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MAX MSP HELP – drawing? sound? text? AHH assignment due, take pity on me!

Nov 13 2011 | 9:07 pm

So I have to make a simple little program on MAX MSP for a Fine Arts class, visualizing data into a visual/audio work using data streams from web stream, built-in computer camera, mouse movement or keyboard input, random or drunk objects, imported video or audio, that turns into visual drawing, musical or audio output, video output, text.

I’ve never done anything like this before, it’s REALLY flexing a totally new skill-set, I feel like it’s comparable to having to choreograph a unicycle performance having never ridden one! I’m having a lot of trouble just wrapping my head around what it is possible to do with this program, & since I have a natural tendency to make a grab at the most overly complex difficult idea churning through my imagination, I could use some people to kind of give me advice whether this is unachievable or not, a better angle to think about it, or what tutorials I should read to figure it out. I will be incredibly grateful, I’m in a spot of trouble right now!

What I was thinking is that I would make a sort of musical instrument that can be played with the emotions. It sounds spacey, but I was looking at simple apps only where you press buttons to make sound patterns My Prof gave us sample patches of mouse drawing, something where a graphic self-generates boxes of colour based on where you move you mouse, and one playing audio, which gave me the idea. Based on the sound-synthesizer app I at first thought of trying to make something where if you drew a certain colour that corresponded to a certain note, and by drawing you could make a pattern of notes.. (I don’t even know if that’s something that MAX does? Is it?) Then I somehow ended up thinking about emotions as data input, if there could be a way to use them as interface instead of drawing, can you use text in MAX MSP in a way that someone could click on various words representing emotions that correspond to a particular sound that can be layered on by the person clicking to make a pattern of audio? I wikipedia’ed a list that could go up to 60 different emotions I could use, I don’t know if I’m just completely and ridiculously fabricating capabilities for this that it just doesn’t have, haha. I’m an english major and working with words makes sense to me! But I’m worried it’ll make no sense to the program. I also got my hands on a data set of statistics that these words were used on certain websites, so I was also thinking perhaps I could create a self-running little audio/colour drawing creating program based on the statistics for each emotion and each emotion corresponding to a certain note or colour/line, but I gather this project has to be somewhat interactive as well.

Anyway, if anyone reads this and could just give me a little bit of input, even saying WTF this is delusional start over would help me out! Tell me what sort of buttony function things I’ll need to use, what tutorials to look at. I will make you a virtual sandwich or give you a virtual high-five!

  1. Sound.maxpat
Nov 13 2011 | 10:51 pm

What your going for sounds doable, but it also seems like your max knowledge isn’t extensive. Max can do all that your describing but without the foundation of basic data manipulation via max, this project will seem impossible.

I would suggest, if you haven’t already, going through all the max tutorials. They will help you with all the data management. Next you can skim over the msp tutorials to get a basic understanding of how msp works in max.

With that I would take your big project idea and break it down into little parts. For example: your first project could be a patch that has a drawing area that outputs a color based on the position of the drawing area.

As you build the basic algorithms and patches you can start to combine them together into your bigger project. This is one way to write programs, its the way I write code and patches, while the other is to build the larger parts first and make your way to the nitty-gritty. The former, to me, is more manageable with big projects.

Hope that helps

Nov 14 2011 | 2:59 pm

Yes it does! Thanks!

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