How Easy / Difficult is it to make a Max4Live Patch To Edit The Oberheim OB-8?

    Jan 28 2013 | 3:58 pm
    I've not used Max4Live before but was wondering how difficult it would be to create a max4live midi editor (or modify an existing one). I got the idea after seeing that midiquest did an OB-8 editor and saw max4live ones like:
    Something like this but with a background Oberheim SEM style GUI I could do in photoshop and a knob / button for every parameter?
    If anyone could give me any tips, advice or help with this would be superb. Thanks

    • Jan 28 2013 | 6:44 pm
      Hello, I am not an expert. But I can give you my return on experience: I wanted to make a drum sequencer, fun to use and practical in my live cts. I looked at the M4L skinner box patch and I'd love their sequencer. the issue is their sequencer was connected to their own sound modules. I wanted to use their sequencer connected to a drum rack... so I had to modify their patch and modify it according to my needs.
      I tell you this as I guess you are in the same "shape"... and my first advice would be to find a patch that looks like what you are trying to reach...
      Look at the Moog Minitaur patch (unfreeze it, look at the dependencies, bla bla) and try to learn from it. Copy it, and start changing the NRPN messages or MIDI CC code sent to the minitaur to match the one of OB-8. make some tests.... enjoy.
      Next, once you have a "simple" patch working, you can either: - continue to improve your patch but you don't look at the look and feel, no pictures ... - either you are happy with your "simple" patch and you go to photoshop (better GIMP) and you create a nice background.
      I advice you to use the ableton live buttons and knob (Live.dial, etc). you can change the colors, etc. you will be not dependent of your pictures if you use live knobs and buttons.
      final advice, try to use live buttons and live dial that can be midi mapped into ableton live :-) like this you can add a lidi controller :-)
      I don't know if I answered to your question but I hope it helped a bit! :-)
    • Jan 28 2013 | 7:29 pm
      Yes thanks. Thats the kind of thing I was thinking of doing. Max keeps on crashing on me. Managed to open the minitaur patch and unfreeze it but then i havent got a clue. The photoshop bit should be fine. Just the max bit that worries me haha. Are there any easy tutorials for making m4l midi editors?
    • Jan 28 2013 | 8:14 pm
      hum, no real tutorials on a full midi editor. You will find smaller patches that you have to associate to make a "bigger" patch. many exemples can be found in the MAX help...
      You need to learn either by practicing, meaning that you open the patch, unfreeze and make changes into the patch... then you check what are the results. the next possibility is to buy a book...
      it took me long to understand M4L , and I am still learning, I am missing a lot of concepts behind M4L... in fact, I learn by practicing, this why the learning is slower... but I enjoy, I learn step by step... I am however facing many frustation.. I should read the documentation more often!
      if you can't get a book, I guess that you should really look at minitaur function... you write down what you what to do in terms of function (not programming, just describe general functions). then try to find in the minitaur patch similar function, open the patch, catch the modules that are dedicated to this function and learn from it ;-)
      but but the best is to design your functions, then check with a book or max for live tutorials to find some exemples. ask also question in this forum :-)
      for instance, I asked several question and people helped me, next, they gave me some modules names and I look at the max for live HELP... and found many exemples.
      hope it helps :-)
      I don't know books... so if someone can give us a link? Next, I know that if you go on "community" in the menu of this forum, you get toolbox, wiki (big exemples), etc... this can help as well.
      good luck!
    • Jan 28 2013 | 8:51 pm
      Just a thought, but will the lack of support for sysex in Live impact your project in any way?
    • Jan 28 2013 | 9:05 pm
      yeap, very good question!
    • Jan 28 2013 | 9:13 pm
      I thought it would just be a case of adding a few knobs and switches drag and drop and then changing cc numbers and labels. I didn't really want to get into the whole max programming thing just for one simple editor.
    • Jan 28 2013 | 10:21 pm
      There is some nice midi control patch like the "externalmidicontrol".. does this kind of stuff could help you? check the OB-8 documentation for CC control or sysex (but on sysex I am not competent)
    • Jan 28 2013 | 11:22 pm
      The thing with OB-8 is i'm not sure about it's midi CC - it was implemented after release as a kind of manfacturer retro-fit so not all units got it - it was perhaps more of an afterthought. Therefore there's no real info in the manual about it at all. I can't find anyone who knows about it's midi CC capabilities - even Tom Oberheim didn't know. It might be that it's more a case of note on off really.
      I got the idea that it must have midi CCs for everything after seeing this soundquest midiquest oberheim editor Someone i spoke to suggested that it might be a sysex kind of thing where you set a patch and then have to import it rather than giving you any kind of live midi control. So i'm really not sure of the ob8s midi capabilities.
    • Jan 28 2013 | 11:37 pm
      This,. then, is your first hurdle.
      I know nothing about the OB-8 I must confess - but gear of that vintage might be expected to respond to a few CCs, possibly some NRPNs for realtime control of a few parameters, with MIDI Sysex to address stuff that's not supposed to be tweaked in realtime (for whatever reason, usually lack ofprocessing grunt).
      I only brought it up because you said "editor" and not "controller" - it's just nomenclature (!) I know, but an editor might be expected to address the device fully whereas a controller might not.
      By any chance do you own or have access to an iPad or other iThing? I'm aware of some Oberheim controller / editors built for Lemur (sadly not an OB-8 specifically but perhaps the people who made them might have some good pointers for you) along with some good MIDI tools (NRPN Testset for instance).
    • Jan 29 2013 | 7:42 pm
      >I didn't really want to get into the whole max programming thing just for one simple editor.
      if it were that simple there'd already be one.
    • Jan 31 2013 | 3:49 pm
      Can't be sure for the OB8 because I don't have the doc but I made a template for my X Station novation and cubase on atari (yeah, that existed once upon a time) for the matrix 1000 and all was sysex, absolutly no CC implementation. So the first thing is to understand the structure of the message to send (at least the matrix 1000 manual didn't make it really clear...).
    • Feb 01 2013 | 3:13 pm
      well i know fuck all about max4live (at the moment) but i do know having read around that although it is possible to bypass Live's Sysex filtering it makes it more complex and is very much a workaround. I also know that just because it's in syquest doesn't mean it uses CC's. Many hardware synths (about 1/2 of those I have owned - 10 out of twenty or so) only have sysex implementation. No CC's implementation. There has always been exceptions (Sequential Circuits for example - but then he invented midi !) My gut feel is that you will be looking at sysex implementation. My limited understanding is that this is akin to CC numbers in several respects (in that individual hexidecimal numbers relate to specific functions) but that it is often more complex (because it doesn't have to be constrained by 128 parameters)
    • Feb 02 2013 | 7:19 pm
      The structure of the message is much more complex. Once you got it, you just have to adapt it to each parameter.
    • Feb 04 2013 | 10:25 am
      ^ Sysex, allegedly?
      (OS X-only)
      ^ Workaround for Windows, courtesy of GTZ.
      Not tested any of these, presume they work as advertised however.