Patching on a computer involves plugging something into something else virtually. In this video tutorial, you can extend that by adding a physical knob to control your custom creations, for Max/MSP (and Max for Live).

It’s just a quick tip, but I know this gets asked a lot. (Greetings, students – happy spring semester to you!) And there’s something really fun about seeing a knob in the real world controlling something. Bonus points for using a toilet paper roll as a custom “housing.”

It’s also nice seeing this accomplished in the all-new Max 7.

And this is just the start, part of a project extending beyond Max/MSP to free tools like Pure Data, JavaScript, and Python. The basic idea is a set of techniques for real-world control, backed by free code/patch examples and video tutorials. The creator explains:

Arduivis is a bi-directional communication paradigm for programming languages & microcontrollers. The purpose of this project is to explore and expand the interconnectivity possibilities of music, art and science. The general idea revolves around using an Arduino, or a microcontroller with serial capability, as a communication hub. This hub can be programmed to handle with several types of interactions from a selected programming language. Currently, this project is compatible with MaxMSP, Pure Data, Python and NodeJS.

More videos include this Max-to-light example: “Controlling an LED in Max with an Arduino in under 40 seconds”

And for users of other environments…

Here’s NodeJS:

And Python:

And, including free patch downloads, Pure Data (no Pd video yet):