MaX > PD? (Or - why use multiple programs?)
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Modular software & programming MaxMSP, Reaktor, Pure Data, Jeskola BUZZ, and other modular programs. Any questions relating to these programs (patching, favorite ensembles) should be posted in this forum.

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Old 25-06-2015, 07:33 AM   #1
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MaX > PD? (Or - why use multiple programs?)

So I imagine this is a fairly talked about topic but didn't see any threads on it. I am desperate to get m4l but unfortunately can't afford it right now. So I figured "hey PD is similar, I'll start learning that so I've got a bit of a head start when I get max." Is this useful? How would you compare max and PD?

Also I saw in the poll thread that some people use multiple languages. Why is this, and what do you get from them? What im looking for is getting really in depth programming so i can create really unique instruments, effects and sequencing tools; syncronization into other programs is also a must. I'm also currently fiddling with reaktor but from what I've seen it focuses more on prebuilt modules - I like the depth of PD.

So lots of questions but basically, why do you like the thing you use? Users of max and PD are especially desired. Thanks in advance.

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Old 25-06-2015, 07:39 AM   #2
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Re: MaX > PD? (Or - why use multiple programs?)

I liked pd because free and open.

Max is just more polished, more developed. And has max for live which is huge.

Yes learning pd is useful. Max will likely be easier.
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Old 25-06-2015, 02:30 PM   #3
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Re: MaX > PD? (Or - why use multiple programs?)

you are right, they are both similar languages... I had to learn PD for a book I was reading and the change from Max was extremely easy, in 30 minutes I was proficient in PD.
If you are on a low budget go for PD and then switch to Max, is not that hard...
which one is better? from my point of view, Max. Why? M4L
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Old 25-06-2015, 11:43 PM   #4
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Re: MaX > PD? (Or - why use multiple programs?)

Yeah I'm loving PD right now and gonna continue till I get m4l. Its just that right now I'm trying to divide my time between PD, processing (a java based GUI for coding visuals for those of you who don't know it), realtor and then actually writing music itself!

Which is why I wanted to ask you guys if you concentrate on one single program and if so why? I decided to do reaktor as well cause it seems like really different possibilities from the two of them
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Old 26-06-2015, 12:22 PM   #5
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Re: MaX > PD? (Or - why use multiple programs?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfred_Faber View Post
Yeah I'm loving PD right now and gonna continue till I get m4l. Its just that right now I'm trying to divide my time between PD, processing (a java based GUI for coding visuals for those of you who don't know it), realtor and then actually writing music itself!

Which is why I wanted to ask you guys if you concentrate on one single program and if so why? I decided to do reaktor as well cause it seems like really different possibilities from the two of them
I wouldn't worry too much about reaktor, all that can be accomplished there can also be accomplished in PD, so I would rather master PD
and processing looks pretty cool, keep working on it!
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Old 27-06-2015, 03:56 PM   #6
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Re: MaX > PD? (Or - why use multiple programs?)

reaktor can make your life a little easier when it comes to quickly designing instruments/effects, and you can also get really in depth with it; with that said, it's true that you can do many of that using PD or Max alone - it will probably just take a little longer.

oh and yes, definitely learn both. start with PD and when you get to Max you'll already know pretty much all you need to know.

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Old 29-07-2015, 03:49 PM   #7
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Re: MaX > PD? (Or - why use multiple programs?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfred_Faber View Post
So I imagine this is a fairly talked about topic but didn't see any threads on it. I am desperate to get m4l but unfortunately can't afford it right now. So I figured "hey PD is similar, I'll start learning that so I've got a bit of a head start when I get max." Is this useful? How would you compare max and PD?
Yes, you can start with PD, but the documentation is thin in comparision with the one inside Max. You'll find PD more difficult to approach if your not familiar with DSP or object coding...

I had a university 2 courses on Max, and signal processing and without that I would not be able to do a lot of thing...

