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i don't know many people that tried it and didn't like it, unless they were just into recording bands or whatever. don't let the "cartoonish" gui fool you into thinking ableton doesn't sound as good or is as serious as other daws. it was designed by monolake to get the idm out of your brain and into a waveform in the most intuitive way possible :D best of luck!

Ableton Live makes everything much more complicated if you're trying to do more than just structure a series of tracks and mix them together. Max is significantly easier for any sort of sequencing and manipulation of audio, especially if you want different signals to interact with each other at various points. I think Max for Live is probably the best way to go to get the best out of sequencing, interaction, arrangement, and mixing. I've never actually tried M4L myself, though, because I just use Max to play around without actually caring about making full songs out of it, sort of like an aural sandbox.

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yeah the combination of ableton and max is unbeatable with that in mind, it combines the best of both worlds, plus there are tons of specific objects that interact with the ableton project you're working on.

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the only thing I dont like about it is that certain Max4live devices inexplicably do not save parameters upon saving and re-opening. Also it has the tendency to be a bit unstable (a tad more than running multiple Reaktor instances) other than that its fucking great, totally changed the way I make music

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the only thing I dont like about it is that certain Max4live devices inexplicably do not save parameters upon saving and re-opening. Also it has the tendency to be a bit unstable (a tad more than running multiple Reaktor instances) other than that its fucking great, totally changed the way I make music

Ru talking about maxforlive or max/msp in general?

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I just remembered that I managed to set up Max for Live a while ago and set it aside in order to get around to it later. Unfortunately, I have no idea what is possible with it, so I didn't know where to start.

 

You folks here said something about it having a lot of capabilities involving how it interacts with the DAW, so could any of you give a brief demonstration of this? For example, I'd like to know whether its possible to send data from one device into a receive object in another track, because if it isn't, then it'll significantly limit the way I like to use Max (that is, having pretty much every aspect of every track either influencing or influenced by another aspect in another track, and so on).

 

Aside from that, it seems like M4L will make MIDI configurations much easier, cutting out all the annoying bits, and it'll also make it easier to fuse manual and generative sequencing together.

Edited by drillkicker

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send and receives do indeed work globally, i agree that it would be quite limiting if they didn't. there's an ableton "API" object that lets you do all sorts of in-depth commands, not entirely sure what the limits of it are, but maybe have a look on the c74 forums of just google "max4live ableton api object" and you can find a page with some info.

 

EDIT: sorry it's a class of objects, not a single one.

Edited by Mesh Gear Fox

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Aye it definitely can, it's how patches like this are able to do their thing -

 

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http://www.musimathics.com/

These two books. Buy them, download them or steal them. These are the *best* books I have read on teaching the subject to someone who is a layman. It's trig and algebra heavy but they have appendixes at the back to give you a refresher on everything and it goes through Physics 101 in relation to music. It translates the differential calculus parts into (long) algebra so you don't have to go beyond Algebra II. You can throw in the equations and constants that are in the books and put them into Max. One third of the first volume is dedicated to algorithmic and generative music composition.

 

Secondly, there is also Miller Puckette's Theory of Electronic Music, but its a very difficult read. LOTS of trig. But everything that you learn in there can be 100% ported to Max almost object for object.

 

Finally Andy Farnell's "Designing Sound". Read this one after Musimathics 1 and 2.

 

 

Nice one, will definitely check them out. Thanks!

 

 

Hey entorwellian, i finally got around to reading the first musimathics. Really great read. I especially enjoyed the composition and methodology section, fascinating stuff. So thanks for the suggestion and i look forward to getting into volume 2.

 

I was hoping to get some ideas from anyone about sequencing in max. I've been messing with a few methods for a while now, and produced some stuff i'm fairly pleased with, but the sequencing tends to feel either too static, as if it were just done on a piano roll, or too nooodley and aimless.

 

A couple of methods i've tried:

- Using a metro and counter to loop through a certain number of steps, and then a sel object with the step numbers as its arguments, sending the bangs from the sel to trigger different elements. Then messing with how the counter runs, e.g. direction, which step it starts on etc. This usually feels static and boring though so i gave up on it a while ago.

