guitar signal into maxmsp
i am completely new to this program, but i have seen performances etc. evolving around max/msp – and i am amazed. extreme possibilites.
so i was thinking, that i somehow must be able to get the signal from my guitar into max?
i own an apple powerbook 15", and i was thinking that I need some sort of soundcard, in which the signal can go
guitar > amp > soundcard > powerbook/max
guitar > soundcard > powerbook/max
but would that work? what do i need?
i am very basic here, so any help is appreciated. thanks in advance.
Indeed, lots of potential.
I’ve done all of those setups for years, which have their pros and cons.
bass -> amp+cab -> (tuner out] -> soundcard -> PA
bass -> amp+cab -> (tuner out] -> soundcard -> aux in of bassamp
bass -> preamp ->fx loop send -> soundcard -> fx loop return -> amp
bass -> soundcard -> preamp+amp+cab
I can dissert on the pros and cons of each but later tomorrow. It is
roughly down to noise floor and tone. If you are a true bypass
boutique pedal guy, go for 1a!
The Ultimate Electric Guitar with Built-In USB Port to Connect Straight to Your Computer.
ah, no thank you with the usb guitar. cool idea though, but ill do with a regular electric guitar.
# tremplab, the solutions sounds interesting, but i am not entirely sure what i need for it to work.
1a looks quite simple, but i do not know what PA is? and what do you mean by tuner out? tuner out = amp out?
there is a amp out, actually it says headphones, but it’s a signal out as far as i understand.
but if all i need is a soundcard and i plug it in that way, will max/msp just be able to see it and manipulate the sound etc?
thank you once again :)
thank you for your answer.
i have considered buying an m-audio audiophile usb soundcard, so if i bought that all i would need is the , for an example the behringer pb-100 – which is the preamp i should buy? i mean, do you recommend the pb-100? anyway, if i bought that, the signal would be:
guitar > behringer pb-100 > m-audio audiophile usb > pb/max > soundcard > pa/amp
right? and then it would (hopefully) work?
pa/amp is my speakers/stereo amplifier (not guitar amplifier), right? i’m just not sure what PA means .. :)
yet again, thanks for the fast and good answers.. :)
And also :-)
Guitar -> your powerbook’s audio in !
No soundcard to buy!
Jean-François Charles wrote:
> And also :-)
> Guitar -> your powerbook’s audio in !
> No soundcard to buy!
The guitar’s output will need to be converted into a line-level signal
at some point, so at a minimum you’re going to need to put a direct box
in between your guitar and your audio input.
Personally, I’m using a Line 6 PodXT Live for this purpose, but that’s
likely overkill if you don’t need the amp & FX modeling. I don’t think
it’s possible to take an electric guitar’s 1/4" output and plug it
straight into the 1/8" stereo in on the Powerbook though. I mean, you
can, but you’re not likely to get a usable signal that way.
Try the instrument preamp on the RME Fireface 800 or Fireface 400. They have
the best Amp simulator I have ever heard.
It’s awesome, beautifully sounding, with a limiter and also an activable
heavy drive circuit. I use it currently for my clean guitar sound straight
into Max Msp.
Pod Xt or other stuff like that is crap. Get an RME FireFace if you want a
real guitar sound.
—– Original Message —–
Sent: Monday, October 16, 2006 11:55 PM
Subject: [maxmsp] Re: guitar signal into maxmsp
> hi kasper.
> thank you for your answer.
> i have considered buying an m-audio audiophile usb soundcard, so if i
> bought that all i would need is the , for an example the behringer
> pb-100 – which is the preamp i should buy? i mean, do you recommend the
> pb-100? anyway, if i bought that, the signal would be:
> guitar > behringer pb-100 > m-audio audiophile usb > pb/max > soundcard >
> right? and then it would (hopefully) work?
> pa/amp is my speakers/stereo amplifier (not guitar amplifier), right? i’m
> just not sure what PA means .. :)
> yet again, thanks for the fast and good answers.. :)
>Try the instrument preamp on the RME Fireface 800 or Fireface 400.
>They have the best Amp simulator I have ever heard.
>It’s awesome, beautifully sounding, with a limiter and also an
>activable heavy drive circuit. I use it currently for my clean
>guitar sound straight into Max Msp.
so….. I know (even if i never tested it) than there is an amp
simulator on the input 1 of the fireface 800.
but as far as fireface 400 goes i read only ONCE, and it was in a
french ad run by a shop than the inputs 3 & 4 had the same amp
simulators – I downloadede the FFace 400 english manual (pdf – from
RME site) and they don’t speak about it
so can you confirm than the FFace 400 has the amp sims (+ distortion)
on inputs 3 & 4 ????
what’s more it _seems_ you can use midi to control the internal DSP
of the FFace 400 (which once, in os9, was possible with a set of max
objects – but never ported to OSX) – is it true??
