Patching with Max 6

Dear all,

I am in my final year at uni and I have decided to do a little blog series here about all the assignments I’ve been given this year, and talk about how it went and what challenges I faced, as well as what I learnt.

feature-max6

There are about six assignments in total for this year and the first one is a portfolio of MaxMSP projects.

Lets begin….

 

Max (6) is a programming software by Cycling 74, and can be broken down into 3 sections, Max, MSP, and Jitter and these three areas relate to messages, audio and video. I think of it as the electronic musician’s scientist application. Its a really good program for….well creating programs.

When you get really good, its so much fun to just imagine what you want to create, and then go and create it in Max, just like the motto says, “Connect Anything” or something like that!

When you open the program, you start with a blank patch.Screen Shot 2013-04-24 at 14.44.25

Screen Shot 2013-04-24 at 14.44.48Max works by connecting objects together to create different applications for whatever purpose you choose.

Its a highly versatile program when you start using it to perform and interact with computer and real world elements. Its amazing for live audio and visual work as well as sound design.

 

There is a steep learning curve, but luckily Cycling 74 have all the bases covered. The program features a massive tutorial database built in so you can learn the basics, and then move on to more advanced concepts.Screen Shot 2013-04-24 at 16.00.42

The assignments I were given were all MSP (audio based) and they included:

1. Create a sound file player. (play back audio files)

Screen Shot 2013-04-24 at 16.11.32

Screen Shot 2013-04-24 at 16.24.59

 

 

 

 

2. Create pitch domain effect. (transpose pitch)

Screen Shot 2013-04-24 at 16.11.44

Screen Shot 2013-04-24 at 16.25.16

 

 

 

 

3. Create time domain effect. (delay)

Screen Shot 2013-04-24 at 16.12.35Screen Shot 2013-04-24 at 16.25.29

 

 

 

4. Create in the frequency domain. (synth)

Screen Shot 2013-04-24 at 16.12.04

Screen Shot 2013-04-24 at 16.26.19

 

 

 

5. Create an extended project (my fav)

Screen Shot 2013-04-24 at 16.13.49

Screen Shot 2013-04-24 at 16.26.39

 

 

 

It was really fun doing these projects as it helped boost my knowledge on how and why things work in electronic music. For example, in the delay effect you see above, it was really interesting learning how one creates a delay.

I now know that it involves delaying a copy of the signal by a certain timeframe, and then if you want to create a feedback control, you copy the delayed signal and feed it back into itself. This was cool to know, because when I use delay effects in Reason, I saw all the knobs, but I never really knew how it was created and how the different controls work with each other internally.

What I found most fun was doing an extended project. For this, I created five different patches labelled Clank, Sync, Tones etc. They all did different things like play back samples at different speeds, play tones with different envelope times, it was really cool to blend these different elements together. What gave me the idea to do this was a piece of music by Richard Devine, Float 82, it really inspired me to try something similar.

So I hope you enjoyed this post, and you had fun getting an insight into the diffirent things I’ve been doing at university. I initially thought this assignment was way out of my league, and thought I would never learn how to use it, but it actually turned out to be really fun in the end and was a different way of looking at electronic music for me. For further details on the possibilities of Max, check out there website.

I’ll let you know how the next one goes and will do a post when the time comes!

All the best dear ones,

Jamie

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