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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.

 

Finally tried it out today! After months of contemplation...

 

Just got the trial version of Max 7, but looks like I won't be able to make the full purchase until October, which is OK. Sweepstakes suggested I learn PD too, which I understand is pretty similar. I hear you're quite familiar with PD as well?

 

I started a basic beginner-level patch tonight. Just drum loop stuff with time-stretching. But I have to admit it's already sounding pretty dope.

Edited by ambermonk

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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.

 

Finally tried it out today! After months of contemplation...

 

Just got the trial version of Max 7, but looks like I won't be able to make the full purchase until October, which is OK. Sweepstakes suggested I learn PD too, which I understand is pretty similar. I hear you're quite familiar with PD as well?

 

I started a basic beginner-level patch tonight. Just drum loop stuff with time-stretching. But I have to admit it's already sounding pretty dope.

 

Congrats on making the jump :D

 

Yeah I recommend PD over Max with starting out with if you want to buy it full retail. Its harder and the documentation is poorer, but it will give you a good idea of what does what without the big price tag and its still really good on its own or for linux machines. It will also build some good habits up with lower level dataflow logic patches in PD that have respective dedicated objects in Max.

 

Unfortunately I was taken off guard by the options that javascript opens up and my complete lack of skill in that department. I will have to seek out Sweepstakes for help.

Edited by Entorwellian

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the guy who put this together used max for the audio and visual. pretty sweet. he teaches max at a local university too.

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BDH0_A3EUrX/?taken-by=h3dr0n

 

reminds me of umfeld by jochem paap

 

 

edit: not sure if he used max

Edited by xox

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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.
I did read this the other day and I appreciate the input from all, I just forgot to reply because I got sidetracked hunting down the tutorials and other info and such for Max. I'm thinking of trying a bit of a combo of tutorials and Frankensteining...there's a ton of great patches and out there already worth incorporating with my own goals, so maybe with testing and trying to integrate them into my normal usage, along with some tutorials, I might stay interested enough.

 

Ultimately it's the long stretches of learning without any creativity that turned me off from the straight-tutorials route.

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So I've just started on the BEAP tutorials that Cycling is posting on YouTube and it seems much easier to get into. It seems to be a modular emulation more than traditional Max, but maybe it'll be a slighter slide down into the guts of Max.

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BEAP is extremely easy to use (I have not used it myself yet). It's a series of higher level, prepackaged soft-modular objects that have CV input/output options. Its more akin to having a VST pack with Max compatibility.

 

You are better off just diving down the rabbit hole and just read the tutorial while building stuff. Its good to start off with making goals of what you want to build and doing very simple things from the ground up. Building more intermediate and advanced abstractions is an iterative process from the simpler parts.

 

As an example, the first thing I did was make subtractive synthesizers, a mixer, an output recorder and a 16 step sequencer. I would liberally use the comments to jot down what features I want and for making big decisions of what your object will be able to do or not do (e.x. like if the 16 step sequencer should jump to the first step or continuously play when you switch different loadstates). After that you can make different versions of your patchers, upgrade them, fork them or go through the max reference guide and see what else you can turn them into with additional arguments and messages that can be interpreted.

 

Also be aware of aliasing and filtering techniques that the "how digital audio works" and "how msp works" sections of the Max guide elude to. line~ and lop~ objects will suffice for the beginning for aliasing smoothing but you'll want to build a few dedicated modules at some point further down the road that will filter that stuff out of your audio for you (building an algorithm by layering fft~, the filter objects, block sizes, tanh~, biquad~ and very light amounts of noise). There is no dedicated object for it that I am aware of in the program that does it all in one go and sounds terrific (poly~ comes close).

Edited by Entorwellian

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Max 8 was just released https://cycling74.com/articles/max-8-is-here

 

The update is focused on performance, better UI with improved real-time feedback and built in polyphony (MC) objects. The Max library and documentation are now 100% built into the program and there are tons of new debugging and ez patching options. There's vizzie 2 and javascript stuff as well but I never used either of those parts. Apparently the performance increase is anywhere from 400-1000%, including loading times!

 

Leafcutter John made a tracker interface object for max so, with the performance update, its feasable to actually build something like Renoise inside Max.

Edited by Entorwellian

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cool! I got into it at the right time then

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I'm digging it so far. I like to build my bpatcher user interfaces akin to a vertical rack-module so I can slide them in place like books and they used to take probably 20 seconds to load up. Now they take maybe 3-4 seconds. The new multichannel oscillators and filters are awesome as well. A single mc oscillator can have up to 1024 voices and you can change those parameters in various ways on the fly. I'm impressed with the performance, for sure.

Edited by Entorwellian

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Exciting times.

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Dammit I should have upgraded to 7 sooner, now I'll probably just have to buy 8 full price. Oh well, I probably need to upgrade my machine first anyway.

