Text input for MaxMSP?

May 3, 2013 at 1:22pm

Text input for MaxMSP?

I’m close to being a total beginner with Max/MSP, on Windows 7 32bit.

For a uni assignment (on visualisation and sonification of data) I’d like to have a live stream or scan of trending twitter tags/tweets which are fed into a Max patcher, ideally with certain words or types of words being used to manipulate a generative music patch, where perhaps words like “disaster”, “explosion”, or “attack” would result in an aggressive sonification and be a recognisable change to the ambient twitter chatter.

My final work could be a generative music app which is fed by a real-time stream of trending twitter hashtags, creating a sonification which acts as both an ambient and pleasant thing to listen to (like Brian Eno and Peter Chilvers “Bloom”), and also a practical tool for passively monitoring twitter for certain trends. If you had it playing in the background and heard a sudden spike of activity, you would know something interesting was happening on twitter (maybe specifically to do with the people you were following).

I realise this is extremely (almost hilariously) complex, but to start off with, does anyone have any suggestions for scanning a text file for certain words or phrases, and then outputting bangs (in real time)?

for reference I found this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XagCY5DfMgE

Thanksss in advance!

May 3, 2013 at 4:08pm
May 3, 2013 at 4:10pm

The difficult part to do will be accessing Twitter from Max… You will probably need to use the mxj java object, the easy way would be to use jython or ruby:



The logic part would be easier to do there as well.

May 3, 2013 at 9:27pm

Certainly doable in Jython:


Ping me and I’ll dig out the code.

May 4, 2013 at 7:56am

Thanks all, I’ll have a look at those, much appreciated

May 5, 2013 at 11:39am

@nick I’d love to see that patcher or code if you could?

May 5, 2013 at 3:18pm

Here’s the Python code:


If you use my Jython package you should be able to get some output from it. (I don’t have the patcher to hand – it’s buried in some Ableton Live set somewhere.) twitterReader is the thing you need to load.

This code is a few years old – I have no idea whether it still works with the current Twitter API.

May 6, 2013 at 5:16am


May 6, 2013 at 3:08pm

Hi Kaibe,

I know you already discovered it but I am dropping a link to searchtweet here for future users.


Good luck!


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