Forums > MaxMSP

Learning max/msp/jitter

April 27, 2008 | 12:04 pm

I realize that this applies to Max 4 but still…

A while ago I posted a summary of learning resources that I prepared
for a
residency at Willamette University. I attached it to an email but it did
not reach the list. I when to the forum site and posted the message
with the attachment but it still didn’t arrive on the list. Many people
have downloaded it from the forum and it is still there. You can see my
message at

download the attachment directly from…

There seems to be a sudden increase (yeah!) in new users with lots of
questions that can be answered by going through the things on my list.

Gary Lee Nelson
TIMARA Department
Oberlin College

April 27, 2008 | 12:26 pm

I’m retired from Oberlin but the teacher in me still kicks in now and
Reading manuals is not a waste of time. There have been several
recent posts
that are almost immediately answered by referring the questioner to a
object. I love newbies but this makes learning max a very long and
frustrating process.

Here what I did/do…

First, read the Max/MSP manuals from cover to cover without trying to
every detail. This gives a general understanding of what is there.

Then, periodically, skim the manual reading only the headers. On the
is the name of the object and on the left is a brief description of the
object. If the object has a graphic representation it is in the
middle of the
header. I do this about once a week and it takes 10-15 minutes – less
time I skim. I also skim the bookmarks in the PDF files stopping to read
about objects that I don’t recognize or remember. What this does is
remind me
of what is in the toolkit. When a need arises for a particular
function I can usually
answer by telling myself that that function does exist. Saves me the
in trying to write it myself.

I do the same thing – less perfectly (right, ej, st?) – with the
third party
packages that I use regularly.

Another approach is to use as a thesaurus. Try searching
"increment decrement." I got seven items including IncDec with some
descriptions running to more than 10 lines. It also included gak, a
algorithm kit that I did not know about. So (sorry to use my professor
voice) but I learned something useful while looking for something
else. Now
THAT saves time!

Gary Lee Nelson
TIMARA Department
Oberlin College

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