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[Shameless Plug] New max music related blog

Mar 30 2009 | 10:24 am

I’ve recently started writing a blog about my work with Max and the music I make with it. So far I’m uploading early live performance pieces made with my original "sandpit" max instrument (delay lines, granulators, players and son on, organised around a matrix) and an early delay/looper. I’m also going to be gradually adding a few Max patches that I’ve made, once I’ve converted them to Max 5.

If anyone’s blogging in a similar field (drone/ambient/general max weirdness) and would like to swap backlinks, please do email me.
Any other comments also welcome Smile
Here’s the link –



Mar 30 2009 | 10:51 am

Sandpit is a good name… it reminds me of my Sandbox series of performance patches, but has the punk ‘pit’ edge I wish I thought of Wink


Mar 30 2009 | 11:01 am

A sandpit is just my sense of how I used the software – as in playing in a sandpit -the software was called alteredstates. So feel free to nab the name! Smile

Hmm – is a kids’ sand play area called a sandbox these days? We used to call it a sand pit – but that’s quite a while ago, and in Leicester Smile


Mar 30 2009 | 4:58 pm

Sand pit/sandbox is (or used to be) yet another one of those subtle differences between British and American usage.

Where I grew up, the sand pits were an open quarry (for sand, of course) — parents warned their children to on no account play there, very dangerous. So of course most of us spent untold hours there. I am relieved to report that there were no disasters in my generation. Alas, not all generations were so lucky.

Mar 30 2009 | 5:10 pm

I use sandbox for the instrument and the piece… same reason of going into my environment, my first one is dated from 2005, the second 2008, and the 3rd one will be done next fall during a residency.

Funny we arrive to similar conclusions/imagery for the virtual instrument!


Mar 30 2009 | 5:37 pm

Indeed – I wonder if your reasons are similar to mine.I don’t consider myself very technically sophisticated (musically) at the conscious mind level (ie I’ve had little to no theoretical music training), but I _do trust my subconscious processes to know what to do – I’ve played or worked with music and sound most of my life, so it’s all in there somewhere!

The idea of the sandpit approach is to set up a system that allows me to start from anywhere, and then see where the material takes me. I’m mostly interested in very slowly evolving sounds, so this approach works quite well.

Over the last few years I’ve tended to work more along with instrumentalists,rather than creating the source sounds myself. In this kind of performance situation, I have to respond much more quickly to what’s going on, and sustain sounds for shorter periods of time – I still haven’t evolved a way of working under these conditions that satisfies me.And the original sandpit no longer works properly – I think it predates Max 4, and I never got it working to my satisfaction in 4. Maybe it’s time to build it from the ground up in 5. Hmm.

pa – are any of your Sandbox pieces online?

Mar 31 2009 | 12:22 pm

I really enjoyed the long live excerpt from 1999. Is that available for download or purchase anywhere in edited form or in its entirety?
I’ll be checking your site regularly.

Mar 31 2009 | 4:08 pm

hi cebec,

I’ve been considering making the material also available as a download – I was just waiting to see if anyone offered me a distribution deal first (ha ha ha).

[in fact, I’ve just added a download link to that particular post, so go ahead and d/l it. (Fine for personal use – please credit if shared, mashed up, or remixed.)

I think I’m going to make the early stuff free, and then maybe make new material donationware.
I’d be interested to hear other people’s opinions about this sort of thing. The general wisdom in the social media/Internet marketing space is that you need to give stuff away before you start charging for things. other people think you should never give anything of "value" away. A (non-Max) musician I know is giving all of his early material away in download format.And there’s plenty of free downloadable material around as well.

What do people think, or already do? How’s it working out?

(I know this isn’t directy Max related any more – but I think it may be something that _is relevant to at least some people here).


Mar 31 2009 | 4:20 pm

Thank you, Dave!

Yes, that’s an interesting subject and one which I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. I’m conflicted, myself, but have been giving away my ‘tracks’ for a year or so now with the hopes of soliciting some honest feedback. The material is mainly modular synthesizer improvisations, and while I’m not trying to devalue them by sharing freely, though I don’t always enable downloads, I also don’t think overall that they’re up to my standard for a commercial release. So, I’m using various channels, e.g.,,, blogspot, to enable a feedback loop that will help me gauge interest, enjoyment, etc. while honing my skills and basically enjoying the process of making music.

Mar 31 2009 | 4:39 pm

Do you know about reverbnation? And Soundcloud may also be worth looking at.


Mar 31 2009 | 4:41 pm

Yes, I do know about Soundcloud and I have an account but have not uploaded anything, yet. I’ll check out reverbnation, thanks.

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