Subject: MAX Digest - 18 Feb 1999 to 19 Feb 1999 (#1999-59)
Date: Sat, 20 Feb 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 503 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

  1. Serial Cards and Blue G3's
  3. interfaces (2)
  4. audio card for powerbook (2)
  5. sound files transferring
  6. Mega Max wishlist.
  7. you can call me cole... (was re: Louis and Ella...)
  8. Wish list suggestion - receive object highlighted
  9. value more efficient than send/receive
 10. cords
 11. Problems using MSP with an Audiomedia III on OS 8.5


Date:    Thu, 18 Feb 1999 22:14:24 -0800
From:    Alex Stahl 
Subject: Serial Cards and Blue G3's

To those who've been asking:

A Keyspan SX4 four-port serial card seems to work properly with Mac in a
new blue G3. I downloaded v 1.3 of the driver, and have tried a wacom
tablet as well as a loop-back connection, one port talking to another.
Since there are zero built-in ports, the card appears as ports a-d to the
Max serial object.

There's an announcement on the Keyspan site about a new, cheaper serial
card that supports "some" MIDI interfaces too.

Hope this helps.


Date:    Fri, 19 Feb 1999 02:26:00 +0000
From:    Mathius Shadow Sky 

         Thu, 18 Feb 1999 12:48:21
         "mathius shadow-sky" 

Cette fois je vais m'exprimer en franais [ma langue natale] car depuis
mon premier envoi concernant ma controverse ˆ propos des musiciens
utilisant l'ordinateur pour faire de la musique, je n'ai reu [ˆ part
une ou deux] que des rŽponses insultantes ou des dŽsirs, souvent
anonymes, de me voir quitter la Maxlist ! Qui sont ces musiciens ? Je
n'ai jamais rencontrŽ autant de mauvaises fois, autant
d'incomprŽhensions, autant d'insultes dans un si court laps de temps !
Pourquoi ? AI-JE TOUCHE UN POINT SENSIBLE, UN TABOU ? Certaines rŽponses
ont ŽtŽ vraiment na•ve comme par exemple me faire dire que "je veut
changer le monde", c'est une remarque absurde et facile puisqu'on n'y
fera rien. Personne n'a ŽlevŽ le dŽbat. Penser n'est pas tabou pour un
musicien mme parmi des problmes pratiques ˆ rŽsoudre des problmes
techniques. Mon dŽsir en tant que musicien est simplement d'ƒCHANGER une
rŽflexion sur le r™le du musicien utilisant l'ordinateur hors du monde
des privilges. Ma controverse a dŽmarrŽ quand j'ai rencontrŽ un certain
nombre de musiciens sans le sous et qui auraient AUSSI aimŽ essayer de
faire de la musique avec un ordinateur. O sont les accs ? Par exemple
l'investissement minimum pour avoir un systme de traitement du son en
temps rŽel cela cožte l'acquisition d'un ordinateur suffisamment
"puissant" + un disque dur AV + une carte son + le/s programme/s + tous
les autres ˆ-c™tŽ nŽcessaires ˆ faire fonctionner l'ordinateur au mieux.
Tous les musiciens n'ont pas les moyens ! Personnellement je travaille
avec un ordinateur obsolte me dit-on [un PPC 8100/80 port NuBus] qui ne
peut pas faire fonctionner les derniers programmes ! Et je refuse le jeu
de notre systme Žconomique: jetez -> consommez... Puis je suis fatiguŽ
de la course aux upgrades qui ne fonctionnent jamais bien. Depuis que
j'ai ŽtŽ introduit ˆ la musique sur ordinateur en 1980, beaucoup de
monde rvaient aux possibilitŽs extraordinaires qu'il pouvait rŽaliser.
En 20 ans, ces rves sont toujours des rves, car la majoritŽ des
programmes supposŽs faire des choses extraordinaires ne fonctionnent pas
vraiment bien et assembler un systme dans certaines conditions (ne
serait ce que climatique, ou mme par manque de courant Žlectrique) est
parfois tout simplement impossible. Quand j'utilise un ordinateur sur
scne, je sais le risque que je prends car ˆ tout moment il peut
"crasher", et cela m'est arrivŽ plusieurs fois. Par cette controverse
mon dŽsir est de PARTAGER en remettant en question l'utilisation de
l'ordinateur en musique pour TROUVER DES SOLUTIONS PRATIQUES ˆ cette
activitŽ en dehors des privilges et des manipulations Žconomiques. Il
est possible de concevoir un ordinateur et des programmes bon marchŽ
sans rentrer dans l'excs de la course au plus de...  Mais en relisant
les rŽponses que j'ai reu, QUELLE DƒCEPTION ! Tous ces "artistes" ne
connaissent pas le sens du mot GƒNƒROSITƒ, et il font de la musique pour
les autres !
Continuez ˆ m'attaquer si cela vous soulage, je continuerait ˆ
A bient™t
Mathius Shadow-Sky


