Subject: MAX Digest - 22 Mar 1999 to 23 Mar 1999 (#1999-92)
Date: Wed, 24 Mar 1999 00:00:02 -0500
From: Automatic digest processor 
Reply-To: MAX - Interactive Music/Multimedia Standard Environments
To: Recipients of MAX digests 

There are 15 messages totalling 515 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

  1. Would Max make good Sample Playback engine?
  2. Bomb in MAX
  3. latency
  4. MAX Digest - 21 Mar 1999 to 22 Mar 1999 (#1999-91)
  5. pack (2)
  6. MAX-based installation in Baltimore
  7. powerbook I/O
  8. Would Max make good Sample Playback engine? / correct URL
  9. DIY MIDI Controller
 10. ignore/respond to click
 11. MSP and pluggo
 12. interested in beta testing Pluggo?
 13. new cd object
 14. USB MIDI Ships


Date:    Tue, 23 Mar 1999 08:38:23 +0100
From:    "Dr. Karlheinz Essl" 
Subject: Re: Would Max make good Sample Playback engine?

Steve Smith  wrote:

> Has anyone experience with Max's use as a sample playback engine?  I mean
> creating keygroups (of samples assigned to particular note numbers as a
> sampler would do) to playback instrumental sounds (samples) triggered from
> a keyboard.

Alex Westner  answered:

> I've tried that and hadn't had much luck because I've found
> the lag to be a little too long for my purposes.  I tried it
> in Max, I tried it with MSP, and I tried it with both the
> Sound Manager and a Korg 1212 I/O board.
> When using Max and the Sound Manager, you're limited to a
> certain number of voices - 16, I think.  Maybe 32.  Hm.
> There's also some flakiness in Overdrive mode.  A hack I
> used to do was to trigger all the samples first in regular
> mode, then turn on Overdrive.

1) sample playback with MAX and SoundManager

In my project "Amazing Maze"

which was started in 1996 I utilized MAX (and its "snd" object) to
construct a algorithm driven sample playback machine which works nicely and
which I used in many live concerts and sound installations. People who are
interested will find download instructions for a PD version at the given

However, there are several restrictions with MAX and Apple's SoundManager

1) latency: approx. 50 ms, depending on the machine
2) the SoundManager only allows transposition in semitones, and no
continous panning (either L or R, or L + R)
3) "flakiness in Overdrive mode" (as Alex pointed out)
4) depending on the power of the CPU, SoundManager supports up to 32
asynchronous voices. To take advantage of it, one has to modify the
original "snd" object (which only supports 8 voices) with ResEdit as it was
once revealed by David Z.

This are the mere facts of the system's restrictions. What I tried to
achieve with "Amazing Maze" was to use these obstacles as a creative
challenge... I did not try to emulate a commercial sampler, but I built
something new which transformed itself over the years in a fine
improvisation environment based on an Apple PowerBook (at the beginning,
this piece was even running on a PB 190!).

2) sample playback with MSP and SoundManager

Excellent facilities - you could literaly do anything what you dream of,
only limited by your own imagination and your programming skills.

Anyway, Alex is again right about latency. It depends highly on the machine
and the external sound cards - you'll find tables about it on Zicarelli's

However, latency can be much smaller than with MAX. Personally this did
never trouble me when playing the MSP-implementation of "Amazing Maze"
(which now is called "m@ze=B02") in live concerts on a PB 3400/240 using its
built-in audio stuff.

Hope that helps,

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


Date:    Tue, 23 Mar 1999 19:20:05 +1100
From:    Garth Paine 
Subject: Bomb in MAX

HI all,

I am exploring using Bomb within MAX.  I want to develop a patch that uses
VNS to track people through a space, altering MSP states to generate sound
in realtion to movement patterns.  This sound will be fed into Bomb to
change the paterning in Bomb.

So all well and good.  I have a couple of problems. Perhaps someone else
has some experience with Bomb, or perhaps you could add something David Z.

1.  When Bomb is the front window, all the control mechanisms no longer
work in the MAX patch.  I have tried Overdrive and All Windows Active, but
it makes not difference.  So any suggestions about how I get arround this.
I am using the Key object to play files in MSP using the sfplay~ object -
so no control is active when Bomb is actually happening.

2.  I want to make this patch into a collective or an app, but Bomb doesn't
seem to work in a collective.  The collective report no Bomb object.

3.  The colour pallet in Bomb doesn't seem to work in MAX as it does in Big

4.  I want to make Bomb fill the entire screen.




See information about my new immersive interactive sound installations

. Composer, Sound Designer
.. Interactives Designer
... Interactive Installation Artist
.... Exhibition Consultant


Date:    Tue, 23 Mar 1999 12:07:16 +0000
From:    Lawrence Casserley 
Subject: latency

In message <>, Carl Faia
>I've tried the i-Cube and the SensorLab for a project that required 27
>triggers (piezos) for more than 2 octaves of cowbells. Latency was a
>problem. I also tried some big name stuff -Yamaha TMX and the  Roland
>D-Drums- and found them hard to calibrate (velocity info, parasite
>triggering, etc). What I found to work well (low latency and easy to
>calibrate), is the Alesis DM5. It comes with various flavours of
>drum/percussion samples for your listening pleasure as a bonus :-)

