Do you use Cycling ’74 Max/MSP/Jitter?

Cycling ’74 is a San Fransisco software company that makes a semi visual development environment for music, video and controller applications. An all new highly anticipated version five was released last week. I’ve never used the software directly but in the past some of the applications people created with it have peaked my interest. For example the Hypno VTheramin.

Now that there is a new version, updated tutorials and lots of videos I think its a good time to jump in and see why artists like Aphex Twin, Radiohead, Daft Punk, Autechre and Jamie Lidel all use it. Also remember that Ableton has announce a strategic relationship with Cycling ’74 which is another good reason to understand the product.

In use for over twenty years by performers, composers, artists, scientists, teachers, and students, Max is the way to make your computer do things that reflect your individual ideas and dreams. Version 5 is a dramatic transformation of Max that begins a new chapter in the program’s history. –

People are using this software to create synthesizers, samplers, control Monomes and lighting rigs. Some people compare it to Native Instrument’s Reaktor but I think Max goes further? Jitter is the video and matrix processing component which I believe there is no counter in Reaktor. Correct me if I am wrong as I am learning.

Here are some more links worth checking out. I will be re-reading these pages until I jump into the actually software and start designing my own toys:

Visit the Cycling ’74 website: click here
The Cycling ’74 page on YouTube: click here
Create Digital Music – Max 5 Preview: click here

So do you use Max/MSP/Jitter? Please let me know in the comments what your doing with it.

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Oliver Chesler

"Hello my name is Oliver and I'm going to tell you a story." I have been recording music since 1989 under the name The Horrorist. I have released over 60 singles and 4 full length albums. To hear my music please go to:

6 thoughts on “Do you use Cycling ’74 Max/MSP/Jitter?”

  1. I’m using it, and love it. Over the last few years I’ve usied Reaktor, Synthedit, Synthmaker and Sonic birth but max/msp is the most user-friendly of the bunch. This is in large part due to its excellent documentation and help files.

    I use it to build little effects and utilities that are missing in the sequencers i use. I just published a small crossfade plugin for ableton live that I’m using in my own projects:

  2. Hi Mormo. Oh yes I got your email about that. I forgot to reply! Im glad you posted here for people to see the link. I did watch the video on your site and I can see it serving a purpose. It’s good you point out the fade dip issue. I usually just go by ear but I can see the issue stumping people.

  3. I’m revisiting MaxMSP now that 5 has arrived. It confused me too much last time i checked it out but now with awesome inline documentation i’m getting to grips with it and excites me with its potential. I’ve also played with reaktor and found it a bit clunk to work with, MaxMSP interface is a lot better thought out and the whole concept has a scientific beauty in its simplicity. Heres hoping i can learn and utilise it within the 30 day trial :P

  4. Im a student. I can barely afford to both eat well and get drunk regularly let alone buy Max. But i do use Pure Data. I’ve most recently used it in a class to create a Karplus-Strong synth for a touch screen based virtual string instrument. I’m going to be uploading the patch along with the Processing sketch which drives the interface. Open source all the way. Even built the touch screen ourselves!

  5. Jamie Lidell uses Max/Msp for his live looping shows. there’s a youtube video where he talks about how he likes using it cause he was able to build a custom looping machine to his tastes, even though he was intimidated by the software at first

  6. howdy Cbit :)

    on the reaktor vs max/msp argument:

    reaktor has its strengths, mainly that it uses higher level modules. i was making basic synths my first day of using reaktor. i personally believe it sounds better than max/msp, but that is soooo subjetive that i wont even try and argue with anyone that disagrees.

    on the control and midi end of things, max is superior to reaktor, no question.

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