Why do you use Max/MSP
Actually I have two questions
I just downloaded the Max demo and wanted to go through the tutorials where I am dealing with midi using a synth within ableton live (operator) I might want to record into live. So I guess I would do that by using the midi_adrewire driver mentioned in the getting started manual. How do I change that though?
Second, I’ve looked gone through about 12 tutorials and while Max seems interesting, I am wondering if it is for me. I don’t really have a desire to build synths and samplers from the ground up when I can use the ones that already exist. I am interested in making little tools just to help my understand music from a mathematical perpective like thinking of rhythm in terms of the ratio of beats in a bar or pitch interval ratios, but I could do that with a calculator. Also, designing things from the ground up if I thought of something I wanted to do that I could not find something else that already did it would be nice, but will I ever have time to right music again? If you have time, I wouldlove to hear why you are glad you took the time to learn to use Max/MSP. You may turn someone around who is overwhelmed with the complexity of programing .
I believe most max/msp programmers are neither musicians nor real programmers (e.g. that did an IT education). They’re more like multimedia/art fanatics with a more or less technical background.
On the other hand some are both musicians and real programmers. In that case they are probably intelligent enough to make their own synths and save time to write music (-and- do a parttime job to make a living ;)
As Mattijs said, i’m not a programmer and not a musician in the
traditional sense, so learning to use max took a while but it totally
changed my approach to the use of a computer for making music. I
mean, the point is that you know what’s happening there when you use
a soft you wrote, and this is already a reason for me. And then you
can make your laptop become the instrument you want. If you are
already totally satisfied with your set up and just don’t give a fuck
about what’s behind the interface just leave it. Otherwise keep
studying cause it’s easier than it seems. It’s like learning a
language, it gets easier and easier and after a while you can already
express yourself. After that it’s just improving (and there is a lot
to improve… )
Hope this can help.
On Jul 11, 2006, at 1:39 PM, Mattijs Kneppers wrote:
> I believe most max/msp programmers are neither musicians nor real
> programmers (e.g. that did an IT education). They’re more like
> multimedia/art fanatics with a more or less technical background.
> On the other hand some are both musicians and real programmers. In
> that case they are probably intelligent enough to make their own
> synths and save time to write music (-and- do a parttime job to
> make a living ;)
name me one software that can be controlled by anything else then a human being where the author of that software is actually you ?
yes you can find nice synths out there but none of them can be controlled by the color of the sky or the number of ants walking in your kitchen or by both at the same time ….
think of max as a toolbox that allows you to build pretty quickly more or less complex softwares that can be controllled by more or less excentric manners.
you are not dependant on any marketted software anymore , you can design your own interface meaning that you have absolute control on how your sofwares looks, how it is operated , and by what it is operated == absolute freedom .
max is also a sort of digital C6PO since it can handle multiple programming languges, create bridges between different types of data …
the learning curve is worth the try , you will probably end up realizing that music making and programming with max/msp is almost the same thing . that one activity will feed the other and viceversa.
you will also be quite fascinated by the infinite possibilities of how to make/approach/generate/manipulate sound and have more fun exploring these possibilities then making music ( i think it happens to alot of us :) ) but at the end it turns out being the same thing …..
patience, imagination, and a hint of courage are required .
welcome and good luck
Also, designing things from the ground up if I thought of something I wanted to do that I could not find something else that already did it would be nice, but will I ever have time to right music again? —————————————————-
> name me one software that can be controlled by anything else
> then a human being where the author of that software is actually you ?
umm… Pd, Supercollider, Processing, Isadora, vvvv…
and there’s always C++, Java… :)
Hey I wrote a msg about that 1 minute ago:
>I don’t really have a desire to build synths and samplers from the ground up when I can use the ones that already exist.
I often think of Max as the "tool of last resort." That is, if I can find a tool that satisfies me, I’ll use it. Otherwise, I’ll make an new tool in Max. I think that need for Max doesn’t always become obvious until you’ve hit the frustration point with other tools, which maybe you haven’t.
>Also, designing things from the ground up if I thought of something I wanted to do that I could not find something else that already did it would be nice, but will I ever have time to right music again?
