Tag cloud datafile


The Party Van is a live performance patch with dozens of modules and dsp effects covering a wide range of sampling, processing, and synthesis techniques. It is primarily programmed around monome and arc controllers, but has built in MIDI learn functionality (as well as mappings for TouchOSCKeith McMillen Softstep, and Shbobo Shnth).

Click here to read more about why/how The Party Van was made

The main motivation for building The Party Van was to be able to sample, process, and playback audio in real-time in a relatively abstracted and intuitive manner. Towards that end, the patch makes extensive use of realtime and non-realtime analyses of incoming audio and recorded buffers. This analysis data is then processed in order to create presets for each of the modules, leaving the performer free to focus on larger scale changes in the music, or to physically play another instrument, with the analysis-based manipulations creating subtler changes in the processing/sound. This is in contrast with my original approach of building hybrid electronic/percussive instruments with the electronics physically built into the instruments, similar to the approach Nicolas Collins’ (the hardware one!) used in his Trombone Propelled Electronics.

The Party Van was originally modeled after the Where’s The Party At 8-bit hardware sampler which is a gritty and lo-fi sampler. As such, many of the modules and effects in The Party Van are oriented towards glitchy and lo-fi sounds: sounds that are ubiquitous in the world around us, as is pointed out by Caleb Stuart in this paper. My background as a circuit-bender also led to me incorporate ideas about aleatoric and random processing, or “tickling the clock” as Collins’ would put it. These “out-of-theory” concepts are applied on many technical levels ranging from the timings of record/playback mechanisms to the alteration of most variables by small random amounts each time the patch is loaded.

(If you would like to read more about the origins of The Party Van you can read the blog post on the karma~ external here.)

The glitch-ness of The Party Van is also incorporated in a more digital manner through the inclusion of an emulated skipping CD player similar to Collins’ un-muted CD player or Yasunao Tone‘s “Wounded CDs“. This section of the patch uses various samples from actual skipping CDs and a playback mechanism that emulates random jumps in position, as well as the sound of fast forwarding or rewinding through a CD. One significant benefit of using a software emulation of such a system is the ability to dynamically change the contents of the “CD” while still being able to perform with it in an indeterminate manner by “gently nuding [the CD player] to continue reading the prepared CD; just where it will stop and on which sound it will stutter cannot be known from one playing to the next” as mentioned by Caleb Kelly in this great book.

Since it was first released The Party Van has been downloaded thousands of times and my videos of it in action have tens of thousands of views. It’s one of the most popular monome apps and I’m constantly finding new recordings and videos of people using it. I’m always blown away by the variety of things people do with it. It makes me happy to see people making music with and finding enjoyment in a piece of software I’ve written.

Here are some videos/demos of The Party Van in action.

This is the very first video I made demoing The Party Van:

That’s not everything it can do, but just a quick taste of some of the slicing/granulizing/pattern based stuff.

Here is a more thorough though less musical example of stuff (from v05-era):

And now a more musical but specific (snare-based) example:

Here’s a demo of the C-C-Combine module:

Here’s The Party Van as used in my series of pieces Everything. Everything at once. Once.


The Party Van is a live sampling and performance instrument built using Max/MSP. It was programmed around the Monome 64 and Arc 2 controllers but includes mapping for an iPad running TouchOSC (custom layout included) as well as the Keith McMillen Softstep foot controller. Additionally, the patch has MIDI learn functionality built in, so every parameter can be mapped to any MIDI controller.


– A variety of samplers/loopers oriented towards live performance
– Granular, concatenative, and convolution based synthesis on recorded buffers
– Buffer-based and real-time audio analysis used to dynamically generate intelligent presets
– Input/output effects
– Input stage convolution and amp simulation
– 8-bit sampler/looper based on the ciat-lonbarde Cocolase instrument
– Virtual CD skipping module based on “The Chocolate Grinder”, another one of my patches
– Concatenative synthesis module based on “C-C-Combine”, another one of my patches
– Attack-based sampling and triggering of effects

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…

(current version v1.1, last updated on 6 November 2014)
(tpv1.1 is known to crash in Max7. Please continue to use Max6 for now)

Click here download the patch and instructions

For an ‘up to date’ version via GitHub you can follow the repository here:



  • thnks :)

  • the instructions doesnt cover how to set everything up and get audio running in and out of the “Party Van”, could you please help me out with this??

    • Click “configure dsp” in the top right and select your soundcard and in/out.

