The Null Piece and Reality Check


  • Miller Puckette University of California, San Diego



Pure Data, Software engineering, Electronic music


Two frameworks are described, within the larger framework of Pure Data, that aim to facilitate the creation and preservation of electronic music that is performed live in real time. These are not part of Pd itself, because they are more directly tailored to a specific application space than Pd should be. They are nonetheless designed, like Pd, to minimize any unnecessary stylistic imposition on creators of electronic music. The Null Piece is a starting point for building live performance patches. It provides basic audio routing and parameter control while leaving other choices as free as possible. Reality Check is an attempt to aid in the long-term maintenance of a musical realization by verifying whether a piece still runs as intended despite the inevitable evolution of hardware and software.


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Biografia do Autor

Miller Puckette, University of California, San Diego

Miller Puckette is known as the creator of the Max and Pure Data real-time computer music software environments. As an MIT student he won the Putnam mathematics competition in 1979. He received a PhD from Harvard University in 1986. He was a researcher at the MIT Media lab from its inception until 1986, then at IRCAM (Paris, France), and is now distinguished professor of music at the University of California, San Diego. He has been a visiting professor at Columbia University and the Technical University of Berlin, and has received two honorary degrees and the SEAMUS award. Puckette has performed widely in venues including Centre Acanthes, Carnegie Hall, the Pulitzer Arts Foundation, the Ojai Music festival, and a cistern beneath Guanajuato, Mexico. His installation, Four Sound Portraits, was shown at the 2016 Kochi-Muziris Biennale.


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Como Citar

Puckette, M. (2021). The Null Piece and Reality Check. Revista Vórtex, 9(2).



Dossier "A quarter of century of Pd: past, present and future"