Workshop Pure Data

Van 26-05-2004 t/m 29-05-2004

Guests: Aymeric Mansoux, Derek Holzer, Frank Barknecht and Jaromil

This workshop is meant for beginners and will focus on Open Source software for the real-time manipulation of audio and video. The dual package of Pure Data and GEM, offer a complete set of tools for sound, multimedia and VJ purposes. Topics will include: real-time audio and video processing with PD and GEM, RRADical PD, PDP and an overview of other free and open source audio and video tools for Linux.

PD and GEM The dual package of PD [Pure Data] and GEM [Graphics Environment for Multimedia], developed under an open source model by an international community of programmers, offers just such a set of tools. Running under Linux or OSX, PD and GEM can be used in commonly available, inexpensive hardware as a complete multimedia environment. Both applications allow for the real-time manipulation of sound and image data within a visual programming environment which does not require any previous experience in traditional computer languages.

PDP is a set of external objects to PD developed by Tom Schouten, and are based on the idea of processing data in packets. While it is primarily used for video, the basic structure of PDP allows any kind of data to be processed into any other kind of data. Images can be converted to textures, which can be mapped onto 3D objects, converted back to images, changed into sound, re-rendered again as image, and so on. The possibilities are endless.

RRADical PD (Reusable and Rapid Audio Development) is a set of patches created by Frank Barknecht in order to make Pure Data easier and faster to use for newcomers and for people who are looking for a collection of standardized music tools similar to what commerical software packages such as Reason or Reaktor offer.

The workshop is for beginners. The level will go up while the week progresses. The first day will be dedicated to basic PD and for those who bring their own machine, an installation session.

For applications please contact Marloes de Valk


While many tools exist for sound, multimedia and VJ purposes, few of them are designed with an open architecture which allows artists to configure the tools they use themselves. Fewer still are free. The importance of an open source development model may seem academic at first, but in fact there is a strong need for a workshop of this kind. The fees, licenses and restrictions that come with commercial software become more and more restrictive every day, and the knowledge in the new media community of free and open source software is extremely limited. Coupled with this is the stigma that open source software, such as Linux, is 'too difficult' for artists to use. This workshop aims to provide the tools which can be taken away and put to use immediately and the knowledge of how to use them productively.


The workshop sessions will be held in the Netherlands Media Art Institute. Over the 4 days of the workshop, 12 participants will learn about PD, GEM, and PDP, working under the Linux operating system. Topics of the workshop will include:

· Crash course 'Installing PD and GEM for beginners' with invited guests
· Basic PD with Derek Holzer
· Basic GEM with Aymeric Mansoux
· Intermediate PD with Derek Holzer
· RRADical PD with Frank Barknecht
· PDP with Aymeric Mansoux
· Clinic
· Presentation and jamm session

At the end of the fourth day a short presentation of the workshop will take place. This presentation will be open to an audience invited by the participants. The workshop will finish with a 'Jam Session', in which the participants can share the creations they have made with each other and with the audience.

Note for OSX and Windows users PD and GEM are multi platform and besides Linux can be used under OSX and Windows (PDP is only available for LINUX and OSX). There will be a special 'installing PD and GEM crash course on the first day of the workshop, which will take beginners through the process of installation step by step. OSX users should take into account that installing PDP on their machines might not be possible during the limited time of the workshop. A step by step manual is available online.

Invited Guests

Frank Barknecht (D)
Open source developer, sound artist and the creator of the End-User Abstractions project (RRADical PD, Reusable and Rapid Audio Development) which makes it possible to learn using Pd in a top-down way, making PD more accessible and open.

Aymeric Mansoux (F)
Artist and author of pure-data tutorials/articles for MusicRun, Co-Founder of a group dedicated to alternative digital art study and Co-Founder of Goto10, an organization dedicated to set up and produce electronic live events.

Derek Holzer (NL/US)
Sound artist currently based in Utrecht. Initiated the Acoustic Space Lab Project, an 'open source sampling project' which invites artists to use a database of samples gathered at a former Soviet spy station to create a common body of work.

Jaromil (I)
Jaromil is an italian GNU/Linux programmer, author and mantainer of three free softwares and a operating system: MuSe (for running a web radio), FreeJ (for veejay and realtime video manipulation), HasciiCam (ascii video streaming) and dyne:bolic.

Fee € 150,-