Forums > MaxMSP

potential patch help. . .

Dec 04 2010 | 2:46 pm

Hi helpful people of the MaxMSP forum! Just a quick question about a concept for a patch that I’m looking to create…

Basically my skill level is very low at the moment as I am just learning, but I have an assessment whereby I need to explain how I would use MaxMSP to create a patch of my own devise. The concept I have is this: Proximity Sensors controlling the mix of a live performance, i.e. multiple sensors each controlling a bank of instruments (or perhaps one controlling level of digital instruments, one controlling analogue/acoustic) which are manipulated with simple hand gestures – think playing a theremin. Any help on how to get started creating such a patch would be much appreciated, or even just some idea of how MaxMSP could be implemented in this way.

Thanks in advance!

Dec 04 2010 | 3:13 pm

There are several elements to your proposal; have you identified a suitable platform for acquisition of the sensor data yet, such as Arduino etc? Get yourself familiar there first if you haven’t already. I assume you’re using simple sensors such as infrared or hall-effect perhaps? Usual practice (for me anyway) is to write a simple program (in Processing-type syntax, real easy) which scales the 10-bit Arduino data into 8-bit bytes; then separate multiple signals in the code using "print.t," or "print 255" e.g.

Then you need to investigate the [serial] object, getting your raw binary data into Max with this object.

Next, you need to define exactly how you want to use this data? Simply fade volumes up and down, crossfade between sub-patches….

You’re in for a lot of fun, and a lot of learning


Dec 05 2010 | 3:04 am

I second that, it will be really fun and interesting… Get the most basic bits of the hardware working—consistent input of different data streams—and then you can use your artistic/creative side to decide what you want to do with them. Once they’re dynamic numbers, you can do anything you want, and I mean *anything*. So try your original idea for controlling sound, but along the way I’ll bet you’ll come up with some other ideas too… great to push the envelope here!

If you’re using Arduino, check out "Maxuino" which helps you by dealing with some of the serial formatting headaches that will otherwise happen.

Dec 07 2010 | 5:28 pm

Thanks for the help! To start with I will just be using the data to fade volumes up and down. My idea was to have the patch as an input on a mixer using Logic. Is this a viable idea?

Dec 07 2010 | 5:31 pm

By the way I’m planning on using a Parallax Ping))) married with an Arduino board for this. any potential pitfalls with this bit of kit? again, your advice is much appreciated.

Dec 07 2010 | 5:42 pm
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Forums > MaxMSP