Automatic Beat Generator
Hello, I’ve just started using Max and I’m still working through the tutorials. I’m at about #30.
In one of the previous tutorials there was a patch that did the following
- Took in a CTLNIN object and connected it to a speedlim
– It then went to noteout
I’m using a variation of this patch to trigger drums to a sampler. It’s been giving me extremely interesting results, but what i’m really looking to do is make drumbeats that are really dynamic. Something that mimics the likes of squarepusher. I’ve tried many different variations, but still it sounds like the same old patch. Does anybody have any ideas?
check out nick collins supercollider work.
more specifically the bbcut code.
or atau’s relooper patch (ModSquadRedux.pat) in the examples folder /sequencing-looping/modsquad
these examples deal with this using actual audio samples.
however the principle is the same if u want it to send midi notes, u just have to adapt the patch to ur needs…
i think squarepusher plays his beats in live and then tightens jams in a sequencer. you cant just generate that stuff. you can control every parameter, but it always comes down to the decisions you make as a human, what sounds good….i’ve heard some pretty mental stuff done with wave editors.
i’ve seen him play live, and a big part of what he does is drumming
out beats on his bass and filtering them live to sound like drumbeats.
he’s an amazing musician, although i wouldn’t rule out complex beat
programming on his part.
See also 2dwave~ and stutter~.
There’s a great example of using 2dwave~ at
http://www.pelado.co.uk (the decimator patch) and you can get
some nice Squarepusherish effects by triggering
stutter~ with bonk~ or simliar objects.
However, the bad news is that there is probably no
substitute for serious and intelligent cut n’ pasting
in a wave editor. I forget where I’ve seen it, but
there is evidence to suggest that Squarepusher
actually works things out [i]on paper[/i]!
humans are overrated ; )
i just found this http://www.recordlabelrecords.org/ae.html
Quote: bin wrote on Mon, 19 June 2006 06:37
> i think squarepusher plays his beats in live and then tightens jams in a sequencer. you cant just generate that stuff. you can control every parameter, but it always comes down to the decisions you make as a human, what sounds good….i’ve heard some pretty mental stuff done with wave editors.
hey, by the way, don’t know who’s pelado, but great things out there !
p.decimator is really great, very clean, and p.storage rocks. Thanks mr.
f.e chanfrault | aka | personal computer music
> >>>>>> http://www.personal-computer-music.com
> >>>>>> |sublime music for a desperate people|
… unfortunately, but for this time, there are some real patches out
there. Not boring to take a look at.
Yes, I meant to say this when Mr. Pelado announced
these recently, and particularly in the light of
recent posts about sharing patches – these patches are
an excellent example of nicely annotated patches that
are easy on the eye, and thus easy to follow
Quote: f.e wrote on Mon, 19 June 2006 08:21
> … unfortunately, but for this time, there are some real patches out
yes, they’re quite alright, i didn’t want to start another ae thread.
the pelado patches are great too….
>> humans are overrated ; )
which is why it is a useless attempt to try to sound
like squarepusher by making a squarepusher patch and
squarepushing it from its start button.
the origin of music is music, it only pretend to be made
by machines – or humans.
if you think music like squarepushers is going to make itself for you, or any music for that matter, then youre most likely hopeless
you guys are acting like fucking morons.
This guy asked how to make a probability based sample editor.
And you guys decided to make it an assfest about who can sound like what,
drummachines have no soul and all that bullshit.
There are a ton of plugins that already do this and there is a great patch
that is included with the examples…
ModSquadRedux…its a good place to check and see how someone else
approached a similar idea.
I use this stuff to prevent myself from passing out from repetition, not
just to "sound like squarepusher," but even if papermesh described that
broken beat sound that way, what gives any of you dicks the right to come
down on him?
What is this, the Live forums?
