Editing drum patterns in RjDj/Pd from Frank Barknecht on Vimeo.

If making your own musical tools seems like a lot of work, you’re not wrong. The beauty of making your own stuff is all about making your own reusable modules that help you build musical solutions more quickly. Finding those useful modules can also help people new to programming or patching.

In Pure Data, the free and open source cousin of Max/MSP, one form of these reusable modules is called the “abstraction.” It’s an object that you can stick into your creations to help build what you need without a lot of fuss.

Translation: even if you’ve never patched before, you can start making fun drum pattern makers quickly using all-free software. The folks at RjDj, who have been creating mobile interactive toys for the iPhone and iPod touch (see our interview, recent story) have also been building a library of useful abstractions. Because that library is also free and open source and built for Pd, it works with your Mac, Windows, or Linux machine.

Here’s a great starter tutorial, useful for even newcomers:
Editing Drum Patterns in RjDj

For more Pd learning (see additional tips in comments):
Be a Music Geek Ninja with Electronic Music Programming in Pd: New Book

If you create stuff with this, be sure to share with us! And it’s brand new, but feel free to come join our Pd group on the in-alpha/beta Noisepages:
Pd Group

I wish I could be in London in July, but since I can’t, hopefully some readers of this site can make it to the upcoming Music Hackday, which features RjDj and lots of other online music projects (Soundcloud, Last.fm, the music API for The Echo Nest, 7digital, more):