Keeping our eyes on the artistic goal is one of the essential problems that we all must face when using technology. For me, it required constant vigilance. (Has music become so wrong that it needs righting? :) )
I am a musician. I am not a programmer. But I stuck with it a little while because what I needed for the stage wasn’t available.
But to learn how to use MaxMSP, I did a little virtual analogue synth. And learnt sooo much. And had a lot of fun. And built my favourite virtual analogue filter. And blurred the distinction beetween VA and FM and wavetable synthesis. etc etc.
And impressed the hell out of my girlfriend, which is the main thing.
The point about MaxMSP is that you can build not only the things that are already available, but also those that are waiting to be dreamed up by…
The time taken to realize ideas becomes shorter with more experience. The drum machine controlled by a gamepad was two afternoons’ work, using bits that I’d used before.
That’s why I’m glad I started this business. And I didn’t have to cancel any gigs to do it :-)
Quote: countbinoculars wrote on Tue, 11 July 2006 16:13
> >And, when I find that a scripting language wold be simpler, I can use C or
> C is no mere scripting language. and do people really use C anymore outside of maintaining crap legacy code? sorry to stray off topic.
Pardon me, I meant to name languages that weren’t graphically programmed. More keyboard, less mouse.
Anyhow, I still find C useful for writing max externals. Things like OpenSoundControl, resonators~, sinusoids~, SDIF, and all the other "crap" we work on here at CNMAT.
ahhh. my apologies mzed. i certainly didn’t mean that c code was "crap". yours lease of all. i hope you will forgive my biases.
>Pardon me, I meant to name languages that weren’t graphically programmed. More >keyboard, less mouse.Anyhow, I still find C useful for writing max externals. >Things like OpenSoundControl, resonators~, sinusoids~, SDIF, and all the other >"crap" we work on here at CNMAT.mzed
Want to be your own boss? Learn how on Yahoo! Small Business.
> and do people really use C anymore outside of maintaining crap legacy code?
eh.. max is built on C/C++.
You were wondering why your msp sampler uses 20x the amount of cpu compared to a sampler written directly in C? Max is a wrap-around for functionality you would ideally be able to access directly and be able to optimize for that specific application.
a) in 2006 you don’t have the time to work yourself through the ins and outs of dsp/midi/video programming and re-invent the wheel again, and
b) you’re probably more of an artist than a technician and you don’t feel like spending more than a week on purely technical problems.
.. so you are very happy with the guys that took that burden off you and you are more than willing to buy a new G5 to meet the extra cpu requirements.
>eh.. max is built on C/C++.
Oh! indeed! is it now??? er… well which one is it then? so some portion of the max codebase supports classes, inheritance, polymorphism etc… and some doesn’t huh? so some structures in the max codebase can have member functions and some can’t…? of course not, and you’ve completely missed the point. im sure max started out as a pure c codebase a long ass time ago (i dont know) but i doubt that it is now. this is what i meant by legacy code. ive seen a lot of c and a lot of c++ but i dont think i have ever seen any c/c++. now perhaps the developers arent using every feature of c++ and in that regard the code may resemble c. but i doubt it. 90% of code i write proffesionally is C++, 10% is legacy embedded c code that i inherited and is compiled with a straight c compiler and is a bitch to maintain. so i will be a little clearer this time.
if you are writing purely in c, you:
A. inherited some legacy code
B. are an old school embedded developer (and as such deserve much respect)
C. should have your head checked cuz you’re a moron
mwa ha ha hah ha hahaaaaaaaaaaaa!
Do you Yahoo!?
Everyone is raving about the all-new Yahoo! Mail Beta.
Quote: countbinoculars wrote on Wed, 12 July 2006 10:06
> >eh.. max is built on C/C++.
> if you are writing purely in c, you:
I think you’ve completely missed the point of my original posting, which was to explain why and how I use Max. My quick attempt, which was admittedly imprecise, to mention that one can bring other programming languages/paradigms to bear as needed has landed me in the crap making moron category. While I’m always interested in corrections, refinements, and additions to my postings, I’m have no interested in defending myself while going out of my way to help out a colleague.
