6/24/97 11:00 PM
Subject: MAX Digest - 23 Jun 1997 to 24 Jun
1997To: Recipients of MAX digests 

There are 6 messages totalling 245 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

  1. rant vs. new vs. old vs. mothra
  2. A Rant (was: New vs. Old)
  3. IRCAM's MAX archive
  4. Ircam FTP site
  5. MAX Diges
  6. timeline reverse


Date:    Mon, 23 Jun 1997 22:46:39 +0100
From:    Peter Nyboer 
Subject: Re: rant vs. new vs. old vs. mothra

>The essence of stable performance in a computer is
>to get it working and then to STOP SCREWING WITH IT. That's why my
>main MIDI machine is frozen where it is: I don't dare upgrade
>ANYTHING, for fear of destroying the thin thread of reliability that
>keeps me productive.

You are lucky you have reached that stable state.  I keep finding a mostly
stable state, sit down, crack my knuckles, and say "NOW!"  Then I find out
things like the monstorous Max patch that relies on Gary Nelson's Rand
object wont work because Rand doesn't work on the PPC.  OK, cool, that will
force me to use the old IICI as a MIDI/Max machine for now, and the PPC can
run ProTools, and I'll just sync up the two using the MIDI metronome from
ProTools: quick and dirty, right?  Well, the MIDI metronome, or the
interpretation of it by the IICi, is simply not dependable, which brings me
to the point: did someone mention a timein that uses OMS (3.5 manual sez
timein is for Midi Manger).  Maybe I should just work in the limitations
and figure out something cool, so I, too, can reach the nirvana of

>with a tip of the hat to David Z, who does his damndest
>to satisfy everyone but unfortunately is still only human

Max still impresses me with its stubborness to work on older machines.  I
work in a graphics lab where we have all the "latest and greatest" and I
can tell you that Programs like Director, Photoshop, Illustrator, and
Painter demand the most you can get.  Of course, this is partially the
nature of the media, but I remember sometime ago going into a service
bureau that used to output impressive graphics from IIci's (running 040
upgrades).  The point being that you don't need a multi-processor mac to
make a pretty picture, but you almost will if you buy the latest version of
graphics software.  The great thing about music is that you can work with a
100 megs of information, but be happy with 24 megs of ram, whereas (raster)
graphics often need about 100 megs of memory for a 20 meg file.

>The truth is that these machines are not designed to work perfectly
>with a wide suite of applications for music on them, because the
>people who write said applications do not WANT them to coexist.  MOTU
>and Opcode are not in this business to make nice-nice with each other;
>they are in this business to crush, kill, DESTROY each other...

True, but Quicktime has developed as a nice standard for pushing pictures
on computers.  Not that it's flawless, but it certainly enables a lot of
hardware and software makers to make things that make everything from
crappy little desktop videos to high-quality video productions.  Of course,
Quicktime is more lucrative for Apple since it drives the sales of
high-profit video capable machines, and people seem to be doing a whole lot
more looking at things than listening....

>The only motive is profit. The only impetus is success.

Have you been giving corporate motivational semiars??  Ok, so the rest of
the letter indicates not, but the above does have a certain Anthony
Robbins-esque ring to it.

Peter Nyboer
home of Slambassador multimedia gallery
"I ain't lying one pound"


Date:    Tue, 24 Jun 1997 11:55:13 +0100
From:    Nick Rothwell 
Subject: Re: A Rant (was: New vs. Old)

>For my part, I work with a pair of 33 Mhz 68030 machines, one a
>desktop model and one a Powerbook 165.

Mike will testify that, for a lot of the time I was with him on a recent
recording project, we were making phone calls to all manner of dodgy
computer resellers in an attempt to find a second PB165 for me. In the end,
I'm glad that I went for the 520 - better screen, much more RAM - but only
after getting multiple assurances from people on this mailing list that it
would actually run all my existing software. It runs all the MIDI stuff
fine; all that's broken is a couple of utilities and the IP stack.

>Despite lingering doubts and fears about the serial hardware of the
>Powerbooks (talk about adding ifs to ifs!),

I don't have any MIDI problems with any of my PowerBooks, although their
SCSI implementations are distinctly dodgy, which is why I still have my
SE/30 sitting in a corner, in case I need to mount something weird in a

>I prefer them in my studio
>for one simple reason: you can stack up a mess of them without taking
>up a bunch of room.

