Forums > MaxMSP

Using a sensor to trigger a midi signal

Feb 28 2011 | 3:24 pm


I am a ne wuser to Max msp, and have just begum following tutorials learning the basics for programming audio devices.

I want to carry out two experiments, and was wondering if anybody knew if these were possible and how to go about doing them with Max msp?

1) to take an external audio source i.e. an acapella, apply a simple effect (i.e. reverb) to the acapella, but to also have the acapella doubled, leaving the second pure and untouched. Then to combine the two, outputting a an audio of the reverb accapella dubbed over the original!(is it possible to do this in real time?

2) to use a sensor to trigger a midi signal that could control something i.e. on/off on an effect in ableton? The sensor could be a movement sensor, or a heat sensor maybe?

Looking forward to hearing peoples ideas.
I have alot to learn, but even hearing if these things are potentially possible would be greatly helpfull!


Feb 28 2011 | 7:53 pm

Hi Audio designs

very quick answers:

1) the simplest mixer in MaxMSP is the [+~] object, beyond that, look at the helpfiles for [matrixctrl] and [matrix~]; for reverbs, search; i use [yafr2] a lot

2) this is a little more involved; again the simplest being a switch connected to a CV input of a midi controller or synth (if you have one), such as the kenton control freak; but DIY solutions involve a little more learning, for example, Arduino – is this a path you wish to take?


Mar 01 2011 | 11:25 am

Hey, thanks for your reply!

with question 2), I wanted to use a sensor to trigger a midi signal, not a controller..i.e trigger a note on a sensor in ableton live!
Is this a very complex thing to achieve

Thanks again for your help!

Mar 01 2011 | 12:06 pm

You could take a look at maxforlive. There is an extensive API available for controlling nearly everything in live. A good start point:

Mar 01 2011 | 6:39 pm

"Is this a very complex thing to achieve"?

Absolutely not – especially via Arduino and MaxMSP (there are different flavours of prototyping platforms such as Arduino, but I tend to run with the pack!).

range sensor -> Arduino (running a simple program: "read the analog input, send it out as a serial byte");
MaxMSP [metro 10] -> [serial] -> [togedge]. As long as you have the correct port selected (to which the Arduino is connected, and MaxMSP is monitoring) then it should be trouble-free.


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