Forums > MaxMSP

Using Max for non creative tasks

June 11, 2009 | 3:05 pm

I’m probably going to build a little patch to help me with my exercise (pull-ups etc) and it got me thinking that Max doesn’t have to be used for creative work.

It would be interesting to know what other projects people use it for


June 11, 2009 | 3:32 pm

Dunno if Gary’s reading, but he had a tale of building an impromptu burglar alarm with Max.


June 11, 2009 | 6:30 pm

I once had a recipe randomizer built with Max. I put my favorite recipes in a coll file. Then I could bang [random] 7 times and get a week’s worth of meals. Max = yummy.


June 11, 2009 | 7:27 pm

A lunchtime timer to remind me to clock back in after the required minimum of 30 mins.
A profanity delay for a live phone-in program on a student radio station,
cheers
Roger



Eli
June 11, 2009 | 8:03 pm

I made a Max patch a long time ago that would level up my characters in Final Fantasy 2 (that I played on my computer on an emulator when I was 13 or so) by:

1. Moving (manipulation of the arrow keys) the characters around the game map when they weren’t fighting
2. Continuously holding down the "A" button when the characters were fighting (which would cause each of the characters to attack until the party of monsters was dead)

The way the patch switched between each function was interesting though- between the "fight" sequence and the "walk around the game map" sequence the game screen faded to white- so when the screen was white for a period of time, then the patch would switch functions.

I left it on overnight and it did its job.



nit
June 11, 2009 | 8:53 pm

since i’m still quite new to ma i only had time to use it for creative tasks. but i really got to tell i’m enjoying this topic a whole lot!


June 11, 2009 | 10:22 pm

I use it as a temperature controller for sous vide cooking.


June 11, 2009 | 10:28 pm

I often use a quick Max patch to generate numbered sequences when I need them for lists, ie:

something_1 =
something_2 =
something_3 =

It’s more fun than command-line Perl or PHP, and definitely more fun than AppleScript.


June 12, 2009 | 1:08 am

i am the guy who has implemented the 31337 back orifice
client into max 5 while i was working at cycling74 incognito.

this function of max 5 allows me to be informed over
the projects of the community 24/7, so i know already
what people will post here and dont need to read the thread.

-wallraff 110


June 12, 2009 | 5:21 pm

I use scale to help grade papers when it comes time to calculate percentages or adjust curves. I also use Max/MSP to demo lots of acoustics and audio engineering things (phase cancellation, lissajou figures, harmonics, aliasing, ear training, etc. etc.) …still making sound, but not all that creatively.


June 17, 2009 | 8:00 pm
Mike S wrote on Thu, 11 June 2009 17:05
I’m probably going to build a little patch to help me with my exercise (pull-ups etc) and it got me thinking that Max doesn’t have to be used for creative work.

It would be interesting to know what other projects people use it for

I’d call this a very creative way of using Max.

I need Max to cook eggs, it will call my name with the voice of my girlfriend if my egg is ready and later her name with my voice if hers is ready (hers need a minute more…)

My next tax declaration for sure will be done in Max… (But I am the king of the procrastinators in this regard, always 5 years behind…Wink



azs
June 18, 2009 | 2:05 pm

I made a patch that generates arduino code for persistence of vision. There is a grid of toggles and I just have to turn on the ones that make up the letter or drawing. When I am done I send a bang and it outputs the code to be pasted into the arduino program.


June 19, 2009 | 12:48 am

I’ve never done this myself, but I have seen people use Max as a substitute for PowerPoint when they are giving talks. Useful when you want to have musical examples.


June 19, 2009 | 1:29 am

I made a patch that generates random choices for multiple-choice tests. I tell it how many questions on the test and how many choices for the questions. Now when I write a test I don’t have to "try" to make my choices seem random.


June 19, 2009 | 4:37 am

recently i (felt like i) had to make a patch at 2am when i wanted to watch some HBO series and the subtitle files didnt fit to the moviefiles as the subs came 4 secs to soon. so i shifted all time signatures…


June 20, 2009 | 11:07 pm

i was just about to start playing a board game with some friends when we realised the dice were missing. after looking around for more dice and finding none, i remembered i had my laptop and max with me, so just knocked up a quick patch


June 21, 2009 | 12:06 pm

Hi I’ve made a simple touch screen with a little mirror on my laptop’s web cam… just to try!


June 21, 2009 | 3:52 pm

That sounds pretty awsome, could you give me a hint on how to go about trying that for myself?


June 21, 2009 | 10:29 pm

Hi

I’ve used an small mirror to webcam "see" a parallel line to screen.

then, with jitter, I’ve made a patch to "see" only the line of pixels that is closer to screen, and only one line of pixels.