 

- Having a metro sending a bang at the beginning of each bar and then using del objects to delay the bang, triggering the events in each bar. This one seems to be more flexible with more opportunities for interesting stuff. However i find that when deciding the time by which to delay each bang, i'm often just choosing random numbers until it sounds good, which i guess isn't necessarily a bad thing but feels a little lacking in control.

 

So yeah just wondering what methods you lot use? I know it's a case of just experimenting with the stuff i've worked out already, and refining them so i have more control, but i'm still curious to hear how others approach it.

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So yeah just wondering what methods you lot use? I know it's a case of just experimenting with the stuff i've worked out already, and refining them so i have more control, but i'm still curious to hear how others approach it.

Try augmenting the stuff you're already doing with some lists and zl modules - mnth/nth, stream, slice, etc. This lets you corral random values into more meaningful ones without adding too much complexity to a patch.

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I'll have a lot of independent sequencers that do their own thing, either rigidly or loosely, that are kept in check by events from a main sequencer that runs off of the transport clock. Eventually, I would like to have the independent sequencers have a say in recursively editing the sequencer for the transport clock to change the overall structure of the song as it goes.

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So yeah just wondering what methods you lot use? I know it's a case of just experimenting with the stuff i've worked out already, and refining them so i have more control, but i'm still curious to hear how others approach it.

Try augmenting the stuff you're already doing with some lists and zl modules - mnth/nth, stream, slice, etc. This lets you corral random values into more meaningful ones without adding too much complexity to a patch.

 

 

This sounds good. I spend a lot of time building huge squids of patcher logic that produce cool sounds but are unpredictable, and i struggle to refine them down into something that can be used in a track. I'm sure anyone learning max has this problem though. I'll have a look at the objects you mentioned, thanks.

 

I'll have a lot of independent sequencers that do their own thing, either rigidly or loosely, that are kept in check by events from a main sequencer that runs off of the transport clock. Eventually, I would like to have the independent sequencers have a say in recursively editing the sequencer for the transport clock to change the overall structure of the song as it goes.

 

I think i understand what you mean but i'm more asking about the process of the sequencers themselves; how are they triggering events at the times you want them to?

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So yeah just wondering what methods you lot use? I know it's a case of just experimenting with the stuff i've worked out already, and refining them so i have more control, but i'm still curious to hear how others approach it.

Try augmenting the stuff you're already doing with some lists and zl modules - mnth/nth, stream, slice, etc. This lets you corral random values into more meaningful ones without adding too much complexity to a patch.

 

 

This sounds good. I spend a lot of time building huge squids of patcher logic that produce cool sounds but are unpredictable, and i struggle to refine them down into something that can be used in a track. I'm sure anyone learning max has this problem though. I'll have a look at the objects you mentioned, thanks.

 

I'll have a lot of independent sequencers that do their own thing, either rigidly or loosely, that are kept in check by events from a main sequencer that runs off of the transport clock. Eventually, I would like to have the independent sequencers have a say in recursively editing the sequencer for the transport clock to change the overall structure of the song as it goes.

 

I think i understand what you mean but i'm more asking about the process of the sequencers themselves; how are they triggering events at the times you want them to?

 

Lots of different ways. For the more generative parts I'll use a series of algebra expressions with uzi to spit out steps into a table and those will control things like sample start/endpoints with different types of curves and parabolic shapes.

 

I'll share one of my more unique ones: drum patterns for one of my older songs were made by making a 2d6 generator that stored and added prime numbers that would add up (via brute force techniques) to 16 or 32. Those prime numbers would be used to fill in a bar with the appropriate amount of notes with things like even steps being accented and odd steps being un-accented so it would usually sound goodish. When the 2d6 rolled a 12, it would subtract 1 and roll another d6 to make a bigger prime number that goes through the rejected output and would pass through some booleans to do other changes.

