DIY hardware is all the rage these days (see the Make:blog), but how about DIY software for music? An increasing number of free and commercial tools on every platform makes it possible to create wild, custom software configurations for real-time music and video without code — or cash. OS X Tiger users have access to Quartz Composer, which just got its own blog, and Mac, Linux, and Windows users have Pd.

So, are you ready to get started creating your own music software without programming? Check out this tutorial by my colleague Jim Aikin from O’Reilly, plus a massive tutorial/info section at the Pd community site:

DIY music software with Pd at O’Reilly Digital Media

Pd Intro wiki

Mac users again get a little edge here: you can create Aqua-friendly apps that connect to Pd using Paradiddle (which means you could easily use your soft gadgets in conjunction with Ableton Live or even Max/MSP), plus a nifty set of Linux/Mac image processing and motion tracking externals called PiDiP. Want more? Why, there’s even a tutorial in Japanese. And I think Jim will have some follow-ups at O’Reilly, so stay tuned.

With new releases of Max, Reaktor, and Flash, I look forward to an open source AND commercial DIY multimedia software bonanza. (Don’t forget the superb Max/MSP add-on Tap.Tools, covered earlier!) Where’s my Mountain Dew?