As a non-developer – will I need Gen?
I notice that Max with Gen costs $50 more to upgrade from Max 5, but I am not sure I need it.
I do not code, and with small kids, I won’t have the time to learn it in the foreseeable future. ;)
However, will I need Gen to take advantage of *other* objects/patches etc. that uses Gen? In short: as a pretty amateur-ish Max user who still struggles with ~poly, is Gen necessary?
Allow me to compare Gen to Jitter:
- I first bought Max, with a considerable student discount and went for the whole Max/MSP/Jitter bundle. Never used Jitter before that, and have used it little since. Many patches I find do use Jitter objects (esp JFCharles stuff), and allow me to explore their usage.
- Vizzie modules allow me to explore Jitter further, as a Jitter novice, and to implement different (better??) approaches.
- "You’re better lookin’ at it, than for it"
- Where will your patching/programming skills be in 2-3 years (?).
I consider myself a novice/intermediate Max programmer, but take some comfort knowing that I have a full Jitter install should I need it in the future; maybe you’re less insecure than me though :)
I’d echo Brendan’s comments on Jitter when considering Gen. When I first got into Max I went for the whole package as I wasn’t sure where it would take me. Turns out I’m using Jitter objects far more often now that I’ve expanded my knowledge. I’ve not looked at much Gen stuff since looking at Max 6 but I’ll definitely make sure I’ve got the option from the start.
I think we’ll see a huge number of patches making good use of Gen, and if you’re going to splurge for Max 6 I think it would be a mistake not to get Gen too. I agree with Brendan in that I feel it’s important to have a full set of tools. You never know when a new bit of knowledge might spark your interest in taking your patching to the next level.
When I first bought Max I thought I didn’t need Jitter. Then about 8 months later I thought, "What the hell," sprung for it, and immediately saw massive optimisation potential for hundreds of my patches. I then spent 6 months re-working much of my core performance patch. I kinda wish I’d learned Max/MSP and Jitter concurrently; it would have saved me a bit of time.
I think Gen will rapidly become the normal way of patching for intermediate to advanced Max users. If you can read a bit of Java, you’ll have no problem adapting to [codebox] – typing a few lines is a hell of a lot quicker than dragging patch cords around. And of course for things like delays, filters, signal logic, and general sound-fukcery, it completely pwns MSP (apart from the lack of bitwise operators, grrr!)
Plus it’s really not a big deal adapting to Gen from MSP.
And that’s just scratching the surface of the audio side of things.
To gain extra performance, I often code little externals in C. For mid-level stuff I’m finding it tough to get significant improvements over Gen patches without resorting to assembly language, so that’s saying something. For all my Max 6 complaints, I think I’ve been sold on Gen now. I certainly wouldn’t upgrade without it.
Thanks for the input, people. Will probably buy Gen, too, when I upgrade. It’s $50 after all, not a lot of money.
Just to answer the actual question… No, you won’t need Gen to make use of other people’s patches. That is; if "make use" actually means using them and not taking them apart, which is what you implied.
After all; Max comes with both the development environment as well as the runtime environment; the latter being able to do anything you want even if you don’t have certain options licensed.
So when using patches using the runtime you can benefit from Gen without owning it.
if you dont code, will you need max/msp?
(p.s.: oh, but his question about using third-party gen stuff is the right one.)
I say download Max 6 and try on the gen~ examples in the examples folder. If you like what you hear then… if not don’t bother.