• My Perspective on Integrating Max and Live

    David Zicarelli gives some insight on the decision to integrate Max within Live...

  • Announcing Max for Live

    Cycling '74 and Ableton today announced Max for Live, the integration of Cycling '74's Max/MSP environment into Ableton Live. Available as an add-on product to Ableton's newly announced Live 8, Max for Live permits users to create devices that extend and customize Live by creating instruments, controllers, audio effects, and MIDI processors.

  • The Video Processing System, Part 1

    Between the tutorials, Jitter Recipes, and all of the example content, there are many Jitter patches floating around that each do one thing pretty well, but very few of them give a sense of how to scale up into a more complex system. Inspired by a recent patching project and Darwin Grosse's guitar processing articles, this series of tutorials will present a Jitter-based live video processing system using simple reusable modules, a consistent control interface, and optimized GPU-based processes wherever possible. The purpose of these articles is to provide an over-the-shoulder view of my creative process in building more complex Jitter patches for video processing.

  • An Interview with Dana Karwas

    When you think of multimedia technology you think mostly about the technology. When you experience Dana Karwas' work you think of the rich organic layers of experience. Dana is working in the nebulous grey area between art and design. As a trained architect she is commissioned to do design works for giants such as Knoll, yet as an artist she creates amazingly tactile and organic performances like her work Party Dress and the installation Fursicle. Although based in architecture, Dana’s work uses high-end technology such as Max/MSP to explore social interaction and levels of identity within public space.

  • Max 5 Guitar Processor, Part 3

    In the last article, we added some basic tonal effects: distortion/overdrive and EQ/filtering. This time, we will expand our virtual effects rack to include both a phase shifter and a full-featured modulating digital delay. As we add these effects, you will begin to see why a DIY effects system can trump any commercial product.

  • Making Connections: The Eobody USB OEM Board

    This week the new Eowave OEM USB boards arrived at Cycling '74 HQ, and I was all too happy to give it a test drive. After having read the impressive spec sheets I was eager to see if the performance of the board lived up to all the promise. I quickly set to work putting it through its paces.

  • An Interview with Mattijs Kneppers

    These days it seems that everyone wants to be an artist so I found it refreshing to meet someone who see himself as an engineer that wanted to create tools for artists. Mattijs Kneppers spoke to me by phone from his home in Holland.

  • LFO Tutorial 3: Extending Our Generators

    Now that I've got a nice generative patch and a way to hear it, I thought it'd be nice to make a few improvements and extensions that would let me begin to specify larger structures - to generate instructions to my generative patch, as it were. While I'm sure that the world is full of people who want ways to have the same thing happen again and again, I'd like to do this in ways that offer a little more freedom than that. This short tutorial will add a modest number of these kinds of changes.

  • Anniversary at a West Coast Safari

    Cycling '74 began developing and selling software officially in late 1997, and it was in 1998 that the company incorporated and hired its first few employees. To celebrate ten years of our continued existence, we decided to have an anniversary party. Here's how it went...

  • A Look Back at AES 2008 in San Francisco

    We rolled out of bed and into our suits this weekend to attend the annual Audio Engineering Society (AES) conference at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, a mere 5 blocks from our SOMA office. We occupied a small piece of real estate in the shadow of the big Mackie booth, and directly across from a booth featuring big reels of magnetic tape.

  • Announcing Expo ’74

    Cycling '74 today announced that its first user conference, Expo '74, will be held in San Francisco next April. The conference will include presentations, installations, workshops, and collaborative events covering the company's Max/MSP/Jitter software. Details will be outlined on the conference web site ( in the coming months.

  • Announcing Expo ’74: Our First User Conference

    I'm pleased to announce that Cycling '74 will be hosting its first user conference next year, Expo '74. The conference will run three days from April 22-24, 2009 and will be held at the new (and intensely colored) Mission Bay Conference Center in San Francisco. I'd like to tell you why we decided to put on this event and what you can expect to happen if you attend...

  • An Interview with Hans Tammen – Endangered Guitar

    In this interview, Hans Tammen describes his journey into 'Endangered Guitar'...

