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What is exactly Max/MSP?

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Hey, hope you can help me.

 

Since I started investigating about how electronic music is done, I encountered this program that, supposedly, Autechre, Aphex, and many others use to create music.

I once downloaded and, well, I didn't understood a fuck, so I kept with FL Studio, lol. Anyway, It looks pretty interesting and I really want to dig it, but first I want to know why it is so cool and that.

 

Look this:

 

He used Max... Why? I think Reason, Fl, Ableton, Buzz or whatever, etc. can do it... Why in Max? Or what's the point to use Max/MSP?

 

I know that you can create like programs, codes and that, but is it for the professionals only, or can bedroom dudes like me learn it?

 

Thx.

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Guest RadarJammer

If you wanted to you could probably get $20 of components at Radio Shack and spend a afternoon/weekend patching in Max and make a system so whenever someone enters the front door a cd player turns on and starts playing a welcome song.

 

Max is great for people with wild imaginations and the motivation to attempt bringing their imagination to life. It would be tedious as all hell to try and do the same things that you would do in FL Studio or some other DAW.

 

Autechre and other artists who use max for music are probably mostly exploring generative midi or building really personalized live performance patches.

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max is good for connecting things to other things in really specialized / abstract ways.

for music making - it's best for talking to hardware you already own that you want to make do really weird stuff via midi (generative sequencing), or interconnect with other gear in unusual ways.

 

people use it a lot to make art installations - hook it up to sensors that detect when someone comes near and then trigger something else to happen, etc...

 

it's also really great for processing images & video via the Jitter extensions.

 

but if you want to make a new type of sampler or synth, your better off doing that in something higher level like Reaktor or a Nord Modular. you'd drive yourself insane trying to do that in max. it's a very steep learning curve that requires a major time investment learning to do anything more than just very basic stuff.

 

 

this isn't totally on-topic to your question but it's a good read: max vs nord mod vs kyma.

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Basically what everyone else said, I use it a lot for generative midi blah blah, and for creating certain effects blahblahblahaha, and for a couple of glitchy synth/sequencer things that I never use anymore.

 

It's good fun once you get your head around how it likes things to be done and you can make some awesome stuff but you have to be willing to spend hours and hours on something only for it to not work at all.

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It's like a programming language, but more visual, and you can do almost everything with it, for example create your own synthesizer from an empty paper to the final thing. While VSTs or most Software Synthesizers have certain limitations (which I personally like) something like Max or Pure Data enables you to do whatever you want and have full controll over every parameter. The problem is that building a patch can take quite some while, so for musiscians, I find Software Synthesizers better, cause you can immediatly start jamming, and don't need to first build a patch for some days.

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I know that you can create like programs, codes and that, but is it for the professionals only, or can bedroom dudes like me learn it?

Start here (ignore the terrible opening animation - he drops it swiftly !). Maybe make it a New Years' resolution to start learning it -

 

(the rest can be found here - http://www.youtube.com/user/BazTutorials/videos )

 

It's simple concepts, that build and build to more involved ideas. It's a brick wall learning curve but once you start things will soon drop into place

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Yeah, those tutorials are wicked

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i love max!! it changed my perception of making electronic music & almost all my music is done mostly in max - i use it for signal rate sequenzing & dsp mostly, not so much as a midi tool.

 

what i love about it is not only the endless possibilities, but the knowledge that comes with building your own tools - you get to really understand how things work - & make & change them like you want them - which can become a bad thing too, because sometimes you can get lost in design ideas that aren't really musically motivated ("perfecting your patch")!!

 

however, if you really wanna learn max, take your time: although you can get some basic results in a short time, especially with the midi stuff etc., it took me over a year until i was able to build whole tracks in it. then again, i know my patches are quite monstrous & most people use max for quite different purposes...

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I know that you can create like programs, codes and that, but is it for the professionals only, or can bedroom dudes like me learn it?

 

to answer your question: you don't have to be some kind of math wizard to do awesome things in max, however sometimes a pocket calculator comes in handy :happy: no really, even for myself the technical side of anything definitely isn't my strength! you have to be able to think in "abstract" ways though, but i guess that comes with time & every new ae album...

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I think its important to understand the history. Max was actually made ages ago and just addressed midi manipulation in environments where it was lacking, such as Vision(old school). MSP was added on later as a DSP counterpart to Max.

