Advanced Max: FFTs, Part 1

Here’s the first in a series on using the FFT in Max. Spend 26 minutes building two spectral effects processing patchers including a version of the classic Forbidden Planet example.

All the tutorials in this series:
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

I've tried this tutorial

Bang! Finished it!

I had some trouble, but got through it.

I did not get this tutorial at all.

Jan 18 2017 | 10:52 am

I really enjoyed seeing a practical use and explanation of FFTs. I learned about them in school and always hear about how great they are for audio processing, but this example finally helped me grasp their use in context. Thanks!

Jan 18 2017 | 6:13 pm

My first patching with FFT. Thanks for the handy tutorial!

Jan 19 2017 | 12:34 am

Replying to this so I can subscribe to updates

Jan 19 2017 | 5:10 am

Great basic tutorial although some things are not explained…probably because too complicated!

Jan 19 2017 | 6:43 am

Very good. Thank you.

Jan 20 2017 | 12:32 am

Great! Thank you Timothy!

Jan 20 2017 | 8:23 am

Great job. Thank you for the easy to understand tutorial!

Jan 24 2017 | 2:15 pm

So good! Please more!!!

Jan 24 2017 | 2:37 pm

Great tutorial! I think I have spotted a little mistake. If one has FFT size of 512 samples and sample rate of 44kHz then in the frequency domain there are only 256 bands (complex samples) that go up to 22kHz (the half of the sampling frequency aka Nyquist frequency) and not 512 bands up to 44kHz as it is said in the video. One can confirm the band count by putting the minmax~ on the index outlet of fftin~.

Jan 25 2017 | 5:52 am

Thanks, awesome! Looking forward to what is next.

Jan 25 2017 | 6:08 am

I’m quite sure the pfft~ object calculates 512 bands internally (which result from the FFT) but is hiding the mirrored bands 256- 511 from you since they don’t provide any additional information for the processsing. They’re probably put back to your signal before the IFFT.

Jan 25 2017 | 6:55 am

Thanks very much! Looking forward to next one…

Jan 25 2017 | 10:16 am

A great and much needed tutorial! Looking forward to Pt. 2

Jan 29 2017 | 3:13 pm

I know this is a broad question, but what exactly is the scope of capabilities in spectral processing? I understand the basis of how FFT works, and I’ve seen the examples (vocoder, cross-synthesis, spectral equalization and gating), but are there any more… musical applications for it beyond that? (I realize those are perfectly legitimate applications, but I was wondering how else it fits in for other purposes.)

Jan 29 2017 | 11:12 pm

there’s hundreds if not probably thousands of applications for spectral processing, including noise reduction, watermarking, audio compression, all sorts of analysis including separating pitched from unpitched material, tagging/categorization of music, high-level audio scene analysis, transposition, all sorts of hybrid synthesis techniques, the list goes on.
here’s a pdf to get an idea of some interesting creative techniques in analysis-resynthesis, just to get you started:

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