If we are talking about drum controllers, I use DrumKat 3.5s in my
'Signal Processing Instrument' (/DSP_Inst.html on the site if anyone's
interested). On the ISPW I get no feeling of lag in the response. On a
266MHz G3 with Korg I/O I get a definitely perceptible delay, which I
don't seem to be able to eliminate entirely. The latency is clearly on
the Mac rather than the DK. Using minimum buffer time helps a lot, but
the Korg I/O buffer is fixed at 512 samples. This is one of the reasons
I haven't ported the SPI to Mac yet (the other is that a 266 won't hack
it like my ISPW!) I am looking at upgrade processors. The 400 MHz
currently available would be nearly there. A 500MHz would certainly get
me there. Has anyone had experience of these upgrades?

I find the DKs very reliable, easy to set up - they just work. I also
have a TrapKat, but that is just the opposite - spurious notes,
unreliable and uneven response - I have stopped using it and now use two
DKs instead.


Lawrence Casserley

Lawrence Electronic Operations -Tel +44 1494 481381 -FAX +44 1494 481454
Signal Processing for Contemporary Music -email


Date:    Tue, 23 Mar 1999 13:38:40 +0100
From:    hollek 
Subject: Re: MAX Digest - 21 Mar 1999 to 22 Mar 1999 (#1999-91)

>We're hoping to get our hands on any oldish PowerPC - Second hand Macs
>are fairly thin on the ground over here, and as for used SCSI CD-ROM
>drives, forget it. We should find a machine alright, but are still
>wondering, before we go out and buy third party drives (like Pioneer,
>TEAC, Plextor, etc), whether the current incarnation of the MAX CD
>object will support them? Or will we have to go the expensive route and
>find typical Macintosh replacement drives?
I=B4ve done some stuff with cd-rom drives (actually it was a very old =
Mac single speed drive and a Powerbook 520; where the cd-rom drive =
was controlled by an i-cube; and iI did some tests with controlling =
different cd-rom drives (for the output of audio data, and different =
... and I never had any problems, even controlling a cd-rom is much =
faster and easier than controlling any other cd-player)

so far ... sincerely

Matthias Schneider-Hollek
Heusteigstr. 44
70180 Stuttgart

phone xx-711-6070780
fax xx-711-6070783


Date:    Tue, 23 Mar 1999 10:42:56 -0500
From:    Don Malone 
Subject: pack

i am loosing connections when editing large (120+) pack objects
the patch cords just vanish
they can be reattached but what a drag
any suggestions other than breaking into smaller packs

happy tunes,
Prof. Don A. Malone, Director
ElectroAcoustic Music Studios
College of Performing Arts
Roosevelt University
430 S. Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60605
MAX patches & applications -


Date:    Tue, 23 Mar 1999 10:43:36 -0500
From:    David Crandall 
Subject: MAX-based installation in Baltimore

Here's a shameless plug for a piece done in (creak) Max 2.5.2 (with a lot
of help from Peter Elsea and Karlheinz Essl's FAT objects)...


THE YOUNG SOLDIER'S GUIDE, an installation by David Crandall combining
sculpture, found objects, video and interactive sound, will be featured
during the month of April at the H. Lewis Gallery in Baltimore.  Intended
as "narrative environment," the piece will occupy the entire H. Lewis
space; its alternative architecture is designed to convey the imaginative
world of early childhood.

The particular experience addressed is that of children who have been
subjected to trauma before or during the advent of language.  Their world
is one of danger, vigilance, and double binds, not unlike that of a
soldier.  THE YOUNG SOLDIER'S GUIDE features a number of "viewing
stations", each of which addresses an aspect of the "young soldier's"
experience. The sound will be interactive and controlled by computer, so
that what is heard varies according to whether viewers are alone, in a
small group, or in a crowd.  In this way, THE YOUNG SOLDIER'S GUIDE enacts
a vigilance of its own towards its audience.  Viewers are encouraged to
visit the installation in different groupings, in order to hear the range
of material presented.

The installation will be open April 1-25, 1999, with an opening reception
April 3.  Gallery hours are Wed-Sun, 11:30am - 4pm.  On the evening of
April 1, there will be a special First Thursday "sneak preview" and
opportunity to meet the artist.

