(maxmsp) Week One Wrap Up

First Assignment is due Wednesday, 1/20.

Demo patches from day 1, day 2, and day 3 are all in iLocker. Days 2 and 3 are just variations of day 1. The rounding patcher is also online, along with the outline I used to go from idea to algorithm to Max program.

Key things to know as we move forward:

In general programming, objects are things (that either do something, or exist with properties). Messages are data that are passed between objects. Anything that you can put in a Max/MSP patcher is an object in programming terms, including “message boxes” that are objects to transmit messages to other objects. Even a comment is an object.

Messages break into different data types. Some programming languages don’t care about data types as much as Max/MSP does. The basic types of data in Max are integer numbers, floating point numbers, text (symbols), bangs, and lists. It is important to learn how objects respond to each data type.

The biggest data type mismatch to watch out for occurs when using floating point numbers. Integers and floating point numbers have different number boxes to view and enter. Integer number boxes truncate floating point input. Math objects (and comparison objects) do integer computation by default, unless floating point arguments are typed when the object box is created. Integer math means that a math object will truncate floating point input to an integer before computing.

You need to become fully comfortable with the builtin help system, which includes a help browser, tutorials, reference pages, and fully functioning help patchers.

Max/MSP operates in right to left order, and bottom to top order when multiple patch cords leave a single outlet. Know that each branch of the tree computes until the end of the branch is reached. After that, the next branch starts to compute. If a branch out includes a patch cord that subsequently branches after another object, then all the branches of this patch tree will compute before returning to the original starting level of the branch. The rounding patcher illustrates this concept.

Most of the math we do in Max will involve scaling (multiplying) and offsetting (adding). The quiz next week will deal a lot with solving math problems (giving answers to illustrated patchers), fixing patchers to give the desired answer, etc.


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