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ANN: Max/MSP/Jitter Workshop in Berlin

Mar 04 2009 | 3:44 pm

Max/Msp/Jitter version 5: a Project-Oriented Workshop with Jeremy Bernstein, Peter Castine, and John Dekron.

Participant level: Beginners and Intermediate users.

Monday 30 March-Friday April 3 (Course Work)
11.00-19.00 daily with one hour lunch break
Final Presentation Friday April 3-5

Location: NK / ElsenStr. 52 (2.Hof) Berlin, Germany

Telephone: +49(0)176 20626386

Course Participation fee: 325 €
email to:

Please register early to ensure a place. Places are limited to 12


Participants are required to bring their own laptops with Max/MSP/Jitter installed. The demo version can be downloaded from <> and is fully functional in demo mode for up to 30 days after installation. Registered participants who require an extension of the demo period for the time up to and including the workshop can request this from the workshop organizer.

All participants must prepare for the workshop by completing Tutorials 1-14 included in the Max documentation, part of the download linked above. This will maximize the benefits of participating in this project-oriented workshop and is essential to achieve the goal of completing a working project in the course of one week. The final projects will be put on exhibition as an installation open for viewing on the weekend of April 3-5.

Max/MSP Topics:

We will rapidly move through the basics of the MaxMSP visual programming environment, answering any lingering questions of the participants (who are assumed to be mildly familiar with the system — they should have already worked through the first 14 tutorials) and getting everyone in the group up to speed with the essentials of patch construction, message passing, encapsulation, order of operations, data processing and so on.

Although MaxMSP is a large and complex set of building blocks, the construction of compact, understandable and (above all) useful patches is surprisingly simple. Within a couple of hours, participants should be comfortably creating basic patches and analyzing/modifying more complex existing patches to implement their ideas within the MaxMSP environment.

Jitter Topics:

Armed with the essentials, we’ll move right into visual data processing using the Jitter extensions to MaxMSP. Topics to be explored include still and moving image playback and processing, use of external controllers or user interface devices to influence playback and processing behaviors, direct pixel access and transcoding (conversion of Jitter data to "normal" MaxMSP data and vice versa), among others.

Jitter extends the data vocabulary of MaxMSP (integer & floating-point numbers, symbols, lists) to include a ‘matrix’ type: a table of numbers (think Excel spreadsheet). These tables can have several layers/planes and multiple dimensions, making them an ideal carrier for (among other things) frame-based media such as video or OpenGL (3D) vertex and texture data, text and audio analysis data. We’ll be taking a survey of the most important and typical uses of Jitter matrices, particularly as they can be applied to the group’s project.

Project Idea:

The core idea for the workshop project is to start from a small and simple video file–typically formatted 48×64 pixels, either monochrome (black-and-white) or 16 grays–and generate an acoustically interesting audio signal that will be used to encode and transmit the video to another computer. This will, in turn, use the video data to control simple everyday household electric devices.

Participants will need to bring at least one such household device with them. The device will be "operated" simply by opening and closing the power supply. It must be simple enough that its power switch can be left in the ‘on’ position, and electricity being turned on and off will control its operation. Possible devices: lamp, fan, portable electric grill or toaster, hair dryer, vacuum cleaner, power drill, older television. However, any device that automatically resets itself when power is cut off (most CD/DVD players and modern TVs do this) will not be suitable.

The devices may make a noise, produce light or heat, or create a smell. We want to involve as many senses in the installation as possible. Be imaginative.


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