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Topic: What is the point of Max-MSP?

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  1. #1

    What is the point of Max-MSP?

    Is there something really useful about this software, or is it just for experimental stuff?

  2. #2

    Re: What is the point of Max-MSP?

    I read an interview with composer Jeff Rona. He said that he used this software a lot. I downloaded it because it was free. Never used it.

    Try doing a search for Jeff Rona and see if that helps.

    Cheers,


    Jose

  3. #3

    Re: What is the point of Max-MSP?

    Quote Originally Posted by josejherring
    I read an interview with composer Jeff Rona. He said that he used this software a lot. I downloaded it because it was free. Never used it.
    You must have downloaded it a LOONG time ago.
    Back in the good ol' days it was free - now it will cost you $495 plus shipping!


    Try doing a search for Jeff Rona and see if that helps.
    No need. It's here:
    http://www.cycling74.com/products/maxmsp.html

  4. #4

    Re: What is the point of Max-MSP?

    Quote Originally Posted by meroveus
    You must have downloaded it a LOONG time ago.
    Back in the good ol' days it was free - now it will cost you $495 plus shipping!


    No need. It's here:
    http://www.cycling74.com/products/maxmsp.html
    I found it about four or five months ago. Is that a looong time ago?

    Shoot! $495. I guess I'll unpack it and check it out.

    Jose

  5. #5

    Re: What is the point of Max-MSP?

    max/msp is very useful if you want to create your own plugins or utilities or other music/midi/audio related programs.

    it's a high level, object oriented programming language.

    if you are satisfied with the commercial tools avaliable to you, or don't like logic and coding or that type of thinking, then it's not for you.

    if you like the freedom to create your own pieces of music/midi software without having to learn a lower level programming language then check it out.

    it is heavily used in experimental areas because of it's extreme flexibility in creating basically whatever you want quickly and easily (realative to lower level programming languages).

    examples:

    create an interface for normal and exotic alternate controllers.

    create algorhithmic composition programs.

    create audio processing plugs and programs.

    create live performance patches that collect and process different streams of midi and audio.

    link and process midi, audio and video in real time based on performance data.

    i used to use it when i was in college and created some very cool patches. nowdays i don't have much use because i'm basically satisfied with the commercial tools avaliable and also, i just don't have the time to program anymore!

    it was a great learning tool for me tho. i have a much greater understanding of whats going on under the hood of a lot of software now. with that understanding, i can make better use of the tools and software i use.

    -matt mariano

  6. #6

    Re: What is the point of Max-MSP?

    Max/MSP is great...

    It allows you to do everything that other software don't. Imagination is your limit. Of course, you need to all the work...

    Imagine that you have an idea to make a new type of effect or a new type of synth. Imagine that you want to process MIDI in some way. Imagine that you don't like the dynamic response of you keyboard, and you want to change it..etc.

    In Max/Msp you have audio and midi inputs, audio and midi outputs, and objects that allows you to do everything (some in a higher level, others in a lower level).

    For instance, now there is a lot of midi plugin effects to do several things like legato tools, add some random changes in velocity. Most sound libraries also include some features like Keyswitching, Mod-crossfade... until some time ago, if you wanted any of this, you would use Max/Msp.

    Imagine that you want to transform you pitch-bend in a "Dynamic-Bend" to increase/decrease the dynamic of notes: MAX

  7. #7
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
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    Re: What is the point of Max-MSP?

    It's roughly equivalent to Reaktor, except even more low-level, for another attempt at an explanation.

    Far from just experimental stuff, though. Heck, a violin is experimental stuff if one is young at heart.

  8. #8

    Re: What is the point of Max-MSP?

    So, it is more like a programming environment to manipulate audio, right? Sounds interesting, but at the same time I wonder how much time is necessary to make interesting things with it. Actually. when I said "experimental" I was referring to the possibility of using it in the day-by-day, like "oh, I feel like creating an interesting sound in Max-DSP, let me take 1 hour or 2 to do it". But if creating useful sounds takes a long time, maybe it is more for developers than users in the end.

  9. #9

    Re: What is the point of Max-MSP?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce A. Richardson
    It's roughly equivalent to Reaktor, except even more low-level, for another attempt at an explanation.
    I wouldn't say roughly equivalent to Reaktor, since Reaktor is a synth, and MaxMSP is a programming environment which is capable of much more than creating sounds.

  10. #10

    Re: What is the point of Max-MSP?

    The terse answer to the original question may go something like: If you have to ask what the point of Max/MSP is, then it is not for you (grashopper).

    As far as a program description, I would second most of what Matzen said above, except for the bit about creating whatever you want quickly and easily. Some things are quick and easy, but in my experience most things take a bit more effort, and in a few cases it can be a very frustrating experience. With that said, it may be that I am not a very good (Max/MSP) programmer - though I have been using it on and off for well over a decade(!) now, oftentimes developing applications for other users.

    You *can* make interesting and unusual sounds in Max (actually, MSP which among other things stands for Max Signal Processing), but either you or someone else has to make the patch to do it first. In comparing Max/MSP to Reaktor, one thing I find is that there is a much larger array of ready to go user-designed instruments for the latter even though they mostly appear to descend from a handful of archetypes.

    So those hours making sounds, will have to first be spent making the patch, and, taking another step backward, you will probably need to spend those few hours learning your way around the environment first. So, In all reality, if you are on a tight schedule or have little time and/or little interest in exploring the world of (graphic) programming then I would not recommend getting into Max/MSP


    As has probably been well established on this thread already, Max/MSP will help you do all the stuff that commercial software isn't so ready to, provided you can program it or get someone to program it for you. This is why it is popular in the 'experimental' scene and used in a significant proportion of media based installations, especially now that Jitter has joined 'the family'.

    As far as the demo goes, you can download the fully functional app and evaluate it for a month and it runs without any restrictions for that period.
    The included documentation and examples are about as good as it gets.

    Info for the intrepid souls: Max was initially developed by Miller Puckette while at IRCAM in the late 80s. He is (or was recently) involved in developing PD which has similarities to Max (one difference being that PD is free). And IRCAM now has JMax, which if I am not mistaken is also free. Open source OS may be required...

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