guitar signal into maxmsp


    Oct 16 2006 | 5:48 pm
    hello.
    i am completely new to this program, but i have seen performances etc. evolving around max/msp - and i am amazed. extreme possibilites.
    so i was thinking, that i somehow must be able to get the signal from my guitar into max?
    i own an apple powerbook 15", and i was thinking that I need some sort of soundcard, in which the signal can go guitar > amp > soundcard > powerbook/max or guitar > soundcard > powerbook/max
    but would that work? what do i need?
    i am very basic here, so any help is appreciated. thanks in advance.

    • Oct 16 2006 | 7:01 pm
      Indeed, lots of potential.
      I've done all of those setups for years, which have their pros and cons.
      option 1a
      bass -> amp+cab -> (tuner out] -> soundcard -> PA
      option 1b
      bass -> amp+cab -> (tuner out] -> soundcard -> aux in of bassamp
      option 2a
      bass -> preamp ->fx loop send -> soundcard -> fx loop return -> amp
      option 2b
      bass -> soundcard -> preamp+amp+cab
      I can dissert on the pros and cons of each but later tomorrow. It is roughly down to noise floor and tone. If you are a true bypass boutique pedal guy, go for 1a!
      pa
    • Oct 16 2006 | 7:49 pm
      iAXE393 USB-Guitar The Ultimate Electric Guitar with Built-In USB Port to Connect Straight to Your Computer.
      :) hihi
    • Oct 16 2006 | 8:14 pm
      ah, no thank you with the usb guitar. cool idea though, but ill do with a regular electric guitar.
      # tremplab, the solutions sounds interesting, but i am not entirely sure what i need for it to work. 1a looks quite simple, but i do not know what PA is? and what do you mean by tuner out? tuner out = amp out?
      there is a amp out, actually it says headphones, but it's a signal out as far as i understand.
      but if all i need is a soundcard and i plug it in that way, will max/msp just be able to see it and manipulate the sound etc?
      thank you once again :)
    • Oct 16 2006 | 8:19 pm
    • Oct 16 2006 | 9:55 pm
      hi kasper.
      thank you for your answer.
      i have considered buying an m-audio audiophile usb soundcard, so if i bought that all i would need is the , for an example the behringer pb-100 - which is the preamp i should buy? i mean, do you recommend the pb-100? anyway, if i bought that, the signal would be:
      guitar > behringer pb-100 > m-audio audiophile usb > pb/max > soundcard > pa/amp
      right? and then it would (hopefully) work?
      pa/amp is my speakers/stereo amplifier (not guitar amplifier), right? i'm just not sure what PA means .. :)
      yet again, thanks for the fast and good answers.. :)
    • Oct 16 2006 | 9:56 pm
      And also :-) Guitar -> your powerbook's audio in ! No soundcard to buy! Jean-François.
    • Oct 16 2006 | 11:55 pm
      Jean-François Charles wrote:
      > And also :-) > Guitar -> your powerbook's audio in ! > No soundcard to buy!
      The guitar's output will need to be converted into a line-level signal at some point, so at a minimum you're going to need to put a direct box in between your guitar and your audio input.
      Personally, I'm using a Line 6 PodXT Live for this purpose, but that's likely overkill if you don't need the amp & FX modeling. I don't think it's possible to take an electric guitar's 1/4" output and plug it straight into the 1/8" stereo in on the Powerbook though. I mean, you can, but you're not likely to get a usable signal that way.
      cheers
      w
    • Oct 17 2006 | 4:15 am
    • Oct 17 2006 | 4:21 pm
      Try the instrument preamp on the RME Fireface 800 or Fireface 400. They have the best Amp simulator I have ever heard. It's awesome, beautifully sounding, with a limiter and also an activable heavy drive circuit. I use it currently for my clean guitar sound straight into Max Msp. Pod Xt or other stuff like that is crap. Get an RME FireFace if you want a real guitar sound.
