The very last chapter of VJ Manzo‘s excellent book Max/MSP/Jitter for Music is a final exhibition of some of the applied work that can be done with Max/MSP/Jitter, as well as a few of VJ’s own compositions with Max/MSP/Jitter. As before, these don’t have much to do with Jitter, per se, but they’re at the end of the book so they’re listed under my Jitter course. More significantly, I got some wonderful inspiration on how I could make my own music. (I also got a very informal hearing test with the mosquito patch, and I’m glad to say that I hear high frequencies just fine, thank you very much.)
The book is done but I will be referring back to it very, very often as I start doing my own from-a-blank-patcher programming. (By the way, I also just bought a print copy of the book to go with my Kindle version.) In addition, I’m going to go through the plethora of tutorials that Cycling ’74 offers on their own website as a way to continue and expand my training. All of this is very, very exciting!
Max/MSP/Jitter for Music, Ch. 20: Compositions and Perceptions Tools (0 exercises)
Like the previous chapter, chapter 19, on “Informal Music Learning Instruments” is more of show-and-tell than hands-on. In this chapter, VJ Manzo shows how Max/MSP/Jitter can be used to create programs that greatly facilitate the exploration of musical concepts like harmony. In addition to this pedagogical goal, though, I also see application of a lot of these principles and patches to my own hoped-for work on live looping with my saxophone, especially as VJ’s patches might be good for harmonizing. Hmm… we’ll have to see later this summer.
Max/MSP/Jitter for Music, Ch. 19: Informal Music Learning Instruments (0 exercises)
This was an interesting chapter because it consisted almost entirely of a guided tour of one of VJ’s patches and not much in the way of person patching. That’s fine, though, because it was a complicated piece and the principles have/will come in handy in other work.
I find it especially interesting that the patch he develops can be used to gather times feedback on videos. If you recall, my day job is as a psychology professor and I have extensive training in experimental research methods. As such, this falls right in line with some of the things that I or my students could do. In that very practical sense, this was a very useful chapter.
Max/MSP/Jitter for Music, Ch. 18: Video Research Instrument (0 exercises)
The second major Jitter-related chapter in VJ Manzo‘s book Max/MSP/Jitter for Music has to do with accessing and playing previously recorded video. It turns out that this is more complicated than using a live video stream – not what I would have guessed but, now that I’ve done the work, it makes sense.
I especially like the jit.scissors command that slices the video window into many small pieces. (Truthfully, the object names in Max/MSP/Jitter are hilarious; not the sort of thing you can get away with in a larger corporate environment.) Things started getting very spaghetti-like, so I show a couple of the patches in both their locked and unlocked states. But, overall, I am made keenly aware of how different things can work in this program as opposed to Processing, with which I am more accustomed.
Max/MSP/Jitter for Music, Ch. 17: Working with Video Files (12 exercises)
The exercises in this chapter all involved grabbing a live video stream from my computer’s camera and then performing a series of color transformations on it, culminating with the use of a MIDI keyboard to do so. Fascinating!
Max/MSP/Jitter for Music, Ch. 16: Working with Live Video (11 exercises)
Chapter 15, “Audio Effects and Processing” of VJ Manzo‘s book Max/MSP/Jitter for Music shows how to manually create some simple effects – delays and white noise, in particular – and manipulate and visualize them. To get to that point, the chapter shows how to:
Create a umenu to give a dropdown list of effect sizes (although it may work better to provide checkboxes that allow for the selection of multiple effects)
Create a gate~ object (the MSP audio version) to direct the audio signal towards the appropriate effect patch depending on the effect selected in the umenu
Use the tapin~ object to store snippets of audio and the tapout~ object to delay playback
Use the transport object to provide global control of timing and playback, as well as the ability to specify timing in samples instead of millseconds
Create a umenu to provide a list of filter options and cascade~ and filtergraph~ objects to allow manual modification of those filters
Create a noise~ object to generate white noise
Use a preset object to save settings for the entire patch
My next big goal is to set up my KMI SoftStep foot controller to activate effects and possibly modify them while live looping, as both hands will be on my saxophone.
Max/MSP/Jitter for Music, Ch. 15: Audio Effects and Processing (10 exercises)
Chapter 14 of VJ Manzo‘s book Max/MSP/Jitter for Music has one purpose: show how to use audio buffers for recording and playing back audio files. These buffers will be a critical component in my planned live looping exercises, so I’m excited about this chapter. I learned how to do the following:
Create and name buffer~ objects
Open windows to see the sound waves for the buffer~ objects
Get information such as track length with the info~ object and use that manually resize the buffer (if desired, although Max 6 seems to adjust the buffer on its own)
Use the groove~ object to read audio from the named buffer
Set the buffer to loop
Set a flonum variable to control playback speed by converting it with a sig~ object
Record new audio into the buffer with the ezdac~ and record~ objects
Set up a MIDI keyboard to change simultaneously the speed and pitch of the buffer playback, with middle C set for default speed (although it would be better to alter speed and pitch separately)
Max/MSP/Jitter for Music, Ch. 14: Audio Buffers (9 exercises)