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 out. 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! cheers Roger
    • 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