      Carlo
      ----- Original Message ----- From: "isak" To: Sent: Monday, October 16, 2006 11:55 PM Subject: [maxmsp] Re: guitar signal into maxmsp
      > > hi kasper. > > thank you for your answer. > > i have considered buying an m-audio audiophile usb soundcard, so if i > bought that all i would need is the , for an example the behringer > pb-100 - which is the preamp i should buy? i mean, do you recommend the > pb-100? anyway, if i bought that, the signal would be: > > guitar > behringer pb-100 > m-audio audiophile usb > pb/max > soundcard > > pa/amp > > right? and then it would (hopefully) work? > > pa/amp is my speakers/stereo amplifier (not guitar amplifier), right? i'm > just not sure what PA means .. :) > > yet again, thanks for the fast and good answers.. :)
    • Oct 17 2006 | 5:10 pm
      >Try the instrument preamp on the RME Fireface 800 or Fireface 400. >They have the best Amp simulator I have ever heard. >It's awesome, beautifully sounding, with a limiter and also an >activable heavy drive circuit. I use it currently for my clean >guitar sound straight into Max Msp.
      hi
      so..... I know (even if i never tested it) than there is an amp simulator on the input 1 of the fireface 800.
      but as far as fireface 400 goes i read only ONCE, and it was in a french ad run by a shop than the inputs 3 & 4 had the same amp simulators - I downloadede the FFace 400 english manual (pdf - from RME site) and they don't speak about it
      so can you confirm than the FFace 400 has the amp sims (+ distortion) on inputs 3 & 4 ????
      what's more it _seems_ you can use midi to control the internal DSP of the FFace 400 (which once, in os9, was possible with a set of max objects - but never ported to OSX) - is it true??
      _for instance - can I (by midi, which means from inside max) activate the distortion of the FFace?? - or route an input (say dac~ 1) of max to one of the different outs of the card (which would allow for a spatialisation effect - at least pan effect - running on the dsp of the card and not of the computer) ???
      any info is very welcome
      __as for the criticism of the emulations of the pod family - i totally agree... i was once trying them only to realise I had an ampeg and a marshall (real stuff) facing me - then i tried an A/B test _ then i stopped using the POD
      best
      kasper -- Kasper T. Toeplitz noise, composition, bass, computer http://www.sleazeArt.com
    • Oct 17 2006 | 6:26 pm
      Carlo Laurenzi wrote:
      > Pod Xt or other stuff like that is crap. Get an RME FireFace if you want > a real guitar sound.
      Since this is ostensibly the Max/MSP list, and not the "getting a guitar sound into your computer so you can process it with software" list, I'll try and keep my comments short.
      I find it interesting how so often hardware discussions will devolve into the "anything less than a high-priced piece of gear is crap" argument. IMHO, buying a Fireface for the sole purposes of getting a guitar signal into your computer is overkill. If you want the absolute cheapest way, buy the cheapest direct box you can find, and run a cable with an 1/8" stereo mini on one end from the direct box into your Powerbook. I think you can get direct boxes for as cheap as $19.00.
      It's ridiculous to suggest to someone that, in the original context of the post ("guitar signal into maxmsp"), they go out and buy a $1000+ audio interface so they can get a "real guitar sound". I'm presuming that the whole purpose of sending the signal to Max is so you can make it NOT sound like a "real guitar sound".
      All that being said, whether or not the Line 6 Pods are crap or not is a pretty subjective opinion. If your goal is authenticity, then by all means go out and spend $2100 on an Orange amp or $1100 on a Fender Twin. If you've got the money and a room to put it in, more power to you.
      For those of us with more limited resources (and I'll assume the original poster is in that category), the Line 6 PodXT Live is a decent alternative, especially for the $345 (new) I spent. I wanted something that would do good-enough amp modeling & FX without needing to be connected to the computer; have knobs & a pedal; upgradeable firmware; a software editor; and a USB interface for easy connection to the computer.
      The PodXT filled all those needs in spades, and to my ears, it sounds great, especially for less than $350. For a somewhat more objective opinion on the Pod XT, try SOS's review (spoiler: they come to a similar conclusion):
      Denigrating what someone else uses because it doesn't fulfill your personal needs doesn't add a whole lot to the discussion. Since my advocacy of the Pods also doesn't add a whole lot to the Max list discussion, I'll stop now. :-)
      cheers
      w
    • Oct 17 2006 | 7:23 pm
      Dear Wallace and all
      You commentary brings back an old dilema which is good for all real- time processing.
