This is the first of what will end up being a series of posts about some of the tools I’ve been building in MaxMSP. They’re fairly wide-ranging patches – some make sound, some control others that make sound, some analyse and others are purely for storing data. I’ll try to post either screenshots, videos or audio where appropriate to accompany each example. When my programming is a little cleaner and more foolproof I’ll consider putting some of these up for download, however my main purpose in blogging about these patches is to hopefully give some kind of detail to the overall context of what I’m working towards.

One of the tools I’ve been using a lot recently is an audio file granulator I built a few months ago – although it’s been going under constant modification ever since – that I call ‘grainstream’. The fundamental design of the patch will be familiar to many MaxMSP users, as it’s based on a granular synthesiser found in one of the many MaxMSP examples called ‘granularized’. My reason for modelling my patch on this example was simply to learn better and more efficient ways of programming – and although I had already built another patch along similar lines about 6 months before, I found I learned a great deal from studying some already existing tools that I felt were well designed. So I gave it a crack, and so far I’m happy with the results. During the learning process I thought of features I wanted to add, modify, and change completely – so that what I use currently has taken on a life of its own.

The short video below hopefully demonstrates the kind of sounds, sequences and textures achievable with the patch…

Some of the parameters I’m controlling with the mouse, whist the others are mapped to a midi-controller. The envelopes at the top of the patch allow me to create sequences of parameter changes simultaneously, which are triggered when the envelope start/stop button is pressed.

Comments welcome!