Forums > MaxMSP

Transport weakness

December 14, 2010 | 1:22 pm

Dear users of the community, i have found an old post about a very bad design of max transport and an erroneous use of BMP concept.

I am not into polemical speech but i simply want to do a 6/8 piece that, like 99% of music in history has 2 BEATS and every beat should be a DOTTED QUARTER NOTE.

Who ever has taught that a BEAT IS A QUARTER? how can we tell to MAX that my chosen tempo, let’s say 66BPM should be related to the true metrical division (dotted quarter) instead of a purely abstract and musically irrilevant quarter note?
is there any good way to deal with this? Would have been to complicate like in serious music tools (like protools) to specify a tempo in BPM and a rythmical unit? (like 120 dotted quarter, or 120 eight note..etc)
THIS HAS BEEN THE USE FOR THREE CENTURIES AND WORKS REALLY FINE before some smar people probably thought that everybody must BECOME 4/4 120BMP LOOP-MINDED.

another question, and thanks for support. why even if i do a rewind i cannot update the time signature of master transport via a timesig command in the patcher (the extras window of global transport don’t get updated)

alessandro ratoci

December 14, 2010 | 1:47 pm

Hi there,

If I understand correctly, the problem is that you can not generate dotted quarters right?

here is a small example, not using the global transport:

– Pasted Max Patch, click to expand. –

Hope it helps,

December 14, 2010 | 2:14 pm

It’s a convention in computer music that bpm actually means "quarter notes per minute". We decided to just stick with that. Yes, it is kinda wrong, but if we want our songs to play at the same rate as Protools and everything else we have to do it that way.

It might be a little awkward, but I believe you could write something which worked around it.

Display your "BPM" as actual BPM / .666666
metro 4nd and metro 8n



December 14, 2010 | 3:02 pm

thanks for your helping :) it was my first post!


December 15, 2010 | 12:55 am

"THIS HAS BEEN THE USE FOR THREE CENTURIES AND WORKS REALLY FINE before some smar people probably thought that everybody must BECOME 4/4 120BMP LOOP-MINDED."

if you’re going to make an attempt at being some lofty, revolutionary hero with a grand statement of your ideals, at least learn to spell ‘BPM’ right.
a more refined character might try and hold the excitement(all caps and poor spelling doesn’t help you make your ‘political’-case any better).
just saying ;-)

*Never fear, Noob4Life was never here!*

December 15, 2010 | 11:10 pm

a beat is a beat is a beat

December 15, 2010 | 11:37 pm

진짜 무당은 그런 말을 하지 않을 것 같은데요… :)

December 16, 2010 | 12:03 am

나는 한국 몰라. 가뜬 소리 하지 마 거야 (^_^)

December 16, 2010 | 12:26 am

ha, google translate is horrible.
kp’s post seems to translate to "the shaman does not say that which i think"
and mudang’s post seems to translate to "i do not know korean, no do not do gatteun"

i wish i was special enough for the decoder ring ;)

*Never fear, Noob4Life was never here!*

December 16, 2010 | 12:42 am

mudang means shaman in Korean so I am just riffing on his screen name. It’s actually surprising how much of that google translate got. I said "I don’t think a real shaman would say such a thing" which is not that far off from what google coughed up.

A real shaman would also be upset with how computer music programs deal with compound meters since the lion’s share of Korean music is in compound meter. I share the OP frustration.

December 16, 2010 | 1:01 am

I meant to say, that i don’t really know korean/korea, so i will stop to speak rubbish…
But you can’t blame google on mistranslating my horribly bad korean, can you? ;)

To be honest, i’ve never used the transport. For my understanding of rhythm it’s sufficient to have a simple, underlying pulse. This allows arbitrary subdivisions and polyrhythms.

The perceived tempo is a different story.

That’s what i meant with "a beat is a beat…"

BTW, this is also what i hear, when i listen to korean samul nori, for example: An underlying pulse…this might be due to my lack of understanding the compound meter, of course.

December 16, 2010 | 1:38 am

It’s not that there isn’t a pulse. In fact that there is a pulse is pretty much the point. The difference is that the primary division on that pulse is triple and not duple. You feel a quick 6/8 as 2 with a nice round triple division not as 6 individual beats (unless you play very very slowly, in which case the hierarchy perceptually flattens). Part of what makes that music so fluid, rich and and propulsive is the many metrical layers in play and how the individual musicians play with that within their parts and how those musicians fit their parts together by syncing on a meta level their breathing. It’s a like a stream with many currents. Nothing is square.

2 measures of 3/4 take up the same space as 6/4. But they are hardly the same feel at any decent clip. Most music in 6/4 (or 6/8) can be rewritten in 3/4 just as 12/8 can be written in 4/4. But with such a constant undercurrent of 3 division that would just be pissing in the wind.

But as Andrew points out there are work a rounds.

back to your regularly scheduled programming…



December 16, 2010 | 2:56 am

ah, it’s good to find out the meanings! i love korean, but only know basic words.

kamsahamnida! to both of you.

*Never fear, Noob4Life was never here!*

December 16, 2010 | 5:12 am

I’m with ratox: wouldn’t it be wonderful if music software tools in general became even just a little more sophisticated, rhythmically? Slicing and warping is cool, but that’s about as far as it goes… The fact that Live can exploit the feature to the degree that they do is a testament to the potential of rhythmically-focused DSP.

December 16, 2010 | 7:13 am

most people would agree with ratox. not as many would be so passionate. still fewer would be able to put it so wisely as ztutz.

*Never fear, Noob4Life was never here!*

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