Subject: MAX Digest - 13 Jan 1999 to 14 Jan 1999 (#1999-14)
Date: Fri, 15 Jan 1999 00:00:00 -0500
From: Automatic digest processor 
Reply-To: MAX - Interactive Music/Multimedia Standard Environments
To: Recipients of MAX digests 

There are 13 messages totalling 529 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

  1. iMac
  2. my personal contribution of "krapmatter" for 1999
  3. curriculum development.
  4. USB to serial MIDI adapters.
  5. Aut on ext HD
  6. * Please read Important message from admin *
  7. SysEx basics. 2 questions (2)
  8. compressor
  9. All my objects now PPC-native
 10. Some MIDI solutions for new G3 Mac and iMac
 11. Full Motion QT - Interactive Control
 12. Max on amug

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Date:    Wed, 13 Jan 1999 20:53:01 -0800
From:    Kolbeinn Einarsson 
Subject: iMac

Hi fellow Maxers,
I was wondering if anyone has experience running Max on an iMac.

Live long and prosper,

Kolbeinn Einarsson
CalArts - CalArts - Comp. New Media


Date:    Wed, 13 Jan 1999 22:09:27 -0800
From:    dudas 
Subject: my personal contribution of "krapmatter" for 1999

Stephen kay writes:
>Please remember this if/when you have the chance to vote...

Voting is a clever means to promote the illusion of freedom.
It serves no other purpose; any seeming just system is a farce.
One becomes free only upon realizing that freedom and fairness simply do
not exist.

This is why I love Max.



Date:    Thu, 14 Jan 1999 01:04:53 -0500
From:    luke 
Subject: curriculum development.

hey all.  so i've been given the task of teaching a semester-length class
on max/msp at columbia this semester and i'm having a bit of writer's
block with the syllabus and so i thought i'd appeal for some last-minute

the course is a graduate level class (mostly composers with some
undergraduate music students and graduate theorists thrown in for good
measure), and is the sequel to a one-semester class that teaches the
rudiments of dsp and algorithmic composition using RTcmix (real-time
implementation of paul lansky's cmix -- you use score files like in
csound, but you listen as you work).

in short, the students have enough background that the actual 'how to use
max/msp' part of the course can be gotten through in pretty short order
once they figure out how to make the migration from emacs under linux/irix
to a graphical interface building system running on a macintosh.  so i'm
not really interested in a step-by-step tutorial a la the ones that come
with max and/or msp.  the last time any of us taught max the class was
comprised of people with no previous comp. music experience, which in a
sense was a much easier crowd to please.

so i'm more interested in teaching 'applied' max/msp, which puts me in a
rather embarrasing position because i don't actually write interactive
music (gasp!).  and though i do know a lot about interface design and can
come up with plenty of nifty compositional problems that can be solved in
max, that's really only a very small part of the story and it doesn't do
justice to all the work that's gone into it as a software environment.

if anyone out there has had any experience teaching an 'advanced' class of
sorts on max (or on interactive music / real-time dsp interface design in
general) and doesn't mind me stealing some of their ideas, i'd love any
sort of input, even if it's as simple as 'don't forget to teach this...'
or 'you should maybe get a copy of this person's work...'.

my students don't have any comp. sci. / engineering background so we won't
be getting under the hood very much.  as a result i'm not so much
interested in resources on writing externals, but more on how one realizes
one's ideas using the existing tools (columbia is an ircam/forum member so
we have all the msp ports of the ispw stuff as well as a pretty recent
distribution of freeware objects).

there doesn't seem all that much pedagogical discourse on this listserv so
if you think it's inapppropriate to respond to the entire list please
by all means drop me an e-mail personally.

thanks ever so much for reading.

all the best.


R. Luke DuBois
        Graduate Teaching / Research Assistant,
        Computer Music Center, Columbia University
        phone:  (212)-854-9266 (cmc - prentis)
                (212)-854-7181 (cmc - dodge)


Date:    Thu, 14 Jan 1999 10:06:46 +0200
From:    Trond Lossius 
Subject: Re: USB to serial MIDI adapters.

