Subject: MAX Digest - 29 Sep 1998 to 30 Sep 1998 (#1998-17)
Date: Thu, 1 Oct 1998 00:00:00 -0400
From: Automatic digest processor 
Reply-To: MAX - Interactive Music/Multimedia Standard Environments
To: Recipients of MAX digests 

There are 7 messages totalling 394 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

  1. video MAX vs X-pose + announcement
  2. random and standalone app
  3. MIDI -> infrared
  4. MIDI->infrared
  5. IRCAM announces first public release of jMax (2)
  6. Navigation

McGill is running a new version of LISTSERV (1.8d on Windows NT).
Information is available on the WEB at


Date:    Wed, 30 Sep 1998 01:23:39 -0500
From:    Johnny DeKam 
Subject: video MAX vs X-pose + announcement

At the time of my last installation which required random access video
control, (March98)
I explored several options, including MAX, X<>pose, Director and Imagine.

I did not have access to hardware compression/decompression such as the
Targa 2000,
nor did I want to burn a laser disk for serial control.  Given the fact that
my solution
would require that the system had to use video output of my RGB monitor via
a scan converter,
X<>pose won hands down on performance of video, simplicity and elegance of
interface.  it also allowed seamless incorporation of still imagery, with
transitional effects, transparency, zoom/pan and more.

I used Max on a separate machine to control X<>pose, giving me the aleatoric
control I wanted.
X<>pose was capable of playing 4 separate QuickTimes simultaneously - one at
each quadrant of the screen.  It also automatically loops a short QuickTime
while the note is held down.  All of these features MAX just couldn't
handle, and it offers a 'unique look' that no other software provides.
I've discussed some of the drawbacks in some earlier posts - and one of them
is a trade off in quality (already mentioned elsewhere) -- to keep cpu
performance efficient, the cinepack codec was used, and everything was
digitized at 320x240.  X<>pose will scale 1/4 screen movies by simply
instructing it to do so.  Again, the video is not pristine using this
method... but some people enjoy the "low res" aka "dirty" aesthetic of
pixelated video.

In regards to response/latency issues with X<>pose, it performs best with
short movies.  X<>pose must first load all of its data into RAM.  If it
doesn't fit, there will be latency issues when it accesses the disk.
Otherwise, response is nearly instantaneous.   I tested X<>pose with the
Iomega Buz and it doesn't even know of its existence. (it is designed to
draw to the desktop)  And is therefore useless with Buz (or any other video
hardware) until they ever finish the "pro" version.  Hopefully someday...
but the developer has been quite slow at building a new version, instead
arkaos has focused on a no-midi input solution for making linear media
presentations to music. ( X<>pose LT)
For direct info on X<>pose check out  -- it's the
actual developer's site (instead of steinberg)

On the other hand...

Now that I've found an inexpensive hardware video board (Iomega Buz -$299) I
am beginning to change my tune.  MAX and the buz work very well together,
you don't need to output the RGB monitor (desktop space) at all, video goes
directly out of the buz card from the hardrive.  The full screen quality is

Now that all that is said...
I'm pleased to announce plans today for developing a public release video
sampler written in MAX, designed specifically for Iomega Buz, but which
should work on any video card which hardware accelerates QuickTime.  (such
as Targa, Media 100, Miro etc for full screen / high quality 30 fps)
Plans include:
An inexpensive shareware application which is not modifiable (collective -
for general public)
A slightly higher priced "pro" version including all source patches and
documentation (for MAX folk)
Assign movies to notes on the keyboard
Scrubbing of video using continuous controllers
reverse play, video looping, slow/fast playback
random autoplay mode

other ideas are welcomed!

Initial public release is planned for first quarter 1999.

I am interested in collaborating with anyone that has experience with
Quicktime programming in C who might be willing to entend the functionality
of the movie object for MAX.
(David(?))  -- email me directly if your interested in this project...
website soon to be announced.

Suggestions for a title anyone?

-- Johnny DeKam


Date:    Wed, 30 Sep 1998 08:55:32 +0200
From:    "Dr. Karlheinz Essl" 
Subject: Re: random and standalone app

Jakob Brandt-Pedersen  wrote:

> When I make a standalone whith random objects, they are not random in
> the application. This is because random get it seed from the time since
> system startup and it is of course always the same.
> I have tried to work around this by loading the patch into another patch
> at a later time, but that doesn't help.
> Does anyone have any suggestions how to get randomination into
> standalone applications?

