The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'pd'
I went along to Dorkbot tonight, which was fun.
It started off with Mike Harrison's demonstration of "The Dreaded Destruct-O-Tron"; basically, a box with a huge capacitor that can be connected to various things, including an induction coil, and, when discharged, does evil things to anything metallic in close proximity to it. Harrison demonstrated it crushing soft-drink cans, launching hard disk platters at 300MPH, and, to popular applause, destroying a few copies of the recent Band Aid single. He also had a DVD of footage taken with a high-speed camera (at thousands of frames per second) of what happens to the hapless objects in question.
The "Exploring the Libido with an Analogue Computer" segment was a bit of comedy, somewhere between Benny Hill and Look Around You, in which a balding scientist type used an electromechanical computing device (an arrangement of motors and gears from a 1960s-vintage flight simulator) as a model of his sex drive, and afterwards, proceeded to demonstrate a spark generator connected to a 1980s portable computer programmed to detect raspberry-like noises, as a uniquely British answer to high-tech Japanese toilets. And yes, it's every bit as puerile as it sounds.
Possibly the most interesting part of the evening was Aymeric Mansoux's demonstration of his experiments with Pd; he basically had videos of Pd patches which gathered data (such as traceroutes to hosts or web server loads) and converted them into pretty good Autechre-esque music, along with visuals which wouldn't look amiss on a Warp DVD. Amusingly enough, the traceroute to www.microsoft.com looked and sounded rather dark and ominous.
The "Dorkestra", which consisted of people making noises was a bit hit-and-miss, being much like the What Is Music? festival in Melbourne. One guy was doing "optical analogue synthesis" with cooling fans and LEDs, which sounds impressive, except that the only sounds he seemed to make sounded somewhere between air-raid sirens and circular saws. Had he been able to play a tune, I would have been impressed.
There was also a raffle with free entry, largely to get rid of two BBC Micros. I didn't win either of them; I'm undecided as to whether that's a good or bad thing.
I stand corrected; it is possible to run Windows VST plugins under Linux and use them with Pd and LADSPA clients. This announcement describes vstserver software, which may be found here. You'll also need WINE source code and Steinberg's VST SDK (which requires an agreement, but it doesn't seem particularly restrictive).
After being dragged along to some laptop electronica performances by Peter, I've started playing around in earnest with Pd; it's a fun piece of software to play with. With an audio in socket and the built-in objects (and possibly some optional LADSPA plug-ins), it's possible to make a Linux-based PC into a customisable bank of effects pedals for whatever you plug into it (i.e., a guitar, microphone, Casio keyboard, electronic bagpipe chanter, whatever). Now all I'd need is a decently fast Linux-capable laptop.
Aside: someone should write a WINE-based wrapper of some sort for running Windows VST plugins under Linux and interfacing them with Linux audio software. It shouldn't be too hard; one way would be to write a very simple Windows VST host which takes audio input, runs it through a plugin rack, and sends it to output, and then use WINE to wrap it in such a way that the input and output goes to FIFOs in /tmp or somesuch. A better alternative would be to actually wrap the plugins within the host application, giving them just enough Windows GDI calls to draw their user interfaces and such. (After all, the DSP code should be fairly portable.)