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Beginner needing help.

October 16, 2012 | 4:44 am

I am fairly new to using MAX and am looking for a little help. I want to create an installation that incorporates LEDs that change (either color or dim or something) based on movement or sound. I need help determining which objects I would use and would greatly appreciate if anyone could direct me to some sample patches that work with LEDs. Also any suggestions for better use(s) of LEDs?

kind regards,
overwhelmed newbie

October 16, 2012 | 5:11 am

You’ll probably get better results if you’re a good deal more specific about what it is you precisely want to do. Better questions will almost always get you better answers here. Once you have a clearer idea of what it is you want, break it down into smaller pieces – that’s what you’ll be doing when you do the problem solving later on, so it’s best to get started now. :-)

October 16, 2012 | 6:37 am

I guess I am still a little unsure of what i want the final result to be. So far i envision an interactive sculpture that incorporates LEDs in it. I would like the lights to move around the piece, change color and brightness depending on the proximity of the viewer. I was thinking i could use a web cam to capture the image and somehow (within MAX?) translate that image into data that the program could use and relay to the lights? Again i am super new to this program and have limited knowledge of programming/ engineering etc.

I have been reading some about arduino boards and think i would like to use one. Which would be appropriate to use for a project like this? I have seen similar projects that use the UNO. Will i need a DMX controller or is it possible to get the same results within MAX?

October 16, 2012 | 2:55 pm

I think the best way to approach this is to first search here using relevant keywords: DMX; controlling LEDs; Arduino; motion tracking; webcam, etc. Then have a rummage around youtube etc using the same keywords. You can then judge whether this idea is achievable with your existing skills. It is very doable in Max, using either Arduino or DMX, but you need to establish what your interaction model and tools will be.


October 17, 2012 | 3:38 pm

In case it can help, Doepfer makes some affordable PCBs for converting MIDI data [from Max, for example] into analogue gates (on/off switches) or continuous analogue voltages:

Of course, MIDI data resolution and time resolution is often too low, but it depends on what you want to do actually.


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