Why do you use Max/MSP

Jul 11, 2006 at 4:43am

Why do you use Max/MSP

Actually I have two questions

I just downloaded the Max demo and wanted to go through the tutorials where I am dealing with midi using a synth within ableton live (operator) I might want to record into live. So I guess I would do that by using the midi_adrewire driver mentioned in the getting started manual. How do I change that though?

Second, I’ve looked gone through about 12 tutorials and while Max seems interesting, I am wondering if it is for me. I don’t really have a desire to build synths and samplers from the ground up when I can use the ones that already exist. I am interested in making little tools just to help my understand music from a mathematical perpective like thinking of rhythm in terms of the ratio of beats in a bar or pitch interval ratios, but I could do that with a calculator. Also, designing things from the ground up if I thought of something I wanted to do that I could not find something else that already did it would be nice, but will I ever have time to right music again? If you have time, I wouldlove to hear why you are glad you took the time to learn to use Max/MSP. You may turn someone around who is overwhelmed with the complexity of programing .

#26753
Jul 11, 2006 at 11:38am

I believe most max/msp programmers are neither musicians nor real programmers (e.g. that did an IT education). They’re more like multimedia/art fanatics with a more or less technical background.

On the other hand some are both musicians and real programmers. In that case they are probably intelligent enough to make their own synths and save time to write music (-and- do a parttime job to make a living ;)

Mattijs

#80366
Jul 11, 2006 at 12:25pm

As Mattijs said, i’m not a programmer and not a musician in the
traditional sense, so learning to use max took a while but it totally
changed my approach to the use of a computer for making music. I
mean, the point is that you know what’s happening there when you use
a soft you wrote, and this is already a reason for me. And then you
can make your laptop become the instrument you want. If you are
already totally satisfied with your set up and just don’t give a fuck
about what’s behind the interface just leave it. Otherwise keep
studying cause it’s easier than it seems. It’s like learning a
language, it gets easier and easier and after a while you can already
express yourself. After that it’s just improving (and there is a lot
to improve… )
Hope this can help.

b.

On Jul 11, 2006, at 1:39 PM, Mattijs Kneppers wrote:

>
> I believe most max/msp programmers are neither musicians nor real
> programmers (e.g. that did an IT education). They’re more like
> multimedia/art fanatics with a more or less technical background.
>
> On the other hand some are both musicians and real programmers. In
> that case they are probably intelligent enough to make their own
> synths and save time to write music (-and- do a parttime job to
> make a living ;)
>
> Mattijs

#80367
Jul 11, 2006 at 3:03pm

name me one software that can be controlled by anything else then a human being where the author of that software is actually you ?

yes you can find nice synths out there but none of them can be controlled by the color of the sky or the number of ants walking in your kitchen or by both at the same time ….

think of max as a toolbox that allows you to build pretty quickly more or less complex softwares that can be controllled by more or less excentric manners.

you are not dependant on any marketted software anymore , you can design your own interface meaning that you have absolute control on how your sofwares looks, how it is operated , and by what it is operated == absolute freedom .

max is also a sort of digital C6PO since it can handle multiple programming languges, create bridges between different types of data …

the learning curve is worth the try , you will probably end up realizing that music making and programming with max/msp is almost the same thing . that one activity will feed the other and viceversa.

you will also be quite fascinated by the infinite possibilities of how to make/approach/generate/manipulate sound and have more fun exploring these possibilities then making music ( i think it happens to alot of us :) ) but at the end it turns out being the same thing …..
patience, imagination, and a hint of courage are required .

welcome and good luck
k

Also, designing things from the ground up if I thought of something I wanted to do that I could not find something else that already did it would be nice, but will I ever have time to right music again? —————————————————-

#80368
Jul 11, 2006 at 3:59pm

> name me one software that can be controlled by anything else
> then a human being where the author of that software is actually you ?

umm… Pd, Supercollider, Processing, Isadora, vvvv…

and there’s always C++, Java… :)

#80369
Jul 11, 2006 at 4:11pm
#80370
Jul 11, 2006 at 6:31pm

>I don’t really have a desire to build synths and samplers from the ground up when I can use the ones that already exist.