 

coll is amazing because you can assign each generated value an index value and recall it later if you liked it.

Edited by Entorwellian

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^ Damn dude that's some fascinating stuff. Really shows how max is just as much about imagination and ideas as it is ability.

 

I feel that because I used a daw for so long before beginning max that the methodology of it is just engrained in my mind, so I often end up emulating techniques that could just be done in a daw. And that's completely against the point of max. I really need get out of that mindset.

 

Anyway, thanks for the insight.

Edited by misc

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Haven't used it much but if you've Jitter check out the jit.conway object for a semi-random, semi-sequential way of triggering note data. Can do stufff like this:

 

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I'll have a lot of independent sequencers that do their own thing, either rigidly or loosely, that are kept in check by events from a main sequencer that runs off of the transport clock. Eventually, I would like to have the independent sequencers have a say in recursively editing the sequencer for the transport clock to change the overall structure of the song as it goes.

This is kind of the direction I'm heading in with my patching, so it's very good to hear this from such an experienced patcher.

 

Another thing I've been simmering on lately: to some degree, lists, buffers, etc. are just lookup tables, right? And theoretically, any 1-parameter pure function can be represented as a lookup table, as long as the table is big enough. Furthermore, any multiple parameter function can be represented as a 1-parameter function that returns a 1-parameter (curried) function. And programs can be represented as functions. Therefore, you can write code just with a bunch of lookup tables... in fact that's what's going on in your computer at the low level. This defeats the purpose when taken to the extreme but it might be a cool starting point or stepping stone to make some patches "smarter".

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I'll have a lot of independent sequencers that do their own thing, either rigidly or loosely, that are kept in check by events from a main sequencer that runs off of the transport clock. Eventually, I would like to have the independent sequencers have a say in recursively editing the sequencer for the transport clock to change the overall structure of the song as it goes.

This is kind of the direction I'm heading in with my patching, so it's very good to hear this from such an experienced patcher.

 

Another thing I've been simmering on lately: to some degree, lists, buffers, etc. are just lookup tables, right? And theoretically, any 1-parameter pure function can be represented as a lookup table, as long as the table is big enough. Furthermore, any multiple parameter function can be represented as a 1-parameter function that returns a 1-parameter (curried) function. And programs can be represented as functions. Therefore, you can write code just with a bunch of lookup tables... in fact that's what's going on in your computer at the low level. This defeats the purpose when taken to the extreme but it might be a cool starting point or stepping stone to make some patches "smarter".

 

Yeah the output of a parameter's function ends up going to a lookup table that is either stored in the memory buffer or in a file somewhere. I'm working on different ways that the tables are accessed and read with conditional statements and making determinations on what parts get wiped and changed versus what parts stay alive through changing patterns.

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Just read the last two pages of this and mostly it reminded me how much I've been neglecting learning Max/Max4Live. I started and just got bored with the very basic tutorial stuff, and didn't even play around enough to retain much of what I learned...haven't fired it up in weeks. I did just get a RYTM, so that's taken up some chunks of time, but I ultimately need Max4Live to be able to use the RYTM how I want to (yay Overbridge!) and I'm ashamed of myself. I think I need to go down the Frankenstein route and try a bit more of learn-as-I-need than just trying to plow through tutorials.

 

Just last night I had actually watched a short bit that Cycling 74 posted to YouTube detailing using BEAP, where by way of outputting fake voltages (meant for modular obv) into visual patchings they get real time responsive imagery. Very simple but interesting stuff.

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Haven't used it much but if you've Jitter check out the jit.conway object for a semi-random, semi-sequential way of triggering note data. Can do stufff like this:

 

before i knew about this patch i went to the effort of making one myself, actually not too tricky of a concept, but i'm sure i didn't go about it the most efficient way. basically was like a 4 channel sequencer and the patterns for each sequence were just ripped from a conway'd grid of on/off points

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Haven't used it much but if you've Jitter check out the jit.conway object for a semi-random, semi-sequential way of triggering note data. Can do stufff like this:

 

Yeah i messed around with some conway stuff a while ago using the ensemble that comes with reaktor, newschool i think it's called, but it just felt like if a drew some random shapes and hit play, it'd spit out some crazy idmy beat. I couldn't shake the feeling that it was kinda cheating or something. Maybe if i built one myself i'd feel differently. Plus i didn't get that in depth with it so i'm sure there are avenues for more control over it. It's definitely a cool method though and i like just watching the cells evolve.

