“unfinished” – Max/Msp live patch

screenshot of the unfinished max/msp live processing patch

I have been a user of Cycling 74’s Max/Msp/Jitter for many years now. A good deal of my composition work is basically developing Max patches to create music and sound (and video sometimes).

For my performance at the Moozak festival in Vienna I have been doing some work on the Max/Msp patch which I use for live performances and recording my music. As this is an ongoing effort (for some 10 years now) and projects like this will never end the appropriate name the software seems “unfinished”.

The current incarnation features 5 modules: sample re-synthesis (2x), sinewave synth, fm synth, live processing (for the bass guitar). This version is also capable of diffusing sound into multiple audio channels (via the well known max spatialisation object “vbap”).

Besides all the programming effort a real challenge for this kind of software is to create a user interface that makes sense in a live performance situation i.e. making it reactive, flexible and intuitive to use on stage.

After using a Midi controller for some years I have now switched to an iPad as a controller for user interaction (see this post).

Also new in this version is a Softstep Midi foot controller mainly for switching the bass guitar effect section. The Softstep is pretty nice, light and fairly easy to use although the software is kind of buggy (didn’t have time to fully investigate this).

However, here are some screenshots for a behind the scenes view of this latest version of “unfinished”.

iPad as custom controller

screenshot of my custom control surface for the iPad

After getting an iPad a little while ago I have been working on a custom controller surface for my Max/Msp live patch. It is really nice what you can do here….

I am using the amazing (and free!) TouchOSC app for building the multi page controller surface for the iPad. This is used to control a very big Max/Msp 5 patch which I am using for composition, recording and live performance. iPad and Max communicate via the OpenSoundControl protocol which enables bi-directional exchange. So, with some smart patching you can really build wonderful stuff.

Great flexibility in terms of creating a custum interface. I am curious to find how this will behave in a performance setting.

Here are some screen shots of what I have come up with so far. Really cool stuff!