Two days ago Bob Gluck wrote:

> When I spoke with Apple sales about the new G3s, last night, they told me
> that MIDI can be sent and received via a USB-serial adapter (which are
> pretty inexpensive). Were they misinformed on this?

According to postings by Doug Wyatt of Opcode to the Opcode-users list USB
serial MIDI adapters are not likely to appear. Here's a quote of a few

> At 12:21 -0500 1/12/99, Peter Buchta wrote:
> > Check it out:
> >
> >
> >
> > There is also a good section explaning the USB specs on the Apple web
> >
> > It's a sure bet that a good serial translator is going to be developed.
> The page lists two USB/serial adapters.  Follow the links for both of them
> - - they both explicitly state that they do not support MIDI.
> Another engineer and I were kicking this around yesterday.  Based on what
> we've learned about USB, we're not optimistic about USB/serial adapters
> being able ever to work reliably for MIDI.  Maybe we'll be proved wrong,
> but it's premature for people to assume that it can be made to work.
> There will be USB MIDI interfaces, but for supporting existing MIDI
> interfaces, serial ports on PCI cards are more likely to become viable
> solution, if we can get drivers written.
> Doug

And furthermore:

> Sorry to belabor this distinction, but let's keep our terms straight.
> The USB MIDI interface will have one or more MIDI Ins and Outs.  It will
> come with an OMS driver if the manufacturer cares at all about Mac MIDI
> users.
> A USB/serial adapter has one or more standard serial ports, to which a
> traditional MIDI interface could theoretically be connected, except for
> problem of no OMS driver (both because: the USB/serial adapter
> probably doesn't want to descend into the specialized murk of MIDI -- and
> there are technical reasons that make that driver difficult to write).
> Doug

Trond L.


Date:    Thu, 14 Jan 1999 09:16:32 +0100
From:    Roland Cahen & Ruth Sefton-Green 
Subject: Aut on ext HD

Unfortunately, you can't have max on an external HD,
Unless you have a floppy drive and disk to
"Reauthorize" each time you use max on a new machine.
(then you have to put the floppy in before launching)

Too Bad!
Roland Cahen


Date:    Thu, 14 Jan 1999 10:00:03 -0500
From:    Christopher Murtagh 
Subject: * Please read Important message from admin *

Greetings Maxers,

 After many attempts at getting Plan A to work, I am now having to move to
a modified Plan B. (For those of you who were curious, Plan A was a setup
where we could have two different digests, or a filtered digest, with and
without antiorp posts. As it turns out, it isn't possible.)

 So, without further ado, here is Plan B (which I have been getting MANY
email requests to implement):

The MAX list will be voting on the status of antiorp as a contributing
member of this list. This will be a democratic, credible, accountable and
anonymous voting scheme. Here is how it will work:

 Each member who was subscribed to the list on or before January 10th will
receive an email message from me with a unique # and an X in the subject.
The member will then reply and change the X for their vote (leaving the
unique number there).

 The voting period will be one week (Starting from this weekend until
January 24th), and I will post the results as soon as I can the following

The posted results will only contain the unique number and the vote to
allow all to verify that their vote was registered as they had wished
(making it 100% accountable and credible).

After the results are announced, anyone going against the results of the
election will be removed from the list immediately. Anyone attempting to
vote more than once, or vote for someone else shall be permanently banned
from the list, and their ISP will be contacted.

I really hope this will solve this issue once and for all, as I (and many
others) are really getting tired of this subject.


This is the official VOTE question (which will be in the body of the
email message along with the vote instructions):

Should antiorp be allowed to post messages to the MAX list (Y/N)?

A vote of 'Y' means that full status shall be returned to antiorp (no

A vote of 'N' means that antiorp will no longer be allowed to POST to the
MAX list at all (but still receive messages).

I would be happier with a majority vote greater than 60%, but 50% + 1 will
be the official 'winning' result.

Again, any complaints, comments, suggestions regarding this, the list
policy or anything else non-MAX related are to come to me an NOT the list.

Please note: There is NO campaign period, the vote question is NOT to be
debated on the list. Anyone posting propaganda one way or another
regarding this vote will be removed from the list immediately.

I'm sorry that this has come to this, and the tone of this message
might not be all that gentle; we just need to end this battle now.

