(ot) students of Max MSP…

Dec 6, 2006 at 11:53pm

(ot) students of Max MSP…

I am a third year student of Creative Music Technology in bath, UK, and for my final year project, I was planning on creating an interactive CD-ROM using Flash, teaching the user the basics of Max MSP in a creative, clear and understandable environment.
I intend to target third-level students with the CD-ROM, appealing to young people in general.

I know that Max can be hard to grasp when dropped into it involuntarily, and while discussing it with my fellow students, we all agreed it certainly would do no harm to have a different and quirky approach to the basics of the program.
If you are a student and feel this would be of benefit to future students of your course, PM me or post here of any ideas or critique you might have!
All input is greatly appreciated and I’m sure will only help to develop a better program!

thanks in advance,

deklin

#29078
Dec 7, 2006 at 12:30am

Hi There,

I teach MIDI and Digital Audio at the Tasmanian Conservatorium of
Music, part of which is supposed to look at Max/MSP. I attempted to
give lectures in the class about the topc and possibilities, but it was
over a lot of peoples heads. I am very interested in this project that
you would be undertaking, and if and when it becomes available I would
like to have a look at the end result…I might even learn a thing or
two.

Kel
On 07/12/2006, at 10:54 AM, Declan wrote:

>
> I am a third year student of Creative Music Technology in bath, UK,
> and for my final year project, I was planning on creating an
> interactive CD-ROM using Flash, teaching the user the basics of Max
> MSP in a creative, clear and understandable environment.
> I intend to target third-level students with the CD-ROM, appealing to
> young people in general.
>
> I know that Max can be hard to grasp when dropped into it
> involuntarily, and while discussing it with my fellow students, we all
> agreed it certainly would do no harm to have a different and quirky
> approach to the basics of the program.
> If you are a student and feel this would be of benefit to future
> students of your course, PM me or post here of any ideas or critique
> you might have!
> All input is greatly appreciated!
>
> thanks in advance,
>
> deklin
>

#90004
Dec 7, 2006 at 12:30am

On 07/12/2006, at 10:54 AM, Declan wrote:

>
> I am a third year student of Creative Music Technology in bath, UK,
> and for my final year project, I was planning on creating an
> interactive CD-ROM using Flash, teaching the user the basics of Max
> MSP in a creative, clear and understandable environment.
> I intend to target third-level students with the CD-ROM, appealing to
> young people in general.
>
> I know that Max can be hard to grasp when dropped into it
> involuntarily, and while discussing it with my fellow students, we all
> agreed it certainly would do no harm to have a different and quirky
> approach to the basics of the program.
> If you are a student and feel this would be of benefit to future
> students of your course, PM me or post here of any ideas or critique
> you might have!
> All input is greatly appreciated!
>
> thanks in advance,
>
> deklin
>

#90005
Dec 7, 2006 at 1:41am

using flash can be nice to present max/msp but does not enable limits direct interaction with max/msp.
what if your tutorial was a max patch or group of patches all related to each other.
it could be interesting to developp an automated tutorial, certtainly a challenging task but it would be a direct “hands on” as well…
just an idea …

#90006
Dec 7, 2006 at 4:32am

>what if your tutorial was a max patch or group of patches all related to each other.
>it could be interesting to developp an automated tutorial, >certtainly a challenging task but it would be a direct “hands on” as well…

I really like that idea. Some sort of scripted action where you continuously click a single bang to scroll through steps. Each one would create an object, draw a patch cord, etc… and pop up comment boxes explaining along the way.

As far as understanding the basics – I think one of the most critical components of Max (and one that took me a little while to grasp at first) is the signal flow within a patch… specifically the right to left order and how that affects the output (or lack of output) from a patch. My first teacher started me off with the play sound objects and making basic midi instruments. It was a cool way to go… but a lot of the critical information came to me later and with much frustration.

I am no longer a student (unfortunately)… but I’m quite interested in the topic if you’re looking for people to bounce ideas off of.

/dan

#90007
Dec 7, 2006 at 9:55am

I understand that hands-on experience with Max may be more beneficial, but, this is the technique that is being used already. I feel that stepping away from the actual interface in order to grasp the program on a different mindset.

My target audience is students who are ‘forced’ into Max. I have seen a lot of my co-students just completely throw away everything they have learned because they jsut can’t grasp it, and will never use Max again. Not only is this a real shame, but it’s also a waste of time! To prevent one student from giving up on Max would be a success, and besides, this is not a commercial idea, so it cannot fail in that sense.

#90008
Dec 7, 2006 at 6:04pm

> My target audience is students who are ‘forced’ into Max.

In that case… I would suggest maybe starting by showing them some really cool patches made in Max that will get them really excited about the possibilities. Algorithmic soundscape compositions, crazy multi-tap delays, etc…. they’re all really cool and a big part of what you can do with Max, but it might be hard for a younger student to relate to them.

One of the first “cool” Max patches that I saw was a guitar effects box-type patch. A more advanced student came into our class and was playing his guitar through a bunch of different effects, changing presets on the fly, and tweaking them in his graphical interface modelled on a typical pedal board. It was one of the first times that I realized that you could really do most anything you set your mind to in Max/MSP.

