Special Guest Research and Creation Seminar

Katja Vetter


Montignac for Music Tools


Instant Decomposer eats acoustic input and poops an immediate music stream. This software species was conceived by Katja Vetter in 2010. It has gone through several reincarnations, trying to meet challenges of new hardware habitats. Although being touch-enabled even before the era of tabletization, Instant Decomposer never invaded the i-things and a-things because it preferred open environments. The current wave of small Linux boards offers an alternative direction for propagation. Regarding cpu cycles, the years of plenty are over. Bloated software creatures can't survive on pico platforms. That's all right; discharging a few pounds of fat makes you feel fitter. Where Instant Decomposer needed a laptop five years ago, it can do the same thing on a Raspberry Pi today. Keyboard, mouse and (touch) display disappeared from the standard diet, which is likely to cause another mutation in Instant Decomposer's user interface soon. The short history of Instant Decomposer and public cousins SliceJockey / PicoJockey illustrate a music tool's adaptation in a world of fast moving hardware targets.


A background of musical instrument making and a one-year Sonology course carved the path for Katja's activities in the music dsp field, with a focus on real time processing of acoustic signals. Pure Data is her framework of choice, for it's openness and it's wonderful community. The blog at www.katjaas.nl is a tribute to open creativity.

Miller Puckette


Tilde objects as vertex and raster generators



In response to an invitation, with the soprano Juliana Snapper, to present an audiovisual performance inside a hemispherical projection theater (in effect, a modern, digital planetarium), this talk will explore the possibilities of using Pure Data's signal processing objects to generate three-dimensional graphics using OpenGL or Direct3D APIs.  Our approach is inspired by  early abstract films of the Whitney brothers, and by video synthesizer art of the 1970s and 1980s.  This has brought numerous technical challenges, both  at the design level and practical, and is also an interesting new usage case fro libpd that is quite different from its usual application to portable devices or game engines.  The use of operations typically employed in audio processing to create images seems to be a promising way not only to make those images but also, in reverse, might suggest new classes of audio processes to investigate.

Miller Puckette is the well-known creator of the MAX and Pure Data real-time computer music software environents, which are ubiquitously taught and used in electronic music and multimedia practice worldwide.  Originally a mathematician, he won the national Putnam mathematics competition in the United States in 1979, and received a PhD from Harvard University in 1986.  He was a researcher at the MIT Media lab from its inception until 1986, then at IRCAM (Paris, France), and is now professor of music at the University of California.  He has been awarded two honorary doctorates and the SEAMUS prize.