Live Spectral Processing in Max


Jean-François Charles will be leading one of nine community-driven workshops at Expo ’74 in Brooklyn this October. Read on for more information about his workshop and some history of his work.




Live Spectral Processing in Max

In this workshop, you will learn to make your own live graphical sound processing patches. What used to be possible only in the studio is now possible in real time: sample a sound in spectral domain, process the sonogram graphically, re-synthesis with live manipulation of spectral features, and more. This workshop is for all musicians and sound artists interested in new sonic textures, extreme live time-stretching and audio freezing.

To participate in this workshop, you will need a laptop (Mac or Windows) with Max and Jitter.

A Short Interview with Jean-François Charles

Who are you and what do you do?

I’m a composer, a clarinet player, and the Deputy Director of the Music Conservatory of Montbéliard (France). My current projects include the Electroclarinet series, a set of compositions for different kinds of clarinets & live electronics, as well as new compositions related to pop music, sacred music, sacred texts, and romantic French poetry. I hold a Ph.D. in Music from Harvard and a M.S. in Electrical Engineering from INSA (Lyon, France).

When and why did you start using Max?

I first touched Max in 2000, during an international workshop co-organized by Ircam and the Acanthes music academy. At the time, I didn’t own Max, not even a computer to run it!

I got my first laptop and started learning Max in 2003. I had the ambition of making new sounds (who does not?), and to integrate live electronics in the chamber music I was composing. One of my first Max patches was for a composition for crickets and laptop performer.

What technology or person’s work intrigues you most right now?

Besides tablet music software and analog synths, I am still fascinated by the huge potential a couple of microphones have. Bring in good ears and playful curiosity, and you’re up for lots of great sounds to discover. For instance, Diego Stocco is quite inspiring in this respect.

What is the most exciting part of attending Expo ’74?

Meeting the community of Max users and developers is always a treat.
I was in San Francisco for the first expo. In New York, I’m hoping to see old friends and make new ones. I’m also looking forward to discovering what interesting & creative stuff other artists have been doing. Max users constitute such a diverse community that I know I will be surprised. The unexpected: that might be the most exciting part!

Learn More About Jean-François