Archive for maxmsp

M4_u Leicester – Day two

Posted in conferences, creative practice, music, research, software with tags , , on 15/01/2012 by sync24

Day two started with Jeremy Bernstein, an employee of C74 and developer of Max, talking about ‘How I learned to stop worrying and love Javascript’. I started off with an open mind to the use of Javascript here, and though I can appreciate it’s usefulness, only lasted 30 mins before brain-freeze set in and I couldn’t follow what he was talking about… I love Max for the lack of code, yeah, there’s somemaths which I struggle with, but avoiding coding is really important for me. I gave it a chance, but wont be bothering, thanks though, Jeremy!

Sean Clark the came on to talk about ‘Max for visual artists’ and showed older work he had created using Director to create VJ applications and installations, I remembered one Birmingham based project he had worked on from the 90s. Seans talk also confirmed that cv.jit is a good package to have installed – I use it at work in my teaching.
this particular piece was my fave:

Andrew Robertson began his talk showing this:
then talked about his ‘B-Keeper’ Max 4 Live plug-in which was presented in a very interesting way, Andrew talked about the process he’d gone through and the development of the techniques used to beat-track a human drummer with software.

I skipped the lunchtime workshop again (not really the best timing to be honest…) and had a break.

Lorenzo Picinali gave the final presentation of the day (unfortunatley Nick Bugayev had to cancel which was a shame as I was interested to see him talk about the Plastikman visuals… Lorenzo talked about ‘Non artistic applications of Max’ and his work creating virtual reality for blind people using sound spatialisation and turning data about proteins into sound. I always enjoy hearing about non music uses of Max, it’s fascinating how it gets used in all sorts of different areas and shows how versitile and powerful a piece of software it is.

M4_u was a good little conference, again, organisation and experience-wise it could do with taking a leaf out of FOTB, but then this was more academic than I was initially aticipating, however, the chap who’d organised the whole thing… who was he? He did do a great job though.


M4_u Leicester – Day one

Posted in conferences, creative practice, culture, music, research, software with tags , , , on 15/01/2012 by sync24

M4_u Leicester:

I went to the first UK based MAX conference in Leicester (of all places…) with PM this weekend. It wasn’t the same experience as Expo74, but the conference itself was only slightly smaller scale-wise.

The conference started with David Zicarelli delivering a supposed keynote talk titled ‘How to be better at Max’, this was a good start to the conference, as David discussed his recent reading around happiness and how people learn & improve. He then showed some patching strategies, and his Keynote presentation seemed to disappear. He wasn’t as shy as in Brooklyn, which was great as he talked for a full hour.

Next up was Richard Garrett and his ‘nwdlbots’, generative devices for Ableton Live. I’m not really much of a Live user, so it was good to see how the software works, I did struggle to maintain my attention as I the ‘generative’ element wasn’t really to my taste.

The third talk of the morning was from Luke Woodbury about ‘Max and special needs’. This was great, Luke was employed to build devises and facilitate a special needs dept in a school and looks like he’s done an amazing job of it! He showed various techniques he’s used for developing methods of interaction, getting the students attention and helping the teachers. He confirmed my thoughts about the Wiimote (unreliable bluetooth with Macs) and reinforced thoughts about i-devices using TouchOSC etc.

By the time the third talk ended, it appeared there was ano overlap with the Workshops and I needed a break, so skipped ‘Binaural Spatialisation’ with Lorenzo Picinali

After lunch Bret Battey talked about his work and ‘Compressed Feedback Synthesis’. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but once he got going and played some examples I was sold. Bret reminded me of NC, and seemed to keep catching himself lost in the moment when describing how sounds morphed and changed, surely great to have as a teacher!
The compressed feedback synthesis was great, systems which grabbed audio feedback and compressed it, stretching it out for long periods. It reminded me of some sounds I had explored in the 90s with my Zoom effects unit and four track tape machine, oh, and the visuals he does are amazing too.