I often think of Max as the “tool of last resort.” That is, if I can find a tool that satisfies me, I’ll use it. Otherwise, I’ll make an new tool in Max. I think that need for Max doesn’t always become obvious until you’ve hit the frustration point with other tools, which maybe you haven’t.

>Also, designing things from the ground up if I thought of something I wanted to do that I could not find something else that already did it would be nice, but will I ever have time to right music again?

Keeping our eyes on the artistic goal is one of the essential problems that we all must face when using technology. For me, it required constant vigilance. (Has music become so wrong that it needs righting? :) )

My background is Composition with a health dose of Postjazz Improvisation. My favorite use for Max is following the performance of an acoustic instrument (using pitch, rhythm, spectral tracking, augmented with sensors, footpedals, wacom tablets, etc.) to generate, in real time, and electronic part that is somehow musically relevant. For me, Max works well because of it’s flexibility in handling diverse inputs, algorithmic processes and DSP. For me, graphical programming is usually easier than scripting, so I can spend more of my limited brain bandwidth on music. And, when I find that a scripting language wold be simpler, I can use C or javascript (or other options which I am in the process of mastering) in the context of Max. With OpenSoundControl, I could talk to SuperCollider or Flash, or Live — if I found I wanted access to those tools.

mzed

#80371
Jul 11, 2006 at 8:12pm

#80372
Jul 11, 2006 at 9:27pm

@yaldaboath

I am a musician. I am not a programmer. But I stuck with it a little while because what I needed for the stage wasn’t available.

But to learn how to use MaxMSP, I did a little virtual analogue synth. And learnt sooo much. And had a lot of fun. And built my favourite virtual analogue filter. And blurred the distinction beetween VA and FM and wavetable synthesis. etc etc.

And impressed the hell out of my girlfriend, which is the main thing.

The point about MaxMSP is that you can build not only the things that are already available, but also those that are waiting to be dreamed up by…

You.

The time taken to realize ideas becomes shorter with more experience. The drum machine controlled by a gamepad was two afternoons’ work, using bits that I’d used before.

That’s why I’m glad I started this business. And I didn’t have to cancel any gigs to do it :-)

#80373
Jul 11, 2006 at 11:13pm

#80374
Jul 12, 2006 at 2:02am

Quote: countbinoculars wrote on Tue, 11 July 2006 16:13
—————————————————-
> mzed:
>
> >And, when I find that a scripting language wold be simpler, I can use C or
> >javascript
>
> C is no mere scripting language. and do people really use C anymore outside of maintaining crap legacy code? sorry to stray off topic.
>

Pardon me, I meant to name languages that weren’t graphically programmed. More keyboard, less mouse.

Anyhow, I still find C useful for writing max externals. Things like OpenSoundControl, resonators~, sinusoids~, SDIF, and all the other “crap” we work on here at CNMAT.

mzed

http://www.cnmat.berkeley.edu/Max/

#80375
Jul 12, 2006 at 3:02am

ahhh. my apologies mzed. i certainly didn’t mean that c code was “crap”. yours lease of all. i hope you will forgive my biases.

Count Binoculars

>Pardon me, I meant to name languages that weren’t graphically programmed. More >keyboard, less mouse.Anyhow, I still find C useful for writing max externals. >Things like OpenSoundControl, resonators~, sinusoids~, SDIF, and all the other >”crap” we work on here at CNMAT.mzed

———————————
Want to be your own boss? Learn how on Yahoo! Small Business.

#80376
Jul 12, 2006 at 10:00am

> and do people really use C anymore outside of maintaining crap legacy code?

eh.. max is built on C/C++.

You were wondering why your msp sampler uses 20x the amount of cpu compared to a sampler written directly in C? Max is a wrap-around for functionality you would ideally be able to access directly and be able to optimize for that specific application.

Only
a) in 2006 you don’t have the time to work yourself through the ins and outs of dsp/midi/video programming and re-invent the wheel again, and
b) you’re probably more of an artist than a technician and you don’t feel like spending more than a week on purely technical problems.

.. so you are very happy with the guys that took that burden off you and you are more than willing to buy a new G5 to meet the extra cpu requirements.

Mattijs

#80377
Jul 12, 2006 at 5:06pm

>eh.. max is built on C/C++.

