Audio plugin


The world of audio processing is incredibly complex. For that reason, many of us rely on other, cleverer people to develop the algorithms and software, and to package those up as plugins we can use with our favorite audio software. But there are also a few applications that can help with algorithm development without requiring a postgraduate degree in digital signal processing. And the best of these is Pure Data. Pure Data is a visual programming language that was designed for audio and control message processing. You join inputs and outputs together with a little scripting, but you can equally load and hack on hundreds of preexisting patches, algorithms, and documented examples. It's a powerful tool for generating your own sounds and effects, and it became the inspiration for the industry standard (non-open source and non-Linux) Max by Cycling '74. This in turn even led to the creation of Max for Live, an enviable integrated plugin and programming environment for Ableton Live on Windows and macOS.

Despite the availability of patches and modifications, Pure Data patches still need Pure Data running, and this solution doesn't work too well with other audio applications. Which is where PlugData can help. It's a version of Pure Data that wraps its functionality inside the JUCE plugin framework so your patches can be built and used directly as plugins. It will turn any audio plugin host into a modular and programmable audio processor, much like the aforementioned Max for Live, and is something we've never had access to in the Linux audio world. Lots of objects are included, and you can import your own patches and do everything you normally can in Pure Data. It works as you would expect, including MIDI and OSC data processing, making PlugData a fully fledged version of Pure Data where it's most useful – directly inside the audio path of a recording or producing system.

Project Website

PlugData is the open source equivalent of Max for Live for whichever open source audio software you want to use.

Package manager

Buy this article as PDF

Express-Checkout as PDF
Price $2.95
(incl. VAT)

Buy Linux Magazine

Get it on Google Play

US / Canada

Get it on Google Play

UK / Australia

Related content

  • PipeWire

    In the coming year, PipeWire will replace PulseAudio, resulting in better audio on Linux. If you can't wait, here's what you need to know to get started with PipeWire.

  • PipeWire 1.0 Officially Released

    PipeWire was created to take the place of the oft-troubled PulseAudio and has finally reached the 1.0 status as a major update with plenty of improvements and the usual bug fixes.

  • Command Line – Melt

    Whether you are an expert or a beginner, you can learn to edit audio and video clips at the command line with Melt.

  • Google Brings Audio/Video Chat Support to Ubuntu and Debian

    Full chat support across Google services

  • FOSSPicks

    After building a 3D printer last month, Graham's home is now filled with cup holders, phone holders, cable holders, and tiny PLA boats. This month, Graham explores Zrythm, Mumble 1.3, NoteKit, Kirogi, monolith, pastel, Nu Shell, PacVim, Stunt Car Racer Remake, and more!

comments powered by Disqus
Subscribe to our Linux Newsletters
Find Linux and Open Source Jobs
Subscribe to our ADMIN Newsletters

Support Our Work

Linux Magazine content is made possible with support from readers like you. Please consider contributing when you’ve found an article to be beneficial.

Learn More