PD is more low level: you are often forced to build from scratch things that you already have as objects in Max. The concept are shared for both environnement, so I agree that it is a good idea to go PD while you stack money for Max.
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Old 29-07-2015, 05:21 PM   #8
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Re: MaX > PD? (Or - why use multiple programs?)

There are also things like Faust or SuperColider.
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Old 01-08-2015, 11:26 AM   #9
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Re: MaX > PD? (Or - why use multiple programs?)

Getting into PD now - didnt find the documentation it came with extremely useful so i'm reading "Programming electronic music in pure data" by johan something and I am seriously loving it. It's bending my mind but at the same time makes so much sense.

thanks for the tips guys - I know reaktor can do a lot of instruments and effects a lot faster but i love how deep PD goes, wanna get into generative stuff
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Old 01-08-2015, 11:59 AM   #10
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Re: MaX > PD? (Or - why use multiple programs?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfred_Faber View Post
Getting into PD now - didnt find the documentation it came with extremely useful so i'm reading "Programming electronic music in pure data" by johan something and I am seriously loving it. It's bending my mind but at the same time makes so much sense.

thanks for the tips guys - I know reaktor can do a lot of instruments and effects a lot faster but i love how deep PD goes, wanna get into generative stuff

the good old tutorial by johannes kreidler good guy! good tutorial!

pd and max are quite similar, both are developed by miller puckett. but max has (besides m4l) the benefit of a huge amount of possibilities for a graphical gui, which can be very useful for live applications. it also looks much cleaner, big pd patches can become pretty confusing.
it also depends on what you wanna do: i.e. for graphics/animations/videos the jitter-library in max is much better than the gem-library in pd (both are useful but jitter works mostly better).
also you have to pay attention on which system youre running pd/max. on mac, pd just uses up to 2 gb ram, which can lead to problems with bigger patches and complex signal processing. with max i never got those problems.

still, starting with pd is a good idea. youll get familiar with max quickly.
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i dont know faust, but i heard supercollider is sometimes bit unstable. and of course its a written programming language instead of a graphical environment in pd/max.
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Old 11-08-2015, 02:37 PM   #11
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Re: MaX > PD? (Or - why use multiple programs?)

Was not aware of PD! Luckily, we have Ableton Suite, and it covers so much ground. Max just updated to 7!

I am continually baffled by some of the ideas people come up with, and for that reason, we may not abandon M4L, but we will definitely check out PD and see what it is capable of!

Sort of a tangent, but some of you mentioned interest in generative music. Have you seen Sugarbytes' Obscurium?
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Old 01-12-2015, 03:22 PM   #12
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Re: MaX > PD? (Or - why use multiple programs?)

I'm learning PD now too! I'm using the book Designing Sound by Andy Farnell. It's fun and interesting, but the only thing that is slowing me down is figuring out the object i need for a specific task. Is there an object list floating around anywhere?
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Old 01-12-2015, 08:39 PM   #13
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Re: MaX > PD? (Or - why use multiple programs?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daydreams View Post
I'm learning PD now too! I'm using the book Designing Sound by Andy Farnell. It's fun and interesting, but the only thing that is slowing me down is figuring out the object i need for a specific task. Is there an object list floating around anywhere?
Can you explain further? I think you just need to use [pack] to group some symbols into a list, but perhaps I have misunderstood the question?
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Old 02-12-2015, 08:26 PM   #14
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Re: MaX > PD? (Or - why use multiple programs?)

I mostly use max, being an Ableton user. I also have some experience with PD, as an alternative. Prefer Max, due to far superior documentation and ease of use.

That being said, there are some annoying things with Max. Voice allocation can be a pain, especially with synth methods that differ from the ADSR paradigm. Packing signals is really needed, and a better control over vector sizes and sampling rate outside poly~ instances would be great. Lack of access to low level control makes some patches rather inefficient, but that is to be expected.

Supplementing Max with externals works. Lack of free runtime basically means that I wouldn't develop anything commercial for max though, and that makes it largely a DIY/educational platform.

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