Automobile airplane engine in Max

An update of the automax project

This is a Max patch that generates engine sounds (car, airplane, and spaceship) by reading RPM data from a bluetooth OBD-II sensor in an automobile. It uses Max adaptations of Pd patches by Andy Farnell from “Designing Sound”. And a Fourier filter patch (spaceship) by Katja Vetter.

In this audio clip, an airplane engine sound is mixed with a car engine sound.


The Max patch has been updated to detect available bluetooth devices. The audio example above was done with this device (Bluetooth Supper Mini OBD 2/OBD II ELM 327 Power 2)

But any Elm 327 device should work, as long as it will connect with your  computer.

The device pictured above needs to be deleted and re-paired each time you use it (code: 1234). I would recommend looking for something else.



Main patch


Abstractions and other files
  • engine-overtone.maxpat
  • fourierfilter.maxpat
  • hextoint.maxpat
  • vz.nanoctrlr-tz.maxpat
  • max-pd-abstractions folder (needs to be in Max file path or a subdirectory)


Follow the sequence of events as directed in the patch. Starting by selecting your device from the menu in the upper left corner. If there is a problem with the serial connection you will get “read 0” messages – or an error in the Max window.

Set the polling rate as slow as possible (700 ms.) and then work backwards.

The Korg NanoKontroller works with this patch too.

Tesla vehicle API with Max/MSP


update 12/2013 – see this post for an example of how to display geo-coded data from Max/MSP to Google maps

original post

This is a reference to some notes. In June, I wrote a Max patch to communicate with my brother David’s Tesla Model S, using an API which runs on Tesla servers and communicates with the car. You can do things like honk horn, flash lights, open doors – and also receive data on speed, position, and battery condition.

Can’t really test the control part of this – without the possibility of causing a car accident in California, but here’s a screen shot of the files. Essentially¬† I just ran a node server for the API and communicated from Max using Osc.

The last thing I did was to track his return trip from SFO to Santa Cruz and plot points on a map.We will eventually update this prototype to plot data on a Google Map.

Much of the logic was borrowed from the Irish Train mapping project: