Lissajous curves in Max

Drawing Lissajous curves with Jitter

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By Peter Elsea

“Jules Antoine Lissajous (1822-1880) developed a technique for projecting light figures in the 1850s. He placed mirrors on tuning forks and bounced a light beam off them onto a screen. This became a standard technique for studying vibration and enabled major discoveries by Helmholtz and others.”

These two patches are adapted from Elsea’s lecture notes at The first patch generates curves with two sine waves assigned to X and Y. The second patch adds AM (amplitude modulation). There is an optional feedback module to make visual trails.

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folder: lissajous


  • lissajous-1.maxpat
  • lissajous-am.maxpat
external dependencies

You will need to download Elsea’s Lobjects abstractions and add the path to Max in Options | File Preferences: