POD & PODX* System Chronology

Institute of Sonology, Utrecht

1972-73

PDP-15 version, programs POD4, POD5 & POD6

(with monophonic real-time synthesis: fixed waveform, amplitude modulation, frequency modulation)

Detailed documentation Sonological Reports #2; published summary in Interface


* Note: POD stands for Poisson Distribution which was the original stochastic probability distribution (for random isolated events) that was used to determine the placement of sonic events in the original sequence of programs; when the DMX-1000 was added in 1982 (see below), the X was added to the name.


 

Simon Fraser University, Vancouver

1973-78

Hewlett Packard 2116 version, programs POD6, PDFIL, MERGE, POD7

(with monophonic real-time FM synthesis and 1976-78, polyphonic non-realtime FM synthesis)

Computer Music Journal article; IEEE article


1979-80

PDP 11/34 version, same programs plus PDMSK

(with monophonic real-time synthesis and polyphonic non-realtime FM synthesis with the Varian computer)



1981-82

LSI 11/23 version established in the Centre for the Arts, SFU

1982

LSI 11/23 version with DMX-1000, PODX system with polyphonic real-time programs
POD6X, POD7X, PDFILX, MERGE, CONDUC, FUNC, PDMSKX, PLOTX, and non-realtime program POD7

Computer Music Journal article on PODX

Martin Gotfrit with the LSI 11/23 & DMX-1000, ca. 1982

Watch a short video introduction to the PODX hardware system in 2013

1986

Real-time Granular Synthesis program added (GSX) using the DMX microprogrammable architecture with this synthesis code
Computer Music Journal article


Watch a video demonstration of real-time granular synthesis with the GSX program and the DMX-1000 in 2013

1987

Real-time Granulated Sampled Sound added to granular synthesis (GSAMX)

1988

Initial work on Motorola DSP 56001 board to be controlled by an Atari computer

1990

Digisound-16 converter added to PODX enabling 16-bit conversion of samples to hard disk; granulation and time stretching incorporated
Computer Music Journal article

1991

Demo of "Quintessence Box" real-time granular synthesis using DSP 56001 at ICMC 91, Montreal

1993

Quintessence Box incorporating granular time stretching installed in SFU studios; prototype of a multiple-DSP board designed by Harmonic Functions, Burnaby

1995

DM-8 box for computer-controlled diffusion demonstrated at ICMC 95 and installed in the Sonic Research Studio at SFU; digital resonators added to the signal processing modules

1996

PODX system "retired" to the author's private studio where it continued to be compositionally productive using the DA-88 8-track recorder

1999

Audiobox (16x16 matrix mixer) added to the system for computer-controlled diffusion

2010
Harmonic Functionsí TiMax2 matrix mixer, marketed by Outboard Inc (UK), added to the system for computer-controlled diffusion
Consult the list of publications and recent papers for various compositional documentations

2013
Michael Clarke and Frederic Dufeu from Huddersfield visit the system to document it as part of their TACEM Project which includes a detailed analysis and re-creation of Riverrun. Several videos, as included here, were made of the system in operation. Shortly thereafter, various hardware problems emerged that could not be fixed and the system essentially was no longer usable. After 31 years of productivity (and a previous 10 years of its predecessor, the POD system), R.I.P. PODX!
List of works realized with the POD and PODX systems

Octophonic work catalogue

Note: More detailed analyses of pieces realized with the system are included in the composer's HTML Documentation as part of the WSP Database (contact Barry at truax@sfu.ca for a guest password)


References:

B. Truax, "Discovering Inner Complexity: Time-shifting and Transposition with a Real-time Granulation Technique", Computer Music Journal, 18(2), 1994, pp. 38-48 (sound sheet examples in 18(1)).

B. Truax, "Real-time Granular Synthesis with a Digital Signal Processor", Computer Music Journal, 12(2), 1988, pp.14-26.

B. Truax, "The PODX System: Interactive Compositional Software for the DMX-1000", Computer Music Journal, 9(1), 1985.

B. Truax, "Computer Music Composition: The Polyphonic POD System", IEEE Computer, 11(8), 1978.

B. Truax, "The POD System of Interactive Composition Programs", Computer Music Journal, 1(3), 1977, pp. 30-39.

B. Truax, "Some Programs for Real-time Computer Synthesis and Composition", Interface, 2, 1973.

B. Truax, "The Computer Composition -- Sound Synthesis Programs POD4, POD5 and POD6", Sonological Reports, No. 2, Utrecht State University, Institute of Sonology, 1973.

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