Tag: Max/MSP

ep-341 Max/MSP – Spring 2015 week 7

The Live Object Model in Max for Live.

Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 12.43.39 PM

Several ways of working with Ableton Live parameters in a M4L patch. (This is an improved version of the patch we built in class) https://reactivemusic.net/?p=18401

The Live Object Model description: https://cycling74.com/docs/max5/refpages/m4l-ref/m4l_live_object_model.html

In the coming weeks we will build synthesizers and work with control surfaces in M4L


Build 3 or more M4L devices, including one of each of the following

  • An audio effect
  • An instrument
  • A Midi effect

Its ok to adapt and “improve” an existing device.

Please bring in your work in progress for next week and be prepared to demonstrate something. The entire assignment will not be due until March 31.


Boids sonification in Max

“Boids is a bird flight and animal flock simulator. It is based on the same algorithm which was used in “Jurassic Park” for herding dinosaurs.”

Max external by Singer, Jasch, Sier and Smith. Tutorial by dude837



folder: boids

project: boids23

patch: main-tz.maxpat (slight modification to enable existing presets to work)

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 9.49.09 AM

  • Download version 1.1 from http://s373.net/code/ (in the section called “boids for max”)
  • Then add the path to the downloaded folder to Max objects | file preferences

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 10.02.09 AM

Fractal drawing in Max

Fractal geometry with Jitter.

By Peter Elsea

Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 11.14.14 AM

“Fractal geometry is the study of objects that have a property known as self- similarity – They are made up of smaller copies of the overall shape. One of the most popular is called the Sierpinski triangle”

The Max patches were developed (stolen) from Elsea’s lecture notes at http://peterelsea.com/Maxtuts_jitter/Fractals_in_Max.pdf. The first patch draws Sierpinski triangles. The second patch is generalized to circular shapes with N corners.

Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 11.14.57 AM



folder: fractals


  • fractal1.maxpat (triangle)
  • fractal-n-corners.maxpat (N corners)
external dependencies

You will need to download Elsea’s Lobjects abstractions and add the path to Max in Options | File Preferences: http://peterelsea.com/lobjects.html


Random dots in Max

Draw random colored dots on a 2d plane.

Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 8.52.02 AM

Dots are superimposed on a world map using the lcd object.



folder: random-oval-paint

patch: random-oval-paint.maxpat

additional files: worldMap.jpg


Load the patch and click the toggle in the upper left corner to begin drawing. Number boxes allow you change rate and dot size. Click the purple “clear” message to start over.


Soft66lc FTDI driver issues in Mac Os

Notes: Since Mavericks, the Soft66lc SDR external has not been working in Max. Although I was not able to update the external, there is a temporary workaround.

Mac OS is hijacking the FTDI USB device with its own driver. You can unload the driver from terminal:

sudo kextunload -bundle com.apple.driver.AppleUSBFTDI

To reload the driver use “kextload”.

Here is  article from Sparkfun with details about this workaround: https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/how-to-install-ftdi-drivers/mac

And a more elaborate workaround that removes the Apple driver: http://www.mommosoft.com/blog/2014/10/24/ftdi-chip-and-os-x-10-10/

Notes about latency and FTDI http://openbci.com/forum/index.php?p=/discussion/199/latency-timer-os-x-new-info-plist

The real solution involves using the new Apple driver to communicate with the device: https://developer.apple.com/library/mac/technotes/tn2315/_index.html

Or spoofing the driver with a codeless kext: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/7263648/codeless-kext-loading-problem




ep-426 Interactive video – Spring 2015 week 1

Interactive video programming and performance

Syllabus: https://reactivemusic.net/?p=18208


Information between words: “Palin Biden Silences” David Tinapple, 2008: http://vimeo.com/38876967

“We used to be Friends” By Benjamin Roberts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?

Reverse engineering example: Naoto Fushimi https://reactivemusic.net/?p=18228

frame sub
vizzie –
case study
attributes : attrui


Read Jitter tutorials 1-3
  • Playing a quicktime movie
  • Create a Matrix
  • Math Operations on a Matrix

Also, be familiar with the difference between messages, attributes, and arguments with Max objects

Do the lessons in Max 7 that use video and computer graphics
  • fantastic sounds
  • RGB music
  • geometric dreams
Reverse engineer a prototype of one of the examples shown in class

“Palin Biden Silences” or “We used to be Friends”

Either sketch out the design, or make an example using Vizzie that demonstrates some aspect of the process.

ep-341 Max/MSP – Spring 2015 week 1

Programming interactive audio software and plugins in Max/MSP

Syllabus: https://reactivemusic.net/?p=18206


  • Making prototypes
  • Connecting things
  • Building tools
  • Design
  • Reverse engineering
  • DSP, plugins
  • Video and computer graphics
  • Experiments



leap motion
midi osc thing / chat
frame subtraction
voice cancellation thing
max for live – granulator or convolution reverb

show basics of max
make a spectrum analyzer
make a pitch detector tweet thing


Read Max tutorials 1-4
  • Hello
  • Bang!
  • Numbers and Lists
  • Metro and Toggle
Build a control panel that does nothing

in Max. It should look amazing. It should be the coolest control panel you can imagine. Use any objects, colors, shapes that you can find. But… it shouldn’t actually control anything.

Be ready to show it in class next week.

Do at least two of the built-in lessons in Max 7

Pick any two.

ep-426 syllabus – Spring 2015

Interactive video programming and performance

Spring 2015

teacher: Tom Zicarelli – http://tomzicarelli.com

You can reach me at:  tzicarelli@berklee.edu

Office hours: Tuesday 1-2 PM, or Tuesday 4-5PM, at the EPD office #401 at 161 Mass Ave. Please email or call ahead.

Assignments and class notes will be posted to this blog: https://reactivemusic.net before or after the class. Search for: ep-426 to find the notes

Examples, software, links, and references demonstrated in class are available for you to use. If there is something missing from the notes,  please ask about it. This is your textbook.


Everybody calls this course “The Jitter class” – referring to Max/MSP jitter from Cycling 74. You will learn to use Jitter. But the object is to create interactive visual art. Jitter is one tool of many available.

The field of interactive visual art is constantly evolving.

After you take the course, you will have designed projects. You might design a new tool for other artists. You will have opportunities to solve problems.  You will become familiar with how others make interactive art. You will explore the connection between sound, video, graphics, sensors, and data. You will be exposed to to a world of possibilities – which you may embrace or reject.

We will explore a range of methods and have opportunities to use them in projects. We’ll look at examples by artists – asking the question: How does that work?

Topics: (subject to change)

  1. Jitter
  2. Matrixes
  3. Reverse engineering
  4. Visualization of audio
  5. Visualization of live data, API’s
  6. Video analysis (realtime)
  7. Video hardware and controllers
  8. Prototyping
  9. Video signal processing
  10. OpenGL
  11. Other tools: Processing, WebGL, Canvas, 2d graphics
  12. Portfolios
  13. Live performance

Grading and projects:

Grades are based on two projects that you will design – and class participation. Please see Neil Leonard’s EP-426 syllabus for details. I encourage and will give credit for: collaboration with other students, outside projects, performances, independent projects, and anything else that will foster your growth and success.

I am open to alternative projects. For example, if you want to use this course as an opportunity to develop a larger project or continue a work in progress.

Reference material