Date:    Fri, 19 Feb 1999 10:48:25 +0100
From:    Matthew Ostrowski 
Subject: Re: interfaces

>Matthew Ostrowski:
>>I have this situation a lot as well -- what you can do is add an argument
>>to the name of the send & receive messages (thus you have something like
>>'send foo_#1' as yr object name), and then type different arguments in
>>using multiple copies of the same abstraction.  It also allows you to send
>>messages from outside to a specific instance of an abstraction.
>You must put the "#1" at the beginning of the send name.
>'send foo_#1'  <- does not work
>'send #1_foo'  <- correct

Oh yeah...looking at my patches where I actually DO this, I see you're
right.  Oops.  I'd like to add that I don't think it's an ugly solution at
all, & a lot of this interface discussion does seem to me a bit over the
top.  Is it that vital that we have endless graphical bells & whistles?
ISPW Max didn't exactly have the most beautiful GUI, but at the time I
loved it because it worked, & I just dealt with it's visual limitations.
Personally, given the fact that this is a one-man operation, I'd rather see
David improving the guts of the thing rather than wasting his time on
'productivity tools'.

PS to DZ:  I think we really need a little dancing computer in the corner
to give us help on those tricky max questions.  Possibly it could be
connnected to the maxlist search engine, & could get answers to questions
in realtime via the 'net...



Date:    Fri, 19 Feb 1999 11:42:22 +0100
From:    daniel landau 
Subject: audio card for powerbook

has anyone had experiance with digigram's pcmcia audio card for powerbooks?
does MSP support this card?



Date:    Fri, 19 Feb 1999 13:17:37 +0000
From:    Trond Lossius 
Subject: Re: interfaces

Here's my three cents worth:

1) 3 dimentional patches I honestly can't see doing anything good at
all. After all Max program behaviour is purely linear, as illustrated
when tracing a patch. Max only do one thing at a time and the sequence
of tasks is predefined. The twodimensional appearance of Max is nothing
but a mean to better visualize the algoritm of a patch. I firmly believe
that adding one more dimention will decrease instead of increase the
visual clarity.

2) The ability to lock object position and align objects to a grid has
been suggested. Peter Elseas tutorial mentioned yesterday has some nice
demonstrations of how alignment and nonalignment can be used for
clarity. Alligning all objects to a grid would often give the impretion
of a well orginized patch, while in fact the allignment could make the
structure less clear. If a lock/align feature is implemented, there's
got to be an easy way of disregarding it, e.g. option-dragging objects.

3) pr and ps. Yes please! It's true that one can use #1_arguments, but
such arguments are mainly of use in subpatches that there are several
copies of in the same patch (Stephen Kays multicoll is a good example).
Also pv exists, but pv is a mere storage unit, and input to one pv
object won't trigger action from other pv objects sharing the name.
Therefore pv can't help you limiting the number of patch chords.

Another problem about pv I'd like to see solved is that even if the
value is private, the name can not be used for other purposes on a
global level. It might be that this is unavoidable, but it raise a
problem when making general purpose abstractions: If pv values are used,
all patches using the abstraction will have to avoid the private
variable names privately by the abstraction patch, making the
abstraction less versatile than an external. (Well, after all I guess
this is one of the reasons why one ought to make externals instead of

Here are some other wishes:

4) Max object colors: Would it be possible to use the Mac colorpickers
to select colors instead of being limited to the 16 Max colors?

