Pd in my Pocket


One thing I am looking forward to exploring this year is working with Pure Data on my phone.

A few months ago I stumbled across an app for Android called ‘PdDroidParty‘, which makes it easy to run Vanilla Pure Data patches on a mobile device.


I’ve already made a couple – a simple synth/tone generator, and a little ‘chiptune’ style loop player – mainly just to test the app, and I have been amazed at how well this app works.

There are  few things to keep in mind before starting work on a ‘DroidParty’ patch, which may prove to be stumbling blocks to those not familiar with Pure Data.

The patch is only able to work with Vanilla objects. Whilst this hasn’t proved to be much of an issue for me yet, it does mean you have to be prepared go without some of the objects you may have enjoyed using in the extended version of PD. For example, you will need to know how to make yourself an alternative [counter] object based around a [float] object instead.

You also need to know how to make GUI objects send messages to abstractions, as the usual connections between GUI objects won’t work. And you obviously then need to know what abstractions are and how to work with them.

Whilst the app does make an attempt to scale your patch to fit the screen of your device, this doesn’t necessarily happen in the way that you would like. I have found that sliders I have set to be large, are sometimes scaled smaller, and sometimes not necessarily in the position I would like.This is of minor inconvenience though and it just takes a little bit of tweaking to get the GUI of the patch close to how you want it to appear on the device.

I am tremendously excited about having the power of Pure Data now available to me on my phone, and am looking forward to devising a project using this new tool. I’m thinking that it might be fun to explore some generative music ideas that could be distributed as a mobile app perhaps.(I believe there is the option to embed the source code of the app into your own code in order to create a single app for distribution)


One Response to “Pd in my Pocket”

  1. […] importantly though, I have created a PdDroidParty version of the patch that can be executed on an Android mobile device, via the fantastic […]

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