As promised, here’s part 2 of my article about the OWL audio processor. There’s been a significant development since we published part 1 - the arrival of the new OWL package available now from the package manager in Max 7.
Tom’s video shows is a walkthrough of the workflow with the new OWL package:
Over the last year, we have been working closely with the OWL guys at Rebel Technology, and this package is the result of that effort. It is now possible to work completely inside of Max to program and set up your OWL . We still use the Rebel Technology server back end to do the compiling and heavy lifting of the gen~ code, but there’s no more uploading files to the website and moving to the browser to complete the transfer. The end result is a seamless workflow from inside of Max directly to the hardware, which also allows for saving of the code up in your account on rebeltech.org. Nice, huh? Inside the Package
From the launcher patcher, found in the extras menu in Max after you install the package, you can fire up the OWLwatcher patcher.
The OWLwatcher patcher does all the work of getting your gen code to the OWL, and you need to have it open for this all to work. The OWLwatcher grabs exported gen code and uploads it to rebeltech servers, where it is compiled down to OWL friendly byte code and sent back to your instance of Max. From there we bundle it up as sysex and send it out to your OWL device over a MIDI port. Piece of cake! There are some cracking examples in the package, coded by the rebeltech guys. You can use these as is or as a starting point for your own creations.
Over the course of my several weeks working with the OWL pedal, I have come to appreciate it in a zen-like way. Like a lot of Max programmers, I tend to suffer from a serious case of the feature bloat disease. “If I just add another do-hicky to it, it will be that much more cool” You can’t do this with the OWL. You can’t load up an entire performance rig of code, and whatever you do load up, it needs to work with 4 dials, a pedal and a button. As someone who needs to use both hands to play an instrument, it needs to work with a pedal alone. So I have come to enjoy the process of creating little one shot patchers. Stuff like custom ring mods, distortions, smeary delays - in all cases, I load it up to do one simple thing well. This has led me to a real appreciation of the form factor. If you’re looking for a rig replacement, this isn’t it. But it plays super nicely as a customisable part of a larger set up. Reliability has been superb. My pedal still feels super solid under foot.
We’re really pleased to be a part of this release, and we wish the Rebel Technology team the very best. I’m looking forward to working on more developments for this package, and with them as they grow their product line. In particular, this release has a sense of breaking new ground for me. It represents Cycling ‘74 acting as a publisher of an “eco system”. This is a coding environment, content and a web based delivery mechanism all rolled into one package. That’s an interesting step for Max - I wonder where it might lead? Happy patching!