5) a list/l storage object to work in the same way as int/i and float/f.
I just received a Llist object (beta?) that Peter Elsea was kind to make
for me, but I believe this feature should be a full-fledged supported
Max object.

6) Increase list size in max objects to (at least) 256. Several of the
external list objects (McCartney and Elsea) are able to handle lists of
this size, while e.g. prepend can take a maximum of 64 items (including
the message(s) to be prepended). For example SysEx Bulk Dump messages
often exceeds 64 bytes.

7) A multidimensional coll object. All means of storage in max is
one-dimensional (coll, table, funbuff). If a multidimensional storage
object did exist, it would gratly simplify storage tasks (as e.g.
Stephen Kays multicoll example patch that has been mentioned recently).

8) I'd guess a lot of users would be happy to se the MSP function object
included in Max. It's not a big deal to me as I've got both Max and MSP,
but the function object is a _lot_ easier to use than envi.

Also I'd like the black rectangles indicating inlets and outlets to be
hidden on lockup for the function object. If you want to see how it's
connected to other objects, you could still see the patch chords, but if
not, you'd get a better looking interface.

9) Max using the Mac clipboard instead of an internal clipboard. That
way one would be able to use the CopyPaste extention with Max.

10) Ability to use bpatchers with MSP.

11) Ability to use arrow keys with float number boxes in the same way as
for int number boxes. Arrow step size could be defined in the Get info
dialog box.

12) When command-clicking an already drawn segmented patch-chord, it
cause some of the segments to disappear. This I find very annoying.
Often I have to redraw patch-chords that are changed by mistake this

13) I'd like undo command to work with patch chords as well. Currently
it does so if you delete a patch chord, but not if you simply move one
or more segments of it.

14) Patch chords seems to be ignored when Max figures out the size of
the window. If all objects are to the right of left end of the window
but one or more segmented patch chords are partly outside the window,
the left /right scroll bar will not let you scroll further to the left.
The same holds true of vertical scrolling.

15) A print message to the text object, making Max able to print the
stored content of text. Also I would like text to adopt certain or
similar commands as works with coll, notable so that it is possible to
manipulate the content of text, not only add more text after what is
already stored. A setline command followed by a number and a list would
be very handy. Finally I would like several text objects to be able to
shear the samme content, in the same way as table and coll is able to


Trond L.


Date:    Fri, 19 Feb 1999 14:18:10 +0200
From:    oron schwartz 
Subject: sound files transferring

This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

does anybody know which is  the best  format for  transferring a sound
file processed on a p.c. to  a mac. platform so it would suit the Max?
Oron Schwartz

Content-Type: text/x-vcard; charset=us-ascii;
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
Content-Description: Card for oron schwartz
Content-Disposition: attachment;




Date:    Fri, 19 Feb 1999 13:33:36 +0100
From:    Sukandar Kartadinata 
Subject: Re: audio card for powerbook

>has anyone had experiance with digigram's pcmcia audio card for powerbooks?
>does MSP support this card?

not really. it's ridicously expensive anyway. also only one-way digital
i was just told about another pcmcia audio card. by Storm Audio. the
following information is from

Storm Audio Systems Vortex PCM2000
The Vortex PCM2000 (PCMCIA type II digital I/O card) provides a
professional stereo digital audio interface for MacOS and PC-compatible
computers. PCM2000 supports 2-in/2-out of 16-24 bit/32, 44.1, 48kHz S/PDIF
digital audio. Two cards can be used for a total of four channels. The card
comes with Metric Halo MacOS drivers and a bundled version of Metric Halo's
MLM-100 metering software and is fully compatible with Storm's full line of
A/D/A converters.
500 North Rainbow Blvd. Ste. 300
Las Vegas, NV 89107
702/221-2027; Fax: 702/655-5879
Web site:

their website, however doesn't provide information about this new product.

hope this helps,

Sukandar Kartadinata
Custom Music Technology
Hagenauerstr. 6, 10435 Berlin, 030-44051219


Date:    Fri, 19 Feb 1999 15:05:54 +0000
From:    Trond Lossius 
Subject: Mega Max wishlist.