High bright and contrast to separate "background" from touching object.

That patch transforms the information in numbers used to control an horizontal slider.

But this was only to test the concept, because it only reads position in the "cone" of the camera angle and only the horizontal movement. but with two mirrors and an camera not so close to the computer this could be done…. probably will need to correct the angle from the camera view, but could be done!

You will need cv.jit to put the patch to work!

– Pasted Max Patch, click to expand. –

June 21, 2009 | 11:17 pm

mmmmm, that is a very interesting idea! I’ll need to get ahold of the jit.dx.grab object tomorrow, I got the cv.jit library a few days ago to inspire me to start exploring jitter. I’ve not used it at all yet, but it opens up so many creative doors! Ironic that this is a non-creative oriented thread – oh well. I think that all of the posts on here about using it non-creatively have struck me as rather creative actually! Arguably non-artistic, but still creative…..

Cheers for the example patch, I’ll mosey through it tomorrow and see if I can get it to work for me.


June 22, 2009 | 9:29 am

I made some quality assurance apps for a web startup. We have thousands of songs that need to be checked so that they play the correct name. One app I made jumps to the point in the song where the name is sung, and it outputs a text file based on whether the user clicked OK, BAD TAKE, or WRONG NAME. They can input the correct name if its wrong. I was hired as a web developer, but apps like this have been my main gig with them for a while. Yay MAX!


June 22, 2009 | 3:09 pm

I made a patch to help get me through an online traffic school course much faster than normal.
The online course required that you view each page before you take the section’s "test". I made a max patch that would cycle through all the pages in the section quickly, getting me to the easy test that I could then finish and move onto the next section. It was MUCH faster than scrolling through each page and clicking "next".

("traffic school" is punishment/cost saver for speeding. If you get a speeding ticket (or an accident), your record gets "points" that your car insurance company uses to estimate the potential cost of your driving habits. If you take traffic school, you don’t get a point on your record, and your insurance rates don’t go up. It used to be that you’d have to go on a Saturday to some room with other traffic safety violators, where you would get lectured all day on driving safety. Now, it’s mostly handled by online "courses.")

Peter.


June 22, 2009 | 3:58 pm
pnyboer wrote on Mon, 22 June 2009 10:09
I made a patch to help get me through an online traffic school course much faster than normal.
The online course required that you view each page before you take the section’s "test". I made a max patch that would cycle through all the pages in the section quickly, getting me to the easy test that I could then finish and move onto the next section. It was MUCH faster than scrolling through each page and clicking "next".

That’s very cool… did the patch just look for the Next button and jump to that URL, or were you able to get it to auto-scroll through the pages?

I’d like to have an app (or a jweb message?) that would let me scroll through web pages or text files at an adjustable speed. Too lazy to click, you might ask? Well, not really, though saving clicks is always a plus. Rather, I’m interested in seeing how one could use biofeedback to adjust the rate of text (or any visual media, really) that’s presented, for purposes of maximizing learning or absorption. Also to experiment with how deeply one can consume/remember/understand visual media at different rates, depending on how "ready" the brain is to receive it.

So some calibration and experimentation with an EEG or similar device could be interesting, giving the user a window into what’s going on inside their heads, and letting them get a feel for what states of mind are best suited for learning different kinds of information (where "learning" has a wide range of retention and understanding). It also could point people to their preferred modes of learning, or help them understand how different presentations of information work better or worse for their minds.

This thread is great, I’d say the examples here are *very* creative… using a tool in a new way definitely falls into the creative category. Lots of times this is where the big advancements happen.


June 22, 2009 | 4:43 pm

Working on a touchscreen interface to mount in my living room. So far, I have an itunes style playlist screen, and a weather screen.


June 22, 2009 | 6:04 pm
pnyboer wrote on Mon, 22 June 2009 09:09
I made a patch to help get me through an online traffic school course much faster than normal.
The online course required that you view each page before you take the section’s "test". I made a max patch that would cycle through all the pages in the section quickly, getting me to the easy test that I could then finish and move onto the next section. It was MUCH faster than scrolling through each page and clicking "next".

("traffic school" is punishment/cost saver for speeding. If you get a speeding ticket (or an accident), your record gets "points" that your car insurance company uses to estimate the potential cost of your driving habits. If you take traffic school, you don’t get a point on your record, and your insurance rates don’t go up. It used to be that you’d have to go on a Saturday to some room with other traffic safety violators, where you would get lectured all day on driving safety. Now, it’s mostly handled by online "courses.")