I think once you hook a student, and show them what Max can do for them… they’re more likely to stick it out through the more mundane aspects of the language.

just my $0.02…
/dan

#90009
Dec 7, 2006 at 6:10pm

learning max requires a little motivation, curiosity and a lot of imagination. when i first learned max, my technical english was poor, my knowledge of digital music or anything digital very limited. i had the 3.5 book which i red daily while taking the train, some chapters several times because i had no clue what the hell they were talking about. but i really wanted to learn max so sticked to it.
which means patience is another quality to have while learning. drink a lot of chamomille or valerian if you are the nervous kind of person. i met several students that completly lost patience or were too hard on themselves, ashamed of not getting it.
so you should start your flash cdrom with something that says : ” be nice to yourself and Max will be nice to you ;) “.
the nice thing about using flash is that you could draw animations on the patches your showing. for example pointing to the bottom left corner of the patcher window when moussingOver on objects’ inlets/outlets. you could show how to “read” a patch showing the way the data flows from box to box.
i would definetly start with tutorials with [print] and [trigger] ,[trigger] is waht allows you ultimatelly to shape your data flow maning you are taking over Max… if a student understands [trigger] properly she will know how to “sculpt” a patch.

i would also emphasize on the different data types and data manipulations offered by max, msp, jitter, explaining their differences, the links between them.
i noticed that beginners always think about jitter just for manipulating video for instance, they dont think in terms of data manipulation, which i think should be conveyed in the cdrom.

all these things can be done in max so i stick to the idea of having a tutorial made in max. but thats just me.

its true that you could make a nice descriptive of max with flash if well designed, you could also trigger and/or point to specific websites for various aspects of max/msp/jitter ( where to get help, examples of pieces made with max, specific papers, etc…).

i think the challenge here is to be synthetic, to use the full visual potential of flash to describe a graphical programming environment such as max.

Quote: Deklin wrote on Thu, 07 December 2006 01:55
—————————————————-
> I understand that hands-on experience with Max may be more beneficial, but, this is the technique that is being used already. I feel that stepping away from the actual interface in order to grasp the program on a different mindset.
>
> My target audience is students who are ‘forced’ into Max. I have seen a lot of my co-students just completely throw away everything they have learned because they jsut can’t grasp it, and will never use Max again. Not only is this a real shame, but it’s also a waste of time! To prevent one student from giving up on Max would be a success, and besides, this is not a commercial idea, so it cannot fail in that sense.
—————————————————-

#90010
Dec 7, 2006 at 8:01pm

thank you very much for all your replies.
at the moment the status of the CD-ROM is idle whilst research is gathered and I present my idea on wednesday to my lecturers. After that I will write a topic review and work will not start on the CD-ROM until late January. This will give my suffice time to gather more and more similar information as you are providing, in order to make this the best product possible.

the actual specific content and way in which it will be delivered have honestly yet to be thoroughly thought about, suffice to say, it will be a program made ‘for students, by students’ – affecting language use and overall feel and design. I certainly agree ‘wowing’ people helps them look at the banal parts a little less arbitrary. but for now, researching with students is the order of the day.
I intend to post a questionnaire for students here within the next few days in order to fuel my fire. thanks again for your help, and I hope to see more of the same!

#90011
Dec 7, 2006 at 9:42pm

#90012
Dec 7, 2006 at 10:57pm

Sounds like an awesome project, I myself am incorporating Max a lot into my dissertation research. A big part of it will be designing tutorials and patches, then “beta-testing” them with students, composers, etc… to see what they like and don’t like, what makes soense, etc…etc…

Flash is great for some things but I think making it all in Max would be even cooler. If you don’t need much in the way of animations you’ll be fine. You can do so much through scripting (especially hide/show), so that the pointers that appear for the “look over here now”, etc., can be made easily. Also comments that can be hidden/shown are great, as are the popup hints.

Signal flow is cool to demonstrate through changing colors on patch cords, though as posted earlier on this forum, you need to do a “sendtoback” then “bringtofront” of the object where the connections originate in order for the color to actually change. Definitely a bug that I hope gets fixed.

I’d be very curoius to have some communication with you as you develop your project. I have a bunch of tutorials (in development) that I plan to use in my class next semester. I cover the scripting elements mentioned above in the scripting patch. You can get them at

http://www.third-space-mind.com/max/max_main.htm

They’re all included in the main .zip file. Many more will be added and these will be updated. Probably I will have a main “help” patch that can be opened to further explain what’s going on, though I tried to do that with the comments.

Hope to hear from you, and feel free to email me privately using the address on the main page of that site.

Good luck!
-CJ

#90013
Dec 8, 2006 at 1:26am

> > My target audience is students who are ‘forced’ into Max.
>

I have similar students. How I develop an interest & skills is
through creating assignments that require Max et al and are highly
focused on their interests, in this case performance arts. Over a
semester students go from knowing how to fade & pan a sound to
creating an automated video, lighting and sound performance. Some
kick & scream but sooner or later the penny drops & they realize what
a powerful tool they have. From there on they pretty much teach
themselves the stuff that they want to know, so Max becomes a very
idiosyncratic tool. ( This means that i am constantly surprised by
the solutions that students come up with, all ways a good thing)

Roger Alsop, Phone: (61 3) 9685 9395
Lecturer in Sound, Fax: (61 3) 9685 9356
School of Production, Mob: 0414 246 943
Victorian College of the Arts,
234 St. Kilda RD.,
SouthBank,
Victoria, Australia, 3006 E-Mail:
r.alsop@vca.unimelb.edu.au

#90014

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