 

Node.js integration was a good move for the JS parts - there are so many modules available. Obviously they're mostly centered around web development, but there's plenty of things that would be really handy for Max too.

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The mc stuff looks incredibly useful and is probably worth the upgrade alone. Nice vid from your good buddy sam showing some simple applications that already give cool effects:

 

 

Also lol at the comments on the cycling 74 announcement video:

 

post-18632-0-44793900-1538061747_thumb.png

 

 

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Sam and Ron are going to rinse the fuck out of those MC objects tbf (maybe) 

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MC Acid

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MC makes it incredibly easy to make passable reverbs (which can morph into choruses or physical modelling, etc.)

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MC makes it incredibly easy to make passable reverbs (which can morph into choruses or physical modelling, etc.)

 

Have you got any ideas/links for how to do this (specifically with MC)? been messing around with Max over the past few months but haven't tried making a reverb patch yet.

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MC makes it incredibly easy to make passable reverbs (which can morph into choruses or physical modelling, etc.)

 

Have you got any ideas/links for how to do this (specifically with MC)? been messing around with Max over the past few months but haven't tried making a reverb patch yet.

Sure!

 

- Make your standard echo with a tapout~ feeding back into its tapin~ but prepend all the signal objects with "mc."

- Give the mc.tapin~ a bunch of channels by adding a @chans attribute (I started with 32)

- Add a mc.mixdown~ at the end of that chain, followed by mc./~ 16 (half of chans)

- Plug an mc.line~ into the mc.tapout~ - this will control the delay time. Give it like 1000 ms of slew.

- Send the mc.line~ a list message of: 1) "deviate" 2) the deviation in ms 3) the "center" delay time in ms

 

To start, try 5 for the center and 2 for deviation.  Also make sure your feedback is cranked above 95%. The closer the deviation gets to 0 the more it becomes like a normal delay, so it's easy to "morph", and your slew can smooth out this transition. 

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MC makes it incredibly easy to make passable reverbs (which can morph into choruses or physical modelling, etc.)

 

Have you got any ideas/links for how to do this (specifically with MC)? been messing around with Max over the past few months but haven't tried making a reverb patch yet.

Sure!

 

- Make your standard echo with a tapout~ feeding back into its tapin~ but prepend all the signal objects with "mc."

- Give the mc.tapin~ a bunch of channels by adding a @chans attribute (I started with 32)

- Add a mc.mixdown~ at the end of that chain, followed by mc./~ 16 (half of chans)

- Plug an mc.line~ into the mc.tapout~ - this will control the delay time. Give it like 1000 ms of slew.

- Send the mc.line~ a list message of: 1) "deviate" 2) the deviation in ms 3) the "center" delay time in ms

 

To start, try 5 for the center and 2 for deviation.  Also make sure your feedback is cranked above 95%. The closer the deviation gets to 0 the more it becomes like a normal delay, so it's easy to "morph", and your slew can smooth out this transition. 

 

 

Just gave this a go, and I'm not sure if I made it correctly but it still sounds wicked. thanks!

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Sure thing! Whether it's "correct" is up to your tastes :)

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Been using it for a month now. It's probably the most user-friendly and newbie-friendly version of Max that has ever existed. I skimmed through the tutorials and noticed that pretty much everything you need to learn Max is self-contained in the software, so long as you are paying attention to details and taking your time. Polyphony used to be a tricky thing to do and required a degree of complexity, but the MC objects make it so much easier. Just as sweepstakes mentioned, there are some novel uses for them that I'm still discovering.I had a big rant at sweepstakes about how I hated that you couldn't see data flow properly in Reaktor, and it was a huge weak point. Whereas now Max you can literally just hover a cursor over a patchcord and it'll show the data coming through it like a voltage reader. Genius. Debugging is a lot faster now too.

Edited by Entorwellian

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Been using it for a month now. It's probably the most user-friendly and newbie-friendly version of Max that has ever existed. I skimmed through the tutorials and noticed that pretty much everything you need to learn Max is self-contained in the software, so long as you are paying attention to details and taking your time. Polyphony used to be a tricky thing to do and required a degree of complexity, but the MC objects make it so much easier. Just as sweepstakes mentioned, there are some novel uses for them that I'm still discovering.I had a big rant at sweepstakes about how I hated that you couldn't see data flow properly in Reaktor, and it was a huge weak point. Whereas now Max you can literally just hover a cursor over a patchcord and it'll show the data coming through it like a voltage reader. Genius. Debugging is a lot faster now too.

100% agree... it's funny, I was into Max off and on for a couple years, and then got out of it when I foolishly decided I wanted to use "real" code to accomplish the same type of stuff. Getting back into it now is really like riding a bike, and I'm not sure how much of that is just the fundamentals that Max has always had, and how much is the very welcome updates. Yes, MC in particular is a real game changer. 