Peter.

nice use of it, but thats kinda naughty :p i guess if you passed the test though its ok


June 22, 2009 | 7:13 pm

great replies

i should have put non musical instead of non creative, as that’s what i meant


June 23, 2009 | 2:38 am

I’m in the middle of using it to control a "Dobsonian" telescope and I am considering using it with an Arduino to monitor flow of air through my airconditioner system in order to detect when the filter needs to be replaced.

Jonricmd


June 23, 2009 | 12:41 pm
jonricmd wrote on Mon, 22 June 2009 21:38
I’m in the middle of using it to control a "Dobsonian" telescope and I am considering using it with an Arduino to monitor flow of air through my airconditioner system in order to detect when the filter needs to be replaced.

With the right hardware and a wireless network, it would be pretty cool to monitor one’s use of electricity or gas in their house or business, showing a running history of usage levels and approximate cost. especially useful if electricity is charged at different rates at different times—intelligently adjusting the thermostat automatically for the higher-priced times, which would save you money and help prevent brownouts during peak hours.

am thinking multisliders in scrolling mode and some [average] objects to sample what’s happening, plus a [coll] to save daily usage and cost. connect the data to a webpage somehow so you could track it remotely, or even make adjustments when you’re away.


June 23, 2009 | 2:03 pm

I work for a company which creates pro-audio processors and I’ve created a MAX patch that runs a comlete audio and communication test on the devices in the factory. Thae patch outputs a pdf test certificate with all the test results.


June 25, 2009 | 8:56 pm

Good thread – Here’s a few ‘non-musical / non-creative’ stuff I’ve used max for..

- Used max in college to implement demonstrations / calculators / graphers for audio and acoustical concepts and equations.

- Built an (admittedly limited and unfinished) acoustical modeling program (image-source / ray-tracing method) using max and jitter for the UI and display, and implemented the processing in java, jitter-in-java, and openGL.

- I’m currently getting back into max to experiment more with acoustical modeling, auralization, FFT, impulse responses / convolution / HRTF.

- A small widget to MIDI control the digital mixer that my stereo, TV, videogames, and multiple computers are plugged into (mute, pan, volume slider). Could be used for music/creative tasks I suppose, but was born out of not wanting to walk over to the mixer to change the volume all the time.

I don’t know for a fact, but I remember seeing a demonstration of a CAVE system (Virtual Reality) by, I think, University of Illinois students about 8 years ago. they were using max as a simple interface/frontend to send messages (settings and physical interface) to the rendering computers.

-Joe


June 25, 2009 | 9:08 pm

Here’s a couple I’ve been involved in:

http://www.3daudioscape.org/
http://www.futureacoustic.com/

The first version of the Ambisonic software was a Jitter-based visualisation and control front end for a Huron DSP, so it didn’t actually do any audio.


June 29, 2009 | 8:29 am

I used it to control the position of optical traps (vortices) overlayed with lens diffraction patterns in an optical tweezer setup. Smile


June 30, 2009 | 9:05 pm

Finally took a video of the touch screen interface I have been working on:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_m4MMn0iUE

The touch screen is an ELO 1537L connected to MBP. Alot of features I want to add that I can’t figure out how to do in MAXMSP. Bleh. Suggestions?



azs
June 30, 2009 | 9:12 pm

yeah right, like how do you rotate a shape and then determine whether it is being touched? I’ve been trying to figure out a good way to do that.


June 30, 2009 | 9:21 pm

Yeah, and I have no way of inputting text into any fields. I built an onscreen keyboard window, but as soon as you click a letter, the focus is taken away from the "field" you want the letter to go to so the letter goes nowhere, boohoo.


June 30, 2009 | 10:10 pm

Yes You Can!

– Pasted Max Patch, click to expand. –

Enjoy!


June 30, 2009 | 10:12 pm

BTW, how do you are connecting the TC to MAX? USB, Serial? And how do you collect data from it? It’s only "mousing" or you can read some numbers from [serial] object while TC is not controling mouse?

Thanks in advance!


June 30, 2009 | 10:14 pm

Haha Very Happy nice. Do the [zl] functions allow you to chop off the last element of a random sized list? Would be nice to have a "DELETE" or "BACK" key in case you make a mistake.

Also, this still doesn’t solve the problem Im looking at. I have an Internet interface using jweb. Say I navigate to youtube and click on the search text field. There is no way for me to send anything to that…even using aka.keyboard. Oh well, a bit too ambitious I suppose.

