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[ANN] bach: automated composer's helper

Dec 02 2010 | 2:36 am

A public alpha version of bach: automated composer’s helper is available.

bach is a library of more than 100 Max externals, abstractions and patches meant to provide a full system for algorithmic composition and musical representation, including high-level graphical objects for musical notation, new data types to support them and an extensive set of tools for manipulating those data types, which you might find interesting even if you are not a composer.

On the official website you can get more information about the project, and freely download the 0.2.1 public alpha for both Mac and Windows platforms.

We hope you will find bach useful and fun, and we look forward to know your opinions.

The bach team: Andrea Agostini and Daniele Ghisi

Dec 02 2010 | 2:51 am

Thanks Andrea.

This project is amazing.Congratulations!

Are you happy to have public discussion of it here, or do you have your own mailing list?



Dec 02 2010 | 9:59 am

this is, quite simply, game changing. completely unbelievable dream like news. i am lost for words.

Dec 02 2010 | 6:11 pm

i am happy to see some familiar processes there. :)

one of the things my own enviroment still lacks is prime testing, so
[] was the first thing i looked at.

it seems to work fine for 3 and 5 – but it stops working from 7 and above.

also, in a musical context a prime is an interval of 0 … so maybe another
name for that object would be cool. :)

one more comment:

as cool as the idea of sublists is for a closed project,
as complicated if not impossible does it make it to use the patches together
with custom work or other third party patches.

the same is true for the externals. there are 3 or 4 i would be interested in
if only they would be abstractions.
do you eventually have abstraction version the externals?
dont be afraid i am not going so far to aks for max4 patches :D but patches …

Dec 02 2010 | 9:24 pm

And again, my recent (house payment driven) poverty precludes me from an exciting new development max development.
No PPC version, no cash for a new Mac,
unhappy composer.

so sad,

cfb aka j2k

Dec 02 2010 | 11:10 pm

i´ve not yet gone the step myself , but i might do one day.

if i do it, it will be something with 4 or more PCI slots, but it should still
be possible do get that for about 1000-1500 euros.


Dec 02 2010 | 11:43 pm

This looks great guys. Only just starting to look at the possibilities here – I can imagine to have a full perspective on what can be done with this will take a long time.

I can also only marvel at the many many hours that must have gone into the score object alone…


I hate to bring this up, but is the intention to keep the license as it is for final release? I ask because I see this as potentially a really useful set of tools, but the noncommercial restriction is for me a potential issue. Are there any plans to allow commercial use somehow without gaining permission on an individual case by case basis?



Dec 03 2010 | 10:08 am

Thank you for your comments, and sorry for the delay.

@ Andrew: we do have a Google group, which was meant for communication among the very small group of people who had worked with bach before yesterday. But we’re having some trouble managing it, so I’m not really sure. I’d say that as long as people wants to talk about bach in the Max list it’s fine for us, at least for the moment.

@ Pizza and Charles: in fact, I don’t think there should be any intrinsic problem in compiling UBs for 10.4. I’ll let you know asap, and might ask you for some testing if this doesn’t bother you.

@ Roman: I can’t reproduce the bug you’re describing with What platform are you on? Are you sure that you have all the externals in the search path? A very important concept is that you can’t do a partial install – you must install the whole library to have it working. You might even crash Max if you don’t – this is a known bug that we’re fixing.
It is highly unlikely that we will rename our objects, because this would be very unconfortable for the existing user community, although small. But nothing prevents you to make a wrapper abstraction if you don’t like In this case, don’t forget to use [bach.portal @out p]!
About the data type, I can assure you that we have considered a lot of options and eventually we decided that a multi-level list was, by far, the best solution to achieve what we wanted. I don’t know what you’re trying to achieve, but in principle you have lots of possibility of make regular Max objects deal with the data you manipulate in bach: bach.iter, bach.collect, back.nth, bach.keys, bach.pick are only some possibilities. On the other hand, all the bach objects are completely compatible with regular Max messages and lists. In any case, feel free to post more detailed questions if you like.
Finally, the externals don’t have patch equivalents. Sorry…

@ Alex: we are not sure of how the licensing will evolve. What’s quite assured is that it will not become more restrictive than it already is. We are considering various possibilities, but in any case the license is unlikely to change in the near future. Feel free to contact us privately at feedback at bachproject dot net to discuss your specific needs.

@ Pid: thanks :)


Dec 03 2010 | 10:39 am

is it totally necessary to turn off native text rendering… i prefer it



Dec 03 2010 | 11:35 am

Hi Oli.

No, it might not be strictly necessary. On some machines, I have seen it not working properly, but for instance on my machine it does. It might depend on the OS version, we’re investigating this.

I’d suggest you to keep it the way you like better, and if you happen to see weird things try to change the setting.



Dec 03 2010 | 4:17 pm

Eventually, we have decided to set up a new forum for bach, at the address

Of course everyone is invited to join. From now on, that will be the preferred place for exchanging opinions, asking questions, submitting bugs and feature requests, etc.

We wait impatiently for you!

Andrea & Daniele

ps @ Andrew Pask: now that we have solved this issue it would be great to bring the discussions about bach to its own forum. Did your question about this mean that you can help us with that?
Thank you!

Dec 04 2010 | 1:06 am

that is maxmsp 5.1 on 10.4.11 PPC – yes i know, it says it is intel only …

but it works for 1,2,3,4 … only 5 and above it getting no results … strange thing.

Dec 05 2010 | 12:51 pm

Works! Wonderful! I am all ready planning uses in my personal work!
i have OsX10.5.8 on PPC G5 …it *all* seems to work so far.

again, this if excellent stuff, can’t wait to work some of these into my workflow, many meet needs i have long felt.

many thanks!

Mar 10 2011 | 3:51 am

when I try to open anything from Bach (extra, external, tuto), it make max crash (crash info : APPCRASH Kernell32.dll)
I’m running on vista 32, max 5.0
Anybody can help?!

Mar 10 2011 | 7:38 am

Hi Adiou.

bach only works on Max 5.1 or higher. Sorry…


Mar 18 2011 | 9:19 pm


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