Max MSP Basics

Here is some stuff I put together a while back. It may be useful for some people 🙂

ground loop

Contents (click to jump to section):

What is Max/MSP?
Working with audio
Numbers, messages and lists
Programme flow and control
Making patches simpler
Playing audio samples
Simple MIDI control
Enveloping and cross-fading
Designing the user interface
Soundfile playback and timing.
Refining soundfile playback control and timing.
More elegant approaches to additive synthesis.
A better way to create polyphony: poly~
Breaking out; physical I/O and Arduino.
Working with acoustic instruments
Audio processing
Further audio manipulation
Jitter II
Javascript in Max
Algorithmic composition

What is Max/MSP?

Max/MSP (often just called ‘Max’) is a ‘multimedia programming environment’ which will allow you to create pretty much any kind of music or audio software you can think of. It can also handle video using a built-in extension called ‘Jitter’.

To get more of an idea of what Max can do, visit the website and click on the ‘projects made with Max’

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On ‘playing’ flaming pianos

Piano Burning Annea Lockwood

Sat 29th June 6:45 The Old Goods Yard Bangor.

Bangor Sound City and Soundlands in partnership with the Harwich Festival of the Arts and The Old Goods Yard Artists’ Collective present a performance of 3 of Lockwood’s 1960’s-70’s Piano Transplant series. Annea will be performing alongside guests Xenia Pestova, Sarah Westwood and Ed Wright, along with live video link ups to the other two works:

Piano Burning – The Old Goods Yard Bangor

Piano Garden – Gwydyr Forest

Eastern Exposure – Harwich Beach

The will also be responses to the work from members of The Old Goods Yard Artists’ Collective including: Martin Daws, ScrapYardQueen, Urban Dance Collective, Tim Cumine, Henry Horrell and Brian Nylon.


Local produce for digital artists?

Having just taken part in a local produce fair, I can’t quite get over the idea that digital stuff sits rather oddly in this.

20130428-185620.jpgThe complex of buildings in which this was held was the same one that my studio (where I make electro-acoustic music, sonic art, audio installations etc, for fun and profit) is in. Don’t get me wrong there was a very warm reception and the people organising the event are brilliant, but I just feel a few years out of step.

Somehow no one bats an eyelid when someone plays guitar and sings folk songs, in amongst the: muddy potatoes, clothes for £3 rail, and the locally sourced perfume; but something that relies on a computer….20130428-185726.jpg

The brilliant thing about a lot of the digital revolution is that the work ‘can be done anywhere’, the problem with artistic stuff is that not only does it inevitably come form some sort of terroir (for want of any better way of putting it!) but that physical, cultural or social, but it also needs to retain some element of that to make sense. In addition, participating in events often relies on interaction between people and the event, even if that is only collectively sitting in silence, or all performing/contributing. The easiest and simplest way to do this is in physical real life.

So my question to you is how much can and should the digital arts be thought of as a local product, or not?


Blipfonica concert

If you’re around in Penmaenmawr on the 18th of May come to the inaugural outing of this….

4micAnatomy of a Mountain Stream: quadraphonic fixed media
Field recording & processing programming: Edward Wright

We often take things for granted until we look carefully at them. During the cold snap of the winter of 2011 when the snow had dampened all the sounds I bravely/foolishly balanced a surround sound recorder on a rock in the middle of the stream that runs down from the Carneddau, through Parc Plas Mawr in Penmaenan on its way to the sea.

Through manipulating the playback speed of the resulting sound-file it was possible to expose many details of the sound that are often obscured by our ‘normal’ way of listening. By simply changing the sampling rate, we can enter what feel like different sonic dimensions where the very large, and minutely small sonic structures become far more apparent.

In this piece the original 8 minute sound-file is played in its entirety, but the speed has been mapped and composed to create the framework of the piece. The audio was recorded on a Zoom H2 at 4chan x 48kHz x 24 bit, processed in Max/MSP 5. If you need the loo please go before listening to this piece!