Max 6 in Public Beta; For Home-brewing Music Tools Graphically, Perhaps the Biggest Single Update Yet

Above: Cycling 74’s just-released video highlights enhanced audio quality; our friend, French artist protofuse, has a go at working with the beta and showing off the new user interface. (See C74’s official take on the new UI below. Max 6 in Public Beta; For Home-brewing Music Tools Graphically, Perhaps the Biggest Single Update Yet Just because a music tool fills your screen with tools and options doesn’t necessarily make it easier to realize your ideas. From the beginning, the appeal of Max – as with other tools that let you roll your own musical tools from a set of pre-built …

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bjorkvolta

Björk’s Engineer-Music Director Damian Taylor Shares Thoughts on Music, Free Max/MSP Patch

Montreal-based Damian Taylor, music director and engineer for Björk, is the subject of an epic interview on cycling74.com, spanning music, life in Montreal, working with Björk and what makes her special, and what patching in Max/MSP can mean compositionally and creatively. Damian has some especially nice reflections on what having an open-ended music environment can mean. If you’re a musician or composer, Max is an amazing tool that will really open up a completely different way of thinking about music. If you’ve been working on sequencers, looking at time lines, working on tape, or reading off musical scores, then without …

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For Lovers of Aalto, Semi-Modular Soft Synth, a Place to Share Patches

Producer Sam Greene was so in love with Aalto, the semi-modular, Mac and Windows soft synth whose developer we profiled last month, that he made his own place to share patches for it. Patches are free to download and use in your music, and you can upload your own; the only restriction is that the site asks that no one re-sell the patches themselves. Find the results: patchdump.com You can thank the synth for making it easy. While discussion of sharing features often turns to sophisticated cloud and social features, here’s one solution: just make exchanging files dead-simple. As the …

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loupe

Reaktor Sampler Pack Gives you Granular Power Over Sound; Tips for Maschine, Ableton

Producer/composer and Reaktor super-guru Peter Dines is back with a new concoction for Native Instruments’ graphical development environment for sound. Entitled the Reaktor Sample Pack, it’s a collection of three granular sampling instruments. Updated with new download links (no more divshare!) Frame is a looping sampler with smooth/crossfading, envelope controls, and built-in saturation, plus graphical loop point selection. Free | download Loupe is a “polyphonic looping slicer,” which is to say you can slice up a sample and assign it to different MIDI keys. Press a note, then graphically set loop playback parameters from reverse to envelope to filter. US$15 …

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beatfader

Music with Faders: Faderbeat Performances

The beauty of physical, human motion is that just about anything kinetic, any gesture can work. If you were left only with motion in your toes, you could play a live set. And whereas these gestures were once tied to specific acoustic instrumental effects, in the digital realm, they can be anything. We’ve seen the rise of the grid controller, popularized by the monome and later seen in mass-market devices like the Launchpad and APC. And while it’s hardly the first “big knob as controller” concept, we’ve seen the encoder celebrated in the monome follow-up arc. So, buttons – check. …

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Vizzie: Free Patch Add-ons for Jitter Make Live Visualism Easier

Visuals for live performance require a lot of the same things over and over again – media loading and browsing, crossfades, effects… Vizzie is a set of macro-style add-ons for Max/MSP/Jitter, free to current users, you can drop into any patch. Very cool, and they look very nicely designed. Read some praise for the plugs on the C74 forums, plus discussion of how it could be improved (hmmm… maybe C74 should consider a CC license or some such encouragement for people to modify them?): Vizzie: An Appreciation If you’ve got Jitter and have been waiting for an excuse to build …

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libpd: Put Pure Data in Your App, On an iPhone or Android, and Everywhere, Free

What if you could make any device or any software a re-programmable musical instrument, effect, or soundmaker? Your phone could be a touch-controlled effect, your tablet a sketchpad for interactive drum sequencers. Patches assembled on your desk on a computer could be taken with you in your pocket. And what if you could do all of this for free, using a time-tested environment? libpd, authored by Peter Brinkmann, takes on that vision. It’s a way of making Pure Data (Pd), the visual development tool for interactive music and media, more accessible across a range of applications and gadgets. It lets …

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Squeaky Shoe Core: Feel Good, Generative Acid Music, Free Patches

Sneaks are a good thing. Photo (CC-BY) Pink Sherbet Photography / D. Sharon Pruitt. Let’s start with what’s really important: Chris McCormick’s squeakyshoecore tunes may well make you tap your All Stars and smile. The words “algorithmically-generated acid” and mention of the multimedia patching environment Pd might not suggest feel-goody, cheery, geeky-sounding electronic grooves, but that’s exactly what’s come out. These robots know what they’re doing. And yes, even a tune named after Chris’ favorite fractal can be good summer fun. Behind the scenes, Chris’ music is produced generatively using algorithms created in the free and open source visual patching …

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What Are Students Doing with Pd for Interactive Visuals? Plenty

Via the Pd announce list, a class of students are doing some pretty sophisticated experiments in design and interaction using Pd. I tend to have my own students focus on Pd for sound-making (since it naturally lends itself to signal flow) and use Processing for visuals (some are also using OpenFrameworks), but I’m impressed with the progress they made. As students explore sites like OpenProcessing.org, I find that people are being more generous with their code, and – this is brave, I think – even sharing new code, warts and all, as they’re learning. Have a look. You might learn …

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EMS Synthi, Recreated in Max, then Controlled with a Webcam

The headline says it all. Oh, sure, as if it isn’t enough to recreate the legendary EMS Synthi synth – one of the most creative vintage analog instruments ever devised – this artist takes it one step further, controlling parameters with a piece of colored paper tracked by a webcam. It’s an achievement of sheer patching genius, taken one step wackier. The patch is entitled Le Synthé V5; the creator is Pierre Couprie. And yes, you can download this for Windows and Mac – even Mac PowerPC. Cost: US$15/EUR10, which is, I must say, insanely cheap. Video in French with …

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