      After that the “input” section controls your inputs. You have a dropdown menu to select wether you want live audio coming in, or a file for playback. It defaults to ‘incoming live audio’, labelled as “adc” (analog to digital conversion).

      In that section you can control the input level for the first four inputs on your soundcard, and you have control of the “thru” level, so if you want to hear the input coming out of the output, as well as loops/samples and so on. If you’re using a microphone or are using the patch with an acoustic instrument, you may want that turned down, but if you are using an electric instrument, you’d want to have that turned up.

      Let me know if that answers your question(s).

      • A bit of trouble re: the second question. In the “setup” in the right corner I’ve got the output going to my speakers… No matter what I try to do I cannot get the sound of my tape loop (plugged into the microphone 1/8″) to make any sounds or be manipulated. My grid lights up, nothing is freezing… Just no sound?? It says “none” at the input like there’s just no way it will let me connect?

        • Hmm, as in no output device shows up?
          Do you see any of the meters moving?
          Is the ‘thru’ turned up?

  • hello Rodrigo

    I loved your tutorial, and the result is musically very interesting.
    But unfortunately, I don’t have a monome.
    So I wanted to ask you if it has a way to run the monemur v3.0 maxpatch, a sort of monome emulation on ipad Lemur.I’ve tried, it doesn’t work for now…
    The touchosc solution is convincing but not for mashing in a MLR-esque style.Any suggestions?
    Thank you for your attention

    • You can do most of the stuff without a monome (though not MLR stuff).
      I think some people have used the party van with emulation successfully.

      • Greetings!
        Any chance you know how they managed to get the emulation running with this incredible app? Im currently looking into it. if I find out I will share the what worked and post here.


        • I said I would return and here i am. Still only having the lauchpad I have been wanting to get this up and running very badly… So, still new and still may be some kinks but I have been able to get the van to recognize and connect to this. A max for live monome emu http://www.sigabort.co/m4l_lp.html

          • p.s I should clairify I am not the one who made this emulaution. im not nearly that capable with max as of now. anyway CHeers.

          • That’s exciting news!
            I take it you are able to control the party van using that?
            Does it take and/or translate varibrightness messages? If not, you should select “legacy” for the varibrightness settings in the Setup window.

  • This is such a labor of love (or live as my initial typo called it !). Thanks for sharing and thanks to that incredible community. Just started with max two years ago and working hard to do what I imagine with it, and already try to share in the topics I have enough confidence with. Can’t wait to try it at home first then anywhere !

    • Thanks!
      v10 is a really big change and it’s been taking a while, but I’m quite excited to get it out there.

  • The is sooo cool love what you are doing.

  • Thanks so much for making and sharing this! I came accros it last week and having a ball. I don’t have a monome and still learning it but got audio from ableton(and back) working and having a ball. Now searching for a nice midi config and flow. You don’t happen to have an osc for iPhone laying around anywhere do you ;) thanks again sir. Keep it up

    • Glad you like it!
      I never made an iPhone layout as I don’t use it with it. Maybe one day.

  • […] guitar, violin, contrabass, percussion) and electronics will be premiered by the Geneva-based ENSEMBLE VORTEX, who commissioned it. The first performances will be at Rocher de Palmer in Bordeaux on April 18th […]

  • Hey, I saw that you had another post about foot controllers so you might know something about them but do you know if there’s any way of controlling this with one? I have a softstep which i’m not sure if you’ve used. I play bass so using one hand on a monome might not be a great option but i’m thinking of still trying that out.


    • Howdie. I do have a softstep, and you’ll be pleased to know the softstep works with The Party Van right out of the box. You don’t have to set anything up, it even displays cool stuff on the softstep display. It works by communicating directly with the softstep via sysex messages.

  • Thanks for the super quick response. That’s great to hear but I apologize in advance i’m still a little confused. I have the softstep editor in standalone mode. What preset should I use in the editor. Do I still need to manually map buttons in the party van? I see things happening but I have no idea how to control them. Help is much apreciated thanks so much for offereing this program up for free. I dug those musicianship time videos you put up too, I had heard of that before but never laid out in such an easy to understand way.

    • I’ve updated the manual and the main party van file to make this easier to understand (the softstep stuff). I’ve emailed them to you, but you can also download the latest versions here:

  • Have you ever had performance issues when using the preset page? I can get a few seconds of choosing presets there before the monome starts to freeze up. It seems to go away if I restart max. Is this just an issue of having a slow laptop?

    thanks again,

    • Does the audio freeze up or just the monome display? Do you have other speed related problems when using The Party Van?

