The jitter in our patches

Over the past two weeks, I have developed a love-hate relationship with max. The love part consists of the visual programming (which is also a hate bit, more about that later). It’s nice to look at the screen and immediately see how everything is connected – in programming, it’s difficult to see everything immediately when one method is about 10 pages down, and you are not sure where it’s called. The not so good bit with visual programming is the lack of code at times. I saw that the jitters are actually JSON syntax files, which was interesting, and, hopefully before the end of the course I will have a go at writing one myself using JavaScript.

In general, Max is fun up until the point that its quirks start showing up. For example, a problem fixed in class today was the && operator – outputs something regardless of result – 0 or 1. That was something new that I did not expect to happen (doesn’t happen in programming, any linked code after a false && will not run).

The first two projects were pretty simple in theory, however, could get complicated if there were many variables to take into account. For example, specifying certain variables to load on start up was an interesting procedure/situation (especially when you don’t write down the 10+ X and Y coordinate pairs for your shapes). Project 1 was a basic animation, you can see it in the link below. The base drums will play when the squares move past certain points (this changes as I experiment, sometimes it hits the edge and will play a sound). The re-sizing tori will cause a crash cymbal to play when the peak point is reached. So, when it stops growing and starts to shrink, the sound will play.

For my second project, I decided to look at something very primitive, my desk mainly (don’t let the image fool you, it is actually way more of a mess). I have my keyboard, memory card, remote, mouse and card reader. The mouse, reader and the ledge are animated, with sounds. Interesting situations happened here as well – mainly with mapping. Window re-sizing tends to mess up the mapping – not sure why this happens, I suppose if the aspect ratio is changed and the padding is on the sides of the image, the program will not calculate the new coordinates based on the image edge, but rather go from the window – so absolute positioning.

Both projects are unlisted on YouTube, but here are the links. Recording quality varied since I used Snagit for one (has some serious glitches on the OS) and Camtasia Recorder for the other one:


Assignment 1:

Assignment 2:

3 thoughts on “The jitter in our patches”

  1. The Interactive Desk reminds me of the I Spy games for PC I played as a kid, particularly Spooky Mansion because of the sound effects.

  2. We all know the issues

    MAX is quirky, I agree. I am glad you managed to get into it and actually create great pieces! I find that the Geometric Abstraction caught the subject matter very well.

  3. I feel as if the geometric piece could be improved with a more intense audio experience by increasing the speed that the shapes move

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