Oh! indeed! is it now??? er… well which one is it then? so some portion of the max codebase supports classes, inheritance, polymorphism etc… and some doesn’t huh? so some structures in the max codebase can have member functions and some can’t…? of course not, and you’ve completely missed the point. im sure max started out as a pure c codebase a long ass time ago (i dont know) but i doubt that it is now. this is what i meant by legacy code. ive seen a lot of c and a lot of c++ but i dont think i have ever seen any c/c++. now perhaps the developers arent using every feature of c++ and in that regard the code may resemble c. but i doubt it. 90% of code i write proffesionally is C++, 10% is legacy embedded c code that i inherited and is compiled with a straight c compiler and is a bitch to maintain. so i will be a little clearer this time.

if you are writing purely in c, you:

A. inherited some legacy code
B. are an old school embedded developer (and as such deserve much respect)
C. should have your head checked cuz you’re a moron

mwa ha ha hah ha hahaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Count Binoculars

———————————
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Everyone is raving about the all-new Yahoo! Mail Beta.

#80378
Jul 12, 2006 at 5:56pm

Quote: countbinoculars wrote on Wed, 12 July 2006 10:06
—————————————————-
>
> >eh.. max is built on C/C++.
>
> if you are writing purely in c, you:
>

I think you’ve completely missed the point of my original posting, which was to explain why and how I use Max. My quick attempt, which was admittedly imprecise, to mention that one can bring other programming languages/paradigms to bear as needed has landed me in the crap making moron category. While I’m always interested in corrections, refinements, and additions to my postings, I’m have no interested in defending myself while going out of my way to help out a colleague.

As the tone of this forum has changed, it’s become increasingly unrewarding for me to participate in the community. I’m going off to make something now.

good luck,

mzed

#80379
Jul 12, 2006 at 6:30pm

Quote: countbinoculars wrote on Wed, 12 July 2006 19:06
—————————————————-
>
> >eh.. max is built on C/C++.
>
> Oh! indeed! is it now???

Ah! It is all a big misonderstanding.

mzed said:
> Anyhow, I still find C useful for writing max externals. Things like OpenSoundControl, resonators~, sinusoids~, SDIF, and all the other “crap” we work on here at CNMAT.

Where I assumed he wrote C while he meant C++, as some lazy people (like me) tend to do (I still assume he didn’t compile those externals with a straight C compiler no?).

I assumed that Count Binoculars made the same assumption when he said
> C is no mere scripting language. and do people really use C anymore outside of maintaining crap legacy code?

Soooo.. reading C++ for C in the good count’s reply, I mistakenly found this to be a reply quite at the level of some newbie posts on this same list. And at the same time I saw another option to get back to the original topic, the question why I use Max/MSP.

ANYWAY!!..ahum.. I say there is no need to suggest any incompetence on either side except perhaps mine because I wasn’t aware of count binoculars l33t programming skills. ;) Sorry to have hurt you there brother!

All warm and cosy feelings and much regards,
Mattijs

btw ‘C/C++’ was meant something like ‘the family of all C based languages as compared to a graphical programming environment such as Max’.

#80380
Jul 12, 2006 at 6:37pm

#80381
Jul 12, 2006 at 8:18pm

> good natured ribbing? i just find it odd that people get stuck on a
> certain tool when there are clearly better options out there… we all

You’re finding the issue you’re looking for… when in reality, everyone
else in the conversation exemplifies the usage pattern you think makes
sense. You should read a bit more carefully.

#80382
Jul 13, 2006 at 1:31am

#80383
Jul 13, 2006 at 2:59am

To be fair, I don’t really know what dlurk’s post meant either.

However, the jist of it (and let me preface by saying that I know I’m not helping matters much myself with this post) is that the technical differences between c/c++ weren’t really the center of the conversation here. As previously stated, many people often use the term “c” or “c/c++” as a general term for both languages.

While I can see how there might have been a misunderstanding, the tone of your post seemed to indicate a desire to deride others for a mere (in context of the conversation, of course) technicality.

There are many very intelligent, technically savy and talented people who read/post here. It is best to not underestimate them. Along the same lines, there are composers and artists from around the world who DO have english as a second (or third, or fourth) language. You are not impressing anyone with your bigotry.

I have heard complaints that the new web-site based forum may have caused an influx of immature, tactless posters. This may be true, but with them it brings the ever useful “ignore all messages from this user” link. This is will be the first time I’ve used it, but I doubt it will be the last.