 

The documentation is brilliant but it does have some gaps in it, and I do still find it difficult to keep track of things as I'm learning. I'll find 2 or 3 really handy, related objects at a time and I'll forget half of them and have no way to go back and find them. I guess it's just like learning any other "language" but it bears repeating that Max is very, VERY deep. To keep better track of things, I've started a wiki for my own benefit and I'm kind of half-assedly adding my notes to it. Anyone who's interested, PM me and I'll throw you a link.

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Been using it for a month now. It's probably the most user-friendly and newbie-friendly version of Max that has ever existed. I skimmed through the tutorials and noticed that pretty much everything you need to learn Max is self-contained in the software, so long as you are paying attention to details and taking your time. Polyphony used to be a tricky thing to do and required a degree of complexity, but the MC objects make it so much easier. Just as sweepstakes mentioned, there are some novel uses for them that I'm still discovering.I had a big rant at sweepstakes about how I hated that you couldn't see data flow properly in Reaktor, and it was a huge weak point. Whereas now Max you can literally just hover a cursor over a patchcord and it'll show the data coming through it like a voltage reader. Genius. Debugging is a lot faster now too.

100% agree... it's funny, I was into Max off and on for a couple years, and then got out of it when I foolishly decided I wanted to use "real" code to accomplish the same type of stuff. Getting back into it now is really like riding a bike, and I'm not sure how much of that is just the fundamentals that Max has always had, and how much is the very welcome updates. Yes, MC in particular is a real game changer. 

 

The documentation is brilliant but it does have some gaps in it, and I do still find it difficult to keep track of things as I'm learning. I'll find 2 or 3 really handy, related objects at a time and I'll forget half of them and have no way to go back and find them. I guess it's just like learning any other "language" but it bears repeating that Max is very, VERY deep. To keep better track of things, I've started a wiki for my own benefit and I'm kind of half-assedly adding my notes to it. Anyone who's interested, PM me and I'll throw you a link.

 

 

That's awesome and I agree with you with the low-level language programming aspect of it: it made learning max way more of a cakewalk and gave a a much greater awareness of how to plan and design things. Also good idea on the wiki part. I switched from flashcards to the Cornell method of notetaking for learning it, ending up making it into a paper version of a Wiki manual. I'm finally going through the Javascript, Jitter and Gen~ components of it after ditching them for the longest time. Jitter gets complex :(

 

I wouldn't mind a link at all to that wiki

Edited by Entorwellian

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Been using it for a month now. It's probably the most user-friendly and newbie-friendly version of Max that has ever existed. I skimmed through the tutorials and noticed that pretty much everything you need to learn Max is self-contained in the software, so long as you are paying attention to details and taking your time. Polyphony used to be a tricky thing to do and required a degree of complexity, but the MC objects make it so much easier. Just as sweepstakes mentioned, there are some novel uses for them that I'm still discovering.I had a big rant at sweepstakes about how I hated that you couldn't see data flow properly in Reaktor, and it was a huge weak point. Whereas now Max you can literally just hover a cursor over a patchcord and it'll show the data coming through it like a voltage reader. Genius. Debugging is a lot faster now too.

100% agree... it's funny, I was into Max off and on for a couple years, and then got out of it when I foolishly decided I wanted to use "real" code to accomplish the same type of stuff. Getting back into it now is really like riding a bike, and I'm not sure how much of that is just the fundamentals that Max has always had, and how much is the very welcome updates. Yes, MC in particular is a real game changer. 

 

The documentation is brilliant but it does have some gaps in it, and I do still find it difficult to keep track of things as I'm learning. I'll find 2 or 3 really handy, related objects at a time and I'll forget half of them and have no way to go back and find them. I guess it's just like learning any other "language" but it bears repeating that Max is very, VERY deep. To keep better track of things, I've started a wiki for my own benefit and I'm kind of half-assedly adding my notes to it. Anyone who's interested, PM me and I'll throw you a link.

 

 

That's awesome and I agree with you with the low-level language programming aspect of it: it made learning max way more of a cakewalk and gave a a much greater awareness of how to plan and design things. Also good idea on the wiki part. I switched from flashcards to the Cornell method of notetaking for learning it, ending up making it into a paper version of a Wiki manual. I'm finally going through the Javascript, Jitter and Gen~ components of it after ditching them for the longest time. Jitter gets complex :(

 

I wouldn't mind a link at all to that wiki

PM'd!

 

I haven't even begun to mess with the Jitter stuff (other than random utilities like jit.cellblock), and I've only used Gen~ for little feedback tricks and delay/history/math-y stuff that seemed easier to implement there. I bet some mindblowing stuff can be done with MC and Gen~...

 

When I started playing with JS in Max I was already a hungry, avid JS student, so that turned into a rabbithole and made my Max experience very lopsided lol. 

I'll have to check out that Cornell method too. I'm probably too lazy to implement it but maybe I can cherry pick it aspects of it to integrate into my process.

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