      In one corner, I have my idea that everything colours my bass sound, and that is why I spend big money to key my signal chain as clear as possible. I have not practive my instrument 10000+ hours to loose my right hand dynamic into a crap converter. This is why my crazy processing (attack detecting -> buffer shuffling -> distortion -> eenvelop following -> variable delays -> etc) usualy come from an fx loop of my hi quality Eden preamp.
      In the other corner, I want to get as simply as possible in my machine. From this point of view, I have use my favourite bass DI (sansamp) straignt into my MOTU. In some performances, it is simply this no-overkill-let's-rock approach that suit the rality the most. But I would never record an album with this setup, following the wonderful rule once said by Yoda I think:
      Shit in, shit out.
      Or in more polite words: if in an improvisation I suddenly want my clean sound, it will never be as beautiful and transparent than not going by an unused ADC-DAC stage.
      -- I think the bottom line is to assess the portability/output quality ratio of each case: going to a PA in a free jazz club is not a discriminating sound quality environement, so use the KISS rule. Recording in studio is someting else.
      pa
    • Oct 17 2006 | 9:30 pm
      Pierre Alexandre Tremblay wrote:
      > In one corner, I have my idea that everything colours my bass sound ... > In the other corner, I want to get as simply as possible in my > machine. ... > Shit in, shit out.
      And in another corner, the budget-minded hobbyist who is not a professional musician who simply wants to plug their guitar into their laptop and process the signal. Believe it or not, this kind of user likely comprises the bulk of this, and most other, like-minded communities. It's also likely that the sort of person who will ask a generalized question like "How can I process my guitar with Max?" is not the same sort of person who doesn't blink at dropping $850 on a bass preamplifier.
      My point is, when we are engaging in discussions on this list, our answers should try to make some assumptions about who is asking the question. Max users come from all walks of life, and only a small percentage make their living from music and will know (or even be able to hear) the difference between an Eden preamp and a Sansamp DI box.
      cheers
      w
    • Oct 17 2006 | 10:20 pm
      Dear all
      I half appologise for my elitist-ish answer.
      The half that apologise is the one that, you are right W., never thought this question was maybe not sent by a pro. There is probably two reason for this, one is because I am a selfish person, but mainly because I heard some pro international level musician asking me the same question very often.
      The half that does not apologise is the one that was told one day by someone half-joking that if I could not hear the difference between 32kHz and 44.1kHz sampling rate I did not deserve my degree. First, I thought he was a twat. Then, I listen back, and improve my discriminating listening. The same goes for true-bypass pedal, converters, and psychoacoustic. I really think that if the level of my answer is over the head of the person who ask, I hope he will ask more details after doing some research. Or it might interest someone else.
      I was, in fact, very interested by Kasper's pedal preamp. Trusting is judgement, I will give it a listen, going over my prejudice on the usual bad quality of the 3746284 other pedals I have tried in the past. So this discussion is interesting at different level for different people.
      Anyway, I might just shut up next time.
      pa
    • Oct 18 2006 | 1:12 am
      Pierre Alexandre Tremblay wrote:
      > I half appologise for my elitist-ish answer. ... > I really think that if the level of my > answer is over the head of the person who ask, I hope he will ask more > details after doing some research. Or it might interest someone else.
      It's not so much about elitism -- although there's definitely a good discussion to be had about the effect of cheaper DAC/ADCs on signal processing accuracy, one that I am sure would quickly go over my head.
      My bigger point (one that, with this email, will be thoroughly beaten into the ground) is that there's a tendency, on every audio production community I participate in, to suggest the very best, cost-is-no-object solution when a much more humble offering would suffice. This observation applies to more than just hardware, too. All too often I see simple questions asked and answers with overtly-complicated solutions returned.
      Sometimes the shortest distance between point A and point B really IS a straight line!
