Control, Communication, and Performance in Electronic Music (MaxMSP & Eurorack)

Talking about ideas of live electronic performance of electronic music using USB Controllers, Max/MSP, and Eurorack.

Here, I walk through how you can use a USB joystick to MIDI synthesizers (like my Eurorack modular) using Max/MSP as a “translator.” Information from the joystick and its buttons comes in on the [hi] (“human interface”) object, and we can shape that data and pass it out a MIDI data to whatever we want.

In this way, we can give ourselves nuanced control of our musical performance, enhancing our electronic music instruments.

0:00 Introduction
0:35 Generative Music and Feedback
1:31 Human Agency in Musical Systems
2:18 Devices for Human Interface
3:05 Today’s Goals
3:36 The [hi] Object
5:36 Looking at the Data
6:25 Isolating the Data with [route]
7:34 Converting the Numbers to MIDI
10:10 2D Piano
11:18 Sending MIDI to the NiftyCase
15:45 Controlling Effects (Wavefolder and Filter)
17:54 A Note about Resolution
18:49 Adding an Amplitude Envelope
19:58 Quick Recap
20:46 More Sophisticated Interactions of Data
23:04 Conclusion, Next Steps

More Max/MSP videos
More Talking Eurorack

Basic FM Synthesis in Reaktor 6 Primary

Building a basic but expandable FM synthesizer in Reaktor 6, making an FM operators that we can duplicate as much as we want.

In FM synthesis, we modulate the frequency of one oscillator (the carrier) with another oscillator in the audible range. We can make an FM synth in Reaktor that’s modular and quickly expandable if we make a macro with the oscillator, an envelope, and a few special controls at the FM input.

0:00 Intro / What is FM Synthesis?
1:30 Sine Oscillator with Amplitude Envelope
3:14 The “F” Input of Sine FM Oscillators
4:20 Modulating the Frequency
5:24 Modulating the Frequency in the Audible Range
6:13 Adding Musical Controls
11:50 Combining Our FM Operators
13:01 Sideband Modulation with Envelope Control
16:12 Chaining FM Operators Together
19:48 Recap / Next Steps

More beginner Reaktor tutorials here:

Intermediate Reaktor tutorial playlist here:

Eurorack Neural Network Jam: “An Explanation of the Universe”

A mess of Eurorack CV feedback that’s not random. It’s chaotic!

This instrument creates chaotic synthesized music that I interact with using four knobs. The music that this synthesizer creates is not random. It is determined by a set of “rules” created by the different components interacting with each other. However, because each of these modules influences and is influenced by several others, the interconnected network of interactions obfuscates the rules of the system. This leads to the instrument’s chaotic, incomprehensible behavior.

As with all chaotic systems, though, if it were possible to understand all of the different components and their relationships, and do complex enough calculations, we would be able to predict the outcome of all of our interactions.

Patch notes: ….Uh…. I just kept patching things back into each other, and this is where I ended up.