I suggest others do the same.

#80384
Jul 13, 2006 at 4:13am

In reply to the topic…

I use max/msp primarily it seems to find exploits in my hardware and software. I pretty much use Cubase as a mixer, seems easier than getting a hardware mixer plus its got some good means for exporting audio etc. However, most of my automation and midi effects, as well as audio processing is done on separate machines and cards, hardware synthesizers etc which all tie in to a max environment.

I also use it for learning the in and outs of DSP, writing poems, improvisation, computer organization, ear training, understanding harmony/tunings, meditation, daily piano scheduling, vocabulary, companionship, hardware synth librarian/editor, dream logger… and on and on….

anyway, definitely not your mama’s modular environment…

binez0r

#80385
Jul 13, 2006 at 4:24am

Nick Inhofe wrote:
> To be fair, I don’t really know what dlurk’s post meant either.

In that case, I will clarify: I meant that the criticism – “people get
stuck on a certain tool when there are clearly better options” – was
nonsensical in the context of the conversation at hand. The people
involved were clearly using a range of tools, selecting those
which best fit a given problem. They were demonstrating the very
sophistication that Count Binoculars decided they were lacking.

Count Binoculars took this thread as an opportunity to make a myopic
commentary on C programming, and followed that up with the demonstration
of careless reading I mention above.

Erik Noble wrote:
> ok look… someone happened to mention that they used c and i thought
> i would ask about it. not a big deal. and no, i dont need to read
> more carefully. although come to think of it, i could read your
> email all day and still not know what you are trying to say.
> hmmm…. maybe you are right…
>
> oh yeah, how are those english as a second language classes coming
> anyway?

I briefly tried to take offense at this, but I couldn’t stop laughing.
I hope the significant number of critically-inclined English speakers on
this list enjoyed it too (they’re not all native speakers).

My post may have been vague and compact, but it was not illiterate. I
took a gamble, betting implication would do the job for me and keep the
SNR a bit higher. It seems I lost, and so did everyone else. My
apologies to the rest of the list for that, and also for neglecting to
append the “[OT]” to the subject of my previous post.

#80386
Jul 13, 2006 at 4:41am

Without max, midi is just ringtones. With out max your working
within the confines of someone else’s vision of how music should be
made.

Cycling is really a shining example of why business is not inherently
evil. to the contrary, Cycling cater to their users without
compromising their grand (dare I say) artistic vision

#80387
Jul 13, 2006 at 11:18am

On 13-Jul-2006, at 4:59, Nick Inhofe wrote:
> I have heard complaints that the new web-site based forum may have
> caused an influx of immature, tactless posters. This may be true,
> but with them it brings the ever useful “ignore all messages from
> this user” link. This is will be the first time I’ve used it, but I
> doubt it will be the last.

Killfiles have been around since Larry Wall developed rn, which is
old enough to vote in Lebanon. At least.

—-

On 12-Jul-2006, at 1:13, Erik Noble wrote:
> crap

Is generally considered a fairly insulting term. Pretending to be
surprised that some correspondents were insulted is not just a little
ingenuous.

And it just goes downhill from there. An Anne Coulter of software
engineering but without the legs.

—-

Returning to the original
On 11-Jul-2006, at 6:43, balie todd wrote:
> I wouldlove to hear why you are glad you took the time to learn to
> use Max/MSP.

If you are satisfied with what Digidesign & Cubase & Co. give you:
lucky you.

Digidesign & Cubase & Co. do not do what I want to do musically. It’s
as simple as that.

—-

Oh, I almost forgot… returning to the first topic in this message,
On 12-Jul-2006, at 19:06, Erik Noble wrote:
> if you are writing purely in c, you:
[schnipp]
> C. should have your head checked cuz you’re a moron

*plonk*

With all due respect,
P.

————– http://www.bek.no/~pcastine/Litter/ ————-
Peter Castine +–> Litter Power & Litter Bundle for Jitter
Universal Binaries on the way
iCE: Sequencing, Recording &
Interface Building for |home | chez nous|
Max/MSP Extremely cool |bei uns | i nostri|
http://www.dspaudio.com/ http://www.castine.de

#80388
Jul 13, 2006 at 12:23pm

if you want to know what i am doing in max you may
want to check out my new binocular noise system
which was written in my second language using a straight C compiler, whatever that means.

you can grabit from here

http://immaturesystems.com/shouldhaveyourheadcheckedcuzyourea moron.zip

dont use it too much, it might piss you off after 7 posts.

