Plug-In Confidential, Redux


Several years ago, I wrote a rather lighthearted piece for the old Pluggo website about how I wrote my very first pluggo plug-in using MSP. That article turned out to have a life of its own I didn’t really expect…

People actually read it and liked it, and (unaccountably) found it even easier to make sense of than the Pluggo Developer’s Guide that I learned from. People still mention it when I meet them. In the intervening time, my little plug-in was promoted from “Pluggo the Month” to a part of the standard Pluggo distribution, Max/MSP went dual-platform, and Pluggo itself was improved and updated. Time flies when you’re having fun.

Recently, I’d be reminded of my ancient article when I got email from a perplexed reader who was trying to make sense of the procedures with a current version of MSP. Since we’ve changed the way that plug-ins are built, I realized that perhaps it’d be a good idea to find my humble little article and update it for use in the Current Dispensation.

You can click here to download a zipped and updated version of the Plug-In Confidential that contains the complete source to the KnaveStories plug-in that comes with Pluggo, the necessary objects you’ll need to make it, and a step-by-step description of how I turned an idea into a plug-in.

I thought a bit about perhaps adding a way to set the rate of calculation to match tempo from a host application, but decided to leave that as an exercise to the perspicacious reader. While I was up in Minneapolis recently performing at a festival, someone asked me if I could maybe write another Confidential that describes how to make a simple plug-in that includes host-sync capability, and I said I’d work on it. So watch this space, okay?