Max les 1 – What is Max/MSP

Installing Max/MSP

Download and install Max/MSP from cycling74.com: www.cycling74.com/downloads

student free trial

When you open Max for the first time you will need to create a student account. This will give you a 30 day trial where you can save files. After the 30 days you will not be able to save.

per month paid subscription

Without a free trial you will have to pay for a subscription to be able to save files from Max. Your subscription can be for the 1 month you need to use it or can be yearly. We recommend you pay for it for the month you will be using it.

What is Max/MSP?

Max is an Object-based Graphical Progrmming Language focused on interaction and multi-media design.

This means that instead of using code (i.e. JavaScript) you can program by connecting boxes of code and connecting them with cables.

You can use it to create interactive installations, human interfaces, applications, real-time video graphics and much more. With these interactions you can manipulate video, sound, data and even interact with your Arduino.

The Max Patcher Window

The Max patcher window has FOUR sides with pallets.

– OBJECTS: The coding objects you will program with.
– RESOURCES: A library of audio tracks and video files that you can use to practice.
– CONSOLE: Where Max can post error messages or your own messages.
– MODE: Here you lock/unlock the patcher. If its locked you cannot change your code but you can interact with the patch.

Opdracht 1-1 / The Help Files

The following video will cover what you are expected to do in this lesson. You can also follow these step-by-step instructions.

  1. Start a new patcher window by going to file/New Patcher or cmd+n.

  2. double-click on the empty space in the patcher. A drakgray box should appear.

  3. Inside the box type in : jit.playlist
    Once you click out of the window the box should change shape.

  4. Now open the HELP File for this object by right-clicking on the new object and select Open jit.playlist Help
    This now opens the jit.playlist Help file which works just like a normal Patcher window. That means you can unlock the patcher window and change things around. NOTE : Be careful saving the Patcher window, saving the patcher window means your changes are permanent.

  1. Notice the tabs at the top of the Patcher. This helpfile will explain all the capabilities that the jit.playlist object has. click on the playback tab on top.

  2. Unlock this Patcher from the bottom-left corner.

  3. Select the chunk of code and copy it, then paste it to your new patcher.

  4. Lock your Patcher (from bottom-left or cmd-e). Now, where the Zero is you can change that number by clicking and sliding up/down or clicking and moving arrows up/down. This is called a number box. Do you see what happens to the video? Take time to experiment with this small code.

  1. Next we are going to do the same with another object, so double-click on your Patcher and when the new object box appears type in : key

  2. Right-click on the Key object and select Open key Help

  3. Now you can read what this object does. You will now look at the chunk of code on the right side under the number 2 bubble. If you havent already noticed, by joining the key object with the select object the ‘space bar’ will activate a message.

  4. Unlock the key Help patcher and copy the chunk of code labled under number 2 and paste it into your own patcher.

  1. Now that we have copied chunks of code from 2 help files into our own patcher we want to join their functionalities and see what can be done. For this we will drag a toggle object (from the top of the menu) onto our patcher.

  2. Next, we will connect a cable from the key to the toggle BUT(!) we will do it from the output of the select 32 object.
    If you click-and-hold underneath the select 32 object you can drag a cable to the top of the toggle box.
    NOTE: The key object reads which keyboard key you are pressing, 32 is your space-bar. So when you press your space-bar, the key object sends a 32 through the cable.

  3. Last, you connect the output of toggle to the top of the number box on the playlist code.

Once this is done, try what happens when you press the space bar.

SAVE your work as OpdrachtLes1-1 and bring this to your lesson.

Opdracht 1-2

. Understand the key and jit.playlist Help files.

. Duplicate the key part of the code, change the 32 to another number (that relates to your keyboard) and make it control something else in the playlist patcher.

. Experiment with other possibilities

. Bring at least 2 new key functionalities to the lesson.