The Watershed Bristol
The Junction Cambridge
The CCA Glasgow
The ICA London


1 Canon's Road, Harbourside, Bristol BS1 5TX

Course leader: MATT OLDEN

Matthew Olden The course will introduce students to the concepts and practical issues concerned with writing programs with Max/MSP. Together with in depth topics, such as sound synthesis, creating interactive environments, sample manipulation and self generative audio, the course will also focus on programming techniques and tips such as messaging and file handling. Designed to give the least experience beginner a jump-start into the heart of programming, and towards the creation of their own tailor made instruments.

WEEK 1. Introduction to Max.

-How it works.
-Help files.
-How to steal patches.
-Stack over flow.
-Web pages and resource links.

Basic max concepts:
-Objects (table, graphic interfaces).
-Numbers (changing values/attributes of stuff).
-Messages (pack).

Sequential programming/flow diagrams (programming techniques):
-Control programs.
-Simple programs.
-Number scaling.

-Setting up OMS.
-Recognising MIDI signals, protocols.
-Using midi equipment with max (in/out).
-Writing midi control programs.
-Different hardware solutions.
-Using icube/ midi creator.

-How to write simple programs using MSP synthesis.
-MSP using samples.

-MSP sample manipulation.
-Using VST plug-ins/instruments.
-Self-generative music/concepts.

-Using NATO/ Jitter.
-How to use movies, what you can do with them.
-Syncing movement to sound.




Clifton Road, Cambridge CB1 7GX


David Stevens The first session covers basic principles and introduces common objects and processes. Each consecutive session introduces additional objects in various categories: transforming messages; routing messages; timing; storage; control (external & graphical objects); MIDI. Also covered (towards the end) will be nested patches and basic sequencing objects.

WEEK 1. Basic objects:

-Introduction to Max and MSP.
-How to wire up a patch, and what gets sent along the wires.
-And what order to send things in.
-Selecting things and changing the stuff that's in them.
Getting audio in & out of the computer, and making sure that it doesn't blow up.

WEEK 2. Basic synthesis:
-Making sounds and controlling what they do.
Simple waveforms, Additive synthesis, Enveloping, LP filtering.
-Different ways of making squiggly noises; sounds of heaven and or hell.
-Getting those sounds around your patch and telling them what to do.
-Blipping, boogieing and blapping. And a bit about midi.

WEEK 3. Fun with Delay Lines:
-Delay lines & delay effects, Looping with delay lines, Signal routing.
-Bouncing around that ole padded room; slow, slow, quick quick, slow.
-Keeping things in time; the electronic pantry; using your computer keyboard to keep things under control (or not).
Lists (and I don't mean shopping).

WEEK 4. Cookie jars for sound:
-Sampling & looping.
-Capture that sound!
-Twist it out of shape!
-Massage its intimate details!
-Let it loose in the world!
-Chinese dolls; and the biggest larder of them all.
-And more on lists.
-Recording & replaying audio in ram, Sampling & looping, Recording & playing to/from hard disc.

WEEK 5. Filtering objects:
-Additional processes (inc VST plug-ins).
-Muffle & tweak - who's a pretty boy?
-Filtering, VST plugins & interfaces.
-More sound mangling, and putting it all together with a dollop of lipstick and makeup.
-Now you're ready for the big wide world.


350 Sauchiehall Street Glasgow, G2 3JD


The aim of Phase 1 is to produce a fully working standalone application suitable for distribution/sale. What you come up with is entirely up to you, from emulating your favourite hardware or creating some original computer art.

WEEK 1. What's it all about?

-Audio In and out.
-Playing CDs.

WEEK 2. Nitty gritty. Sampling/Effects (basic).
-HD recording/playback.
-RAM recording/playback.

WEEK 3. Clean and clear Simple Synthesis/sequencing.
-Whites and pinks.
-Sine waves - FM.

WEEK 4. Faking and Mapping. You don't need to spend money on expensive hardware anymore.
-Mouse data.
-Keyboard data.
-Computer data.
-Audio data.
-Data implementation, playing Quicktime movies, drawing and more.

WEEK 5. Interface is everything.
-Make it look and feel good.
-Stand-alone and share your patches.


The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH


WEEK 1. Introduction to the Max environment.

This session will give an introduction to the Max environment, covering its infrastructure and capabilities. Subject areas:
-Max's windows and menus.
-Elements of Max: patches, boxes, objects, messages and patch cords.
-Message types: numbers, words, sound and video.

WEEK 2. Introduction to MSP.
This session will give an introduction to the audio generating and processing elements of Max: the MSP extension library. Subject areas:
-Brief introduction to digital audio.
-MSP audio signals.
-MSP object types: generators, processing and input/output.

WEEK 3. Deeper into Max.
This session expands on the previous sessions by introducing more advanced features of Max and covering Max's infrastructure in greater detail. Subject areas:
-More advanced message types: compound messages.
-Timing and ordering of events.
-External objects and sub patches.

WEEK 4. Control.
This session will cover simple means of implementing control over Max systems. The use of the computer keyboard, mouse and MIDI devices will be shown in addition to graphical user interface design. Subject areas: -Brief introduction to MIDI.
-MIDI in Max.
-Graphical user interfaces.

WEEK 5. Large systems.
This session will cover strategies for planning and building large systems in Max. Subject areas:
-Patches as objects.
-Using and re-using sub-patches.



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