Dear PD community
I am happy to announce the beta release of Context, a powerful new sequencer for PD. Context is a modular sequencer that re-imagines musical compositions as a networks. It combines traditional step sequencing and timeline playback with non-linear and algorithmic paradigms, all in a small but advanced GUI.
Unlike most other sequencing software, Context is not an environment. It is a single abstraction which may be replicated and interconnected to create an environment in the form of a network. There are literally endless possibilities in creating Context networks, and the user has a great deal of control over how their composition will function.
From a technical perspective, Context features a lot of things that you don't often see in PD, such as click + drag canvas resizing, dynamic menus, embeddable timelines, and fully automatic state saving. It also boasts its own language, parsed entirely within PD.
Context is work in progress--there are still lots of bugs in the software and lots of holes in the documentation. However, I have gotten it to a place where I feel it is coherent enough for others to use it, and where it would benefit from wider feedback. I am especially looking for people who can help me with proof reading and bug tracking. Please let me know if you want to join the team! Even if you can't commit to much, pointing out typos or bits of the documentation that are confusing will be very helpful to me.
Some notes on the documentation: I have been putting 90% of my efforts recently into writing the manual, and only 9% into writing the .pd help files (the remaining 1% being sleep). The help files are pretty, but the information in them is not very useful. This will be corrected as soon as I have more time and better perspective. In the mean time, please don't be put off by the confusing help files, and treat the manual as the main resource.
Context is available now at https://github.com/LGoodacre/context-sequencer.
A few other links:
The debut performance of Context at PDCon16~:
An explanation of this performance: http://newblankets.org/liam_context/context-patch.webm
A small demo video:
My paper from PDCon16~: https://contextsequencer.files.wordpress.com/2016/11/goodacre-context.pdf
Finally, I should say that this project has been my blood sweat and tears for the past 18 months, and it would mean a great deal to me to see other people using it. Please share your patches with me! And also share your questions--I will always be happy to respond.
Context only works on PD Vanilla 0.47, and it needs the following externals:
iemguts (v 0.2.1 or later)
Hopefully one day it will work on L2Ork and Purr Data, but not yet.
I would like to thank the PD community for their support and inspiration, in particular Joe Deken and the organizers of PDCon16.