Add compression to any Pd patch, free. Photo (CC-BY) pedronchi

Add compression to any Pd patch, free. Photo (CC-BY) pedronchi

Whether you’re building an experimental effect or performance tool or writing the Next Big Thing in Mobile Apps, you might need some signal compression.

Working in Pure Data (Pd), it’s easy to create patches that get unruly, especially once you add live audio input. For mobile developers, things get even worse: you have to make your app work anywhere, with a range of devices, acoustic environments, microphones — the list goes on.

The folks at Two Big Ears, who are working on their own rather lovely Android synth, have come to the rescue of Pd hobbyists and mobile developers alike. They’ve build a handy external for master compression in Pd. Their description:

tb_peakcomp~ is an open source external for Pd (and libpd: compiled, tested and used on our iOS and Android projects) that works well as a master stereo compressor. It features variable attack, release, ratio, make-up gain and knee smoothening. It is MIT Licensed — which means you can pretty much do whatever you want with it.

So, you can use it in your own Pd patches, or drop it in an iOS or Android app. Download it from their site:


A compressor for Pure Data / libpd

If you are interested in development, they’ve also put together a handy guide for making use of the creative coding tool Processing and libpd on Android:

Configuring Eclipse to work with Processing+libPd in Android [Two Big Labs]

That’s a nice combination: with just rudimentary Processing coding skills and some Pd chops, you can begin making full-blown Android apps. (My current recommended device: the second-generation Nexus 7 tablet. Best audio performance, most consistent experience overall, and it’s both fun to use and inexpensive.)

Via the CDM forums, where you can discuss this more:

A free and open stereo peak compressor

Thanks to Varun Nair for this.