Ok, you’re not ALLL acting like morons…
This thread just degraded REALLY fast!
thanks computo..i knew i was going to get flamed when i posted this message…i should’ve been more clear about what i was trying to do…im not looking to sound like squarepusher…..it’s hard to describe what im trying to generate…..i think i’ll have to learn max more before i can implement and express my ideas…but generally something that produces
1. realistic ghost notes for filler
2. the other notes(accent) should be edited with a table linked to a sampler
next time i wont post "squarepusher" topics in an elitist forum….thanks for the warm welcome :)
>if you think music like squarepushers is going to make itself for
>you, or any music for that matter, then youre most likely hopeless
I dream about musique without musicians…
the listener make the musik…
algorythmic generated sound like 3 color automaton and somecapteurs around?
you can hear more species than frogs and dragonflii in emperor
protected natural garden.
noise from nature(cascade, wind,blitz,cigales…) and pure chaos
computationalist generated musik can be refreshing shower for hear
and shampoo for head than "musician" human-self expressing is
pascal baes wrote:
>> if you think music like squarepushers is going to make itself for
>> you, or any music for that matter, then youre most likely hopeless
> I dream about musique without musicians…
> the listener make the musik…
> algorythmic generated sound like 3 color automaton and somecapteurs
> you can hear more species than frogs and dragonflii in emperor
> protected natural garden.
> noise from nature(cascade, wind,blitz,cigales…) and pure chaos
> computationalist generated musik can be refreshing shower for hear and
> shampoo for head than "musician" human-self expressing is virtuosity.
I was not sure but now i am : we got a new Zsolt !
did you check all the links to patches? i thought you got quite some answers, though not really squarepusher.
Quote: papermesh wrote on Wed, 21 June 2006 23:37
>im not looking to sound like squarepusher…..it’s hard to >describe what im trying to generate…..
it’s a goood description for the type of sound, which certainly can be generated with max, but you’ll have to do some editing.
>i think i’ll have to learn max more before i can implement >and express my ideas…but generally something that produces
do some searches on algorithmic composition essays, sometimes boring, but for example the nic collins’ stuff as mentioned above, will give you hindsight, then you can adapt the ideas.
> next time i wont post "squarepusher" topics in an elitist forum….thanks for the warm welcome :)
well of course it’s elitist. max is elitist, it has an academic background. squarepusher is elitist too.
sorry i can’t offer specific help, percussion is hard. but, i’m investigationg it too, so post your patch with the elite for some shared fun if you find anything ; )
I think he meant that a lot of the people on this list are elitist. Not
the actual software.
On Jun 22, 2006, at 12:15 PM, vade wrote:
Quote: Bjorn Vayner wrote on Thu, 22 June 2006 09:26
> Quote: firstname.lastname@example.org wrote on Wed, 21 June 2006 22:00
> > What is this, the Live forums?
> :) Good one ;)
I hear ya, Computo. hear ya.
Up until now I love the fact that I’m *not* getting squarepusher sounds from MSP (with relatively simple test-patches), since all my algo’s and interfaces are from scratch, so they have their own intricacies. Besides, if I wanted to do that sort of stuff I’d load up LiveCut.
Quote: vade wrote on Thu, 22 June 2006 10:15
> how is squarepusher elitist?
> how is max elitist?
> fuck that noise.
seriously off topic now, so please ignore, but i have some explaining to do…
i don’t mean elitist in the way that the elite excludes other people, but that in practice, this is the case.
max is (and maxers are) elitist because:
-it was developed in a university/conservatory context,
so it’s academic. only elite groups are academic.
-it’s hard to use (compared to things like FL, reason,cubase), which limits it to the elite. everybody on here nows the gasps of admiration if you even mention max to some people.
showing a patch sometimes makes you look like a prophet, like in the autechre interview.
i don’t like that, but that’s the way people react.
i mean, the guy from the gas station may be using garage band to knock out some tunes -which i think is great btw- that doesn’t mean he would ever attempt using max, probably won’t even know it. it’s not a real alternative.