Years ago I wrote an object "fresh-random-numbers" which will solve this
problem: it supplies "fresh" random numbers at every start of MAX. It is
part of my "Realtime Composition Library for MAX" which can be downloaded

The current version of this library also includes another object called
"RandomSeeder" which generates a random random-seed (using date and time)
for the  all the random and chance objects of the RTC-lib. However, it
works only under version 3.5.x of MAX.

Hope that helps - cheers and happy MAXin'

   Dr. Karlheinz Essl - Composer
   Vienna / Austria
   Studio for Advanced Music & Media Technology


Date:    Wed, 30 Sep 1998 18:35:20 +1000
From:    overlobe@OZEMAIL.COM.AU
Subject: Re: MIDI -> infrared

below are some answers from apple i got recently regarding the ir port.
i've just been way too busy to get into this, and it looks as though it
will be outside my experience base as well.

anyone else out there done anything with the i/r port?

_________________________forwarded message_________________

>I'm interested in
>a) the speed / bandwidth of the irda port on my Pb2400

1 Mbps

>b) can i use it to send the computer messages from a remote location? like
>using a remote control. =)
>    (i use Opcode's MAX software to control sound)

The hardware is capable but no software is available.

>c) is it possible to fabricate some device that could be used for a
>distance measurement from the irda port?
>    ie could i continually poll the port, and then use this as a musical
>controller (kinda like a theremin)
>would these be hard or soft ware (or both)

It should be possible but I don't know of any such device. Looking at
retransmits/dropped packets would give an indication but this is also
true if the device is off angle (on the edge of the IR cone).
Softwre in both cases.


Date:    Wed, 30 Sep 1998 09:58:14 -0400
From:    David Bianciardi 
Subject: Re: MIDI->infrared

Automatic digest processor wrote on 9/30/98 12:00 AM:

>Subject: Query re: MIDI->infrared

>To avoid taking the thing apart and hard
>wiring a relay it seems to me there must be a MIDI to infrared

there is a device called an Infra-MIDI Equator, or something, that
purports to do just that...consumer A/V infrared control via MIDI
trigger.  Unfortunately, everyone I've talked to says it doesn't work.  I
can dig up info if you're interested, or you could search the web for the
above name.

we've done some stuff like this using an AMX control system w/ MIDI and
IR cards, and just written a few lines of code to relate note #'s to
stored IR commands for output.

ps.  these devices "learn" your IR codes from the original manufacturer's
handheld remote, or (in the case of AMX) there are huge libraries of
codes for various manufacturers.

David Bianciardi

212.353.3947 fax
IDRC || 415 Lafayette St || 2nd floor || NYC, NY 10003-7000



Date:    Wed, 30 Sep 1998 16:36:00 +0200
From:    enzo maggi 
Subject: IRCAM announces first public release of jMax

Press Release
Friday September 25th, 1998

IRCAM announces first public release of jMax, a new generation of
cross-platform software for music performance and real time digital
audio processing.

IRCAM (Institut de Recherche et de Coordination Acoustique/ Musique) is
non-profit organization associated with the Georges Pompidou National
Center of Art and Culture, Paris, France.

Since its foundation in 1969 by the French composer and conductor Pierre
Boulez, IRCAM has always been a pioneer in designing real time systems
live interaction between instruments and computers.

The first generation of systems lead in 1981 to the 4X processor,
at IRCAM by the Italian engineer Giuseppe Di Giugno. The first
using live interaction with a computer, including "Repons" from Pierre
Boulez, and "Jupiter"  from Philippe Manoury,  were done on the 4X. At
beginning of the Apple Macintosh in the 80s, the US mathematician Miller
Puckette designed at IRCAM the Max software, that brought a new concept
musical interface, providing a graphical language, based on patches of
elementary processing objects, for controlling real time processing
algorithms on the 4X. The Max software for the Macintosh was licensed to
Opcode Systems Inc.,CA, that adapted it and marketed it worldwide.