 

Just read the last two pages of this and mostly it reminded me how much I've been neglecting learning Max/Max4Live. I started and just got bored with the very basic tutorial stuff, and didn't even play around enough to retain much of what I learned...haven't fired it up in weeks. I did just get a RYTM, so that's taken up some chunks of time, but I ultimately need Max4Live to be able to use the RYTM how I want to (yay Overbridge!) and I'm ashamed of myself. I think I need to go down the Frankenstein route and try a bit more of learn-as-I-need than just trying to plow through tutorials.

 

 

I dunno, i'd usually advocate the learn-as-you-need approach, but with max i think the tutorials were invaluable. Even if they were about something i thought i'd never have use for, just the act of familiarising yourself with the conventions and processes of the program helped hugely. But i get that they are time consuming and sometimes pretty dry. I've been using max for about a year and a half and probably 6 months of that was just doing the built in tutorials (i'm slow), so it's definitely a big time sink.

 

But then again this past month the program has just completely opened itself up to me and i've finally started making things i like. It's insane how suddenly you go from building the most mundane pointless things, to having all these crazy ideas for things to build, that you can actually carry out because you made all those boring things, slowly building up a variety of little techniques. The exponential learning curve that i always hear people banging on about definitely deemed true for me.

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Haven't used it much but if you've Jitter check out the jit.conway object for a semi-random, semi-sequential way of triggering note data. Can do stufff like this:

 

Yeah i messed around with some conway stuff a while ago using the ensemble that comes with reaktor, newschool i think it's called, but it just felt like if a drew some random shapes and hit play, it'd spit out some crazy idmy beat. I couldn't shake the feeling that it was kinda cheating or something. Maybe if i built one myself i'd feel differently. Plus i didn't get that in depth with it so i'm sure there are avenues for more control over it. It's definitely a cool method though and i like just watching the cells evolve.

 

Just read the last two pages of this and mostly it reminded me how much I've been neglecting learning Max/Max4Live. I started and just got bored with the very basic tutorial stuff, and didn't even play around enough to retain much of what I learned...haven't fired it up in weeks. I did just get a RYTM, so that's taken up some chunks of time, but I ultimately need Max4Live to be able to use the RYTM how I want to (yay Overbridge!) and I'm ashamed of myself. I think I need to go down the Frankenstein route and try a bit more of learn-as-I-need than just trying to plow through tutorials.

 

 

I dunno, i'd usually advocate the learn-as-you-need approach, but with max i think the tutorials were invaluable. Even if they were about something i thought i'd never have use for, just the act of familiarising yourself with the conventions and processes of the program helped hugely. But i get that they are time consuming and sometimes pretty dry. I've been using max for about a year and a half and probably 6 months of that was just doing the built in tutorials (i'm slow), so it's definitely a big time sink.

 

But then again this past month the program has just completely opened itself up to me and i've finally started making things i like. It's insane how suddenly you go from building the most mundane pointless things, to having all these crazy ideas for things to build, that you can actually carry out because you made all those boring things, slowly building up a variety of little techniques. The exponential learning curve that i always hear people banging on about definitely deemed true for me.

 

The Max tutorials are very, very, very well put together now in Max 7 then they were in previous versions. By the end you'll know how to code your very own version of Kidpix (ms paint) with the LCD and make itable step sequencers. Re-learning algebra and trig is also very useful to understand the MSP and expr aspects.