Thank you.

Christopher Murtagh
MAX listserv owner


Date:    Thu, 14 Jan 1999 12:00:41 EST
From:    "SETA,MICHAL,MR" 
Subject: SysEx basics. 2 questions


2 Questions:
1.  Could someone briefly and quickly translate (to english)
    the following statement:
 The error checking process uses a checksum that provides a bit pattern
 where the least significant 7 bits are zero when values for an
 address, size, and that checksum are summed.

(this comes from the Roland GR-50 SysEx section)

2.  Is there a good book dealing with MIDI programming?


| Michal Seta
|                                  <~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~|
  It's only when I know what I'm doing that it's boring  |
                                              j cage     |


Date:    Thu, 14 Jan 1999 18:14:41 +0000
From:    david stevens 
Subject: compressor

hi all,

needing to control some fluctuating levels inside my patch, i made a simple
compressor using metro/avg~ to read a table object, the numbers derived from
this being used to control a *~ object, through which the audio is passing.
table provides the compression curve.

the problem is that it's a bit clicky.(less so if i slow metro down, but
still there). does anyone have any suggestions for a clean compressor? it
shouldn't be too processor intensive, as I'm close to the limit again, and i
need to run several of them.

i know that i can also use lookup~ with a buffer~, but i'm not at all clear
that works, nor am i clear how to get the required curve into the buffer.

any help on either of these approaches greatfully received!




Date:    Thu, 14 Jan 1999 14:28:53 -0500
From:    Stephen Kay 
Subject: SysEx basics. 2 questions

>2 Questions:
>1.  Could someone briefly and quickly translate (to english)
>   the following statement:
> The error checking process uses a checksum that provides a bit pattern
> where the least significant 7 bits are zero when values for an
> address, size, and that checksum are summed.

>(this comes from the Roland GR-50 SysEx section)

Been awhile since I did this, but I *think* the following is correct:

It means that when you add the address, size and checksum together,
you get a value that has 0 in the last 7 bits (such as 128), which in
binary is 10000000.

To calculate a checksum, subtract the sum of the other items
from 128.  To see if a number has 0 in the 7 least significant
bits, modulo (%) by 128.  If (val % 128) =3D 0, then you passed the test.=

>2.  Is there a good book dealing with MIDI programming?

"The Next Midi Book" by Lorenz Rychner from Alexander publishing has
good basic explanations of MIDI, hex, etc.

Stephen Kay
The MegaMAX Collection:


Date:    Thu, 14 Jan 1999 15:40:15 -0500
From:    Eric Singer 
Subject: All my objects now PPC-native

I have just uploaded new versions of all of my public Max objects.  These

- AiffPlayer: play AIFF digital audio files using the Mac Sound Manager
- SeqPlayer: use bangs to play Type 0 Standard MIDI Files beat by beat
- VideoIn: receive video from any QuickTime input, do motion detection or
grey level analysis, use for MAX triggering
- Boids: implementation of Craig Reynolds' famous bird-flocking algorithm
- EnvGen: self-clocking envelope generator with arbitrary number of segments
- Talk: text-to-speech using the Mac Speech Manager and voices

Site admins: please upload to your Max sites.

Note about VideoIn: This is a straight conversion to PPC-native from
version 1.02.  In testing this version, I have encountered problems, and it
is possible that this version may not work for you.  (For instance, it runs
for a few seconds and then pauses).  Results may be highly dependent on
system configuration, system and Quicktime software versions and video
digitizer used.
I am currently working on a significant upgrade to this object, so I have
not attempted to bug-fix this version.  I am making it available as is, on
the chance that it will work for some users.

Enjoy, and please send comments and bug reports to me at

-Eric Singer


Date:    Thu, 14 Jan 1999 17:57:43 -0500
From:    Jeff Mann 
Subject: Re: Some MIDI solutions for new G3 Mac and iMac

>From:    Bob Gluck 
>When I spoke with Apple sales about the new G3s, last night,
>they told me that MIDI can be sent and received via a USB-serial
>adapter (which are pretty inexpensive). Were they misinformed on this?

