Forums > MaxMSP

Impressive synthesis patches?

March 5, 2008 | 12:33 pm

Hi,

Does anyone have nice, impressive-sounding synthesis patches they would be
willing to share, or links to such patches.

I am looking to collect some good demos for teaching purposes to give
students on a Synthesis course an idea of what Max/MSP is capable of.
Ideally, I am looking for stuff that meets the following criteria:

- sounds good: rich, professional sounding, e.g. nice ‘pads’, ‘lead synth’
sounds etc
- requires no externals
- easy to use (no complicated GUI)
- (polyphonic) voice management built in

Something where you can just plug your MIDI keyboard in and enjoy straight
away.

TIA,

Jamie


http://www.postlude.co.uk


March 5, 2008 | 2:57 pm


March 5, 2008 | 11:19 pm

Jamie Bullock schrieb:
> I am looking to collect some good demos for teaching purposes to give
> students on a Synthesis course an idea of what Max/MSP is capable of.

As teacher you should impress your students with your knowledge, not
with Max/MSP…

> – sounds good: rich, professional sounding, e.g. nice ‘pads’, ‘lead synth’
> sounds etc
> – requires no externals
> – easy to use (no complicated GUI)
> – (polyphonic) voice management built in

Any good sounding, rich, professional, e.g. boring vst instrument…

Nothing will impress your students less than ‘pads’, ‘lead synth’ sounds
etc. They know it already, Max/MSP is not a replacement for a pop studio…

Give them what they don’t expect… Teaching is like art, going beyond
the expectations… But what that is… Only you can tell…

Stefan


Stefan Tiedje————x——-
–_____———–|————–
–(_|_ —-|—–|—–()——-
– _|_)—-|—–()————–
———-()——–www.ccmix.com


March 5, 2008 | 11:43 pm

> As teacher you should impress your students with your knowledge, not with Max/MSP…

i don’t think that this is about being impressive as a teacher, but rather about convincing students (who are used to software that has a completed, user-friendly feel to it) that max can do the same things that they see in other software just as well, and can go much beyond that. it’s quite obvious that max can do really really low-level stuff, and can theoretically accomplish anything. however, it is significantly less often that you see patches that are "complete" in the same sense as other audio software. just because assembly code can accomplish literally anything on a computer doesn’t mean that it’s appealing to a programmer wanting create a word processor that has some new interesting feature to it. the same applies to max. it is incredibly powerful. however, most patches tend to be monstrosities that make sense only to the creator. i’m not saying that’s a bad thing (i do it all the time), but it isn’t exactly appealing to most students without serious coding background.

> Any good sounding, rich, professional, e.g. boring vst instrument…
>
> Nothing will impress your students less than ‘pads’, ‘lead synth’ sounds
> etc. They know it already, Max/MSP is not a replacement for a pop studio…
>

.. but what if they want to create some kind of sequencing and routing environment that has the same features as "boring vsts" and "pop studios" but expands on them in ways that have never been done before. max is capable of virtually anything. it should therefore be capable of making the same "boring" crap as the rest of the audio industry. and it can do it better. and change it. and go beyond it.

i don’t think that one should criticize a person (or their students) for sometimes wanting patches with the same "completed" feel as most other audio software. perhaps that isn’t really what max is primarily about, but it isn’t necessarily a bad ideal.

(i don’t mean any offense by this, and i’m sorry if i come off as such. i personally started writing in c long before i encountered max. to me, low-level bottom-up creation is fantastic, but that can be overwhelming for people not used to it)


March 6, 2008 | 8:10 am

thezer0ist schrieb:
> i don’t think that this is about being impressive as a teacher, but
> rather about convincing students (who are used to software that has a
> completed, user-friendly feel to it) that max can do the same things
> that they see in other software just as well, and can go much beyond
> that.

But Max can’t do it in the same user-friendly feel. If they need a
sequencer, better show them Live as ready to go alternative. If they
know Reaktor, ask them to do a specific task which is hard to achieve in
Reaktor.
I don’t think the idea behind creation of a personal tool is easy to
communicate if they don’t have a certain level of knowledge, f.e. know
what a mixing board is doing and how to connect gear with cables to
achieve a certain sound. Only if you know already the limitation of your
polished tools, there can rise a need for something else…
In the end they will only follow you, if you are impressive as teacher,
that is someone who has skills, they want to have, to achieve what they
would like to achieve but can’t yet…

> however, it is significantly less often that you see patches that are
> "complete" in the same sense as other audio software.

