Pure Data Basics: a Project-Oriented Workshop

Posted in Announcement on February 10th, 2009 by admin

Pure Data Basics: a Project-Oriented Workshop with Derek Holzer

Wednesday 11 March – Sunday 15 March 2009
11.00-19.00 daily with one hour lunch break
Final presentation Sunday 15 March, 19.00

Location: eNKa / ElsenStr. 52 (2.Hof) Berlin, Germany
Telephone: +49 (0)176 20626386

Course Participation fee: 100 euros
Registration is required for this workshop and can only be done via email to: eNKa_NK@gmx.de
Please register early to ensure a place. Places are limited to 12. Participants should indicate ahead of time what their background and areas of interest are (sound, video, sensors, etc) as well as give a short description of any project they might want to develop during the workshop.

Pure Data is a powerful, free and open-source software environment for producing and manipulating sound, image, data and connections to sensors, motors and other “physical computing” functions, all in real time. Because the programming is done visually, many artists find it a more intuitive tool than traditional text-oriented programming languages. This 5 day workshop will cover the basic “grammar” and “vocabulary” of the Pure Data language through a mix of lecture and demonstration in the mornings and project-based mentoring in the afternoons. This workshop is open to those with no previous computer programming experience, however basic computer literacy is assumed as well as a working familiarity with either digital audio or video. A manual-in-progress for Pure Data by Derek Holzer can be found here:



1) Meeting PD: the interface and how to play with it
2) Basic PD: participants learn to make a simple synthesizer, and learn basic PD grammar in the process
3) Workshop: discussions of examples and work on student projects

1) PD audio: more on oscillators, noise, delays, feedback, filters and signal analysis for all your sonic needs
2) Events in PD: participants explore the timing of events with sequencers, delays, messages
3) Workshop: discussions of examples and work on student projects

1) Working with soundfiles: loading audio for use in samplers, granulators and other file-based sound manipulation systems
2) Basic GEM: how to create simple 3D objects, play videos and get camera input
3) Workshop: discussions of examples and work on student projects

1) Physical PD: an introduction to physical computing using Pure Data alongside a microcontroller-based board such as the Arduino or xxxxxAVR/HID–or even a hacked USB gamepad–to work with sensors, motors, lights, etc.
2) Workshop: discussions of examples and work on student projects

1) Workshop: discussions of examples and work on student projects
2) The Wrap Up: public presentation of student works + closing party.



1) Laptop running Linux, OS X or Windows
2) Pure Data Extended installed from: http://puredata.info/downloads (please make sure it is Extended package!)
3) Soundcard
4) Headphones


1) MIDI controller/keyboard
2) Microphone/piezoelectric contact microphone
3) USB Joystick/Gamepad
4) Sensors or other input devices (please bring your own sensors if you are interested in working with them, as only a few light sensors will be provided at the workshop)
5) Small motors or motor-driven objects
6) USB webcam/Firewire camera
7) Arduino boards (Available from Segor in Berlin: www.segor.de) and/or the xxxxxAVR/HID board (http://www.1010.co.uk/avrhid.html, please inquire via the xxxxx webpage about preordering!)
8) Your own projects and ideas to realize!


Derek Holzer [USA 1972] is a sound artist with a background in radio, webstreaming and environmental recording. His work focuses on capturing and transforming small, unnoticed sounds from various natural and urban locations, networked collaboration strategies, experiments in improvisational sound and the use of free software such as Pure-Data. He has released tracks under the Nexsound, Sirr, and/OAR, Frozen Elephants Music, Mandorla and Gruenrekorder labels, and has co-initiated several internet projects for field recording and collaborative soundscapes including Soundtransit.nl. His recent projects include the opto-electronic audiovisual performance TONEWHEELS, solo performances for analog synthesizer and a manual for Pure Data. He was also co-curator of the Tuned City event for sound and architecture, which took place in Berlin during July 2008.


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Black Trashhhhh! DJ set + PD workshop this weekend

Posted in Announcement on April 23rd, 2008 by admin

Black Trashhhhh! DJ set 28.04.08

Next Monday I’m DJing some FUCKING METAL for a noise show organized by my favorite Attention Deficit Disorder victim in Berlin, Pato.

