OK, thanks to everyone for saying that basic questions are ok.
Here's a basic request to get me started:
Can anyone send me a PD file that takes as input a)a local file and b)a live
feed from the pc, does some minimal processing and outputs it. Then I will
be a long way down the road in my understanding and ability!
Under the "Media" menu open the "Test Audio and MIDI" option. View these
patches, they are a good example of how to get audio in and out of your
soundcard. PD's built in documentation is excellent. And the docs are
just PD patches so they're interactive, ctrl+e and you're in edit mode.