Month: September 2013

Build VST plugins in Max with gen~

Today I built a VST plugin in gen~ using instructions…

at the Cycling 74 Wiki

additional things

local files:

  • max teaching examples/Tremelo-vst.maxpat (gen~)
  • max teaching examples/vst-tester.maxpat


  • vstsdk2.4/public_sdk/samples/vst2.x/MyVSTPlugin
  • VST requires all paramaters to go from 0-1.0 so you need to scale them in gen~
  • There are a ton of compiler warnings in Xcode. And a syntax error that you can autocorrect.
  • Restart Max, if you make changes to the plugin


New Interfaces for Musical Expression

By Michael Lyons


Gestural control without primary feedback. i.e.. Theremin.

Perry’s Principles (perry cook)


  • P1: Programmability is a curse
  • P2: Smart instruments are often not smart
  • P3: Copying an instrument is dumb, leveraging expert technique is smart
  • P4: Some players have spare bandwidth, some do not
  • P5: Make a piece, not an instrument or controller
  • P6: Instant music, subtlety later


  • P7: Miracle, Industry Designed, Inadequate
  • P8: Batteries, Die (a command not an observation)
  • P9: Wires are not that bad (compared to wireless)
  • P10: New algorithms suggest new controllers
  • P11: New controllers suggest new algorithms
  • P12: Existing Instruments suggest new controllers
  • P13: Everyday objects suggest amusing controllers
New (as of 2007)
  • P14: More can be better (but hard)
  • P15: Music + Engineering is a great Teaching (and Marketing) tool
  • P17: Younger students are more fearless



By Charlie Roberts

Notes by Sam Tarakajian from the Cycling 74 blog.

“My second workshop is with Charlie Roberts, the furiously talented man behind the Control app for iPad and iPhone that was in many ways the inspiration for Mira. This workshop was advertised as an introduction to the Web Audio API, so I’m imagining that we’re going to spend the afternoon talking about the complexities of working with audio in a high-level language like Javascript, and the challenges of getting audio to run in the browser on multiple platforms. As it turns out, Charlie has basically solved all those problems already, and so instead he takes on a three hour tour of Gibber. Gibber is a Supercollider-like wrapper around Web Audio that lets you build sample-accurate sequencer and synthesizers in Javascript. Oh, did I mention it’s runtime re-configurable? Anyway, it nearly melts my brain to think about how Charlie’s work could fit together with Max. Imagine a Max-like program running in the browser, with something like Gibber providing the backend to a patchable interface. Imagine using that interface to build and deploy interactive audio to the web. Or, switch your brain with me to Totally Unwarranted Speculation mode and imagine being able to turn any webpage into a programmable patch. It’s a bit of a pipe dream, to be sure, but why bother coming to NIME if you aren’t going to entertain impossible ideas?”

Important links from that talk include:

Mike Lyons NIME

By Sam Tarakajian at The Cycling 74 Blog

Michael Lyons, a NIME veteran and researcher in musical interaction, leads the first workshop. His presentation does a great job of filling in the gaps in my knowledge on NIME related topics, subjects like primary versus secondary feedback (secondary feedback is the sound an instrument makes, primary feedback is everything else it does). He also provides a thought provoking overview of why people make NIMEs in the first place, which I find particularly interesting. Beyond techno-fetishism and fascination with the human-machine relationship, he posits that the #1 reason that people are interested in building new instruments is because of an insistence on cultural fluidity. People want new ways to make sound because they want their own tools–they don’t just accept what’s given to them. No wonder so many NIME builders use Max.

As Michael brings the presentation to a close, my mind is humming with new ideas to take back to the Cycling ‘74 think tank:

  • Mapping (between input gestures and sound output) is the heart of NIME, and indeed of instrument building in general.
  • MIDI is plug and play, OSC isn’t because there’s no standard
  • Programmability is a curse, and it’s important to have long-term versions of things
  • Primary feedback (lights, vibrations) is critical for intimacy
  • Music is becoming increasingly process oriented as opposed to artifact oriented. People who are not virtuosos are willing to go out in public and make music, and are eager to find a forum to do so.

Job postings in the field of electronic production and design


From Berklee Music Network.

57 jobs from a search on “dsp”, a google search for Max/MSP jobs, and postings from, and

Design Engineer – Guitar Electronics (Fender Musical Instrument Corporation)

  • Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (BSEE) or equivalent is required
  • 2+ years of significant experience in related electronics design preferred
  • Must have experience playing a guitar or have a strong desire/interest in guitars
  • Knowledge of CAD tools such as PCB layout is required along with a strong proficiency with AutoCAD, Solid Works (2007+), and PADS
  • Strong analog electronics skills including use of discrete bipolar and FET transistors and op-amps
  • Good technical and non-technical communications skills
  • Experience with FCC testing is desired
  • Experience in high volume consumer products a plus
  • Previous/Current work experience within a manufacturing environment is strongly desired