I prefer portables to desktop machines because I have a deep dislike for
big VDU screens, and find the ergonomics of big-screen machines to be
incompatible with anything musically creative I need to do. A portable
computer is more like an appliance and less threatening, perhaps.

>MAX has as
>part of its fascination the ability to evolve and add new features and

This is where I think our wavelengths are different. MAX does fascinate me
because it's open-ended. But I'm looking at open-endedness on a different
axis: it's a construction set, and I can build things in it; that's nothing
to do with upgrades. A Meccano set is open-ended because you can build
things with it, and open-ended because Meccano might decide to release a
brand new set of brass helical gears which make certain kinds of mechanical
device easier to build. (Well, they won't because they went out of business
20 years ago, but you get my drift.) I'm happy with MAX 3.0 because I can
build external objects for it with my ancient copy of THINK C; that's
extension enough for me. I was burned by the broken bpatcher objects in
2.5, and have never attempted to use the timeline objects at all. I have my
own externals, written years ago in THINK C, which give me synchronisation.
MAX's strength is that you can implement things yourself, which makes it
rather upgrade-proof.

>Truly integrated and growing systems for creative activity are a
>lie. Software upgradability as a viable option to establishing new and
>separate boxes to add abilities is a dubious half-truth at best.

We reach.

>people were sensible enough to treat a new version of software with
>the same caution as they exercise around a new bacterium, which could
>either provide a cure for a resistant strain of disease or cause
>horrible death, then at the very least we'd have fewer people wearing
>injured expressions and complaining about how their new software
>package broke their nice functioning system. Well, DUH--you just shot
>your healthy organism full of something alien and possibly poisonous!

Of course, there are big organisations with a lot more money than you and I
whose very existence is predicated on the counter-argument to this. And
musicians as a whole are sufficiently insecure that they have a
subconscious tendency to buy into the "unleash your credit card and
creativity" argument. I see it all the time. The UK mags run editorials
which, every other month, complain about software upgrades and
incompatibilies, and on alternate months, croon and praise every
new-fangled feature that the marketing departments are trying to convince
us that we need.

>I fully envision
>myself working in a studio within the next three years containing at
>least two Powerbooks, possibly three if Galaxy continues its downward
>spiral and careful research indicates that Sound Diver won't work in
>the existing environment, and a huge Pentium for slinging digital
>audio around.

That's the route I'm taking, and I have the three PowerBooks already.

Btw, sticking with Galaxy means sticking to instruments which are either
front-panel editable, or old enough that your version of Galaxy supports
them, since you can't extend Galaxy with new editors. Yeah yeah, so what's
my point?

         Nick Rothwell, CASSIEL        contemporary dance projects        music synthesis and control

             years, passing by, VCO, VCF, and again, and again


Date:    Tue, 24 Jun 1997 11:54:19 +0200
From:    "Dr. K@rlheinz Essl" 
Subject: Re: IRCAM's MAX archive

Thanks to Richard Dudas for pointing us to the new URL of IRCAM's MAX

Unfortunately, anonymous access is not allowed (yet, as I suppose).


Dr. K@rlheinz Essl
SAMT - Studio for Advanced Music & Media Technology
Bruckner-Konservatorium Linz / Austria

     Visit the MindShipMind - an interactive multimedial Web Oracle



Date:    Tue, 24 Jun 1997 14:43:56 +0100
From:    dudas 
Subject: Ircam FTP site

Is anyone else having trouble accessing the Ircam FTP site with an
anonymous login???

It works for me, but then again, from within the building, I might not have
the same problems that others on the outside have.

Remember that the server needs to see an e-mail address as a password,
otherwise it won't let you in on an anonymous login.



Date:    Tue, 24 Jun 1997 14:04:59 +0100
From:    solkai47 
Subject: Re: MAX Diges


There is no avant-garde:only some people a bit behind. E.Varese..att


Date:    Tue, 24 Jun 1997 16:08:45 -0500
From:    Terry Nigrelli 
Subject: timeline reverse

> Does anyone
> know a way operating timeline in reverse?
> cheers,
> Iain Mott                                               ph      (03)


I don't know how to get the timeline to operate in reverse but if
you learn how please let us know. Perhaps we could extend the technique
and make time go in reverse. Now THAT would be something.

Terry Nigrelli

my home page:

Bay Shore Schools home page:


End of MAX Digest - 23 Jun 1997 to 24 Jun 1997