H. Lewis Gallery is located at 1500 Bolton Street, Baltimore MD.  For more
information call 410-462-4515.


Date:    Tue, 23 Mar 1999 16:55:11 GMT+100
Subject: powerbook I/O


i think about buying a g3 powerbook for MAX/MSPing and borrowed one
for a few days to check out audio i/o. the ugly hum coming out of it
dissapeared with the use of active DI-boxes between the pb and the
mixer ( i used a mackie 1402). There was no hum too with the use of a
normal hifi amp directly connected to the pb.
but still the audio quality is not as "high end" as the price for the
pb. so the question for another audio i/o (anaolog/digital)
sollution, for example as a pcmcia card remains. Does anybody know
about the existence of such a card ?

thank  you


Date:    Tue, 23 Mar 1999 18:27:52 +0100
From:    "Dr. Karlheinz Essl" 
Subject: Re: Would Max make good Sample Playback engine? / correct URL

The URL for "Amazing Maze" was incorrect - the proper one is:


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


Date:    Tue, 23 Mar 1999 13:07:52 -0500
From:    Stephen Kay 
Subject: pack

>i am loosing connections when editing large (120+) pack objects
>the patch cords just vanish
>they can be reattached but what a drag
>any suggestions other than breaking into smaller packs

I'm afraid I don't have any real solution; I'm just here to
commiserate - I've experienced this problem before myself.
I once had an application where I was routinely packing
lists of over 200 individual Bytes.   But here is one
tip: make the places where you are using these large
packs (and the supporting connected objects)
into separate patchers; save them as a max
abstraction (encapsulated patcher) and then use them
in your patcher as objects.  Normally, if these packs are
in your main level (or other non-encapsulated levels),
then each time you save your patch you are resaving the
pack and all its connections, giving them a chance to
disappear.  By putting them in an abstraction, they are
never resaved unless you open the patcher separately and
edit it - therefore, far fewer chances for them to disappear.
Basically, any time you save a document in any program,
there is a "possibility" of corruption. By encapsulating
a lot of patchers, you limit the parts that could become
corrupted.  Plus, another benefit - your patcher saves

Stephen Kay
The MegaMAX Collection: =
Free Max objects!:


Date:    Tue, 23 Mar 1999 12:06:35 +0000
From:    Walter Dickescheid 
Subject: DIY MIDI Controller

I'm not sure, whether the question for a DIY MIDI Controller list came
from this list or another one and I even don't remember where I got this
address from, but I checked it out today and if you'll have a look,
maybe you'll find something useful:
There are also some helpful links.
Flame me in privat, if this links came from the MAX List!


Date:    Tue, 23 Mar 1999 23:23:04 +0000
From:    Philippe Montémont 
Subject: ignore/respond to click

Hello Maxers,

Max' user interface object seem to react to a message beginning with
"click" in order to make them ignore/respond to mouse clicks.
I tried several second arguments to "click" (on/off, 1/0,...) but did
not find...
Does anyone know this second argument?
Thanks in advance!



Date:    Tue, 23 Mar 1999 15:01:02 -0800
From:    David Zicarelli 
Subject: MSP and pluggo

Some people have been asking what exactly are we intending to
do about fulfilling the promise of providing Pluggo to current
(and future) MSP customers.

While it is not yet time to actually do anything about this,
I thought I'd outline what our current plans are:

1. MSP customers (and anyone else) can download pluggo
2. After downloading and installing, pluggo functions in a demo
mode limiting the amount of time you can listen to a plug-in.
3. To authorize pluggo and remove the demo restrictions, you
will be able to submit an order on our web site. On the form, you'll
be able to do something like submit your MSP serial number instead of
a credit card number.
3. This offer will work for new MSP customers too.
4. For bundle and physical package MSP customers, the pluggo
installer and a pluggo authorization will be included in the

One other thing--what you will get initially is the shell and
the included plug-ins. Information on how to use the MSP
development tools to make plug-ins will be provided in a
preliminary form in separate download. By that I mean: we aren't
going to be finished with the documentation, and we aren't going
to drop everything to support you if your plug-in doesn't work.

David Z.


Date:    Tue, 23 Mar 1999 15:03:07 -0800
From:    David Zicarelli 
Subject: interested in beta testing Pluggo?

I'm looking for brave volunteers interested in beta testing pluggo.
If you think you could help out, please send me an e-mail message.
Testing will start in the next day or so.

This testing will be of the included plug-ins only rather than the
development tools. The development tools will be released in a
preliminary form to MSP users about the time the program is released
or a little while after that.

Qualified testers will:

- have some free time in the next 10-15 days
- probably be current MSP users
- own and use one or more sequencers that host VST plug-ins (note that
MSP does not qualify, vst~ will not host pluggo-based VST plug-ins)
such as Cubase, Logic, Vision, or Metro. The ideal candidate
is a beta tester for one of these sequencer programs too.
- not be afraid to install Macsbug into their system folder

Benefits include a peek at some pretty good audio software and
a copy of the lovely Pluggo package, which is not being sent to
MSP users (see the other message). We might even be able to get
Dudas to sign it.

David Z.


Date:    Tue, 23 Mar 1999 14:58:21 -0800
From:    David Zicarelli 
Subject: new cd object

A new version of the cd object is now available at

This one works with FWB's CD-ROM Toolkit and also fixes the
problem with a lack of automatic output of the CD position
in the previous updated version.

David Z.


Date:    Tue, 23 Mar 1999 21:10:11 -0500
From:    Johnny DeKam 
Subject: USB MIDI Ships

Roland is the first across the finish line with a shipping USB MIDI
interface compatible with iMacs and Blue G3's

Story here:
and here:

and the actual product here:

(note that the web site does not yet say "for Macintosh" yet (?))

Johnny DeKam



End of MAX Digest - 22 Mar 1999 to 23 Mar 1999 (#1999-92)