Max/MSP: it does a body good! Photo (CC Yao Chung-Han / worKingLab)

If you haven’t been following Max 5 updates, the folks at Cycling ’74 have been aggressively bug squashing. The changelog for 5.0.6 alone is exhaustive. (Via @rekkerd on Twitter, of

Updated: Also new in Max 5, it’s now possible as of 5.0.6 to properly save your patches to a version control repository. Don’t know what that is? Now’s a perfect time to find out — it means it’ll be easier to track changes you make to your own patches, and easier to collaborate with other people. And it’s free. From adamj, on comments:

RE: the diff’ing issue I was talking about above. Timothy Place (one of the Max developers) shared this helpful tidbit:

“Since the change log is a mile long, I’ll point out an obscure new power-user feature in Max 5.0.6.

You can send a new message to Max like this (or put it in an init file):
;max sortpatcherdictonsave 1

This makes it so that the JSON files that are use by Max for saving patches will keep the dictionary in the same order (alphabetized) every time you save. If you are keeping your patches in version control (e.g. SVN, GIT, CVS, etc.) then this should make your diffs a lot more usable.”

See: Version Control and Sharing for Patching: Keep Those Max, Pd Patches in Order with Git

And in other Max news, Expo74 will be a full-blown Max conference in April in San Francisco. You still have a few days to lock in the US$295 intro price (through 3/1). On the menu:

  • C74-taught workshops for users: live looping, 3D, Max for Live, new timing objects, etc.
  • Workshops for developers: C programming and the Max external API
  • Special guest speakers, including Robert Henke — but also Miller Puckette, the creator of the original Max and developer of Cycling ’74’s open-source rival Pd.
  • An afternoon on teaching Max
  • A “Science Fair” for sharing projects
  • Field trips
  • A “Relationship Manager” – a sort of conference concierge – plus access to the C74 folks, a bit like the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference


It’s good stuff. And the price seems a very reasonable deal for a conference.

You know, it also reminds me that some of the events around the open-source tools could be friendlier than they are. And we like science fairs. I’m not sure that I’ll be able to make it out to California in April (I’ll be there in March for the Game Developer Conference), but eager to hear how this goes.

Now that’s my kind of Max patch UI. As designed by Keith A. McMillen; photo (CC) Julian Bleecker.

But speaking of open source, don’t want to spend April at an event for a proprietary tool? Prefer the East Coast to the West Coast? Like code better than patching? Like tools that begin with the letter “S” better than the letter “M”? Want tools that make you think of supermassive black holes? Oh, April in North America has you covered regardless of what you like. One moment while I write up another post…