-it’s used in technological high art, which by it’s very nature is limited to knowledgeable people. high art is already up there, adding high tech makes it even worse.
that said, good art can always appeal to broad groups of people, especially interactive art.
and then squarepusher is one of the people (like afx and autechre) who took dance music and started mixing it with experimental elements, using techniques that before were limited to classical experimental styles.
unlike kraftwerk, it didn’t get introduced in normal popular culture, but joined the underground alternative crowd -which is an elite group too- with the classical experimentalists.
i like that, a hybrid group of music and music lovers, joined by some of their tools and tastes, but i do believe it’s an elitist thing.
to add, i live in china at the moment. on a population of 1.3 billion, there are quite a few people who listen to and make dance music.
my friends told me that there are only 2 (!) chinese in mainland china who are good with max, and a couple dozen in early learning stages. and they are not the sons of taxi drivers or construction workers…
so yeah, i think it’s very elitist, but not necessarily in a bad way, it wuld eb nice if it would change, but i think it won’t.
> thanks computo..i knew i was going to get flamed when i posted this
> message…i should’ve been more clear about what i was trying to
> do…im not looking to sound like squarepusher…..it’s hard to
> describe what im trying to generate…..i think i’ll have to learn
> max more before i can implement and express my ideas…but generally
> something that produces
You are welcome, and thanks for pointing to some music, as I never heard
about squarepusher, just makes me wonder even if I’d not like it…
> 1. realistic ghost notes for filler
> 2. the other notes(accent) should be edited with a table linked to a
You are on the right track, its about algorithmic music which can be
very expressive as soon you put some playable controls on it. And yes
you have to learn Max by heart if you go that route, its fun though and
only your own imagination is the limit
> next time i wont post "squarepusher" topics in an elitist
> forum….thanks for the warm welcome :)
Keep on posting (including pushsquares), I kind of like some of the
flames, because it helps to get our own (wrong) assumptions sorted out,
the only thing I don’t like is, if we start to call us dicks and alike,
though it might be true, there are also women on the list…. ;-)
Sometimes it might be necessary to protect new members, but I think it
works better to encourage them, than to flame against other members.
But keep flaming against concepts please, its a big difference…
> I was not sure but now i am : we got a new Zsolt !
No Zolt wasn’t dreaming, he had a fixed idea of how the (Max)world
should be, its more the opposite of that….
On 23-Jun-2006, at 6:52, junior wrote:
> my friends told me that there are only 2 (!) chinese in mainland
> china who are good with max, and a couple dozen in early learning
There are a lot more than two Chinese interested in Max stuff. When
we were in Beijing for ICMC ’99, Miller was invited to talk to
students at Tsinghua U. He told me he had a big enough and avid
enough turn out, but there was no Max/MSP available at and his
attempt to install Pd failed because he couldn’t get an internet
connection to a server for downloading.
Given those sorts of hurdles, it’s no wonder that Max know-how is a
little sparse in PRC.
What I hear from people who do concerts in mainland China is also
indicative of considerable interest. Even if it’s only 0.001% of the
population, it’s still more people than you’ll find in many other
places. Still elitist though, at least by your definition;-
————– http://www.bek.no/~pcastine/Litter/ ————-
Peter Castine +—> Litter Power & Litter Bundle for Jitter
Heavy-Duty Mathematics for Everyday Use
iCE: Sequencing, Recording &
Interface Building for |home | chez nous|
Max/MSP Extremely cool |bei uns | i nostri|
While I appreciate you explaining your position, id still have to
disagree. Ill keep it short. Max is as elitist as learning to ride a
bike, learning c, learning to drive (this is coming from someone who
is 26 and doesnt have a license and hasn’t been in a long car ride
for a year and a half), learning to play the piano,etc etc.
Its a tool. A means to an end And in my opinion a very good tool.
Craftsmanship is (in my opinion) only elitist if the tools are
unavailable to the people and also the knowledge of their operation.