      So rather than see my comments as a slam on self-described elitism, it's more a suggestion to the community at large to think a little bit more about what question is being asked.
      cheers
      w
    • Oct 18 2006 | 3:21 pm
      Hi, amp simulator (+ distortion) for pickupped instruments is only in input 1 (front; rear input 1 is a line input), both for RME FireFace 800 and 400. You can't activate distortion from inside max, but thanks to the Dsp Totalmix from RME you can route an input signal into multiple outputs (FF800 has 28 outs, in different formats; 12 analog outs) for spatialization purposes. Totalmix faders and buttons can also be controlled with a midi mixer, like those made by mackie, behringer etc.. I have a Twin Amp and a Gibson 335: excellent combination, but sometimes I use a setup based only on my Powerbook, FireFace 800 (instrument input 1), MaxMsp, some midi controllers, than straight to mix console. The sound is excellent as well, the only thing I need to use is a buffer pedal (voltage boost) to compensate signal loss from the unbalanced cable of the guitar (unbalanced cables suffer from signal loss if they are longer than 1 meter). My next purchase will be a good in-ear monitor system to connect to another couple of outputs of my FF 800: no need for wedge monitors anymore, and, moreover, I'll be controlling the volume of my monitor myself. bye
      Carlo
    • Oct 18 2006 | 3:50 pm
      hi
      thanks for your answer
      however, it seems (just guessing looking at the pictures) than:
      > >amp simulator (+ distortion) for pickupped instruments is only in >input 1 (front; rear input 1 is a line input), both for RME FireFace >800 and 400.
      when this is most certainly true for FFace 800, The 400 has its input 1 & 2 being only on the front and being mic/line, and 3 & 4, only on the front as well, but jacks only and able to be switched from inst/line.
      on one french site (http://www.playback.fr/rme-fireface_400-10893.html ) they claim than those 2 inputs ( 3 4 ) can have an amp + disto emulation. The RME docs do not mention it. I thought is was just an error in the ad, but since you say the 400 also has an amp emulation....
      >You can't activate distortion from inside max, but thanks to the Dsp >Totalmix from RME you can route an input signal into multiple >outputs (FF800 has 28 outs, in different formats; 12 analog outs) >for spatialization purposes. Totalmix faders and buttons can also be >controlled with a midi mixer, like those made by mackie, behringer >etc..
      since you can control dsp Totalmix by a mixer ( i understand a midid mixer, right ??) so it should be possible to control this from max.... i belive...
      > the only thing I need to use is a buffer pedal (voltage boost) to >compensate signal loss from the unbalanced cable of the guitar
      which buffer pedal do you use??
      many thanks
      best
      kasper -- Kasper T. Toeplitz noise, composition, bass, computer http://www.sleazeArt.com
    • Oct 19 2006 | 10:28 pm
      Hi, it seems from RME web site that only Fireface 800 has a dedicated input for pickupped instruments. So, there are no speaker simulator and limiter circuit or distortion on Fireface 400. Sorry, I was wrong.. As regards Totalmix, it's not possible to control it from Max, because Max bypasses it, as it happens for any other audio application (which isn't set for Asio direct monitoring). However you don't have any need for that, because it's possible to control all the inputs and outputs levels and pans from inside Max, using any suitable midi device. The pedal buffer I use for the guitar is called BS2 Guitar Audio Buffer/Splitter, from Axess Electronics, Canada. Bye.
      Carlo
    • Oct 19 2006 | 11:31 pm
      For the record, ASIO direct monitoring is implemented in MaxMSP's Windows ASIO driver. It's up to each hardware driver to take any notice of it.
      The Fireface uses Mackie Control Protocol the last time I looked, so if it's going to be controlled by a MIDI device, the device has to support that.
      -A
    • Oct 20 2006 | 5:56 pm
      One can control a fireface with a midi device (I mean, control Totalmix), but AFAIK it's not convenient to control totalmix from inside Max using direct monitoring mode. This because direct monitoring bypasses real time manipulation of sound, which is what one is supposed to do within Max.
      Carlo
      ----- Original Message ----- From: "Andrew Pask" To: Sent: Friday, October 20, 2006 1:31 AM Subject: [maxmsp] Re: Re: guitar signal into maxmsp
      > > > > For the record, ASIO direct monitoring is implemented in MaxMSP's Windows > ASIO driver. It's up to each hardware driver to take any notice of it. > > The Fireface uses Mackie Control Protocol the last time I looked, so if > it's going to be controlled by a MIDI device, the device has to support > that. > > -A