(and here’s one of my tracks)

Brett was followed by Tarik Barri who gave a quick potted history, and talked about the development of his brilliant ‘Versum’ 3D world. Tarik also provides VJ visuals for people. I commented to PM that through Tariks talk, he seemed to make a sudden jump from playing about with Max, to writing stuff in Java and SuperCollider… he didn’t really talk about this much, so he must have taken it in his stride!
Versum is fantastic and was exhibited in a side room where the user could fly through the audio/visual space using the 3D mouse.

a UK MAX Conference…

Posted in conferences with tags , , , , on 26/10/2011 by sync24

from the website:

M4_u Convention brings together MAX software users at Leicester’s Phoenix Square

For the first time in the UK, Phoenix Square in Leicester will be hosting an international conference for artists, musicians, students and teachers to explore software which enables the development of unique sounds, stunning visuals and engaging interactive media.

Running from the 13-14th January from 10am – 6.30pm, the M4 Users Convention will bring together users of the popular programming software MAX, and its related programmes MSP, Jitter and Max for Live. The conference will be the first convention of its type held outside the US and will feature a keynote address by David Zicarelli, founder of Cycling ’74, the Californian company behind the software, as well as presentations and workshops from a range of international speakers. There will also be exhibitions and performances open to the public.

i’ll be going to this.

EXPO74 Brooklyn, October 2011 Day 3

Posted in conferences, creative practice, culture, research, software with tags , , , , on 16/10/2011 by sync24

(VERY brief notes taken during the conference, written up with video links added Jan 2012)

Ben Houge (videogame music prototyping)
this was interesting up to a point, but the room was so cold due to the air-con, that i had to leave.
Ben patched together a system for looping audio files, which was checking to see if events had happened.
he wasn’t 100% on the ball for a live patching event and audience members kept pointing out where he’d gone wrong or things that should be changed…

Geoff Morris – how to make a max patch someone would use.
This was interesting up to a point, though Geoff had an audience member on stage who seemed to be a beginner and wanted something mega simple, they talked about the way MAX was laid out.
then Geoff opened the session out to the audience and suggested we all share a patch with our neighbor and see if they could use it.
it seemed like a missed opportunity by someone who lacked confidence in public speaking.

Philippe Manoury (first MAX user)
Philippe talked about his history with Miller Pucket and the early days of MAX, which was interesting.
He presented bits of composition work he had done, though the whole thing was very dry and academic.
Though it was an interesting insight, I fell asleep.

Dafna Naphtali
showed how much of a one trick pony she was with her Eventide Harmonizer.
she’d some huge patches to control the thing over MIDI which was interesting, but her music i found boring.
the Riot Grrl thing she did was more like a Riot Mom thing, boring too.

Daito Manabe (!!!)
Daito was amazing, he showed a load of projects he’d worked on most using MAX, some using other stuff too, like Open Frameworks etc.
He talked at length about the thing that had made him famous – facial expression copying via electrical stimulus.
He ended with his latest project which no one wanted to fund, but was visually interesting enough to be used in the background for an advert, so he made his money back from it.
I think he must have a decent amount of money behind him to do this work, as well as a good reputation.

Feedback Panel.
this dragged on a bit, you always get people wanting to talk in a way that is more about them than anything else.
structurally, this panel was more about the software than the conference and would have benefitted from being earlier in the proceedings.

end performance – missed it but went to the pub with mr and mrs kevin – beer!

EXPO74 Brooklyn, October 2011 Day 2

Posted in conferences, creative practice, music, software with tags , , , on 15/10/2011 by sync24

(VERY brief notes taken during the conference, written up with video links added Jan 2012)

Gen objects with Darwin Grosse, Gregory Taylor and Joshua Kit Clayton
Gregory Taylor: //
The Gen objects work at a lower level in MAX allowing for direct processor communication, for both sound and video.
It’s a paid add-on.