As the tone of this forum has changed, it’s become increasingly unrewarding for me to participate in the community. I’m going off to make something now.
Quote: countbinoculars wrote on Wed, 12 July 2006 19:06
> >eh.. max is built on C/C++.
> Oh! indeed! is it now???
Ah! It is all a big misonderstanding.
> Anyhow, I still find C useful for writing max externals. Things like OpenSoundControl, resonators~, sinusoids~, SDIF, and all the other "crap" we work on here at CNMAT.
Where I assumed he wrote C while he meant C++, as some lazy people (like me) tend to do (I still assume he didn’t compile those externals with a straight C compiler no?).
I assumed that Count Binoculars made the same assumption when he said
> C is no mere scripting language. and do people really use C anymore outside of maintaining crap legacy code?
Soooo.. reading C++ for C in the good count’s reply, I mistakenly found this to be a reply quite at the level of some newbie posts on this same list. And at the same time I saw another option to get back to the original topic, the question why I use Max/MSP.
ANYWAY!!..ahum.. I say there is no need to suggest any incompetence on either side except perhaps mine because I wasn’t aware of count binoculars l33t programming skills. ;) Sorry to have hurt you there brother!
All warm and cosy feelings and much regards,
btw ‘C/C++’ was meant something like ‘the family of all C based languages as compared to a graphical programming environment such as Max’.
> good natured ribbing? i just find it odd that people get stuck on a
> certain tool when there are clearly better options out there… we all
You’re finding the issue you’re looking for… when in reality, everyone
else in the conversation exemplifies the usage pattern you think makes
sense. You should read a bit more carefully.
To be fair, I don’t really know what dlurk’s post meant either.
However, the jist of it (and let me preface by saying that I know I’m not helping matters much myself with this post) is that the technical differences between c/c++ weren’t really the center of the conversation here. As previously stated, many people often use the term "c" or "c/c++" as a general term for both languages.
While I can see how there might have been a misunderstanding, the tone of your post seemed to indicate a desire to deride others for a mere (in context of the conversation, of course) technicality.
There are many very intelligent, technically savy and talented people who read/post here. It is best to not underestimate them. Along the same lines, there are composers and artists from around the world who DO have english as a second (or third, or fourth) language. You are not impressing anyone with your bigotry.
I have heard complaints that the new web-site based forum may have caused an influx of immature, tactless posters. This may be true, but with them it brings the ever useful "ignore all messages from this user" link. This is will be the first time I’ve used it, but I doubt it will be the last.
I suggest others do the same.
In reply to the topic…
I use max/msp primarily it seems to find exploits in my hardware and software. I pretty much use Cubase as a mixer, seems easier than getting a hardware mixer plus its got some good means for exporting audio etc. However, most of my automation and midi effects, as well as audio processing is done on separate machines and cards, hardware synthesizers etc which all tie in to a max environment.
I also use it for learning the in and outs of DSP, writing poems, improvisation, computer organization, ear training, understanding harmony/tunings, meditation, daily piano scheduling, vocabulary, companionship, hardware synth librarian/editor, dream logger… and on and on….
anyway, definitely not your mama’s modular environment…
Nick Inhofe wrote:
> To be fair, I don’t really know what dlurk’s post meant either.
In that case, I will clarify: I meant that the criticism – "people get
stuck on a certain tool when there are clearly better options" – was
nonsensical in the context of the conversation at hand. The people
involved were clearly using a range of tools, selecting those
which best fit a given problem. They were demonstrating the very
sophistication that Count Binoculars decided they were lacking.
Count Binoculars took this thread as an opportunity to make a myopic
commentary on C programming, and followed that up with the demonstration
of careless reading I mention above.
Another user wrote:
> ok look… someone happened to mention that they used c and i thought
> i would ask about it. not a big deal. and no, i dont need to read
> more carefully. although come to think of it, i could read your
> email all day and still not know what you are trying to say.
> hmmm…. maybe you are right…
> oh yeah, how are those english as a second language classes coming
I briefly tried to take offense at this, but I couldn’t stop laughing.
