Interactive Programming for Electronic Music, Robotics, Interactive Art and More

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Tuesday, Jul 7
12:30 pm - 3:30 pm

ATLAS Black Box Experimental Studio, Roser ATLAS Center, University of Colorado Boulder

Event Details

miller-puckette-200pxAs part of CU-Boulder’s Faculty-In-Residence Summer Term, the ATLAS Institute offers a rare opportunity to take a class in Pure Data (Pd)—one of the most versatile and innovative digital creation tools available today—led by its creator, Miller Puckette.

An open-source graphical programming language, Pd was originally developed for computer music synthesis, but its robust and flexible architecture has been adopted to serve a much wider range of applications. In addition to musicians and composers, Pd attracts artists, multimedia hackers, scientists, robotics and physical computing enthusiasts, haptics researchers (virtual 3D tactile modeling) and many others working at the intersection of science, engineering and the arts. Learn how to develop interactive applications for electronic art and music, running on desktop computers or portable devices, using Pd’s graphical programming environment.

Topics include sensing inputs, decision-making, transforming microphone and camera inputs, generating sound and images, and audio spatialization. Applications can power stand-alone artworks or work as interactive musical/graphical instruments.

Students taking the course should bring a laptop computer (a Raspberry Pi or similar is fine too) and a pair of headphones.

Students will complete a final project to be demonstrated during the final week of class as part of High Altitude Music Week, featuring an impressive lineup of special guests and performances, including Miller Puckette. (A complete schedule will be released soon.)

Things You Could Do After Taking this Course

Pd is a powerful tool; what you do with it is limited only by your imagination. Here are a few examples:

  • Make a custom effects box for your guitar.
  • Design custom software-based synthesizers.
  • Create new digital music instruments and interfaces.
  • Create and control musical algorithms for composing and live performance
  • Program visuals, lights and motors to respond to specific digital or analog inputs
  • Interviews with artists using MaxMSP (Pd’s commercial cousin also created by Puckette)

What Is Covered

  • Theoretical and practical audio synthesis’
  • Using Pd in conjunction with a wide range of sensor inputs, including microphones and cameras
  • Amplitude and phase controls
  • Generating sound and images
  • Audio spatialization
  • Wavetable oscillators
  • Sampling
  • Envelopes
  • Looping
  • Phasing delays, filters and various modulation techniques

If these terms aren’t familiar, don’t be put off. No prior experience is required for this class. If you’re interested in interactive art and music synthesis, or if you’re a robotics or physical computing enthusiast keen to expand your programming toolkit alongside a community of creative innovators, this class is for you.

About Miller Puckette

Miller Puckette obtained a BS in Mathematics from MIT and PhD in Mathematics from Harvard. He was a member of MIT’s Media Lab from its inception until 1987, when he joined IRCAM (l’Institut de Recherche et de Coordination Musique/Acoustique) as a researcher. At IRCAM he wrote Max, a widely used computer music software environment. Puckette joined the Music department of the University of California, San Diego in 1994. Since 2004 he has performed with the Convolution Brothers. Puckette is the 2008 recipient of the SEAMUS Lifetime Achievement Award.

Registration Information       (HURRY! AS OF JUNE 17TH, JUST A FEW SPOTS REMAIN)

Class held during Session B: July 7–August 7, 2015

ATLS 4519, 3 semester hours, Section 210 (lecture), Class No. 19490; Section 211 (lab), Class No. 19491

ATLS 5519, 3 semester hours, Section 210 (lecture), Class No. 19493; Section 211 (lab), Class No. 19494

Registration varies depending on your relationship with the University of Colorado. Click the link that applies to you and follow instructions:

For additional information, click here.

About the Faculty in Residence Program

This course is part of the University of Colorado Boulder’s exclusive faculty-in-residence program, which invites the best and brightest from national and international universities to teach at CU-Boulder during the summer. Their unique backgrounds and insights will challenge your preconceptions and broaden your perspectives and experience.

If you have questions, please call us at 303-735-4577.