I'm not sure that this post constitutes a "technical issue", but I'm posting it here anyway.
I took up PD sincerely this year, after over five years of flirting with it. I've loved electronic music all my life and always wanted to create it myself, but could never work with any of the existing suites (Ableton, etc). PD seemed like the right choice for me, partly because it is elemental and versatile, and partly because it is materially and ideologically free. In just a few months, I've grown comfortable and even competent at patching, and would count it amongst my greatest hobbies. I love the sense of control that PD allows, and the way in which it merges programming with design. I even sort of love some of PD's quirks, ("trigger: can only convert 's' to 'b' or 'a' " etc.). I've made several patches which I am proud of and have learned a great deal in the process. But there is one problem that keeps on nagging on my mind:
My musical output has been almost zero!
I have created all sorts of weird and wonderful contraptions for creating music, but very little actual music. The trend is pronounced enough that my wife has affectionately coined the term pre-music for my craft. But as the trend continues, I worry that all I will ever produce is more pre-music, more and more elaborate but never musical.
I see two problems with my current condition, one more technical and one more artistic. I would seek advice or reflection of any sort on both.
- I have gotten pretty good at the dataflow and control elements of PD, but am less skilled at sound design. I know how to make basic synthesizers and samplers, but I struggle to create sound that actually sounds good. I'm sure that this is the kind of thing that comes with practice, and that I should just start constructing more advanced synthesizers, but I still often don't know where to start.
- Even with a functioning, sonically appealing program, I still struggle to make music. It's that feeling you get when someone who plays an instrument beautifully places one in your lap, and you don't know what to do. Your creativity ceases up and you just feel clumsy. I know how to play some instruments, but I still don't know how to make music on computers. How do you access your creativity on a machine?
I am guessing that many others have faced similar challenges to some degree of other, and would value your advice or discussion.