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the new max is beautifully designed,compared to the painful pre5 version days. its really worth diving into and getting real crazy, and thats up to you.

forgive my boldness, but Reaktor its also a great modular system, a bit less daunting for a begginer than max, and its got a library with shitloads of things(synths,samplers,fx,sequencers)that you can take apart and learn from

oh! and Squarepusher abuses it! probably all digital bruit-ness post go plastic its Reaktor :squarepusher_logo::braindance:

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oh! and Pure data is by the same guy who created Max in the 80's, so there's your free, open source alternative

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Guest ansgaria

Max (+msp and jitter): 399 dollars.

Reaktor: 379 euro/490 dollars.

 

 

IDM is so expensive.

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Guest ansgaria

IDM also sucks...

 

IDM is expensive and sucks.

 

Why do we even bother.

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Well, given the fact there's a serious lack of women in the life of the good old IDM'er, at least there on part of your life that knows how to suck!

 

Never mind though. Carry on the conversation.

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Guest capitan mission

Max or Pure data are for stuff you cant do in Fl studio, Live, Logic, Renoise or whatever DAW.

Its a programming language, and is mainly used for real experimental stuff, weird synthesis and generative sequencing.

Trying to do in this software what you can do in any DAW is a stupid thing in most cases. But is good to learn it if you want to learn about how synthesis and electronic music works inside...

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Look this:

 

 

this guy's spectrogram visualizer looks a lot like mine. drawing spectral data in jitter is really fun.

 

only get into max if you want to devote significant time and effort to developing your own tools. to make synths and effects, you'll need to give yourself many rigorous lessons in DSP. to make generative midi algorithms you'll need to be very clever with math. the learning curve is infinite - you can do anything in max, so you can use it as a platform to research just about every topic in electronic music from the fundamentals onward.

 

if you are at all interested in programming and the academic side of electronic music then it will be your kind of thing. if not, don't bother.

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how drastic is the difference between Max 5 and Max 6 ?

 

http://fluorescent-grey.bandcamp.com/track/max-msp-is-for-re-inventing-the-wheel-with-powmod-2003

 

trying to post a bandcamp song link but at one time this is what i thought of Max/msp

 

http://fluorescent-g...ith-powmod-2003

Edited by mcbpete

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how drastic is the difference between Max 5 and Max 6 ?

 

http://fluorescent-grey.bandcamp.com/track/max-msp-is-for-re-inventing-the-wheel-with-powmod-2003

 

trying to post a bandcamp song link but at one time this is what i thought of Max/msp

 

http://fluorescent-g...ith-powmod-2003

 

 

 

 

that was really quite unpleasant

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still not sure if this is a troll thread due to the general retarded nature of the first post...if watmm were as cynical as it used to be you'd have a bunch of responses along the lines of "how do i maxed msp?".

 

but i digress. the best way to learn max is to right click->help any object you want to learn about, and if the help patch still doesn't explain it well enough there's a really detailed reference manual for each object. you'll be surprised how quickly you'll be able to get good results once you get your head around the basic functions, and the more you play around with it the more you'll learn too.

 

boxus is making it sound way harder than it is, trust me. you could be a math genius or a simpleton who just likes the colours of the patch cords and still make something interesting. they'd be different, of course but that's just the flexibility of max.

 

i think it was robert henke from monolake who suggested that it's better to have a bunch of small patches that do a few things instead of one big patch that does a bunch of things. once you have a set of small patches you can chain them together in different ways to suit your setup - the big patch would be far less flexible. the bpatcher object is your friend when it comes to stuff like this. oh yeah and henke also co-invented ableton, for what it's worth.

Edited by Mesh Gear Fox

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that was really quite unpleasant

 

Ludd, just for you ill make sure to compose all my future music in the style of watered down attempted derivative aphex twin braindance. i'll add in some forced ironic ceephaxy lofi mspaint chopped up cover too just for good measure

Edited by Awepittance

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Guest chunky

that was really quite unpleasant

 

Ludd, just for you ill make sure to compose all my future music in the style of watered down attempted derivative aphex twin braindance. i'll add in some forced ironic ceephaxy lofi mspaint chopped up cover too just for good measure

 

Please man, your music is the shittest stuff around.

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