The next generation, the IRCAM Digital Signal Processing Workstation
(ISPW), was designed in 1991 at IRCAM by a team headed by Eric
The ISPW hardware was made of NeXT computers including up to 3 specific
boards, each based on 2 Intel i860 processors, and marketed by Ariel
NJ. The software included a new version of Max by Miller Puckette, used
programming multiprocessor patches including both control and DSP
processing. The ISPWs have been used up to now by a considerable number
composers as a basic real time programming environment for interactive
musical compositions.

jMax represents a new generation of real time systems at IRCAM that
consists of a fully cross-platform, hardware independent solution, based
latest computer technology that offers backward compatibility to ISPW
patches, also known as "Max 0.26" patch format. It is currently being
developped by the Real Time Systems team at IRCAM lead by Francois
with Maurizio de Cecco, Vincenzo Maggi and Norbert Schnell.

jMax is based on a client/server architecture, where the two main
components are the real-time engine, a fully ANSI C, new version of the
already known FTS server, and the Java graphical development and control
environment, including editors for patches, tables, note sequences,
The client applications can live on the same computer as the server or
any other computer running a Java virtual machine, connected to the
through an Internet network connexion (using the UDP protocol on IP).
Multiple clients can connect to the same server for controlling the same
real time process, while having feedback on other clients' actions.

jMax is currently being developped on Silicon Graphics Inc. workstations
and the first release is on that platform. The SGI workstations offer
superior processing, real time performance, reliability and enable
and multichannel digital audio I/O using existing or additional hardware
a modular way. jMax will be available on Linux for Intel-compatible
processors by the end of 1998. Releases on other platforms are envisaged
for 1999, including Apple's MacOS X and Microsoft's Windows NT.

jMax is modular and configurable in many ways : users can design
graphically complex processing and synthesis patches from sets of
available in libraries; A C API is provided for programming objects that
are not available in the libraries; users can design their own Java
graphical interface by linking to a Java API that provides required
services for applications.

jMax comes with a rich set of patches and libraries for control and DSP
processing, that feature IRCAM's latest and cutting edge DSP technology,
including filters, pitch shifters and harmonizers, simple and
delays, short term Fourier transform and phase vocoder, pitch and score
following, formant analysis and synthesis, granular synthesis, additive
analysis and synthesis, modal synthesis, physical modeling synthesis,
3D audio technology, etc... These libraries are continuously enhanced
through the latest research at IRCAM, patches used in new musical
compositions and by users outside of IRCAM.

jMax will be demonstrated at the 105th Audio Engineering Society
held in San Francisco, CA, from September 26 to 29, at SGI's room at
Milano (see , and at the '98
Computer Music Conference, held at the University of Michigan, School of
Music, Ann Arbor, from October 1 to 6 (see

jMax will be available for free download on IRCAM's ftp and http site
starting the beginning of November 98, with a basic set of DSP libraries
and documentation. A full-featured version, including more complete
documentation, support, tutorials and an extensive set of IRCAM
and patches, is available through the registration, on a yearly basis,
IRCAM's Forum (user group, see

For more information and for the download, please browse on IRCAM's Web
site at :

Contact :
Direction de la Valorisation
1, place Igor Stravinsky
F-75004 PARIS

Fax : +33 1 44 78 15 40
email :

(C) Copyright IRCAM-Centre Georges Pompidou 1998, All Rights Reserved
Max, jMax and FTS are registered trademarks of IRCAM
All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


Date:    Wed, 30 Sep 1998 10:48:54 -0400
From:    Chris Murtagh Hrdc-drhc 
Subject: Re: IRCAM announces first public release of jMax

>jMax will be available for free download on IRCAM's
>ftp and http site starting the beginning of November
>98, with a basic set of DSP libraries and documentation.

>A full-featured version...
>is available through the registration, on a yearly basis,...

Is this just my misreading of this or is IRCAM developing a product that
will compete with MSP? This sounds strange. Are things not friendly between
IRCAM and Opcode/Cycling'74 (well, as friendly as can be expected)?


If it stinks, it's chemistry. If it moves, it's biology. If it does not
work, It's computer science.


Date:    Wed, 30 Sep 1998 20:46:33 -0400
From:    ryohros 
Subject: Navigation


no patchcords,no Hacking. Just pressing tab or anything else and moving
around numberboxes like in excel.Is there anyway to make a program in c
or whatever that will recognize numberboxes as cells?



End of MAX Digest - 29 Sep 1998 to 30 Sep 1998 (#1998-17)