Education Panel
This was interesting, listening to educators discuss how long they’d been teaching MAX, talking about various techniques etc.
The main thing that struck me was how they were either teaching music students or art students, not media students with limited creativity.
They were also faced with semesters where they taught MAX over 12 to 16 weeks.
It helped me to reflect on my own teaching, the fact i may have students for 10 weeks, and only look at MAX over the course of two or three weeks at the most.
I am getting to the point where i believe i should have MAX written in to the course structure more firmly and for a longer period of time, as short intro’s to it, and other software, probably are not enough.
As it looks right now, 2nd year digi is STILL really only Flash, introducing it to the 3rd years in one session also is not enough.
The CMP Expanded Media course should be based around MAX. If this option is to be detached from CMP (and CMP killed), then it should be re-written so that the theory and practice develop along side each other. perhaps it does need to be a bit of a how-to with MAX introduced within the first two or three weeks.
The digital media stream should be split at UG level, level one stays with DTP, level two goes down two paths (though maybe this should stay within one course…) animation and interactivity – three weeks of flash, animation and interactivity, three weeks of MAX and physical interaction (isn’t it that already…?).

Brian Crabtree & Kelli Cain
The creators of the Monome 🙂
performed first playing a bit of keyboard, sampling it, then manipulating it in some software (created by Stretta i think).
it was good, though the music is very much of a particular type – glitchy-plinky-plonk.
They then talked about their company, gave a potted history of what they have been doing and the ethos behind their work.

Eric Singer
talked about his micro-controllers and lemur bots etc.
it was great to see him as i have been aware of his work since i began working with MAX, though his machines are not my cup of tea, neither is the music, but what is these days…?

Kurt Ralske
talked about his history in the 3rd person (was strange and not very well delivered, especially for a teacher), then showed some examples of teaching stuff, which were brilliant – he had demoed them the software, then set them a homework task to make something useless with MAX. he also showed some of his installation projects…
made available for free 🙂

Dan Nigrin (slick max standalone)
great session showing simple things to be aware of when creating a max standalone to sell or give away.
Nathan Bowen (mobile phones and max)
used Touch OSC on the iphone and showed us how to make it work 🙂

Science Fair.
A great evening!!! I helped Kevin set-up,

then hung around, talked with Gregory Taylor and Alex Mesker about Autechre, and chatted with Dan Nigrn about old analog gear and new diy stuff like the Klee.
Oh, and i saw some interesting projects, such as a wooden controller, 3d video with MAX, etc.
Video from C74:

EXPO74 Brooklyn, October 2011 Day 1

Posted in conferences, music, research, software with tags , , , , on 14/10/2011 by sync24

(VERY brief notes taken during the conference, written up with video links added Jan 2012)

MAX Expo74 notes:
After registering and collecting my pass & C74 bike bell i met with KH had some food and the conference began…
David Z – shyly introduced the conference.
Joshua Kit Clayton – talked about the new version of MAX

Mattijs Kneppers
Really interesting talk about BIG projects which were not specifically music related.
Talked about EBOMAN who after making some big break beat tunes in the 90s, went on to work with community projects using MAX for live video sampling etc.

Suzanne Thorpe
Ex-Mercury Rev, talked about her projects – such as the rusty ship installation.
Once she started using amplification with her flute, she got into effects and discovered MAX.

Jeremy Bailey
Hilarious video performance artist, talked about the history of video art via his glasses and on-screen presentation, then talked about his own work, which was funny!
Lots of use of jitter and image tracking stuff.


Evening at Columbia Music Center.
This was really interesting, mainly because of the vintage synths there.
They have the RCA Victor – the first programmable synthesiser, along with some equipment from the SF tape music center (a Buchla etc), a stack of oscillators, and other stuff.
There were some performances by various people, Jeff Snyder had created a conductive touch interface which looked amazing, but was $695…!

Gregory Taylor and others performed as an ensemble creating an ambient soundscape thing, which was great too.