[click pic for big]

28/04/08 Black Trashhhhhh!

* xxxxx/mh/others
* Stupidity
* Penelopex
* Ent
* Macumbista DJ

+ guests

Madame Claude
Lubbener Str. 19
Kreuzberg Berlin
UBahn Schlesiches Tor

PD Sensor Workshop 26.04.08

April 26th 2PM: AVR/HID Sensor Input into Pure Data with Derek Holzer & Martin Howse

We will continue last month’s investigation of quick and cheap ways of getting sensor input into the Pure Data programming environment, using either USB game controllers or ATmega8 microcontrollers and the HID (Human Interface Device) protocol. Participants should bring the AVR/HID boards and/or hacked joysticks from the previous workshop. Those who did not attend the previous workshop are welcome, and ready made sensor boards can be purchased as part of the participation fee. Please RSVP to m@1010.co.uk if you plan to attend, and indicate whether you will need a sensor input board for Saturday.

A few (!) sample sensors will be provided, but participants are encouraged to bring their own sensors (light, pressure, motion, etc…) for experimentation. The Pure Data programming environment will be used to get the sensor information into the computer and map it to different parameters, ranging from MIDI to direct control of audio or video.

Windows users should be aware that the possibilities for input on their systems may be more restricted. GNU/Linux and Mac OS X users should not expect any problems.

Some links for those interested:

http://1010.co.uk/avrhid.html (AVR/HID board documentation)
http://puredata.info/downloads (install PD-Extended 0.39 from here!)
http://www.sensorwiki.org/index.php/Main_Page (comprehensive list of
sensors for musical use)

—What to bring:


1) Laptop running Linux, OS X or Windows (be advised that Windows users may have fewer possibilities)
2) Pure Data Extended 0.39 installed from: http://puredata.info/downloads (please mind that it is Extended and 0.39!!!!)
3) Soundcard (internal or external, quality a non-issue)
4) Headphones
5) EUR 10 participation fee (+ 8 euros if you need a sensor board)


1) Sensors of any kind
2) USB game controller of any kind
3) Microphones or other sound inputs
4) Your own project ideas for discussion


A (more-or-less) weekly series of constructivist workshops emphasising making and connection within the field of the existent. Workshops led by field-expert practitioners extend over realms of code and embedded code, environmental code, noise, transmission and reception, and electromysticism. Workshops solely utilise free software and GNU toolbase.

xxxxx, pickledfeet, Linienstrasse 54, Berlin 10119

U2, Rosa-Luxemburg-Pl.
U8, Rosenthaler Pl.

Telephone: 3050187482.


Other News: blackdronoisemetalove in Copenhagen

This past month I’ve been on the road quite a bit. First I went to Copenhagen to play a couple sets for the very cool folks at the Co-Lab Gallery with my friend Morten Skrøder. For the curious, I’ve posted some rough MP3s here, and I’ll be meeting Morten again in CPH on 5 May to do some more jamming and recording! Each recording is approx 25 min long…

Macumbista & Skroeder, blackdronoisemetalove I, Co-Lab Gallery Copenhagen, 22.03.08 (33 Mb)
Macumbista & Skroeder, blackdronoisemetalove II, Co-Lab Gallery Copenhagen, 22.03.08 (41 Mb)

Sorry, still waiting for photos… Listen for the part in the first set where the irate upstairs neighbor came down to bitch us out! The mics were next to the drinks, so you might also hear the occasional Kroner getting tossed in the box…

Other News: Pure Data in Croatia

Then I spent a crazy week on the Croatian island of Korcula to work on a beginner’s manual for the Pure Data software with Luka Princic and Adam Hyde (remotely). Results to be published soon at FLOSS Manuals. Here’s me, hard at work on my sunburn during one of the days we managed to escape the laptops…

Other News: Tuned City Performances

And for the next couple months I’ll be super-busy organizing the performance program for an event about sound and architecture called Tuned City, which will take place in Berlin from 1-5 July 2008. So far, we are very happy to be able to invite Randy H.Y. Yau & Scott Arford, Thomas Ankersmit & Antoine Chessex, BJ Nilsen & Chris Watson, Mark Bain, Staalplaat Sound System, Martin Howse, Jacob Kirkegaard, Leif E. Boman, Harold Schellinx, Lasse Marc Riek and many others… you can subscribe to the Tuned City news list via the website and get updates. Hope to see some of y’all there!