It’s the nature of the beast, because they don’t need to serve thousands
of different users and their tastes, usually they need to serve a single
user who created it herself and knows all the little secrets.
If you want to show the potential of Max for bigger projects, let them
look at radial, and all the pluggos/Mode/Hippno plug-ins. No need to
have the sources, it would scare them anyway…
Then show them how you do your music with your own tool, and explain why
this wouldn’t be possible without Max. No matter if you just create
pluggos for a sequencer and use that as main tool, or if you have your
own monster patch which is only readable by yourself

> .. but what if they want to create some kind of sequencing and
> routing environment that has the same features as "boring vsts" and
> "pop studios" but expands on them in ways that have never been done
> before. max is capable of virtually anything. it should therefore be
> capable of making the same "boring" crap as the rest of the audio
> industry. and it can do it better. and change it. and go beyond it.

I usually ask students for their musical heros, to get an idea where
their heart is. Then I will point them to experimental artists they
probably never heard of, but would fit their world and style. Then try
to expand their imagination. All is coming from imagination…

> i don’t think that one should criticize a person (or their students)
> for sometimes wanting patches with the same "completed" feel as most
> other audio software. perhaps that isn’t really what max is primarily
> about, but it isn’t necessarily a bad ideal.

I agree, it’s not at all a bad idea. But only in the context of
learning. It’s hard wanting to be the same as your hero. It will never
work.
It’s important, to show the students, that their own value is already
beyond what they know till now, that finding your own "thing" is
actually easier and much more interesting for others as well, than
trying to mimic ones hero.
We all have to fight with our Beethovens and Bachs and Fripps and
Stockhausens or whatever…

Stefan


Stefan Tiedje————x——-
–_____———–|————–
–(_|_ —-|—–|—–()——-
– _|_)—-|—–()————–
———-()——–www.ccmix.com


March 6, 2008 | 9:17 am

Hi folks,

Thanks for the comments so far. I feel that I should clarify my request
a bit since there seems to be some misunderstanding about why I am
looking for these ‘polished’ synth patches, and what the students are
supposed to be learning from them.

This is for a *synthesis* course. It is a technical course aimed at
learning about various types of synthesis and how synthesisers work.
*Part* of the learning process is about understanding how commercial
synths work, and making something similar ‘from scratch’.

One approach I could take is to get a really polished-sounding (‘boring’
as Stefan suggests) VST instrument, and show the students how to
build/reverse engineer it in Max/MSP. However, I would much rather take
a similar instrument already built in Max/MSP, and dismantle it to
discover how it works. As a teacher I find this process of ‘taking
things apart’ a very good springboard for discussion and exploration.
For me it works well alongside a bottom-up approach.

So the question still remains, does anyone have such synth patches that
they would be willing to share that meet these criteria? If not, I might
have a go at making one myself, but obviously I don’t want to re-invent
the wheel (sic).

On Thu, 2008-03-06 at 09:10 +0100, Stefan Tiedje wrote:
> I agree, it’s not at all a bad idea. But only in the context of
> learning. It’s hard wanting to be the same as your hero. It will never
> work.
> It’s important, to show the students, that their own value is already
> beyond what they know till now, that finding your own "thing" is
> actually easier and much more interesting for others as well, than
> trying to mimic ones hero.

Some of the students will want to make ultra-cheesy commercial-sounding
synths, some of them will want to make experimental and radical
mind-bending synths. Some of them will work in a very deterministic way
copying schematic diagrams etc, others will be more exploratory. Our
approach is to give them the skills and support so that they can do all
of these things.

Jamie


http://www.postlude.co.uk


March 6, 2008 | 1:19 pm

Hi Jamie,

Have you considered Native Instruments Reaktor? This combines impressive factory synths with a high degree of modularity, allowing the user to analyze and recombine the functional elements at the level of individual signal generators, etc or to create new instruments from scratch. As others have observed on this list, it’s not so low level as Max and thus less interesting to the programmer, but seems to be a better bet for synth creation purposes. It can also function as a vst in MAX.> Subject: Re: [maxmsp] Re: Impressive synthesis patches?> From: jamie@postlude.co.uk> To: maxmsp@cycling74.com> Date: Thu, 6 Mar 2008 09:17:34 +0000> > > Hi folks,> > Thanks for the comments so far. I feel that I should clarify my request> a bit since there seems to be some misunderstanding about why I am> looking for these ‘polished’ synth patches, and what the students are> supposed to be learning from them.> > This is for a *synthesis* course. It is a technical course aimed at> learning about various types of synthesis and how synthesisers work.> *Part* of the learning process is about understanding how commercial> synths work, and making something similar ‘from scratch’. > > One approach I could take is to get a really polished-sounding (‘boring’> as Stefan suggests) VST instrument, and show the students how to> build/reverse engineer it in Max/MSP. However, I would much rather take> a similar instrument already built in Max/MSP, and dismantle it to> discover how it works. As a teacher I find this process of ‘taking> things apart’ a very good springboard for discussion and exploration.> For me it works well alongside a bottom-up approach.> > So the question still remains, does anyone have such synth patches that> they would be willing to share that meet these criteria? If not, I might> have a go at making one myself, but obviously I don’t want to re-invent> the wheel (sic).> > On Thu, 2008-03-06 at 09:10 +0100, Stefan Tiedje wrote:> > I agree, it’s not at all a bad idea. But only in the context of > > learning. It’s hard wanting to be the same as your hero. It will never > > work.> > It’s important, to show the students, that their own value is already > > beyond what they know till now, that finding your own "thing" is > > actually easier and much more interesting for others as well, than > > trying to mimic ones hero.> > Some of the students will want to make ultra-cheesy commercial-sounding> synths, some of them will want to make experimental and radical> mind-bending synths. Some of them will work in a very deterministic way> copying schematic diagrams etc, others will be more exploratory. Our> approach is to give them the skills and support so that they can do all> of these things.> > Jamie> > — > http://www.postlude.co.uk> > _______________________________________________> maxmsp mailing list> maxmsp@cycling74.cTelly addicts unite!

