MAX/MSP 101 tutorials?

So I’ve done a lot of Frankenstein-izizing of max (for live) devices to bend them to my will, but have never, other than a sine wave generator, built a device from the ground up.

I know there are some youtuber’s out there covering the “hello world” type info but I don’t learn well that way. If I buy a book or a series of video’s I’ll be far more motivated to make headway.

Anyone have a suggestion for something like this? Print may be better but I can also deal with downloadable videos (I’ll be flying to Australia - 18 sustained hours could be my best bet).

My issue is that having been in modular and in midi/audio processing for a lifetime my concepts are FAR more complex than my programming abilities, I’d like to develop a foundation.

Anyone? Thanks in advance!

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The thing I’ve found about Max/PD/Reaktor/etc is that they’re nice shortcut tools and building blocks, but you still need to plan and know what you’re trying to do and come up with (or copy) an algorithm to do it. Like building a reverb is about feedback/feedforward comb-filtered networks dumped into a matrix and then summed, etc. Those tools will let you do that pretty easily, but they’re not going to offer any suggestions on how or why. They really just obscure the fiddly math bits and all the for loops you’d be writing if you actually coded it.

I spend way more time googling for and reading really dry whitepapers about algorithms than I do things about Max itself. Once you have your head around the components you need, it’s pretty easy to add them in Max and wire them up.

That said…

Electronic Music and Sound Design by Alessandro Cipriani would be my suggestion for print, along with the tutorials in the Max manual (which are quite good).

Depending on how you like your info dumps, the book is a little stogey - it’s basically a college textbook, so it goes over a lot of theory and details that get hand waved in things like youtube tutorials. But it has a good pace, covers all the fundamentals of the program as well as basic DSP, and is something I’ve come back to over and over again.

Baz and dude837 have some great intro tutorials that skip right to the good stuff if you’re just looking to get a handle on the program and building things.



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Another one you might look at is Max/MSP/Jitter for Music. It’s a little weird in that it’s basically a textbook for teachers who want to teach Max/DSP at a high school-ish level. I think it’s more conversational, has a lot more step-by-step examples, but doesn’t really go in depth into the theory like the other one does. It might be more like a deeper youtube tutorial than a real text on what’s going on and how it works.

Here’s a couple of previews of them - the first is the full text with cropped chapters, second has the first four chapters, but it might give you an idea of what best suites what you’re looking for.

Electronic Music and Sound Design Preview

Max/MSP/Jitter Preview