Dec 23, 2011

The Party Has Begun (Max/MSP+Monome)

So a few months ago I experienced a big paradigm shift. I had been a lofi/hardware guy for many years, but when planning my next big change in hardware, I decided it would be easier to just built it in Max/MSP instead. So I started doing that.

I made this post back in September with the first module of what would become the setup I’m working on at the moment.

Well I’ve been hard at work since then!

Add to that the fact that I finally got a Monome last week, and you have somewhat functional patch/setup going.

The patch is called “The Party Van” in honor of my trusty WTPA, and The Party Bus which I built around it.

Here’s a quick video demo of some of the stuff it can do. (it can do more than what’s in the video):


Here is a more thorough look at it, but in a less musical manner.

It still has some stuff to add, but at the moment it is this:

All in one setup incorporating many different modules/effects. For monome64 (and soon arc2).

Features: 2 sample/loopers with overdub, halfspeed, and reverse functionality. Each with a sample slicer/dicer, granulator, pattern recorder, and MLR style buttons/display. Each looper can be put into ‘lofi’ mode to simulate the WTPA 8-bit sampler that inspired each module.

A series of realtime effects (stutter, pitch shift, lofi, filter, dirt, reverb, and chopper).

There is also a “reminder” row that circularly records all incoming audio and lets you play back any of it up to 10minutes in the past. (Great for real time sampling when you missed something awesome).

There is no quantization. And all the modules play really nicely together. You can start recording a loop while in slicing mode, or switch between grain/normal and start where you left off, or record every knob wiggle in the pattern recorder, or reverse while creating your original loop etc…

This patch is an ongoing project for me. It is currently in an alpha state as far as what I want, but each module is tested and working pretty solidly.

Things that will get added: -Concatenative synthesis (realtime grain replacement of incoming audio with audio from the buffers) -Arc2 functionality. Arc stuff everywhere!

Click here to download the patch and instructions.



  • Will this work on a 128? Would be super good if it was transferrable.

    • @steveoath

      Unfortunately no. I don’t have a 128 to test/program with, so I’d only be stabbing in the dark as to what does what. Not to mention I conceived all of it on an 64 size. The MLR style stuff wouldn’t be so difficult to expand, but the rest, I wouldn’t really know what to do with.

  • Nice work! Can you give a little more detail as to what the sample slicer/dicer does? Is it just random repositioning of the playback position? Or is there some beat detection or something like that going on?

    • Yeah it jumps around play position randomly. It doesn’t do beat detection as I don’t often use beats. It does have some fancier stuff like repeat/retrigger probability which will (from 0% to 99% play back the same slice again) and grain/slice envelopes (with envelope control).
      I also built it in a way that you can overdub while ‘slicing’ which will put little grains of audio all over your sample/loop, and you can even create a new loop while ‘slicing’ so you start writing in the buffer while jumping around (it slowly moves through the buffer this way).

Leave a comment


Rodrigo Constanzo
-makes music and art
-lives in Porto/Manchester
-is a crazy person

Learn from me (for free!)

I am offering free lessons / conversations / consultations / mentoring / time / support to creative people, locally or remotely.
Want in on this?!

Read my PhD Thesis!

Composition, Performance,
and Making Things,
sitting in a tree :


Upcoming Performances

No upcoming performances