  • Data Collection: Building Databases Using SQLite

    Those of you who are paying close attention already know that Max 5 includes a database that manages all the files in the search path and makes handy things like the File Browser possible. To enable this functionality, we wrote an SQLite object to do all the important work under the hood. However, the SQLite object in Max isn't really something that you can type into an object box, and it doesn't come with any help files or documentation. In this article, we'll look at ways to interface with this mysterious "no box" object using JavaScript, so that you can build, query, and edit your own databases in Max.

  • Max 5 Guitar Processor, Part 2

    In the last article, we did a lot of setup - we got input/output handling in place, and added a compressor to the processing chain as an example of an “effect module”. In this article, we will continue adding effects, including a dual overdrive module and a three-stage EQ/Filter module. With these additions we will further explore Max 5’s user interface options, as well as taking a look at some of the “tweaks” that make Max/MSP functions a little more guitar-faithful.

  • Siggraph 2008

    Last week, Siggraph 2008 took over the Los Angeles Convention Center, and Cycling '74 was there to bravely represent Jitter to a huge crowd of CG enthusiasts, production professionals, and academics. For anyone who hasn't been to a Siggraph show, it is a huge, over-stimulating event for the computer graphics community, complete with academic talks, screenings, an exhibition hall, an art show, competitions, and a job fair.

  • CNMAT Summer School 2008

    Recently, CNMAT at UC Berkeley held their annual MaxMSP/Jitter summer school classes at their beautiful Arch St. facility just off the UC campus. This year, for the second year in a row, I had the pleasure of teaching the Jitter Night School - a 3-night intensive of focussed tutorials covering a variety of Jitter topics.

  • LFO Tutorial 2: Making Some Noise

    Last time out, we created the LFOur, a generative patch composed of a quartet of synchronized LFOs whose output we can use to make noise. While it's interesting to watch how the different LFO configurations make combinatoric waveforms and it's restful and instructive to watch the sliders flick and rock, it would be nice to have something to connect it to. This tutorial includes some patches that will do just that.

  • Create Your Own Default Workspace in Max 5

    In addition to an unprecedented number of configurable settings, Max 5 also provides a more navigable structure for making choices about your environment. In this article we'll discuss ways you can tweak the settings in various places to make your time spent in Max 5 more comfortable and fulfilling to your aesthetic requirements.

  • Max 5 Guitar Processor, Part 1

    In an earlier article, Andrew Benson and Ben Bracken went through the process of connecting a guitar to a Max-based processing system, and creating a few guitar-oriented effects patches. In this series of articles, I will be building a Max-based guitar processing "rig", and will give you the opportunity to look over my shoulder as I design and implement this system.

  • It's great to see the way that Max/MSP crosses musical genres and also allows people to repurpose available (and maybe not so available) technology. Owen Grace has a band called The Guitar Zeros. He took the guitar controllers used for the Guitar Hero video games and wrote a Max/MSP patch interface that allows him utilize them as an expressive and innovative, stand alone instrument. The Guitar Zeros band currently has four players, a guitar controller player, a bass controller player, a 'real' drummer and a vocalist.

  • LFO Tutorial 1: The Zen of the Silent Patch

    I'm personally a lot more interested in the ability to synchronize processes in Max using time values that resemble musical note values to create control structures that can be easily time synced. This tutorial is about making one of those kinds of modules - a quartet of synchronized LFOs whose outputs I can sample individually for several kinds of data (triggers for waveform start, LFO outputs that I can sample at variably synchronized rates, and a nifty summed waveform I can use for more exotic kinds of control).

  • Freshening Up, Part 2

    When we left off in the last article, we had created a new color scheme and layout for our old patcher using presentation mode, translucency, improved color controls, and embedded hints. We could certainly leave this patch alone, but we're going to take the interface to another level, making it a little more interactive and interesting, while providing more intuitive controls. The techniques discussed here should open the door to much more fun and useful interface designs for your patches.

  • Re-purposing Plug-ins in Max 5

    As exporting plug-ins is not currently available for Max 5, we will look at another alternative in this article based on a new feature of the poly~ object, which allows you to dynamically load new abstractions without recompiling the DSP. To help users explore this new alternative, we will demonstrate different ways to convert a Pluggo-ready patch made with MaxMSP 4.6 into a patch that you can load as a poly~ abstraction.

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