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^ wrt to the maths side of things, i've got a good understanding of a variety of areas cause i need it for my course, but i've yet to use anything complex in max, and struggle to think of situations where i would use it. You got any suggestions for things i could try building that would force me to use some more advanced maths? Besides, it'd be nice to apply it somewhere other than in an academic situation as well

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^ wrt to the maths side of things, i've got a good understanding of a variety of areas cause i need it for my course, but i've yet to use anything complex in max, and struggle to think of situations where i would use it. You got any suggestions for things i could try building that would force me to use some more advanced maths? Besides, it'd be nice to apply it somewhere other than in an academic situation as well

 

Its mostly for the MSP portion. For drums and pulse-shaped generated sounds I'll use a lot of math transform functions to shape things (sine and cosine functions with clipping at different chunks) to shape things in tables. Filters or any sort of recursive system that you have set up that transforms values by the input that came before it will have some math heavy parts where you're having to play with feedback and feedforward values. In the tutorials there is an example of a strange attractor generator that illustrates this.

Also in general there is a lot of rational expression and scalings that need to be done in regards to the MSP portion. Even after years I still get messed up with which situations you have to convert stuff to frequencies to periods, and vice versa.

 

You could get through a lot of MSP without understanding math but knowledge of trig seems really fundamental if you want to do anything complex with signal processing. It really depends what you use it for.

Edited by Entorwellian

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^ wrt to the maths side of things, i've got a good understanding of a variety of areas cause i need it for my course, but i've yet to use anything complex in max, and struggle to think of situations where i would use it. You got any suggestions for things i could try building that would force me to use some more advanced maths? Besides, it'd be nice to apply it somewhere other than in an academic situation as well

 

Its mostly for the MSP portion. For drums and pulse-shaped generated sounds I'll use a lot of math transform functions to shape things (sine and cosine functions with clipping at different chunks) to shape things in tables. Filters or any sort of recursive system that you have set up that transforms values by the input that came before it will have some math heavy parts where you're having to play with feedback and feedforward values. In the tutorials there is an example of a strange attractor generator that illustrates this.

Also in general there is a lot of rational expression and scalings that need to be done in regards to the MSP portion. Even after years I still get messed up with which situations you have to convert stuff to frequencies to periods, and vice versa.

 

You could get through a lot of MSP without understanding math but knowledge of trig seems really fundamental if you want to do anything complex with signal processing. It really depends what you use it for.

 

 

Nice! Thanks for the info

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I think I'm on the verge of switching from FL Studio to Max/MSP now. I've watched some basic tutorials today to get a general idea of the mechanics.

From what I can gather it's very much a building blocks approach. And the last time I recall having to rely heavily on number crunching is when I used Stomper Ultra ++ back in '99 to make drum/synth sounds, which I then converted to WAV to "sequence" later in Cool Edit.

Realistically I don't expect any instant results in starting from scratch as a complete beginner. But I've gotten so burnt out on FL that I feel ready, no matter how steep the learning curve might be.

As far as purchasing, is it recommended to get the monthly or annual subscription, or to pay for it in full in one go? Either way, I plan on downloading the 30-day trial first before I make a financial commitment.

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I think I'm on the verge of switching from FL Studio to Max/MSP now. I've watched some basic tutorials today to get a general idea of the mechanics.

 

From what I can gather it's very much a building blocks approach. And the last time I recall having to rely heavily on number crunching is when I used Stomper Ultra ++ back in '99 to make drum/synth sounds, which I then converted to WAV to "sequence" later in Cool Edit.

 

Realistically I don't expect any instant results in starting from scratch as a complete beginner. But I've gotten so burnt out on FL that I feel ready, no matter how steep the learning curve might be.

As far as purchasing, is it recommended to get the monthly or annual subscription, or to pay for it in full in one go? Either way, I plan on downloading the 30-day trial first before I make a financial commitment.

Hey there ambermonk :D

The tutorials do a good job telling you what objects to start out with and some ideas of what they can be used for. You can probably get creating basic patches build within a week or two. It's probably better to go for the full retail. I always thought the monthly subscriptions were for students and teachers.

Also definitely do the 30 day trial or play around with puredata with the loadbang tutorial.

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