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October 25, 2006 3:41 PM   Subscribe

Imagine a massively multiplayer music studio, connected worldwide over the Internet. Log in, and everyone sees a set of synths, effects, sequencers, or other custom patches. Everyone’s looking at essentially the same screen, and can add beats, trip out effects, slide the bpm up and down, and reprogram synths — all at once. That’s the basic idea of netpd.
posted by bigmusic (19 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
Coralized:
Imagine a massively multiplayer music studio, connected worldwide over the Internet. Log in, and everyone sees a set of synths, effects, sequencers, or other custom patches. Everyone’s looking at essentially the same screen, and can add beats, trip out effects, slide the bpm up and down, and reprogram synths — all at once. That’s the basic idea of netpd.
posted by bigmusic at 3:41 PM on October 25, 2006 [1 favorite]


That is an insanely awesome idea.
posted by mathowie at 3:49 PM on October 25, 2006


Awesome, but it's been done - at least in concept - a few times already. (Future Sound of London's ISDN, for starters.)

But I welcome the new tech. I'm tired of simply sending files/tracks back and forth between my now far-flung friends and editing them offline.

People that make music together don't go to war against each other.

However, there better be a vote and/or kickban option on servers. :)
posted by loquacious at 3:58 PM on October 25, 2006


People that make music together don't go to war against each other.

Sorry, I should explicate this: Anything that enables people around the world to make music together is awesome. People that make music together don't go to war against each other.
posted by loquacious at 3:59 PM on October 25, 2006


People that make music together don't go to war against each other.

You've never been in a band, have you? :)
posted by InfidelZombie at 4:12 PM on October 25, 2006


Great, like my productivity could afford to take another hit.
I'm so checking this out, I have a bunch of musician friends scattered hither and yon, this would make a great space for collaboration. The potential for live performance is interesting too...
posted by lekvar at 4:23 PM on October 25, 2006


And it's platform agnostic!
*squeals*
posted by lekvar at 4:24 PM on October 25, 2006


Awesome post.
posted by BeerFilter at 4:54 PM on October 25, 2006


And eponysterical to boot.
posted by lekvar at 4:56 PM on October 25, 2006


an insanely awesome idea

or you could just pull up some spikes, loosen some rail and listen to your very own train wreck.
posted by quonsar at 5:48 PM on October 25, 2006


Imagine a massive monkey, connected worldwide over the Internet. Log in, and everyone sees a simian: monkeys, or other customized primates. Everyone’s looking at essentially the same face, and can add bananas, trip out effects, slide the beast up and down, and reprogram them — all at once. That’s the basic idea of netpd.

Sorry, I have nothing worthwhile to add.
posted by blue_beetle at 5:53 PM on October 25, 2006 [1 favorite]


loquacious, FSOL's ISDN was just broadcasting the audio from a live "concert" across digital phone lines to radio stations and a club. It was literally phoning in a performance.

Netpd is actual online collaboration, based on Pure Data, which also is the basis of the rather popular Max/MSP.

In the late 90s, Impulse Tracker had network collaboration, but I remember it never really working.
posted by zsazsa at 6:23 PM on October 25, 2006


I thought the same thing, quonsar.

Though it is a great idea.

Anyone play Music Generator multiplayer? On the psx you could only get 4 people jamming together, but the PC version you could do this exact thing as well.
posted by dozo at 6:32 PM on October 25, 2006


Nice post! CDM is a good blog.

This definitely beats using MIDI to time-synch everything.

Does anyone else dislike the flowchart style of PD / MAXMSP / Reaktor? Flows that could be neatly scripted with a FOR loop come out looking somewhere between Atari and the Minoan labyrinth. Patches quickly grow too dense and hairy to read.

On the text front, CSound dates back to the 70s and clunks along with all the grace of assembler. It's also designed for off-line rendering, with real-time performance being more of an afterthought. Supercollider is more modern, but I've found very little documentation for it.
posted by kid ichorous at 9:50 PM on October 25, 2006


There's a heavy supercollider mailing list and you can get answers to a lot of your questions there.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 10:04 PM on October 25, 2006


Thanks Lupus
posted by kid ichorous at 11:13 PM on October 25, 2006


Great concept, awful software. It's too bad, I woulda totally gotten into something like this, if it hadn't been so damn complicated.

That and I'm angry I just stared at my computer screen moving at crawl speed due to pd.

Thanks PD!
posted by blastrid at 12:48 AM on October 26, 2006


kid ichorous - you might want to look at chuck. It's an 'audio programming language for real-time synthesis, composition and performance'. I've only tinkered with it, and it's a bit flakey, but it's simple, and the way you can write new bits of code and throw them into the mix on the fly is fun, and it can be used for live collaboration too.
posted by jack_mo at 3:55 AM on October 26, 2006


Jack, I think I'd heard of ChucK before but never really looked into it. This looks perfect.
posted by kid ichorous at 3:02 PM on October 26, 2006


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