Forums > MaxMSP

[ot][sociology] Why No Boxed Synths

February 4, 2006 | 10:52 pm

Just wondering everyones opinion.

SHORT VERSION——-
Why do ready made synths and effects not naturally materialize in the
max community?

LONG VERSION——–
There are a zillion MAX/MSP/Jitter Nuts on this list and yet
virtually no "ready-made" "Gui-routing-algorithm" synthesizers
effects. (audio or video)

One thing I hear from many techs is "I took apart everything when I
was little" In max there really isn’t an opportunity to do that. I
regret having to compare max to reaktor but… on this one point, I
am envious. is there even a basic sim-analog synth available?

Creating, programming, and playing a synth require 3 very separate
head-spaces for me. sometimes just tweaking ready-made synths gets
me there quicker. Other times I want to custom make stuff. It’s
very possible for maxer’s to have both. Why do we opt not to?

I’ll suppress personal answers so as not to color responses
-matt


February 5, 2006 | 12:31 am

On Feb 4, 2006, at 5:52 PM, matthew aidekman wrote:

> Just wondering everyones opinion.
>
> SHORT VERSION——-
> Why do ready made synths and effects not naturally materialize in
> the max community?

People are using Max primarily because they’re sick of ready made
synths.

> Creating, programming, and playing a synth require 3 very separate
> head-spaces for me. sometimes just tweaking ready-made synths gets
> me there quicker. Other times I want to custom make stuff. It’s
> very possible for maxer’s to have both. Why do we opt not to?

I’d reckon, perhaps, because it has already been done. If you really
want tweakable, ready-made synths, just use something like Reaktor.
Reaktor 5 especially is highly optimized for these sorts of things.

I think it really comes down to economy of time. Most things in the
"ready made" category can be found if you pick up a software like
Reaktor and raid the user library. Ready-made synths tend to be used
by practical people, and practical people don’t redo work that has
already been done. In truth, Reaktor is more suitable for this sort
of thing than Max. Best tool for the job and all that. Given things
like Jack, Soundflower, OSC, etc, getting them to play nice is easier
than ever before.

- John


February 5, 2006 | 4:21 am

> SHORT VERSION——-
> Why do ready made synths and effects not naturally materialize in the
> max community?

I think they do. But not to the extent you might expect, partly because
(As John mentioned) lots of people are using these tools to do things
that are difficult or impossible to do elsewhere. They’re also not all
bundled together in an organized, quality-controlled set… though not
restricted to patches, C’74 Share is good:

http://www.cycling74.com/twiki/bin/view/Share

> LONG VERSION——–
> There are a zillion MAX/MSP/Jitter Nuts on this list and yet virtually
> no "ready-made" "Gui-routing-algorithm" synthesizers effects. (audio or
> video)

I think I know what you mean by "ready-made", but what does
"GUI-routing-algorithm" mean? I guess you don’t mean this:

http://www.linuxedge.org/videos/glxcompmgr.mpeg

> One thing I hear from many techs is "I took apart everything when I was
> little" In max there really isn’t an opportunity to do that. I regret

I think the tutorials and example patches are a great opportunity to do
this. In addition, there are patches listed on maxobjects.com as well
as a fine load of interesting patches coming through this list. (I
would *love* some sort of list-patch repository, though that does
already exist to an extent since patch semantics are searchable.)

> envious. is there even a basic sim-analog synth available?

This is a great place to start:

http://www.creativesynth.com/MAXMSP/maxmspmain.html

> Creating, programming, and playing a synth require 3 very separate
> head-spaces for me. sometimes just tweaking ready-made synths gets me
> there quicker. Other times I want to custom make stuff. It’s very
> possible for maxer’s to have both. Why do we opt not to?

Although it doesn’t get much airplay here, I think since [vst~] came
along a lot of people have been doing things that way. It doesn’t have
the DIY 1337-factor, but if you’re sane that’s not always what you’re
looking for. Good for making music. Bad for learning DSP. Here you do
still have all the options…

…even if you want to do something "not recommended" by David Z., like
make your own general purpose sequencer. So of course that’s what I
work on when I feel the itch. I want my compositional environment to
mirror how I think about music, not the other way around. The best way
for me to work is with a set of abstractions.

> I’ll suppress personal answers so as not to color responses

I’d like mine colored with a well-loved box of crayons, thanks.

-Jon


February 7, 2006 | 9:47 pm

SHORT VERSION:: yeah if you wants synths/fx modules, use reaktor…. max/msp can do such different things than just build synths and effects boxes… it seems kind of silly to use it for that, at least for meh. I’m using it for eartraining right now heh, I mean, its just not your conventional program.. it’s roots are in the MAX side of things anyways, which has nothing to do with building synths as you may and or may not know. Reaktor came along after building synths in software was a real possibility. max/msps real strength is in being able to control anything with anything…

LONG VERSION:: =|


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