Forums > MaxMSP

Composing in Max

Feb 18 2013 | 10:11 pm

Recently invested in this complex software . I’ve been using Maurizio Giri’s book to aid my learning curve, and I’m having fun building simple patches. I was wondering is it possible to compose solely in Max, more specifically, can I create sound sources without relying on analog sources? I definitely want to get a field recorder, and I have my eye on a Juno 6, but I was wondering about the possibilities of using Max exclusively for the time being. I’m very much interested in minimalism, with Eliane Radigue being my favorite artist. I would like to compose simple patches to produce textures that would suit my minimalistic tendencies. I was wondering does anyone else compose music of a similar style in Max.

I really enjoyed this patch:

I’m aware the piano samples were from outside Max, but the pads sound like they were made in Max.

I would also like a balance between composing in Max, and composing away from the computer; I purchased some pedals, a looper, and a Tascam Portastudio. I would like to bounce patches out from the computer and work on ideas/sketches via analog means (I love the sound of cassette, too) It seems all too basic, but I would like to have the balance between the two (computer/outside the computer).

Would like some opinions.

Thank you for taking the time to read this in advance.

Feb 18 2013 | 10:19 pm

Of course. Search for a folder titled "very-special-guest" in the Max application folder for an example of some early "elektronische musik" realized solely through synthesis in Max.

Feb 18 2013 | 10:38 pm

Thanks for this. Sorry for posting such a basic thread, but just wanted to get opinions.

Feb 19 2013 | 7:35 pm

Is there anyone else who uses Max as a sound source, as well as processing?

Feb 19 2013 | 8:44 pm

You should look for the Autechre patch that was floating around this forum a while ago. There’s also a couple more around the web… they do everything in Max.

Feb 19 2013 | 9:23 pm

While the autechre patches that used to circulate around the web [some of which actually *were* authentic] were all very interesting, it’s incorrect to claim that they "do everything in Max." Some of their recorded work [say, EP7] use it often, other recordings do not. Likewise, I’m aware of situations where they used Max for control/processing, and some where Max produced the audio, and some situations in which both occurred. It’s always reductive and potentially dangerous to reduce an artists’ outputs to their tools, and Messrs. Booth and Young are no exception to that rule. :-)

I would wager that there is some MSP content amidst the beautiful two hours of Exai, but have no special knowledge of the matter.

Feb 19 2013 | 10:39 pm

Thanks for the input. I just wanted to hear from other users who are using Max as an audio source, as well as using it for processing audio.
It sounds extremely basic, but I’m looking forward to creating little sine wave patches, transferring it out to my 4 track, looping it, and adding guitar pedals. I’m also looking forward to processing audio i.e. field recordings.

Feb 20 2013 | 12:19 am


as another positive feedback, I normally use almost exclusively Max when it comes to electronics, both to create my sounds and to process them. I wouldn’t say ‘always’ since there are exceptions (for example, if I wish to work with pre-recorded samples; also, for some operations I tend to prefer software that is explicitly designed for a given purpose, like SuperVP for spectral stuff), but there is hardly a thing involving electronics that you couldn’t realize in Max.

Hope that helps,

Feb 20 2013 | 6:16 am

Yeah, I’m sure Autechre use a lot of different tools. From reading interviews, I get the sense they use Digital Performer more than they use Max, but what I meant by "they do everything in Max" was that the patches (authentic or not) are self contained and synthesize everything. I took a lot of ideas from the fake autechre patches when I was just starting to learn Max. :-)

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