  • It’s most always just the monome display. It usually only happens when you hit the full out put or input effects then try to move back from them. I was just thinking about his since i’ve been designing my new live set, is there anyway to overrwrite the presets you’ve set up? I want to replace the spring reverb with a different type but still be able to use the buttons for preset switching. Also i’d love to be able to change the brain on the effects to default to every time for more dynamics, I guess that relates to the original question of saving over the presets that are already mapped to keys on the monome. thanks!

    • You can overwrite all the presets, and recall them using the “preset page”. The automatic/brain presets are analysis-based so the only way to change that is to feed it different audio. You can turn off the automatic preset generation and just switch between your own presets.

      Do you always use Quadrants? Do you still have speed/freezing problems when using the TPV on it’s own? (just using the 64 buttons).

      The latest version of TPV does allow focus changes, so it should be possible to switch between it easily. Eventually I want to build in that kind of multi app and larger monome support, but it’s not quite there yet.

      • I only use quandrants when testing, no monome problems besides that. I have been having some issues with instruments hanging, notes holding out and not going away, in the synth section. I have this error message “matrixctrl: cell coordinate(s) out of range” though i’m not sure if it’s related.

        • That would mean it’s getting messages outside of the 8×8 grid area. I’m adding some code now to the latest version to clip incoming button messages to 8×8, but that means something is sending funky messages.
          Looks like there are some bugs in quadrants that might be worth looking into here:

  • Also, i know you only have 64 so no use for this but when using quadrants and the party van the led feedback on the monome freezes. Quadrants allows you to divide a larger monome into parts to run multiple programs at once and every time i try to use tpv the led feedback freezes. I aksed around on the monome forum and the writer of quadrants seems to think it has something to do with tpv. I know this probably isn’t at the top of your list for issues but just though you should know. I would like to eventually be able to use tpv with another monome application for performance. thanks!

  • Hi

    This is most likely me being slow but I can’t find the _Party_1.1 file…..? (Downloaded from your website and followed instructions …until…. 3. Open the main file (_Party_1.1).)

    Please advise….

    Thank you!

    • Sorry, didn’t see this until just now. It’s inside the folder with the rest of the files. It should be the very top/first file (hence the underscore in the name).

  • […] ③The Party Pan […]

  • hello. curious if everything will be running nicely on the latest mb air. 4RAM/ i5/ 1.6 up to 2.4/ i’m pretty sure that it will.. but sometimes i need to ask a stupid question. thnx anyway

    • I’ve seen it run on several airs. Even if it runs a bit snug you can adjust the vector/IO settings in the audio setup window.

      Also make sure you run it in Max6 for the time being. It crashes in Max7.

      • thank you very much * мир

  • Hi Rodrigo,

    I’m fairly new to the monome and ableton and I’m trying to install The Party Van 1.1 to a trial version of Max7. I read the README.RTF that was included in the zip and I can’t seem to find the folders mentioned in the text file. Is this because I need Max6 instead of Max7?


    • Unfortunately TPV isn’t quite working right in Max7. I still run it in Max6, but I am working on it. As far as where to put externals in Max7, if you are on a mac it would be ~/user(yourname)/Documents/Max 7/Library

  • Hi Rodrigo!

    I´ve seen the demonstration-video you have on TPV and got all excited. So I downloaded it, but
    I´m all new to Max. And I don´t have Max standalone, only Max for Live. Is it possible to start it in ableton? I´ve followed your instructions on installing but can´t open _Party_1.1 from finder since I don´t have Max standalone and I can´t find the file in ableton. Is it possible?


    • Hello!
      You don’t need to own Max to run The Party Van, and the standalone version is free. TPV only works in Max 6 at the moment so you can download the Max runtime/standalone here:

      Once you install Max 6 there will be a Max runtime application in there too, that you can open TPV from.

      I am currently starting to work on TPV 2.0 and plan on making a bunch of TPV modules as Max for Live modules that will run in Ableton, but that won’t be any time soon.

      Hope that helps.

      • Thanks a lot! Will have a lot of fun with it..

  • Hello,
    The party van looks really great. I downloaded it on my macbook using 10.6.8. Moved the externals into the externals folder in max runtime. When I open the party van I get the beach ball of death and activity monitor says runtime is not responding. I don’t know why? Has this happened to anyone else?

    • Hey. Hmm that’s weird. Have you run stuff successfully in runtime? Try it without the externals? Are you in Max7 or Max6? (TPV isn’t working in Max7 yet)

      • I deleted the externals form the msp-externals folder and the same thing happened. Before I opened the party van I opened the serialosc grid test patch and that ran fine. Weird.

