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  • Writer's pictureIsabella Viggers

Sliders, Mixers and Effects

Updated: Jun 1, 2022

Building a Performative Patch Pt 3. April 7th - April 14th.

The patch now has its basic sound input which means that I can move on to creating effects and a mixer sub-patch. I went online onto the pure data patch forms and had a look at the possibilities of different effects. I already had LFO and Filters on my synthesiser so I decided to create Ring modulation and Tremolo.

I first began with Tremolo, I went onto the Floss Manual and had a look at their version and noticed that they used two separate oscillators, it at first confused me as I had to try and figure out which oscillator would be my input and which would be the manipulated sound. With trial and error, I found out how to manipulate the original sound coming through the patch however, playing around with this I noticed that it didn’t create a tremolo sound but a separate kind of effect. The oscillations were moving too quickly which meant that two separate sounds were going on in the patch. I thought it was cool so I kept it in, but I knew I would need to go back and recreate a tremolo patch.

I then created a ring modulation, It was fairly easy to create as I now knew how to get my patch sound through the effects. I had to create separate folders for the two effects as I realised that my initial setup would mean that the effects would all trail into each other which would cause feedback issues. I ensured the sounds created by the synth into the Polynomials would go to separate areas of the patch by using "throw" and "catch" icons in pure data. This allows multiple signals to travel to different areas of the patch duplicating the original sound without causing feedback.

The next thing was to level my sounds, I needed a way to control the original sound of the synth to the polynomials, control the output into the separate effects channels and then control the output of the effects into the speakers. At first, my initial thought was to put volume sliders in each subpath however, it would have been complicated and look messy. So I created a mini mixer desk.

Creating one was easy as I just to send the outputs of each sound into their volume sliders and then output that into the speakers. I began playing around in the patch I noticed that the sounds were getting louder and distorting, I didn't realise they were overpowering each other in volume. This meant that my patch would overload and I was concerned it would blow my headphones and speakers. I messaged a person who did streams on twitch of Pure Data and they explained that I needed to divide the number of effects by 1db, for example, I had at this point 3 sliders so I set the max volume of all the sliders to 0.3db. this worked well and meant my patch didn’t overheat and the volume stayed at a consistent level.

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