So how good are Max/Msp synths anyways?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Poster
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Post by Poster » Fri Jan 16, 2009 8:51 pm

my first response was: "selling Reaktor!"..
but now that I think of it, Reaktor really beats Max when it comes to synthesis..
the Reaktor user library is so huge and of a very high standard..
compared to Reaktor the Max community tends to keep stuff private and I have yet to find an open source library such as Reaktor's..

Reaktor is a keeper for sure..

Michael Hatsis
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Post by Michael Hatsis » Fri Jan 16, 2009 10:39 pm

Poster wrote:my first response was: "selling Reaktor!"..
but now that I think of it, Reaktor really beats Max when it comes to synthesis..
the Reaktor user library is so huge and of a very high standard..
compared to Reaktor the Max community tends to keep stuff private and I have yet to find an open source library such as Reaktor's..

Reaktor is a keeper for sure..

reaktor is definately a keeper. no matter what people make with maxlive there is still some incredible stuff for reaktor. Im guessing the max fo Live stuff is going to be more on par with reaktor stuff. instead of people sharing objects and code snippets its gonna be more about sharing devices. cant effing wait, ive had so much stuff ive been working on in max that tries to work with Live, but for me theres always a compromise due to the way they work together ( mostly timing issues ). there's no need to compromise anymore with this new system.

leonard
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Post by leonard » Sat Jan 17, 2009 7:43 am

http://www.cycling74.com/forums/index.p ... g&th=35236

heres a thread on the c74 forum discussing some of the technical merits of the dsp in some of the major modular environments (sc, csound, msp etc). i'm playing with the msp tutorials at the moment and they seem decent.
???

LeifonMars
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Post by LeifonMars » Sat Jan 17, 2009 8:46 am

Poster wrote: compared to Reaktor the Max community tends to keep stuff private.
Very much correct, but from what I've understood from the "SHARE" in order to get your hands to M4L patch database you will also release your own patches, which, I'm sure, will have an avalanche type of effect to audio manipulation patches made with M4L. Correct me if I'm wrong (I'm sure you do).

heavensdaw
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Post by heavensdaw » Sat Jan 17, 2009 9:34 am

So is this gonna be a replacement for my 'holy trinity' Sylenth, Zebra and Alchemy?

Hd

LOFA
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Post by LOFA » Sat Jan 17, 2009 9:47 am

What I want to know is how I am going to get Jitter happening. I suppose I will have to create standalone patches and route everything back and forth, but computer vision has becoming my favorite means of controlling live.

itook4lefts
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Post by itook4lefts » Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:22 am

@ heavensdaw

hells no. you could spend years learning max and never make a synth as good a zebra.

i'm keeping reaktor as well. for me, yeah, it does synthesis better than max - because of the user library. there's not really anything like that for max. there are a couple of tutorials about building polysynths on the c74 site, but that's about it. even the msp tutorials (which are excellent) don't really cover subtractive synthesis. there's a bit about fm and a lot about sampling. and then there's learning the [poly~] object, which is a bit of a black art.

max, i think, is more suited to sampling stuff and building fx and midi processing/generation. ymmv.

jeremydb
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Post by jeremydb » Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:41 am

Although if you are looking in the MSP tutorial to learn how to build a synthesizer, you are kind of looking in the wrong place -- the MSP tutorial teaches you have to use MSP (illustrated via practical examples). The Live tutorials, to draw a parallel, don't include a section on general music composition techniques.

If you want to learn general techniques in sound synthesis/modular synth design/DSP, there are amazing resources all over the place (Computer Music Tutorial from Roades, type 'introduction to ___ synthesis in Google, etc.). Once you know what you want to build, Max and MSP provide the necessary modules and glue for building it.