Now Reading

J.G. BallardWar Fever
Phillip K. DickThe Eye of the Sibyl: The Collected Stories of Phillip K. Dick Volume 5
Denis JohnsonTree of Smoke

Now Playing

Daniel MencheGlass Forest CD [Important Records]
Daniel MencheBodymelt LP [Important Records]
BJ Nilsen & StilluppsteypaPassing Out CD [Helen Scarsdale]
Dead Black ArmsLike the Night of Thunder and Rain MP3 [Archive.org]

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xxxxx-Workshops: [in]tolerance @ Club Transmediale

Posted in Announcement on December 19th, 2007 by admin

Registration is now open for the xxxxx-Workshops I co-curated with Martin Howse. Some interesting local Berliner artists combined with special guests from Russia, the USA and Chile!

Check the website here for full details.


xxxxx-workshops: [in]tolerance
29 Janaury – 2 February 2008
Ballhaus Naunynstrasse, Berlin

xxxxx-workshops: [in]tolerance presents a series of constructivist workshops specially programmed for the ClubTransmediale 2008 festival, emphasising making and connection within the field of the existent. Workshops are led by international, field-expert practitioners, extending over realms of environmental code, noise, signal transmission, reception, and electromysticism. The workshops will utilise household materials and chemistry, readily-available electronics components, free software and the GNU toolbase.

Over the course of five days, participants will have the opportunity to construct a set of various electronic audiovisual artifacts (being either code or hardware) with which a final presentation/performance will be made. In learning how to create complex sound and image generators from the most basic elements, the participants will explore liminal electronic experiences and intriguing phenomena where carefully-engineered borders and parameters are twisted and transgressed, producing unexpected results in performance.

29.1. NOISE_PRODUCE by Martin Howse (UK) & Martin Kunetz (DE)
30.1. ONE BIT MUSIC by Frederik Olofsson (SE)
31.1. DIGITAL THEREMIN WORKSHOP by Andrei Smirnov (RU) & Derek Holzer (US/NL)
01.2. CHAOS IN NODES AND NETWORKS by Jessica Rylan (US)
02.2. BASTARD NATURES by Alejandra Perez Nuñez (CL)

The series takes inspiration from and continues the development of the (semi)weekly xxxxx workshops held at the Pickled Feet space in Berlin over the last year. It is supported by Arduino.

“…in the good old days of Shannon’s mathematical theory of information, the maximum of information coincided strangely with maximal unpredictability or noise…”
[Friedrich Kittler: There is no software]

Engineers and scientists are concerned with prediction and thus predictability. Inside black-boxed apparatus the faint markings of tolerance, deviations from a predictable scenario towards the encryption of noise, can well be observed by the wily artist. Technology is thus exposed as a material expressing a certain chaos, pure noise of all voices. In return, materiality and an artistic concern with the matter of technology allows for the entry of the unpredictable, environmental noise within an otherwise closed circuit or economy.

xxxxx-workshops is open to anyone, from novice to experienced electronic artist. The workshops will be held in English. You can register for single workshops or for the whole series. In addition to the actual daily workshops, a free open work-area gives everyone opportunity to pursue projects begun in one of the workshops over the course of five days. The registration fee for a single workshop is 10.- EUR, the fee for the series of all five workshops is 30.- EUR.

For descriptions of the workshops and workshop leaders go to:

You can register till January 14, 2008, by sending an email to: xxxxx@clubtransmediale.de

Please don’t forget to indicate which of the workshops you wish to attend.

xxxxx-workshops: [in]tolerance is curated by Martin Howse and Derek Holzer, and produced by Jan Rolf and Anke Eckardt for Club Transmediale.

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