Advice on focused Max study

    Mar 28 2006 | 6:20 am
    Beginning in April, I'm going to be taking on self-directed studies
    in Max/MSP at the undergraduate level. It's going to be a full credit
    load endeavor, maybe supplemented with the odd Ableton composition
    here and there, so I intend to spend a lot of time with Max.
    Currently, I have a basic grounding in programming (C++), and
    extensive background in digital audio / composition. This'll be my
    first formal experience with Max/MSP, though definitely not my last.
    I guess I'm just a bit overwhelmed at the moment, and I'd love to
    hear any advice anyone would be willing to offer, so I might spend
    the next couple as effectively as possible. What are some good
    beginner - intermediate resources? What might be some realistic goals
    for a period of this length / intensity (I'd like to aim high)?
    Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated!

    • Mar 28 2006 | 7:40 am
      You will probably hear this repeated quite often here,
      but Max/MSP comes with some of the best documentation
      & tutorials ever; just do it all, starting at Max tut.
      1, and work through all the Max tuts before starting
      on the MSP stuff.
      Second (and there's no reason why this can't run
      concurrently with the tuts, even if things don't make
      a great deal of sense at first), read this list every
      day - I'd reccommend subscribing to the 'mail version
      for this - and copy/paste every single patch anyone
      ever posts here. Anything that starts with a '#P' and
      ends in a 'copycount x;' , just copy, and select 'New
      >From Clipboard' in Max and see if you can figure it
      Studying other people's patches, no matter how simple,
      is a really useful exercise, because there are so many
      different ways of doing things in Max, that you can
      always learn something from seeing how someone else
      would approach each problem.
      Best of luck with it, and be warned, Maxing can be
      highly addictive!
    • Mar 28 2006 | 5:00 pm
      Really, really learn the control rate stuff. This is a great time to
      get a printed out copy of the Max reference and start going through the
      docs, as there's lots of useful messages there that aren't in the
      helpfiles. Particularly, look at objects for handling large amounts of
      data, such as coll, table, vexpr, zl, and the jitter objects. Also,
      practice using trigger for order-forcing and type conversion. If you
      can do interesting things at the control-rate, the audio-rate stuff is
      much easier.
      Peter McCulloch
    • Mar 28 2006 | 5:08 pm
      another thing i would like to add,as obviously you can't learn everything at ounce, what helped me most in my learning curve ( which actually never stops...:) ) is to learn through projects.
      give yourself little projects you want to achieve, that way you will get to know the objects you need and explore the approaches for each problem.
      having a goal through a project , i find was for me the best and quickest way to learn this multifacetted software.
      i would also advice to try to go to workshops if you can afford it, you always make great connections and discover a diversity of possibilities within max/msp/jitter/softvns/etc...
      good luck and welcome