’ve used it, and waxing philosophical about how things don’t need to be complicated to be sophisticated (and musically expressive).
Get the “Benjolin Synthcore” album on bandcamp:
More Pure Data Tutorials on YouTube:
0:00 Intro/What is this thing? 1:41 Input section of the patch 4:30 Interaction with Logic Pro X 4:53 Compression as secret sauce 6:03 Creating the beat (probability gates) 7:34 The results 8:13 Other examples 9:25 Closing: Sophisticated ≠ Complicated
Creating an ambient music machine in Pure Data Vanilla with a “clamping VCA” that adds subtle distortion, imitating the envelopes in Roland TR-808.
I made a clamping VCA in Reaktor a few weeks back, and now here’s another example in Pd. Normally, amplitude envelopes in synths are a control envelope on the amplitude of the signal. When we use a “clamping VCA”, though, instead of controlling the amplitude of the waveform, we clip it at the desired maximum envelope. This means, when the VCA is all the way up, it sounds the same, but during the attack and release, we’ll get the addition of subtle (or perhaps not-so-subtle) distortion to our waveform.
I use [clip~] in Pd to achieve this effect, stealing the idea from Noise Engineering’s “Sinclastic Empulatrix” module, which, in turn, stole the idea from from the Roland TR-808 drum machine’s cymbal envelopes.