The existence and openness of this forum and the Max community in
general shows Max and ‘Maxers’ to be non elitist. No one is hiding
the existence of Max, there is no inner circle, no cabal of Max users
who are privy to secret knowledge. They’ve simply been doing it for
so goddamn long they know the quirks – had that problem and solved
it. As a matter of fact, im willing to bet that Cycling is seeing a
fairly large increase in purchases of Max licenses. What with the new
media programs popping up left and right in universities who want to
lure in the ‘not quite CS but not quite liberal arts’ crowd (hope
that doesnt offend – perhaps not the most eloquent way of putting it)?
Hard to use is a matter of opinion. I find reason confounding, its UI
to literal etc.. However, like Max It only limits itself to those who
are unwilling to put in the effort to get the returns. If that is
elitist, the.. perhaps yes, I am a serious elitist. But then so are
all those kids out their riding bikes. I know someone simply
unwilling to learn – kind of how I keep putting off getting a
license, each yeah. Anyone who gasps at one of my max patches, I tell
them to stop, and open up max and give a small demo. I show them how
much work Cycling has done to make all of this look so damn impressive.
For the rest – a matter of taste.
High art shmy art. Fuck art. Im not an artist. I leave the rest of
the comments to those that are.
I suppose that wasnt short. *shrug* Im wondering if it was really
worth writing up. heh.
v a d e //
lets get back to you .
my advice would be define what your definition of "dynamic beats" is.
My intuition is that you want beats to change, evolve in a rather organic manner probaly in sync with your tempo.
now what kind of changes do you want produce on your beats and how ?
do you want to affect the amplitude, pitch , tempo, bpm , filters, slices, order of soundobjects or notes …?
how do you want changes to occur through time ( order/number of events ) and space ( panning ) ?
how do you want your events to be triggered : algorythms, surface controls , or gestural controls through sensors ?
how many events do you want to trigger through time ?
do you want some randomness or total control or a play between the two ? very interesting and simple processes could emerge out of that . trigger this or that event only if this or that random number is picked.
i think you should start playing with one or two parameters , see how and when you can affect them , and little by little complexify your system .
check the matrixctrl object for triggering events or group of events through time.
once you have nice little patches you can concatenate them in poly~ objects so you can then produce layers of dynamic beats , which will become quickly interesting.
here are some extra links , do check the ones mentionned above cause they are really good ( pelado, modsquad…)
if you dont know them , chek Peter Elsea’s tutorials : Max Tutors
check out audiooo.com , its japanese, there are some nice beat oriented free patches , and a demo application , Cyan, that could give you an idea for surface controls.
check the slice~ object http://www.naotokui.com/blog/archives/2006/03/external_slice.html
and some patches made by twerk http://www.audibleoddities.com/twerk/index.php?p=sof
check the scrambler patch at http://www.xfade.com/max/scrambler/
check Monlake’s sequencer on the share page http://www.cycling74.com/twiki/bin/view/Share/Monolake
also check the reconfigurable grid of sixty-four backlit buttons at http://monome.org/
it is a hardware piece but it comes with patches and could give you ideas for potential interfaces.
there was a thread called " strategies for making crazy beats a while ago .
and there is of course more stuff but that should get you started.
good luck .
first of all another sorry for hijacking this thread, especially for the forum users.
Quote: Peter Castine wrote on Fri, 23 June 2006 05:25
> There are a lot more than two Chinese interested in Max stuff.
indeed, i didn’t say that, it’s just that only 2 people -so they told me- know it really well.
signapore, taiwan and hong kong are not comparable to the people’s republic.
it’s not 0.001%, more O.0000001% that’s not the same even if it looks to be so.
i gave a little lecture at the conservatory in beijing and beida daxue, together with qinghua the best uni.
people are interested, but not skilled. there are a few exceptions paving the way. they’ll get there. only not yet.
people are translating books like roads and things like that, give them a few years. still elite though.
anyway, you cath my drift…
damn, some more answering to do.
