Introduction to PureData

PureData (PD) is a free, open-source visual programming environment for musicians and artists, allowing them to build our own music or multimedia instruments without writing code. It's an easy-to-learn yet powerful tool, very similar to (and sharing DNA with) the commercial program MAX, the industry standard for this kind of work. (Information and downloads of this software are available at

In this introductory hands-on workshop, participants:

  • Learn how to install and configure PD on your own laptops
  • Learn the basics of visual programming, connecting functional objects (like oscillators, noise sources, filters, and amplifiers) together to create our own configurable software instruments
  • Learn how to use PD to manipulate and play back sound files (eg., sampling), or to process live sound
  • Create our own customizable sound instrument in PD.
  • Be introduced to additional resources to continue their exploration of PD, and to expand its capabilities to include multimedia such as visuals or video.

Originally presented at the Fuse Factory, Columbus