Combining Circuitry and Max/MSP


    May 27 2007 | 4:18 pm
    So Im getting back into working with analogue circuitree (so much like max its uncanny how easy it was to get back into after years of maxing) making synth circuits and circuit bending and the like. Im curious if anyone has done experiments combining the two. My end target is to do installations involving digital and analogue sound, sensors, video projections, cameras, interactivity, spatial sound distribution, responsive sculpture, and all that wonderful futuristic jazz. Im curious if I should get something like a Making things Teleo, Miditron, Arduno (spelling?) or the like. Has anyone with experience in this have advice as to whats a good way to translate digital signals to voltages and vice versa. Ive also seen this thing at highlyliquid that does 100k linear voltage "potentiometer emulation"
    "the more technology advances, the more it becomes like magic"

    • May 27 2007 | 4:41 pm
      Although they're more widely used in Europe [in
      particular, in the Netherlands, in my limited
      experience] than I've seen in the States, the
      phidgets people also do well - in particular,
      their integration with Max is quite nice.
    • May 27 2007 | 5:39 pm
    • May 27 2007 | 10:36 pm
      can they do the inverse? Convert digital signals into voltage? I was hoping for something thats not too much of a time investment, but doesn't have to be plug and play either. Bluetooth seems like a great way to go. I have an infusion systems icubex microdig, which is really sweet for using sensors, but I need something more cost effective that is also capable of controlling motors and leds (hopefully lots of them, upwards of say 50-100 leds/lights/motors)
    • May 27 2007 | 11:41 pm
      the miditron converts up to 19 digital outs lines into analog, 0 to 5 volts,
      using pwm, for a circuit bender to have 19 parameters seems to cover
      thespectrum, havent contolled my moogerfoogers with it yet though, but as
      far as lights and motors pwm does what you want, there are mircoprocessor
      chips I used in computer art class that turned one out port into into 5
      outports using some multiplex timeshareing
    • May 28 2007 | 1:58 am
      On 28.05.2007, at 00:36, Nicholas C. Raftis III wrote:
      >
      > can they do the inverse? Convert digital signals into voltage? I
      > was hoping for something thats not too much of a time investment,
      > but doesn't have to be plug and play either. Bluetooth seems like
      > a great way to go. I have an infusion systems icubex microdig,
      > which is really sweet for using sensors, but I need something more
      > cost effective that is also capable of controlling motors and leds
      > (hopefully lots of them, upwards of say 50-100 leds/lights/motors)
      well, my gluion ain't cheap, but if you need to control that many
      motors it might be cost effective. Up to 66 PWM signals are possible
      (all 16bit at 300Hz). Matrices with many more LEDs are possible.
      glui.de?jump=gluion
      let me know if you have questions,
      Sukandar
      > --
      > -=ili!ili=- www.Axiom-Crux.net -=ili!ili=-
    • May 28 2007 | 8:21 pm
      wicked thanks Derek, that sounds like it may be a good way to go. Ill look more into it.
    • May 29 2007 | 4:20 am
      I have also found the AVR line of microcontrollers to be particularly
      well-suited for those of us who aren't going to be making a living doing
      embedded systems design. The development tools are all free, and they
      use the GCC compiler. There is even an open-source Mac/Linux toolchain
      but I am not brave enough to venture there. The programmers are pretty
      cheap, and some people just use a hacked parallel cable. Also Atmel
      sells a variety of chips with specific sets of peripherals for different
      applications. It is pretty easy to create a device that communicates
      via MIDI or serial interface.
      My only warning is that you will need to spend some time to learn
      entry-level C programming and brush up on your bitwise operations. On
      the other hand, if you are going to be building really large-scale
      systems with a lot of components, it will be a lot cheaper to get into
      doing your own low-level hardware programming.
      If you are looking for an affordable, and relatively painless solution,
      the Arduino board is really popular these days and readily communicates
      with Max using the serial object.
      good luck.
      AB
    • Jul 03 2007 | 5:36 pm
      With the I-CubeX microDig you can actually control output devices as well through its I2C interface (daisy-chainable so you can control many devices with one microDig) - ask us about it. And we're doing a time-limited, targeted promotion right now for the StarterPack for US$199 (not listed on the website but mention "Cycler" in the order comments box).
      Just in case you wanted to go wireless, try the thumb-sized Wi-microDig sold in the Wi-microSystem package together with a rechargeable BatteryPack for US$599. The Wi-microDig can also control output devices through its I2C interface. Due to its use of Bluetooth it transmits at 115 kbs so the sampling rate goes upto 800 Hz for each of the 8 channels (with 8 channels sampling) - for just one channel the sampling rate can go much higher than Max/MSP can handle (due its 1 ms internal scheduler for control signals).
      Both interfaces use an Atmel chip by the way and their firmwares can be updated. If you wanted to do your own firmware for it, get in touch with us at tech@icubex.com. The interfaces also have a small prototyping area where you can add your own sensor circuitry (if our sensors don't suffice ... ).