Quote: vade wrote on Fri, 23 June 2006 07:58
> While I appreciate you explaining your position, id still have to
> disagree. Ill keep it short. Max is as elitist as learning to ride a bike
vade, i understand what you’re saying and of course, in your discourse, you’re right.
but, reality is: max is used by educated above average intelligent people of middle class.
it is best known in academic circles or excentric alternative composers.
and 99% of the works made with it will not be eligeable for best rock song, nor best neo-impressionist painting.
it’s a bike with built-in bike designer and reparation kit, only known by people who’ve been making mad bikes for decades.
that may be the most hideous comparison ever, but that’s my point.
sorry again for bandwidth, hijacking and the extension of snobby european culture : )
> vade, i understand what you’re saying and of course, in your discourse, you’re right.
> but, reality is: max is used by educated above average intelligent people of middle class.
> it is best known in academic circles or excentric alternative composers.
in that case many things are elitists such as driving cars, owning a laptop, having a DSL connection to send emails, eating organic food , having health insurance, attending free universities,etc… and using max would be a small little privilege among all these things ?
i see what you mean but i dont think that it is exactly true if you look at how many people where using max ( and its family members susch as PD ) in the very early nineties and how many do now. there are more users every year which means it becomes more accessible and less "elitist". you see max everywhere in the art world, music world, architecture , club scene, rave parties ( elitism ?) and my guess is that we will see lots of netart emerging soon with the connectability to the net surely evolving
(by the way when will we see some browser interactions with max ?).
because it is gathering so many diverse disciplines i am not sure we can talk about elitism. it is true that it is still pricy for many of us but that is a flaw of capitalist societies and not necesarely of max’s creators /developpers.
> and 99% of the works made with it will not be eligeable for best rock song, nor best neo-impressionist painting.
are’nt we lucky ? ;)
> it’s a bike with built-in bike designer and reparation kit, only known by people who’ve been making mad bikes for decades.
> that may be the most hideous comparison ever, but that’s my point.
yes but it is a bike that a frog can navigate while smoking a cigarette which’s smoke astonishingly enough generates sheep like synthetic sounds and when a policeman pulls our dear frog over for speeding , the bike burps and all the kids clap their hands !
> sorry again for bandwidth, hijacking and the extension of snobby european culture : )
didnt max grow up in France in its early years ?;)
thanks karl for the links…..some of the things you described is what im after…im not looking to make just crazy randomness…..
so far i’ve mapped things to a controller to activate/deactivate sounds…i’ve got the tempo thing worked out …im just trying to see how i can switch up midi patterns that mimic realistic drum sounds…..how i’m going to do that i dont know yet…i have a ton of patches to look through from all the links posted on this thread(thanks to everyone that contributed links)
after i edit these midi charts with a table i dont know if they should be somehow triggered or generated…
p.s. this thread has gone way out of control….originally my description of elitist was to point out some of the dickheads that employ this forum like mr. rossman. but i do agree with vade….i dont think max is elistist like everyone thinks it is…..i’ve never programmed in my life, but i can do this….im no expert, but i can learn it….
and finally..i just have to say i love this program…it has changed my life
Quote: nicnut@exegesisonline wrote on Thu, 22 June 2006 11:22
> I think he meant that a lot of the people on this list are elitist. Not
> the actual software.
110 is elite. software does not exist.
> You are on the right track, its about algorithmic music
> which can be
> very expressive as soon you put some playable controls on it.
the idea some of our automatik musik collegues that music
made by humans would _not be algorithmic is a serious misunderstandment.
eventually an improvision is more of or is a more complex
algorithm than a macines output could ever be.
– 110 (inner circle of the wannabe movement)
Roman Thilenius wrote:
> the idea some of our automatik musik collegues that music
> made by humans would _not be algorithmic is a serious misunderstandment.
> eventually an improvision is more of or is a more complex
> algorithm than a macines output could ever be.
The output of an algorithm means, all of its information is determined.
(Even if you use random/stochastic elements)
The musical part which adds meaning, is always based on human decisions
and those are not part of an algorithm unless you believe humans are
just very complex machines (I don’t…)
Of course an improvising jazz musician or classical indian musician puts
out a great amount of structure purely based on algorithms, even
composition teaching often is teaching algorithms.