#80389
Jul 13, 2006 at 10:01pm

Mattijs Kneppers wrote:
> You were wondering why your msp sampler uses 20x the amount of cpu
> compared to a sampler written directly in C? Max is a wrap-around for
> functionality you would ideally be able to access directly and be
> able to optimize for that specific application.

Yeah, that’s why my samplers are 20x faster than all these fancy
overloaded vst samplers written in c. If I don’t need a filter it won’t
have a filter, if I need livesampling and playing at the same time,
they’ll do it….

Stefan


Stefan Tiedje————x——-
–_____———–|————–
–(_|_ —-|—–|—–()——-
– _|_)—-|—–()————–
———-()——–www.ccmix.com

#80390
Jul 14, 2006 at 12:32am

> Yeah, that’s why my samplers are 20x faster than all these fancy
> overloaded vst samplers written in c. If I don’t need a filter it
> won’t have a filter, if I need livesampling and playing at the same
> time, they’ll do it….
>
> Stefan

I’ve found this mindset to trap my creativity by forcing me to plan
every dimension of a performance. especially not being able to stop
and put one in…

none the less… GO MAX!!!!
-matt

#80391
Jul 21, 2006 at 9:40am

balie todd wrote:
> Second, I’ve looked gone through about 12 tutorials and while Max
> seems interesting, I am wondering if it is for me. I don’t really
> have a desire to build synths and samplers from the ground up when I
> can use the ones that already exist. I am interested in making
> little tools just to help my understand music from a mathematical
> perpective like thinking of rhythm in terms of the ratio of beats in
> a bar or pitch interval ratios, but I could do that with a
> calculator.

When I started Max, this was the only thing possible anyway, and its
still the main reason for me to use Max. A calculator is like 50 years
back. Xenakis did his pieces that way and needed sometimes 2 years to
just do all the calculations (imagine the amount of imagination to keep
on doing this…). In Max some of that stuff could be done in a week
including the programming…
Which leads you to much more experimenting: you can tweak your
algorithms till they actually sound right…
There is nothing wrong with using ready made samplers and synths, easy
to integrate with the vst~ object…

It seems that Max is for you… ;-)

Stefan


Stefan Tiedje————x——-
–_____———–|————–
–(_|_ —-|—–|—–()——-
– _|_)—-|—–()————–
———-()——–www.ccmix.com

#80392
Jul 21, 2006 at 8:09pm

Thanks to everyone, especially Stefan. Stefan, I would like to hear a little more about what some of the patches you’ve written do if you have a chance sometime. Anyone, I thought of a little patch I would actually like to write and am in the process of trying to figure it out. I am going to write as a new topic though, I believe, so more people see it. I wanted to write a patch that divides up midi controller values into ranges and sends out only a few values that I specify depending on which range they fall into. The idea is to use an expression pedal to control delay times so that when using the pedal, delay times will lock to beats (half-note, quarter, sixteenth,etc.) when sweeping the pedal. Could be used many other ways as well, but this is main idea. I have to commit to something because I only have ten days left in the demo. Any suggestions of ways to say “if value falls within this range, output this number”? and as for connecting this to the delay in Ableton Live that I would use, I’m still trying to figure that out as well. I could write my own delay in Max/MSP, but want to learn about connecting it to other Apps.

Thanks for any help

#80393
Jul 21, 2006 at 9:13pm

balie todd wrote:
> Thanks to everyone, especially Stefan. Stefan, I would like to hear
> a little more about what some of the patches you’ve written do if you
> have a chance sometime. Anyone, I thought of a little patch I would
> actually like to write and am in the process of trying to figure it
> out. I am going to write as a new topic though, I believe, so more
> people see it. I wanted to write a patch that divides up midi
> controller values into ranges

probably simplest way is:

/ 64 -> range = 2
/ 16 -> range = 8
….

or cascade several [split x y] from right out to left in

and sends out only a few values that I
> specify depending on which range they fall into.

[split x y] left out -> bang -> [number_in_messagebox]

p

#80394

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