Yes. None of the current USB-to-serial adapters support MIDI interfaces
and they all state this on their product information. MIDI uses a
non-standard baud rate (31.25k). The Macintosh built-in serial ports
have (had :-( ) the ability to take an external 1MHz clock input in
order to generate 31.25. "Normal" serial ports can't do that - which is
why PC MIDI interfaces historically haven't connected to the PC's serial

The Griffin iPort has Mac-style ports which support MIDI interfaces and
LocalTalk, but it is *not* a USB device, but rather a card that is
installed inside the iMac (may not be compatible with the new iMacs?).
Therefore it will not work with the G3.

> From:    Peter Castine 
>> MIDIMAN is proud to announce the MIDISPORT 2x2=3D81 - multi-port
>> MIDI interface for USB-equipped PC and Apple computers.
>> Mac OS compatible (via updates in early 1999). **(what this mean???)

I think it means they're waiting for Opcode to finish the USB drivers
for OMS, which will become part of the MacOS as I understand from the
press release that Richard Zvonar posted. It's many months old though.
Still waiting...
Jeff Mann - Information Consumer ___O___O__= -- > ||
Visit the Art & Robotics Group site:


Date:    Thu, 14 Jan 1999 18:21:19 -0500
From:    Jeff Mann 
Subject: Full Motion QT - Interactive Control

> From:    "Patrick T. Rost" 
> Subject: Full Motion QT - Interactive Control
> Hello!
> I'm here trying to figure out a good way to sync up a video and four audio
> max doesn't seem to recognize its acceleration.  Playback of video vision
> quicktime movies in max results in painful, visible "painting" frame
> while the same file viewed in adobe premiere works as it should (full
> smooth 640x480 video)

I got the G3 Buz card working at 720x480, 60 fields per second. The
trick is you have to scale the QT movie window down to a small size on
the Mac monitor, to avoid that "painting" full-size frame redraws on the
Mac monitor. This requires a modified "movie" object that supports
scaling. Hopefully this will be released to the Max archives soon (needs
more work). I don't know if this would help with the Video Vision or
not. It depends whether it has its own "desktop" space or not, i.e.
whether it works like a second monitor. The Buz doesn't.

The big problem with the Buz now is that there is a huge delay (1/2
second or more) between stop and play, or jumping to another point in
the movie while playing. Jumping to frames while stopped or paused is
reasonably fast though, can keep up with a 65ms metro. So you can do
scrubbing but with no audio. The resolution is lower (720x240) while
paused, so that you don't get interlace flickering; it would be nice if
you could turn that feature off. Haven't tried changing playback speed
on the fly yet...
Jeff Mann - Information Consumer ___O___O__= -- > ||
Visit the Art & Robotics Group site:


Date:    Thu, 14 Jan 1999 21:34:46 -0500
From:    Otto Henry 
Subject: Max on amug

Hi Maxers!

Well, I am very pleased that some more of my MAX composition-applications
are now
available on the amug site. They may eventually appear on the HyperArchive
after this

These are all stand-alone applications, they are all bundled with a copy of
MaxPlay (which
contributes to the hefty size of the files) and they have different creator
codes so they won't
corrupt your max files!

Why do I do it this way?  For one thing the pieces are available to
non-maxers, the "public"
and that is a larger audience. For another, Max 3.00 has 8 players in its
snd object and 3.5
has only 4 (unless you get a copy of the snd1. patch). Only ther application
icon appears in
the program folder as the sound samples as the movies have been made
invisible. I don't mind
telling maxers they are free to tinker as they wish- but I did have a bad
experiance with an
earlier work that appeared on the archive. Someone took my program and ran a
substituting his own sound and movies. Compare the following (if you wish):

Well, what the heck, if you can't take a joke......

Anyway, I have been working years on these pieces and especially on the
click-music and time-machine  are adapted from some of my electronic music
shows of the
'70's. Parade and time machine have what I call self-simular panoramic
graphics, which is a
good way to get a lot of variety on a minimun number of picts!  Parade has a
nice pandiatonic
march engine I like a lot.

Hope you enjoy, comments are welcome.

best regards, to all, Otto


End of MAX Digest - 13 Jan 1999 to 14 Jan 1999 (#1999-14)