_for instance – can I (by midi, which means from inside max)
activate the distortion of the FFace?? – or route an input (say dac~
1) of max to one of the different outs of the card (which would allow
for a spatialisation effect – at least pan effect – running on the
dsp of the card and not of the computer) ???
any info is very welcome
__as for the criticism of the emulations of the pod family – i
totally agree… i was once trying them only to realise I had an
ampeg and a marshall (real stuff) facing me – then i tried an A/B
test _ then i stopped using the POD
Kasper T. Toeplitz
noise, composition, bass, computer
Carlo Laurenzi wrote:
> Pod Xt or other stuff like that is crap. Get an RME FireFace if you want
> a real guitar sound.
Since this is ostensibly the Max/MSP list, and not the "getting a guitar
sound into your computer so you can process it with software" list, I’ll
try and keep my comments short.
I find it interesting how so often hardware discussions will devolve
into the "anything less than a high-priced piece of gear is crap"
argument. IMHO, buying a Fireface for the sole purposes of getting a
guitar signal into your computer is overkill. If you want the absolute
cheapest way, buy the cheapest direct box you can find, and run a cable
with an 1/8" stereo mini on one end from the direct box into your
Powerbook. I think you can get direct boxes for as cheap as $19.00.
It’s ridiculous to suggest to someone that, in the original context of
the post ("guitar signal into maxmsp"), they go out and buy a $1000+
audio interface so they can get a "real guitar sound". I’m presuming
that the whole purpose of sending the signal to Max is so you can make
it NOT sound like a "real guitar sound".
All that being said, whether or not the Line 6 Pods are crap or not is a
pretty subjective opinion. If your goal is authenticity, then by all
means go out and spend $2100 on an Orange amp or $1100 on a Fender Twin.
If you’ve got the money and a room to put it in, more power to you.
For those of us with more limited resources (and I’ll assume the
original poster is in that category), the Line 6 PodXT Live is a decent
alternative, especially for the $345 (new) I spent. I wanted something
that would do good-enough amp modeling & FX without needing to be
connected to the computer; have knobs & a pedal; upgradeable firmware; a
software editor; and a USB interface for easy connection to the computer.
The PodXT filled all those needs in spades, and to my ears, it sounds
great, especially for less than $350. For a somewhat more objective
opinion on the Pod XT, try SOS’s review (spoiler: they come to a similar
Denigrating what someone else uses because it doesn’t fulfill your
personal needs doesn’t add a whole lot to the discussion. Since my
advocacy of the Pods also doesn’t add a whole lot to the Max list
discussion, I’ll stop now. :-)
Dear Wallace and all
You commentary brings back an old dilema which is good for all real-
In one corner, I have my idea that everything colours my bass sound,
and that is why I spend big money to key my signal chain as clear as
possible. I have not practive my instrument 10000+ hours to loose my
right hand dynamic into a crap converter. This is why my crazy
processing (attack detecting -> buffer shuffling -> distortion ->
eenvelop following -> variable delays -> etc) usualy come from an fx
loop of my hi quality Eden preamp.
In the other corner, I want to get as simply as possible in my
machine. From this point of view, I have use my favourite bass DI
(sansamp) straignt into my MOTU. In some performances, it is simply
this no-overkill-let’s-rock approach that suit the rality the most.
But I would never record an album with this setup, following the
wonderful rule once said by Yoda I think:
Shit in, shit out.
Or in more polite words: if in an improvisation I suddenly want my
clean sound, it will never be as beautiful and transparent than not
going by an unused ADC-DAC stage.
I think the bottom line is to assess the portability/output quality
ratio of each case: going to a PA in a free jazz club is not a
discriminating sound quality environement, so use the KISS rule.
Recording in studio is someting else.
Pierre Alexandre Tremblay wrote:
> In one corner, I have my idea that everything colours my bass sound
> In the other corner, I want to get as simply as possible in my
> Shit in, shit out.
And in another corner, the budget-minded hobbyist who is not a
professional musician who simply wants to plug their guitar into their
laptop and process the signal. Believe it or not, this kind of user
likely comprises the bulk of this, and most other, like-minded
communities. It’s also likely that the sort of person who will ask a
generalized question like "How can I process my guitar with Max?" is not
the same sort of person who doesn’t blink at dropping $850 on a bass
My point is, when we are engaging in discussions on this list, our
answers should try to make some assumptions about who is asking the
question. Max users come from all walks of life, and only a small
percentage make their living from music and will know (or even be able
to hear) the difference between an Eden preamp and a Sansamp DI box.
I half appologise for my elitist-ish answer.
The half that apologise is the one that, you are right W., never
thought this question was maybe not sent by a pro. There is probably
two reason for this, one is because I am a selfish person, but mainly
because I heard some pro international level musician asking me the
same question very often.
The half that does not apologise is the one that was told one day by
someone half-joking that if I could not hear the difference between
32kHz and 44.1kHz sampling rate I did not deserve my degree. First,
I thought he was a twat. Then, I listen back, and improve my
discriminating listening. The same goes for true-bypass pedal,
converters, and psychoacoustic. I really think that if the level of
my answer is over the head of the person who ask, I hope he will ask
more details after doing some research. Or it might interest someone
I was, in fact, very interested by Kasper’s pedal preamp. Trusting
is judgement, I will give it a listen, going over my prejudice on the
usual bad quality of the 3746284 other pedals I have tried in the
past. So this discussion is interesting at different level for
Anyway, I might just shut up next time.