Audio Software Engineer (game development)

Skills, Knowledge & Competencies:

  • Able to work closely with other Programmers and Audio Designers to develop compelling technology that enables innovative game systems and features
  • Able to architect, program and optimize C++ in existing or new audio systems
  • Able to write clear, maintainable, portable code
  • Self-motivated with demonstrated ability to work efficiently and independently
  • Able collaborate as member of a team and work toward team goals.
  • Must be able to work closely with Designers, Artists, and Programmers to develop compelling technology innovative game systems and features

Essential Requirements:

  • 1+ years game industry or related programming experience
  • Experience in one or more areas of game audio technology: PCM, MP3, mix routing, path propagation, and filter
  • DSP usage, streaming bandwidth and latency management, distributed CPU processing, etc.


  • Experience with FMOD or WWISE
  • Experience shipping a AAA game from concept to completion


Job Board: Max/MSP programmer to handle serial, MIDI data

By | Published July 3, 2013

Summary of Skills required: Max/MSP, serial data, MIDI data

Project description:  [Client is] looking for someone who can build a Max/MSP patch that separates and sorts serial data received wirelessly from 10 wearable devices containing multiple sensors. Once the data is sorted, a user interface will be required that allows a technician to calibrate the sensors for each wearable device.  This patch/interface needs to be integrated into an existing interface that turns serial data into midi notes.

Length of project:  Would like to start ASAP and finish no later than October 31, 2013.

Remuneration:  Negotiable

CONTACT: Interested? Send your information to Loretta at lorettaf{~at~}rogers{~dot~}com


Ableton Live

Visual Designer – Live (f/m)

  • Location: Berlin, Germany
  • Department: Products Unit
  • Type: Full Time
  • Required Experience: Experienced

We are looking for a designer with the taste and vision to create the next generation of interfaces for Ableton’s products; someone that understands that design is about how it works, but that things usually work better when they look better.

You understand UI design in the context of music and believe that software has more to offer than pictures of hardware. You know the language and practices of software development and can work with developers, product owners, testers, and other designers.
What you will do

  • As part of the product team you’ll work with product designers to develop and refine Ableton’s UI design language. Together you’ll translate this into patterns and principles that can be applied by the wider design team.
  • Work with developers to prototype and implement interfaces. Help define UI needs that will influence technical and framework choices.
  • Work with product owners, stakeholders and users to understand how people use our products and use this information to define design principles and goals.

What you need to bring

  • A demonstrated ability to deliver beautiful, usable interfaces.
  • Experience working with developers delivering UIs for complex desktop, mobile, or web applications.
  • Experience translating a UI language into guidelines and patterns to be used and applied by a group of designers.
  • Expert knowledge of established and emerging user interface patterns within and outside the musical software domain.
  • The ability to facilitate, lead, and benefit from design critique
  • The skills to present and explain design decisions to non-designers.
  • Fluent English.
  • Willingness to relocate – this position is permanently located in Berlin.

What will make you stand out from the crowd

You make music with Live (or other software.)

The ability to prototype and build your designs.

Experience with software font rendering and localization.
Sounds like a great opportunity?

If you meet these criteria, please submit your resume including a cover letter and your portfolio. Please let us know your possible starting date and your preferred salary.

You want to learn more about Ableton and why we think you will like it here? Go back to our jobs page.


Creative Technologist – Soundcloud

Are you a hybrid designer and developer that wants to build some of the most creative projects using sound on the web? In this role, you would work within the creative team at SoundCloud and collaborate closely with outside brand partners to design, develop and build engaging experiences that demonstrate the power of sound.

You’re an amazing creative thinker first and foremost, as well as a nimble coder with an appreciation for good design. Ultimately, you understand the messages we and our partners want to share, and are able to develop ideas to do that to a huge audience.


  • Work with brand partners and external agencies to create engaging, powerful interactive experiences
  • Push the envelope of what’s possible with sound on the web
  • Produce digital campaign materials, launch promotions and microsites in line with overall marketing objectives
  • Create data visualisations, motion graphics & (potentially) videos to help visualise and communicate our existing network of sound creators
  • Develop innovative hacks that promote the abilities of our API and the diversity of the SoundCloud platform


  • Ability to take both tight and broad briefs and deliver a project from concept to deploy
  • Extensive startup, studio or agency experience, or experience in a similar fast-moving, creative and collaborative environment
  • An eye for aesthetics, commitment to beautiful execution and understanding of how to manage visual constraints
  • Expert knowledge of emerging web technologies, APIs and services and the ability to learn new ones on the way (e.g. JavaScript, HTML5 Canvas, CSS3, Web Audio API, ObjC, Ruby+Rails, git+GitHub, Heroku,…)
  • Experience in building bold, creative communications material through a variety of mediums
  • Flexible, fast and with excellent communication skills

To apply, send us an email along with your portfolio, CV and some ideas of how you’d change the way sound can be heard on the web.