That said, Zebra is awesome, and I'd rather spend my time using it than re-designing it in Max. I often tell my students that Max is the 'software of last resort'. If the task you want to accomplish can be done easier/cheaper/faster using ready-made, available tools, you should be using them. But when you're tearing your hair out because the tool you need doesn't exist, MaxMSP might do the trick.

jb
itook4lefts wrote:@ heavensdaw

hells no. you could spend years learning max and never make a synth as good a zebra.

i'm keeping reaktor as well. for me, yeah, it does synthesis better than max - because of the user library. there's not really anything like that for max. there are a couple of tutorials about building polysynths on the c74 site, but that's about it. even the msp tutorials (which are excellent) don't really cover subtractive synthesis. there's a bit about fm and a lot about sampling. and then there's learning the [poly~] object, which is a bit of a black art.

max, i think, is more suited to sampling stuff and building fx and midi processing/generation. ymmv.

Machinate
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Post by Machinate » Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:50 am

Poster wrote:my first response was: "selling Reaktor!"..
but now that I think of it, Reaktor really beats Max when it comes to synthesis..
the Reaktor user library is so huge and of a very high standard..
compared to Reaktor the Max community tends to keep stuff private and I have yet to find an open source library such as Reaktor's..

Reaktor is a keeper for sure..
See, while I definitely get where you're coming from, I disagree.You're flipping things around, since you say:
Reaktor really beats Max when it comes to synthesis
but really you're not talking about synthesis - you're talking about the readymades - the amount of free things online. For the most part the synthesis objects in MSP are more or less EXACTLY like the ones in Reaktor - it's just a lot easier to patch in MaxMPS (if you ask me).

I'm a reaktor user as well. That is to say, I dip into the user library every once in a while and extract useful things from there.

Having said that, I haven't done it in the last perhaps 6 months, I find the user library saturated with a)really bad ensembles and instruments b)really generic ensembles and instruments c)really esoteric fuckeruppers that are extremely impressive.... until you want to use your own sounds and have to deal with the pain of loading things into tabels and shit (remember; MaxForLive will support drag and drop from Live clips!)
The downfall of the Reaktor user lib is the EXTREMELY bad navigation in there, and the ratings system which any tech should have dismissed immediately. I'm really hoping to see something better than this for Live 8 and MaxForLive.

Machinate
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Post by Machinate » Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:51 am

jeremydb wrote:I often tell my students that Max is the 'software of last resort'. If the task you want to accomplish can be done easier/cheaper/faster using ready-made, available tools, you should be using them. But when you're tearing your hair out because the tool you need doesn't exist, MaxMSP might do the trick.
Sage words, as always.

PolyphonicPressureGroup
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Post by PolyphonicPressureGroup » Sat Jan 17, 2009 3:29 pm

Is it possible to load midi files in Max to manipulate them? That's what I miss in Reaktor. I'm not talking about processing of realtime midi input (to avoid misunderstanding).

funky shit
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Post by funky shit » Sat Jan 17, 2009 3:55 pm

What the OP means... is does the max oscillitors have a good initial sound?
Like what does it sounds like compared to an initial osc from a Virus or Nord Lead etc.
Image

djsynchro
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Post by djsynchro » Sat Jan 17, 2009 3:55 pm

Have a look at the demo video, they show notes being selected and a Max patch with a small floating window reversing the position of all the notes.

So, yes. And it does real-time processing too of course.

PolyphonicPressureGroup
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Post by PolyphonicPressureGroup » Sat Jan 17, 2009 4:04 pm

djsynchro wrote:So, yes
Cool, thank you. :)

Robert Henke
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Post by Robert Henke » Sat Jan 17, 2009 4:04 pm

funky shit wrote:What the OP means... is does the max oscillitors have a good initial sound?
Like what does it sounds like compared to an initial osc from a Virus or Nord Lead etc.
There are basic oscillators that provide mathematical functions like sine, ramp etc. They do not sound good or bad, they just sound how the math sounds. But there are ways to achieve much more interesting derivations of e.g. a square sound that is more similar to a square from an analog synth. It is just more work to build and takes more CPU. MAX is in this regard really more a programing language and less a modular synthesizer. You can do great sounding things, but you need to know what 'great sounding' might mean technically. In Reaktor this job has been done for you by NI.

Robert

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