Ambient Pd Composition

The following video illustrates a Pd patch I recently created. The patch is designed to allow the creation of generative ambient soundscapes, it contains some externally controlled parameters using a midi controller, and some random internally randomized parameters.

More after jump.

The patch consists of six sound generators, all of which are fed through simple delay lines and a single reverb (Pd external [freeverb~]). The output of each generator can be bought in or out of the soundscape via simple triggerable amp envelopes.

The first generator; [noisegen1], creates four random sinusoidal tones with frequencies ranging from 100-900 Hz, and feeds them through a single output.

The second; [noisegen2], applies three independent bandpass filters to three sources of whitenoise. The bandwidth of these filters is randomly generated.

{sampler1] plays back randomly selected field recordings, the playback speed can be controlled via a slider.

[noisegen4] applies a bandpass filter to a sine tone of random frequency creating a percussive effect, the center frequency of the filter changes at randomly generated intervals. [undertone1] simply reproduces the unfiltered sine tone of [noisegen4], reinforcing the sound.

[melody1] is the closest thing to melodic content in the piece. It uses to the frequency of the tone produced by [undertone1] as the tonic of a major scale, and randomly produces notes from this scale across two octaves at intervals of 100-600 ms.

The patch is capable of some interesting results. Whilst there is potential for harmony with [noisegen4], [undertone1] and [melody1], the random sine tones of [noisegen1] create tension and dissonance, with other generators adding to the ambient aesthetic and creating incidentals.

I have posted the audio from the video on soundcloud for better audio quality.

 <span><a href=”″>Ambient Pure Data Composition 02/05/2010</a> by <a href=”″>cacophonica</a></span&gt;

  1. William Bagley said:

    Thank you for sharing this! Best wishes with your explorations in sound. I am hoping to do something similar with this inspiration and others. Blessings, Will

  2. andreas said:


    i’m going to make some ambient music with pd. is it possible to share your patch with me ?


    • Ste said:


      This is very interesting I will be very grateful if you can share your patch with me too:)
      Thanks a lot!

    • hi,

      really like this one! nice balance between random and melodic, lots of space in it.
      I’m trying to built something similar right now, as a totaly newbee 😉
      It would help me to see how you did it in your patch of course..

      You might consider sharing it? would be awesome.



    • andreas said:


      is there any chance to resend me the patch. i’ve lost all my enails ?


  3. loved it! great sound, wonderful to be able to see “under the hood”! Thanks!

  4. Evan said:

    Nice joke, Andreas!

  5. sam said:

    i find this fantastic and would really appreciate seeing the patch as well its amazing well done

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