Pierre Alexandre Tremblay wrote:
> I half appologise for my elitist-ish answer.
> I really think that if the level of my
> answer is over the head of the person who ask, I hope he will ask more
> details after doing some research. Or it might interest someone else.
It’s not so much about elitism — although there’s definitely a good
discussion to be had about the effect of cheaper DAC/ADCs on signal
processing accuracy, one that I am sure would quickly go over my head.
My bigger point (one that, with this email, will be thoroughly beaten
into the ground) is that there’s a tendency, on every audio production
community I participate in, to suggest the very best, cost-is-no-object
solution when a much more humble offering would suffice. This
observation applies to more than just hardware, too. All too often I see
simple questions asked and answers with overtly-complicated solutions
Sometimes the shortest distance between point A and point B really IS a
So rather than see my comments as a slam on self-described elitism, it’s
more a suggestion to the community at large to think a little bit more
about what question is being asked.
amp simulator (+ distortion) for pickupped instruments is only in input 1
(front; rear input 1 is a line input), both for RME FireFace 800 and 400.
You can’t activate distortion from inside max, but thanks to the Dsp
Totalmix from RME you can route an input signal into multiple outputs (FF800
has 28 outs, in different formats; 12 analog outs) for spatialization
purposes. Totalmix faders and buttons can also be controlled with a midi
mixer, like those made by mackie, behringer etc..
I have a Twin Amp and a Gibson 335: excellent combination, but sometimes I
use a setup based only on my Powerbook, FireFace 800 (instrument input 1),
MaxMsp, some midi controllers, than straight to mix console. The sound is
excellent as well, the only thing I need to use is a buffer pedal (voltage
boost) to compensate signal loss from the unbalanced cable of the guitar
(unbalanced cables suffer from signal loss if they are longer than 1 meter).
My next purchase will be a good in-ear monitor system to connect to another
couple of outputs of my FF 800: no need for wedge monitors anymore, and,
moreover, I’ll be controlling the volume of my monitor myself.
thanks for your answer
however, it seems (just guessing looking at the pictures) than:
>amp simulator (+ distortion) for pickupped instruments is only in
>input 1 (front; rear input 1 is a line input), both for RME FireFace
>800 and 400.
when this is most certainly true for FFace 800, The 400 has its input
1 & 2 being only on the front and being mic/line, and 3 & 4, only on
the front as well, but jacks only and able to be switched from
on one french site
(http://www.playback.fr/rme-fireface_400-10893.html ) they claim than
those 2 inputs ( 3 4 ) can have an amp + disto emulation. The RME
docs do not mention it. I thought is was just an error in the ad, but
since you say the 400 also has an amp emulation….
>You can’t activate distortion from inside max, but thanks to the Dsp
>Totalmix from RME you can route an input signal into multiple
>outputs (FF800 has 28 outs, in different formats; 12 analog outs)
>for spatialization purposes. Totalmix faders and buttons can also be
>controlled with a midi mixer, like those made by mackie, behringer
since you can control dsp Totalmix by a mixer ( i understand a midid
mixer, right ??) so it should be possible to control this from
max…. i belive…
> the only thing I need to use is a buffer pedal (voltage boost) to
>compensate signal loss from the unbalanced cable of the guitar
which buffer pedal do you use??
Kasper T. Toeplitz
noise, composition, bass, computer
it seems from RME web site that only Fireface 800 has a dedicated input for
pickupped instruments. So, there are no speaker simulator and limiter
circuit or distortion on Fireface 400. Sorry, I was wrong..
As regards Totalmix, it’s not possible to control it from Max, because Max
bypasses it, as it happens for any other audio application (which isn’t set
for Asio direct monitoring). However you don’t have any need for that,
because it’s possible to control all the inputs and outputs levels and pans
from inside Max, using any suitable midi device.
The pedal buffer I use for the guitar is called BS2 Guitar Audio
Buffer/Splitter, from Axess Electronics, Canada.
For the record, ASIO direct monitoring is implemented in MaxMSP’s Windows ASIO driver. It’s up to each hardware driver to take any notice of it.
The Fireface uses Mackie Control Protocol the last time I looked, so if it’s going to be controlled by a MIDI device, the device has to support that.
One can control a fireface with a midi device (I mean, control Totalmix),
but AFAIK it’s not convenient to control totalmix from inside Max using
direct monitoring mode. This because direct monitoring bypasses real time
manipulation of sound, which is what one is supposed to do within Max.
—– Original Message —–
From: "Andrew Pask"
Sent: Friday, October 20, 2006 1:31 AM
Subject: [maxmsp] Re: Re: guitar signal into maxmsp
> For the record, ASIO direct monitoring is implemented in MaxMSP’s Windows
> ASIO driver. It’s up to each hardware driver to take any notice of it.
> The Fireface uses Mackie Control Protocol the last time I looked, so if
> it’s going to be controlled by a MIDI device, the device has to support
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