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Fun Contollers for Max/Msp … whats your experience

Dec 17 2006 | 9:44 pm

Haya guys.
IM newish to max, been learning it for a degree music tech course and im getting pretty nifty at it. Just wondered what different contollers etc people use, and what they use them for.

I use a behringer bcf2000 for basic midi control but thats nothing fancy. i also use a Palm tungstun E palmPC as a koas pad.Does anyone use Minimusic ( i sued axis pad to send out a basic midi lead sound then use fiddle~ to turn it into number data to control filters and pitch control for samplers etc. It actully works really well.

When im arsed to buy a extreme DS card for my nintendo DS im gonna use that as a wifi koas pad and/or keybourd.

The whole wiimote stuff looks good fun too…looking forward to being able to afford one. that should be great fun.

Has anybody ever used the video patch ( i forget the name) when you move and a camara creates music to your movements.

Has any one made any interesting controllers. i wanna do stuff with lasers one the rest of my life to try

Dec 18 2006 | 11:48 am

Dec 18 2006 | 12:54 pm


i am looking in the same direction too.

check out the doepfer pocket electronics and the examples of what others have built using it

also came across this which looks very interesting

good luck

Dec 18 2006 | 7:35 pm

I’d love to do one with infrared sensors that create a touchable space in a grid (or however you chop it up / space the sensors). That’s what they use for those bluetooth wireless laser-display-anywhere keyboards (check out ThinkGeek for a great writeup on them). One could scale this idea up to a floor, wall, whatever…

If you do have some electronics possibilities, then yeah, absolutely create some of your own. Even if you don’t they’re really not TOO tough, most of the answers are out there if you spend some time, and most of the microcontroller code is available. You might ask why not just spend some more bucks to buy one, and there’s definitely advantages to that (i.e., they WORK right away ;-) but if you’re into hacking around, building yer own is cool. It’s amazing how designing the board itself and choosing your components (touchpads? joysticks? endless controllers? dials? sliders? buttons?) starts to make a difference in your thoughts about what you can make musically / visually, and with that, what kinds of interfaces you build in Max.

If you want to go the electronics route I could point you in some directions, just drop me a line. Good luck!


Dec 18 2006 | 10:45 pm

I’ve been messing around with video tracking recently, nothing too complex, (just simple colour tracking with jit.findbounds), but it’s relatively effective. As Drayton said, actually getting any kind of "musical" control, (through interacting with it), is proving a lot harder than actually developing the patch itself was.

You might also be interested in the P5 Glove, i’ve got one but haven’t had time to give it a thorough workout yet. It’s very usable, if slightly dated and a bit cumbersome, (however the trade off is you can pick them up really cheap now).

For plenty more ideas for HCI tools, check out Carl Kenner’s Glove Pie. It responds to loads of different controllers now, and the list’s growing all the time, including a rowing machine if i remember correctly. Obviously Glove Pie’s just a program, but it should give you plenty of ideas for joysticks, (and so many other things), that you could buy for next to nothing on eBay and use to interact with Max.

Hope that helps,

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Forums > MaxMSP