But the rules are just a frame to carry the music, its not the music
itself, its helpfull, but not even required…
Algorithms are the part that might connect us to an audience for two
reasons: they just might expect a wellknown frame and you could deliver
that without sacrificing the music. You could easily create very
consistent frameworks for the part which are not essential to your music
and then just concentrate on the musical decisions and that way make the
audience focus on the music itself, not on the frames.
Algorithms are very powerful tools for any musician. I agree, its not
just a computer music phenomenon…
I once was part of a free-improvising group – really as free as one
could imagine, no stylistic direction (jazz, new-impro, whatever)
others than what we "felt" on a given moment….. no stylistic
"rules" of any kind, so to speak
___then i was able (I made this during a concert, part of a longer
tour, and only to make a girl laugh) – so i was able, by my playing,
to determine what the pianist would play…. I was able to tell "see,
he will play fast runs in the high register, now some cluster rumbles
in the very low, now just a few "silent" notes" and i was mostly
if this is not a weak algorithm….. when , years later, i worked
with a neuronal network, it was much more fun
__yes, maybe it was not the best improvising group there ever was –
yes, at that point the feeling of the group was so so – and yes, i
stopped improvised music not long after
all the best
Kasper T. Toeplitz
noise, composition, bass, computer
Kasper T Toeplitz wrote:
> I once was part of a free-improvising group – really as free as one
> could imagine, no stylistic direction (jazz, new-impro, whatever)
> others than what we "felt" on a given moment….. no stylistic
> "rules" of any kind, so to speak
This was a common believe in "Freejazz" but I could always immediatly
recocnise the "school of freedom" they belonged to. Its not much
different to heavy metal, great musicians, but all sounds the same…
Freedom is much more than defining freedom, its hard work which is
common to real life.
> years later, i worked with a neuronal network, it was much more fun
Which would bring us back to the algorithm discussion…
> and yes, i stopped improvised music not long after
but I am sure you were able to put some surprise spice into it…
I ve made a mix between
-> Vectory of reaktor
-> MOd redux patch of maxmsp
-> exile patch on reaktor with keyboard command
so you can download my Maxmsp patch here
First you have to load a wavefile with the replace bouton (you can take the file on the .zip) …then, you have some keyboard command, like w, x, c, and v for buffer override (totally synchonized on tempo), r for reverse, l to activate lowpass filter and m to activate high pass filter
In the next version of the break garbage, i am going to introduce a new button for stochastic improvisation by uniform probability density function…
>i worked with a neuronal network, it was much more fun
In my point of view new learning machine like Support Vectior machine can be really funny to use for algorithmix composition !
PS/ I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVVVVVVe Squarepusher. I’m just listening District Line II on ultravisitor. It seems that on time 4.37, Tom jenkinson have used binaural spatialisation (you must used a headphone to hear binaural spatialsiation)
thanks for that…works pretty well. be nice if you didnt have to prepare your breaks at a certain bpm for them to get cut up properly.
i made something similar that cut up whole tracks as they played, so you could vary each bar in various ways
pattr is your friend.
I’m building a second (or third???) degree markov editor. every
drum/step has x probability of going to every other drum/step. makes
for some really natural rhythms. all in jitter.
I’ve released the VST break garbage (pluggo pluggin)
for live drum deconstruction
The VST file is here: http://vincent.choqueuse.free.fr/break/break_garbage.rar
The pdf documentation here:
and a live demonstration here:
what makes a beat?:
-microtimechanges..similar like a drummer..say within 0-2ms
-notes on different tracks that are meant to be played at the same time are played with slight offset to immitate a drummer (0-2ms)
-polyrhytms playing together
-reorganization of beats within bars..rotation. reverse. wh//while in playback/
-givin the ear some velocity/pitch duration changes//..ie morphing between banks of P, V, D while in playback
-tempo changes–swing to change the mood of beat
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