While there are many methods to move MIDI and audio data between programs on a computer, ReWire (developed by Propellerheads) has become the most popular system. It allows a fairly seamless integration of client and host applications, and is also well supported by most major DAW applications. In our tutorial, we will show connections to two major software packages: Ableton Live and Digital Performer.
Now that I've got a nice generative patch and a way to hear it, I thought it'd be nice to make a few improvements and extensions that would let me begin to specify larger structures - to generate instructions to my generative patch, as it were. While I'm sure that the world is full of people who want ways to have the same thing happen again and again, I'd like to do this in ways that offer a little more freedom than that. This short tutorial will add a modest number of these kinds of changes.
One of the beauties of Max is its simplicity: the ability to quickly create a patch that does something artistically interesting. Part of this has to do with its visual programming style - patchcords allow us to see the relationship between graphic objects. However, unless you limit yourself to creating only straightforward patches, your patch can become a spaghetti-like series of connections that confound attempts at debugging. Please note: This article was written for Max 4.6 originally
Last time out, we created the LFOur, a generative patch composed of a quartet of synchronized LFOs whose output we can use to make noise. While it's interesting to watch how the different LFO configurations make combinatoric waveforms and it's restful and instructive to watch the sliders flick and rock, it would be nice to have something to connect it to. This tutorial includes some patches that will do just that.
I'm personally a lot more interested in the ability to synchronize processes in Max using time values that resemble musical note values to create control structures that can be easily time synced. This tutorial is about making one of those kinds of modules - a quartet of synchronized LFOs whose outputs I can sample individually for several kinds of data (triggers for waveform start, LFO outputs that I can sample at variably synchronized rates, and a nifty summed waveform I can use for more exotic kinds of control).
In this second installment of the ReWire Essentials series, we are going to look at hosting ReWire client applications. Clients route their information to the host (or mixer) application through the ReWire mechanism, and using Max/MSP as a host gives us options to have some fun with both the playback and output of the connected application.