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Making A Slick Max Standalone presentation from Expo ’74 workshop


These are the slides used for the presentation I made at Cycling’s Expo ’74 in New York on October 15, 2011, titled “Making A Slick Max Standalone: Tips and Tricks.”

Many people that create Max standalones like to present as professional a package as possible, mimicking other applications that users routinely encounter. This workshop covered many aspects of this process, including: use of the standalone object, using a custom application icon, menubar customization, including documentation within your app, creating custom installers / uninstallers, removal of unnecessary Max files from within your application bundle, and application protection strategies commercial distribution.

Making A Slick Max Standalone presentation from Expo ’74 workshop

Oct 21, 2011 at 6:00am

thanks for this useful overview!! Will save me quite some time.

Nov 17, 2011 at 5:15am

Hello, there is no link to download the tools ?

Nov 17, 2011 at 9:13am

Click the big green thing above that says “Tool Site – Go To Download Site” ?

Nov 17, 2011 at 10:36am

arrg, the link doesn’t work with Chrome, but safari is ok…..Thanks a lot for your pdf ,it’s usefull !!!

Mar 10, 2012 at 4:52am

Thanks for putting this online Dan!

Mar 13, 2012 at 6:35am

it is nice but i have to say i expected a little more. that are the standard informations. maybe the actual talk at expo included more in depth stuff.

Mar 13, 2012 at 1:51pm

The talk at the Expo included a bit more – but certainly not whole sections or topics that are not included in the pdf. I started the Expo talk by giving a disclaimer that none of the concepts presented were particular complex or “advanced”, but rather that the collection of the simple things together, hopefully made it a helpful presentation.

Are there other specific topics that you were hoping for?

Mar 14, 2012 at 5:50pm

it’s good that you provided all this information bundled. i was just expecting that you are showing a really slick standalone, covering more aspects like custom gui/knob desing, window managment, externals which combined lead to a really slick standalone.Nevermind

Mar 15, 2012 at 5:56am

Re: custom gui/knob design – yes, I specifically mentioned at the beginning of the talk (and in the document) that I would NOT go into that, 1) because I am not that great at it, and 2) because you can use generic tools like KnobMan and SkinMan, that work with any app and not just Max, to make them. But I do agree that at some point that would be another good presentation, as there are some Max-specific details and “tricks” that one can use for good GUI development.

Re: “window management” and “externals” – can you be more specific? And by all means, if you have tips/tricks of your own in this area, please share!

Mar 16, 2012 at 1:48am

Thanks for this doc which helped me in my second effort to build a standalone. The ‘change icon’ trick didn’t work though. I used a png icon which I have changed the extension to icns (yes I’m on mac…). Could it be that ?
Also, I would have liked to find compiled infos about the management of presets (with read/write capabilities) in the standalone. So far the stuff I’ve found is a little confuse for me (I’m french and english is not my native tongue). Now I’m going to have a look and hearing at your stuff on your site. They seem quite interesting. And that will give me the occasion to figure out your awkward graphic skills :-)

Mar 16, 2012 at 5:28am

Re: icon – yes, just changing the extension won’t work; you have to use an image editing program (I use Graphic Converter on the Mac) to convert the image to .icns format.

Good point regarding presets – that is definitely a challenging area for people, especially newcomers to Max. One quick tip – make use of the pattr family of objects!

May 16, 2012 at 4:54pm

Pic2icon is also a nice freeware to turn image icons (like .png) to .icns.

Also, I have to agree with 11ols that for the most part, although it’s nice to have this .pdf as a reference for newcomers, these are pretty standard procedures on how to make a standalone app.

It would have pointed out GUI development, JSUI etc., but you’ve already mentioned that in the comments above. My biggest request would be to talk about external tools such as removing/modifying the app’s title bar (eg. from the top of my head, CoverSutra’s title bar: ) through code or some other similar way, as well as some practical hacks “hacks” to have, for example, cascading menus with options within the Max app etc.

These things might sound stupid, but I’ve learned this year that with some good programming, sky’s the limit and there’s no “can’t do”!

I have been doing some research on GUI stuff, if I ever find anything worthwhile, I will make sure to share it! Thanks for that PDF, Dan!

May 16, 2012 at 7:44pm

Thanks for the comments, and by all means, please share if you have other tips!

Oct 21, 2012 at 8:22am

Just noticed the live objects are in the MaxAudioAPI.framework
Which means if you’re using live objects you should leave this framework even if there is no audio in your app

Thanks for the great job Dan!

Oct 22, 2012 at 8:00am

Good catch Florent!

Jul 1, 2013 at 2:35pm

This has been a BIG help Dan, thanks very much for this!

Jul 1, 2013 at 5:06pm

You’re very welcome Barry!

Feb 2, 2014 at 5:23am

Thanks Dan, your PDF saved me a lot of time.

Feb 4, 2014 at 6:49pm

You’re welcome!


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