http://www.searchgamesbox.com/tvtown.shtml


March 6, 2008 | 1:29 pm

> So the question still remains, does anyone have such synth patches that
> they would be willing to share that meet these criteria? If not, I might
> have a go at making one myself, but obviously I don’t want to re-invent
> the wheel (sic).

I’d think that what you’ve described is *exactly* the reason I’d build the thing myself – I could arrange to order and put in the things I wanted to touch upon. There are lots of places where I simply couldn’t guarantee someone else would do that [line~ and messages vs. adsr~, biquad filters vs svf~] and I’d be pedagogically happier with knowing things were there because I put ‘em there.

Have you considered looking at the tutorials of others? Certainly, Darwin Grosse’s synth-building tutorials on creativesynth.com are models of good design and pedagogical elegance, as are the Ma(r)x stuff. Michael Z. at CNMAT has some things you might find useful also.

It doesn’t have to be slick or whizzy. You’d probably be surprised at the number of Big Name Acts whose Max patches have the SimpleFM patch from the MSP tutorials sitting at their center, remarkably unmodified, ditto with Nathan Wolek’s granular workshop help files.

Just a thought….


March 6, 2008 | 1:57 pm

On Mar 6, 2008, at 8:29 AM, Gregory Taylor wrote:

> Certainly, Darwin Grosse’s synth-building tutorials on
> creativesynth.com are models of good design and pedagogical elegance

I totally agree, but for months now I get a ‘falled to find server’
message when I try to pick that Grosse brain. Darn.

brad


March 6, 2008 | 2:52 pm

Quote: Bradford Garton wrote on Thu, 06 March 2008 06:57
—————————————————-
> On Mar 6, 2008, at 8:29 AM, Gregory Taylor wrote:
>
> > Certainly, Darwin Grosse’s synth-building tutorials on
> > creativesynth.com are models of good design and pedagogical elegance
>
> I totally agree, but for months now I get a ‘falled to find server’
> message when I try to pick that Grosse brain. Darn.
>
> brad
>
>
>
>
—————————————————-

They moved some time ago. They’re here:

http://www.cycling74.com/story/2007/8/20/111019/403


March 6, 2008 | 3:35 pm

> On Mar 6, 2008, at 8:29 AM, Gregory Taylor wrote:
>
>> Certainly, Darwin Grosse’s synth-building tutorials on
>> creativesynth.com are models of good design and pedagogical elegance
>
> I totally agree, but for months now I get a ‘falled to find server’
> message when I try to pick that Grosse brain. Darn.

If the OP means these tutorials:

http://www.cycling74.com/story/2007/8/20/10530/5988

They’ve been moved to the c74 site!

Actually I’ve already made use of these in some labs, and I agree that
they are excellent — very clear and easy to follow. (Hm… perhaps we
need a ‘more synth building’ series that follows on from these).

Jamie


March 6, 2008 | 4:20 pm

>
>> So the question still remains, does anyone have such synth patches that
they would be willing to share that meet these criteria? If not, I
might
>> have a go at making one myself, but obviously I don’t want to re-invent
the wheel (sic).
>
> I’d think that what you’ve described is *exactly* the reason I’d build
the
> thing myself – I could arrange to order and put in the things I wanted
to
> touch upon. There are lots of places where I simply couldn’t guarantee
someone else would do that [line~ and messages vs. adsr~, biquad filters
vs svf~] and I’d be pedagogically happier with knowing things were there
because I put ‘em there.

I’m starting to think along the same lines.

> Have you considered looking at the tutorials of others? Certainly,
Darwin
> Grosse’s synth-building tutorials on creativesynth.com are models of
good
> design and pedagogical elegance, as are the Ma(r)x stuff.

Yes, I’m aware of these, but thanks for the pointer.

>Michael Z. at CNMAT has some things you might find useful also.

I didn’t know about those even though I’ve had the CNMAT bundle on my
machine for ages. I’ll have a dig around the demos.

Thanks for the info,

Jamie


Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)