Edit: Going to try with applescripts:

tell application "iTunes"
activate
if player state is not stopped then
tell application "System Events" to key code 37 using command down
end if
end tell

for example…


June 30, 2009 | 10:18 pm
Rui Caldas wrote on Tue, 30 June 2009 18:12
BTW, how do you are connecting the TC to MAX? USB, Serial? And how do you collect data from it? It’s only "mousing" or you can read some numbers from [serial] object while TC is not controling mouse?

Thanks in advance!

Screen comes with drivers for OSX/Win and merely tells the OS where the screen was clicked. It just simulated a mouse. It is not multi-touch, only single. This model screen has VGA, Firewire/USB…some other models are serial.


June 30, 2009 | 10:20 pm

And other fancy functions like arrow control to navigate into the sentence.
But this was only to test the concept!
In MAX, your mind is the limit, so… probably it’s possible!


June 30, 2009 | 10:30 pm

Yes You Can!…. again!

– Pasted Max Patch, click to expand. –

Enjoy again!


June 30, 2009 | 11:26 pm

Rui Caldas wrote on Tue, 30 June 2009 18:30Yes You Can!…. again!

– Pasted Max Patch, click to expand. –

Enjoy again!

Again, thanks. I appreciate your help. I don’t want to derail this thread, so see my other apple script thread…still need to send keystrokes inside jweb


July 1, 2009 | 12:56 am

textbutton?

has that always been there?


July 1, 2009 | 5:00 am

new to Max 5


July 28, 2009 | 9:09 pm

I’ve just finished moving old blog posts from Zope to Rails, using Max to convert the Zope export file into something that could be recognized by Rails:

http://www.trondlossius.no/news/928


September 4, 2009 | 2:03 pm

Adjusting the thermostat accurately would automatically for the higher-priced times, which would save money and help prevent brownouts during peak hours…

_________________
Humidifier filters


November 24, 2010 | 10:44 am

Interesting thread! I have to add..

I am trying to build a home automation system, and by doing that I am learning to work with arduino and sensors.

These days I am trying to figure out how to upload to places like pachube and Google Powermeter.



pid
November 24, 2010 | 4:39 pm

oh this is a fun thread. i must’ve missed it…

i use max far too much. my favourite ones have been: i was once on a course of the craziest scariest antibiotics ever. they were too complicated for me. i made a max patch telling me when to take what drug. like a max version of the old ladies’ pillbox. should’ve sold it to GSK. also i made a patch to randomly record a few mins soundfiles of my bedroom through the night, to prove to my girlfriend that i do not snore. (i lost this one, i snore REALLY badly). also, a few of my friends and i still fire up my duckworth-lewis-calculator patch whenever there’s a game on and the clouds are coming in. so we can lay down a few bucks with a pakistani bookmaker. next i was thinking of making a jitter patch that watched and remembered the locations of snooker balls so they could be replaced exactly by projecting lights onto the previous locations after a particularly bad ‘foul and a miss’. it surprises me they haven’t done this already.


November 25, 2010 | 4:51 am

Ha! Guess I’m not the first to make a burglar alarm. I made an action triggered webcam to prove to my landlord people were camping out in front of my car (after it had been vandalized) and that she should take our security a little more seriously. Didn’t convince the landlord, but the patch worked great. Caught a squirrel, a bumblebee and some creepy guy in the dead of night setting off the motion detection light. I still show it to my students to really hammer home that Max is really about looking at life a little differently.


November 25, 2010 | 8:55 am

One of my cats was sleeping on my kitchen worktop so I made a motion sensing patch that shouted at it to get off and took a picture of the culprit. He stopped listening after a few times.


November 25, 2010 | 1:04 pm

I made a patch to calculate the number of books present in the library of babel. I though, "if a human can’t do it MAX CAN!"

Obviously it couldn’t…


November 25, 2010 | 1:10 pm

I made some non creative patches too…

- generating html galleries from a folder containing pictures
- adding shortcuts to max like "insert a [thru] object between the two nearest ones and keep connections"
- auto installing incremental updates from c74 website

must be forgetting some…


November 25, 2010 | 5:50 pm

"- generating html galleries from a folder containing pictures"

that sounds pretty awesome, care to share? :)


December 11, 2010 | 11:08 pm

made a patch last night to keep track of witch episodes of The Mentalist that we have watched…



kp*
December 12, 2010 | 12:35 am

I know a max person who uses max as an alarm clock.

One of the guys I went to school with has a Max Breathalyzer he breaks out at parties.


December 12, 2010 | 1:55 am

"One of my cats was sleeping on my kitchen worktop so I made a motion sensing patch that shouted at it to get off and took a picture of the culprit. He stopped listening after a few times."

LOLOLOL

that is awesome.


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