Kinect-via-Synapse Max Interface

First published in Dec. 2011, Kinect-via-Synapse Max Interface routes and displays user-tracking data from the XBox Kinect via OSC messages inside Max/MSP. No external drivers required, although you will need Synapse (, as well as the OSC-route external. The interface handles fifteen /joint messages for a single user, three different tracking modes, and six different joint event messages with a real time configuration of external routing options. Includes installation, guide manual, as well as credits.

Additional URLs

June 21, 2012 | 5:35 pm

That’s an amazing patch, especially if need to use part of the Kinect dataflow as an event triggering. Thanks for sharing!
I would only add 2 basic steps for rookies in Kinect/OSC use:
1) after starting Synapse, don’t forget to stay in position (stand up and put your arms up) and wait for skeleton detection, and
2) pause (but don’t quit) OSCulator (or other software you use for OSC communication) after making the handshake in channel 12345 or 12347 (a tricky step you have to do before setting the patch at the right UDP channel).
Nice job!!!

June 22, 2012 | 11:00 am

Thanks Eufrasio! I’ve added these as add-ons for future updates.

June 20, 2013 | 12:01 pm

This is great, I am just stating using it. Thank you so much for offering this tool! I would try to add a second user tab, although I am not completely sure how to do it. I have noticed that the kinect wouldn’t scan a second user. Is this a kinect + maxMSP + synapse bug, or is it just because this functionality is missing ?

June 20, 2013 | 6:32 pm

Synapse only tracks a single user. Not a bug, just what the feature is. If you like Kinect-Via-, you may also try my simpleKinect, which is a stand-alone app that sends OSC data out. simpleKinect takes the good parts of Synapse and combines them with the good parts of other openNI apps. Easy to send over to Max, and also sends distances between joints.

November 20, 2013 | 2:41 pm

Has anyone seen this problem:

After launching synapse and starting Kinect-via-synapse, error messages start appearing in the Max window. They say: % OSC-route: invalid message pattern righthand does not begin with /

(screenshot of errors attached)

I have kinect-via-synapse working perfectly on my MacBook Pro, but some of my students are trying to use it on lab computers (also MacBook Pro) and are seeing this error. No data shows in the initial data screen in kinect-via-synapse (after toggling options on to do so) and no data is received in "r rhnd1x" objects created in another max patch. The skeleton is created in synapse and the OSC indicator flashes in the OSC input window in kinect-via-synapse. No other programs are running when this problem occurs. Restarts of Max and synapse do nothing. This problem was replicated on two computers with two separate (but matching model 1414) kinects.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

PS. Jon, thank you for creating and sharing this software!

November 20, 2013 | 2:52 pm

Here is the attachment mentioned in the previous post. Didn’t notice that the screen shot was too large on the first try.

November 20, 2013 | 3:01 pm

Ok, one more try on the attachment (it seems like one of those days… ;^)

  1. Screen-Shot-2013-11-20-at-2.47.04-PM
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