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  • Writer's pictureIsabella Viggers

Using Pure Data to Perform

10th May - 17th May.

The style of performance that came with using Pure Data was extremely difficult to get my head around, I was used to playing songs on the piano and doing melodic improvisations but this form of performance was, more abstract and more difficult to control. The first week of practising I was at a total loss, I thought building the patch would be difficult however, performing in this way was proving to be difficult mentally.

My initial plan was to loop my synth into pure data and then create sound layers that my piano could play over the top of. The issue with this element was placing it all into OBS, an across platform streaming and recording software. I had to get my screen audio into OBS however, it would not allow me to separate channels which meant my piano would not mix with the patch I had created. I then tried recording my piano in a separate place at the same time as the synth but again the sound of the piano was being picked up into my synth channel on OBS. If this was not a live setting I would have been able to record the piano after but, because it was a live performance I was trying to create I had to discard the idea of the piano until I had a mixer desk where I could route everything and ensure sounds are levelled.

The video shows my initial setup with the synth, piano and microphone, it shows my initial exploration into performance through the synthesiser. You will notice that I use mostly the synthesiser for the sounds as I was not fully confident with the patch at the beginning. This is a short extract from a 20 minute performance practice session I had recorded, and it is focused mostly on short quick tempo sounds.

The volume does vary in the piece so be careful not to have the volume up too loud. Every effort has been made to reduce the risk of loudness.

A screenshot of the synthesiser being used in practice performances.

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