Milford Graves Experiment

Milford Graves was one of my all time favorite musicians. His approach to percussion, and music generally, was unique in a way that defies explanation.

I sampled a bunch of clips of his drumming into Ableton live and then experimented with the Buffer Shuffler 2.0 device to see if I could randomize small slices, ie., several seconds each, of longer samples – without losing the “texture” of the original recordings.

Here is an example of what it sounds like:

This video shows a clip from David Murray’s “Real Deal” running through Buffer Shuffler using slices only about 2-3 seconds in length. The slicing rate is just arbitrary, since there is no warping or specific clock pulse.

Local files: tkzic/aardvark/milfordgraves1 project/milfordgraves1a.als

Remote radio – client

How to set up the client side of the remote radio system.

(under construction) patches have not been uploaded to github

This client works with the sever described in the previous post. We are running a MacBook Pro OSx 10.11.4. with the following:

  • logmein hamachi VPN
  • Soundjack VOIP
  • Max/MSP
  • Novation launchpad
  • DJ-Tech CDJ-101 controller


Install and set up LogMein Hamachi. It is free, for a limited number of computers.  Set up a Hamachi server on both the server and client. It should look something like this:



We are using Soundjack VOIP. It is also free. Use the following parameters on the client side.

  • mic: soundflower 2ch (or something that is not currently producing input!)
  • headphone: default output (or whatever you want to listen on)

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 12.23.54 AM

You can ignore the rest of the settings, since we are not sending audio. Most of the configuration is done on the server side.


We are using several patches, depending on which hardware controllers you are using. Make sure that the hardware controllers are connected before opening Max.

  • eagle-ui5.maxpat – User interface and main entry point for client communication and CDJ-101 abstrations

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 12.28.56 AM

  • freqdb4.maxpat – database handler

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 12.29.17 AM

  • lp_radio2.maxpat – launchpad driver

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 12.28.41 AM

After the max patches are loaded, you should be able to control the radio using the UI and the CDJ-101 controller. The red Mixer button in the upper right corner of the Launchpad should be lit.


to be continued…

How to install sms-tools on Mac OS X

Sound analysis/synthesis tools for music applications

By Music Technology Group at Universitat Pompeu Fabra

(update: So far, the tools are painfully slow under Macports. Ubuntu performance is way faster.)

Screen Shot 2014-11-26 at 10.02.34 PM

These tools are used in:  Audio Signal Processing for Music Applications by Prof Xavier Serra, Prof Julius O Smith, III. Sms-tools was designed to run in Ubuntu Linux. After many failed attempts, it is now running in Mac OS 10.9 using macports. Although the performance is better way better using Ubuntu – on the same Macbook.

I had tried using Anaconda – but ran into problems installing pygame.

Assuming that you already know how to install macports. Then install all the python modules described at the sms-tools github page. The macports versions of the modules are prefixed by py27- , For example:

  • py27-cython
  • py27-game
  • py27-matplotlib
  • py27-ipython

also used: sudo easy_install cython

After installing all of the modules, then clone the sms-tools repository and recompile the Cython functions. You will get a screen full of warnings – but it shouldn’t matter.