I hope the significant number of critically-inclined English speakers on
this list enjoyed it too (they’re not all native speakers).
My post may have been vague and compact, but it was not illiterate. I
took a gamble, betting implication would do the job for me and keep the
SNR a bit higher. It seems I lost, and so did everyone else. My
apologies to the rest of the list for that, and also for neglecting to
append the "[OT]" to the subject of my previous post.
Without max, midi is just ringtones. With out max your working
within the confines of someone else’s vision of how music should be
Cycling is really a shining example of why business is not inherently
evil. to the contrary, Cycling cater to their users without
compromising their grand (dare I say) artistic vision
if you want to know what i am doing in max you may
want to check out my new binocular noise system
which was written in my second language using a straight C compiler, whatever that means.
you can grabit from here
dont use it too much, it might piss you off after 7 posts.
Mattijs Kneppers wrote:
> You were wondering why your msp sampler uses 20x the amount of cpu
> compared to a sampler written directly in C? Max is a wrap-around for
> functionality you would ideally be able to access directly and be
> able to optimize for that specific application.
Yeah, that’s why my samplers are 20x faster than all these fancy
overloaded vst samplers written in c. If I don’t need a filter it won’t
have a filter, if I need livesampling and playing at the same time,
they’ll do it….
> Yeah, that’s why my samplers are 20x faster than all these fancy
> overloaded vst samplers written in c. If I don’t need a filter it
> won’t have a filter, if I need livesampling and playing at the same
> time, they’ll do it….
I’ve found this mindset to trap my creativity by forcing me to plan
every dimension of a performance. especially not being able to stop
and put one in…
none the less… GO MAX!!!!
balie todd wrote:
> Second, I’ve looked gone through about 12 tutorials and while Max
> seems interesting, I am wondering if it is for me. I don’t really
> have a desire to build synths and samplers from the ground up when I
> can use the ones that already exist. I am interested in making
> little tools just to help my understand music from a mathematical
> perpective like thinking of rhythm in terms of the ratio of beats in
> a bar or pitch interval ratios, but I could do that with a
When I started Max, this was the only thing possible anyway, and its
still the main reason for me to use Max. A calculator is like 50 years
back. Xenakis did his pieces that way and needed sometimes 2 years to
just do all the calculations (imagine the amount of imagination to keep
on doing this…). In Max some of that stuff could be done in a week
including the programming…
Which leads you to much more experimenting: you can tweak your
algorithms till they actually sound right…
There is nothing wrong with using ready made samplers and synths, easy
to integrate with the vst~ object…
It seems that Max is for you… ;-)
Thanks to everyone, especially Stefan. Stefan, I would like to hear a little more about what some of the patches you’ve written do if you have a chance sometime. Anyone, I thought of a little patch I would actually like to write and am in the process of trying to figure it out. I am going to write as a new topic though, I believe, so more people see it. I wanted to write a patch that divides up midi controller values into ranges and sends out only a few values that I specify depending on which range they fall into. The idea is to use an expression pedal to control delay times so that when using the pedal, delay times will lock to beats (half-note, quarter, sixteenth,etc.) when sweeping the pedal. Could be used many other ways as well, but this is main idea. I have to commit to something because I only have ten days left in the demo. Any suggestions of ways to say "if value falls within this range, output this number"? and as for connecting this to the delay in Ableton Live that I would use, I’m still trying to figure that out as well. I could write my own delay in Max/MSP, but want to learn about connecting it to other Apps.
Thanks for any help
balie todd wrote:
> Thanks to everyone, especially Stefan. Stefan, I would like to hear
> a little more about what some of the patches you’ve written do if you
> have a chance sometime. Anyone, I thought of a little patch I would
> actually like to write and am in the process of trying to figure it
> out. I am going to write as a new topic though, I believe, so more
> people see it. I wanted to write a patch that divides up midi
> controller values into ranges
probably simplest way is:
/ 64 -> range = 2
/ 16 -> range = 8
or cascade several [split x y] from right out to left in
and sends out only a few values that I
> specify depending on which range they fall into.
[split x y] left out -> bang -> [number_in_messagebox]
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