I've been collecting wishes for the MegaMAX collection for a while. The
list is to long to post on the max-l I think, so I've posted it on UnMax
instead, in the articles section:

It's proberbly not a good idea to expect any major upgrade of MegaMax
until the new version of Max is released, but I guess it won't harm to
start discussing what more UI objects one would like to see included in


Trond L.


Date:    Fri, 19 Feb 1999 14:58:07 +0100
From:    Peter Castine 
Subject: Re: you can call me cole... (was re: Louis and Ella...)

On around 18-2-99 22:41, Tom Mays said something like:

>By the way, the plurel of "seek" sounds
>        "six" with a french accent. And that's *really* confusing.

As in: Si six scies scient six seqs...

>iter is pronounced with a short "i" because it sounds dumb with a long "i".

But iter with a short "i" sounds like cockney wife-beating.




Date:    Fri, 19 Feb 1999 10:21:03 +0000
From:    Steve Smith 
Subject: Wish list suggestion - receive object highlighted

When double-clicking a send object it would be nice to have the receive
object highlighted.  It can be hard to find the receive object in amongst a
window full of code. a father of teenagers, I know how valuable time can be.


Steve Smith


Date:    Fri, 19 Feb 1999 11:34:59 -0500
From:    Holland 
Subject: value more efficient than send/receive

As someone who uses the trusty 'ole Powerbook 180, I'm often concerned
with matters of efficiency.  Here's a puzzle:
        I might use send/receive to provide a subpatch a list of data.
But if the subpatch only updates the list infrequently (banging it out of
a listreg, for example), then I'm not doing myself any favors by "clogging
up the lines" with all those sent lists that get ignored.
        Is value any more efficient?  I'm guessing that it is--that it
only performs a lookup when banged.
        Can anyone confirm or deny this?  Thanks for your enlightenment.
And thanks Elsea for the gospel of clean patches.  I hope you'll start a
column: Mr. Max Manners on patch-cord etiquette.



Date:    Fri, 19 Feb 1999 10:10:32 -0800
From:    Peter Elsea 
Subject: cords

> The fact that Peter has developed so many rules
>about dealing with the Max interface
Guidelines really. If you think it's tough deciphering your own work,
imagine looking over a student's shoulder and figuring out why their
patcher doesn't work.

>I did consider the idea of a "Termination" object with one argument - the
>number of cores. Two Termination objects would be connected together with a
>"multicore" patchcord.
You can do something like this with Label and route- the Label helpfile
shows how.

>The source code for pv is available
>for anyone who would like to write ps and pr.
I'll take David up on his dare.
Peter Elsea
Electronic Music Studios
University of California, Santa Cruz


Date:    Sat, 20 Feb 1999 01:44:10 +0000
From:    Adam Green 
Subject: Problems using MSP with an Audiomedia III on OS 8.5


I've just installed a digidesign audiomedia III card into a 300MHz G3 (old
school) running OS 8.5 (factory install) for use in a live MSP performance.
I'm using the latest version of MAX/MSP (3.5.9 bundle from Cyling74...)
with the Digisystem INIT 3.4.1 drivers for the card.

Firstly, I noticed that when starting up the MAX application (with Direct
I/O MSP audiodriver installed for the audiomedia card), only the 'about
MAX' dialog momentarily appears, and not the 'about MSP' dialog (which
normally follows shortly after the MAX one... when I'm using Sound Manager).

Secondly, the main problem is that (also with Direct I/O MSP audiodriver)
MSP behaves as if it is not authorised - allowing me to turn on the audio
only once, i.e. becoming 'disabled' rather 'off' when I turn the audio off
for the first time. Either way I have continuously restart MAX, and to do
anything I have to revert to using the Sound Manager.

Could the Audiomedia card be interfering with the floppy authorisation of
MSP? I'll try the challenge/response system in the meantime - it works fine
on my powerbook, but no audiomedia card there for comparison..

Any suggestions David Z.?
cheers and TIA

Adam Green

Adam Green
Music and Media Technologies lab, 2nd floor
Aras an Phiarsaigh
University of Dublin, Trinity College
Dublin 2


End of MAX Digest - 18 Feb 1999 to 19 Feb 1999 (#1999-59)