Wiring Pi for Pure Data

Controlling the GPIO pins and an analog digital converter (MCP3008) in Pure Data on a Raspberry Pi.

Pure Data (Pd) is a visual programming language developed by Miller Puckette.

Wiring for the Raspberry Pi was written by Gordon Henderson.
WiringPi for Pure Data was written by Miller Puckette, Jaime Oliver La Rosa and Jeremiah Rose.
This is a workaround for installing the WiringPi object and using the analog digital converter MCP3008 for analog inputs in Pure Data on a Raspberry Pi 4 with Raspbian Buster.

Pure Data and Wiring Pi

Install Pure Data

In the terminal:

 $ sudo apt update
 $ sudo apt install puredata

Install Wiring

In the terminal:

 $ sudo apt-get install wiringpi

For the Raspberry Pi 4 one needs to update the WiringPi to version 2.52:

 $ cd /tmp
 $ wget https://project-downloads.drogon.net/wiringpi-latest.deb
 $ sudo dpkg -i wiringpi-latest.deb


Install the WiringPi for PD

Download: pd-wiringpi.zip

 $ wget www.dernulleffekt.de/programme/pd-wiringpi.zip
 $ unzip pd-wiringpi.zip
 $ cd pd-wiringpi/
 $ cp -R wiringPi_gpio/ /home/pi/Pd/externals/
 $ cp -R wiringPi_mcp3008/ /home/pi/Pd/externals/

Unzip and copy the wiringPi_gpio and the wiringPi_mcp3008 folder in the PD external folder.


One has to run Wiring PD with administration rights:

 $ sudo pd

In Pure Data → Preferences → Path set the path to the two external folders. You might have to set the path for the PD folder, too. It should look like that.

Or install pdwiringPi

An other wiringPi external is that one https://github.com/garthz/pdwiringPi by Garth Zeglin. It also support PWM over GPIO for the pins: 12, 13, 18, 19.

 $ wget https://github.com/garthz/pdwiringPi/archive/master.zip
 $ unzip master.zip
 $ cd pdwiringPi-master
 $ make

There should be a new folder called “pdwiringPi”. Add that one the Pure Data → Preferences → Path.

Pin Configuration

The Wiring library has its own pin labeling:
Wiring Pins.pdf
On Sparkfun one found a good pin labeling, too:

For example:
pin 0 is GPIO 17
pin 1 is GPIO 18

Run WiringPi GPIO

The GPIO access needs administration rights, so one has to start Pure Data with these rights from the terminal:

 $ sudo pd

Open the wiringPi_gpio-help.pd file and have fun with the GPIOs!

WiringPi and the MCP 3008

For the hardware wiring of the 10 bit analog to digital converter MCP 3008 connect the pins of the MCP3008 like that:

 MCP3008       Raspberry Pi
  VDD           3.3V
  VREF          3.3V
  AGND          GND
  DGND          GND
  CLK           SCLK
  DOUT          MISO
  DIN           MOSI
  CS/SHDN       CE0

Before using the Wiring object enable the SPI interface in:

 $ sudo raspi-config

Open PD as administrator (sudo pd) and then open the wiring_mcp3008-help.pd file. After clicking on setup_wiringPi the analog inputs should work.


This manual is made by Wolfgang Spahn 2020.
It is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Creative Commons License