        Sounds like you’ve never encountered this so it must me something strange with my system.

        • Sending an email to help troubleshoot.

  • in my party van 1.1. some plug-ins don´t work, i.e. pitch, lo-fi and reverb. some advice? thank you

    • That sounds like you don’t have the externals installed. Make sure you follow the instructions in the _READ_ME file about the _Required Externals, as those are required for much of The Party Van to work (including pitch/lofi/reverb).

      Also, make sure you use TPV in Max6 for now, as it crashes in Max7.

      Let me know if that works, or if not, drop me an email so we can figure out the problem.

  • HI Rodrigo, first of all I want to thank you for your amazing program that you wrote. It seems to reveal to me completely new prospectives for live performance.
    My problem: My English is not perfect (I´m German). As far I understood I had simply to copy the “Mac Externals” folder (I have a Mac) into the folder Max 6.1./Cycling `74/msp Externals folder.
    I ´m afraid this is completely wrong, because the pitch, lo-fi and reverb still don´t work.

  • Hi Rodrigo,
    problem esolved. I had used Max 7 instead of Max 6 without being aware of it / Ihad both installed)
    everything works fine now.
    Thanks again for your excellent work…

    • Good to hear that it worked out in the end. Enjoy!

  • rodrigo. this is fantastic. after i installed i started poking around the materials and i literally gasped when i saw “WTPA”. i’ve been lusting after that machine for the better part of a year now and i’m absolutely in awe of your programming.

    thank you so much for making the brilliant things that bit of hardware can do accessible to those without much cash.

    how do we donate to you to keep your very incredible work alive?

  • Hello. Thank you for the amazing softwares, videos, songs and ideas you create that help inspire musicians around the internet. Is there any update of party van for max 7 that doesn’t crash? or are you thinking about making it work smoothly in it? Been messing around with karma~ and it was so much fun. thank you!!

    • Thanks for the kind words, and !You’re welcome!
      I’m currently working on The Party Van 2, which is built from the ground up (around karma~ and a bunch of the stuff I did in Cut Glove) and will work in Max7. The current version works fine in Max6 (I still perform with it, and just use it in Max6), so that’s the way to go in the mean time.

  • Hi Rodrigo,

    Hope you are well. I’ve been playing around with the party van and having lots of fun it’s great. I’m wanting to use it with my iPad and touchOSC but I’m a bit unsure how to get it working, do you have a template for it? Any advice would be much appreciated.


    • Oli, you’re in luck! There’s a touchOSC template (for iPad!) included in the download. It’s been a while since I used the iPad with it, but I remember it being the mixer, some of the wtpa controls, and all the input/output fx controls mapped to the iPad.

      • Thanks! I’ve just found it, I was looking in the wrong folder.

  • Hey Rodrigo,
    I’m just in awe of your work. Very inspiring. I ran into a video of you performing the Specty. Yes! That then led me to The Party Van. I’m super green to the max/msp world. I’m using Max7 and really have no idea how to get the files into the right places. I have been able to get T.P.V. to open in Max but it causes it to stop responding.

    I don’t expect a lengthy tutorial, but maybe a push in the right direction. Would Cycle 74 be able to help me?

    Thank you for your time and help.

    • Casey,

      Glad you like the stuff!
      Yes, it can be initially confusing to set up.

      Firstly, The Party Van only runs in Max6 (I’m currently working on a complete rewrite of it, will which be released as The Party Van 2), but that means you need the Max6 runtime (you don’t need to buy/own Max6, it will just run inside of it). You can download it here:https://cycling74.com/downloads/older/

      Second, are you on Mac or windows? If you are on Mac, you can copy the whole folder called “Mac Externals” inside the “_Required Externals” folder to the “/Max6/Cycling ’74/msp-externals/” folder. Once you do that, restart Max6 (if it was open), and you should then be able to open and use The Party Van perfectly fine!

      Once you have that up and running, you can look at the old tutorial video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbCqHX0va3c, which although many versions old, gives you a general idea of how things work. There’s also the included manual, which goes into detail about everything.

      Hope that helps!


      • Thank you. You are a gentleman and a saint.

  • What’s not working in Max 7? I downloaded it to try it on Max 7, windows 7, 32bit, and it seems to be working. Not using monome however.

    • Interesting! Well then keep using it! I never did narrow down the issue, so perhaps it is something monome related.

      • Gotcha. Well it’s working and with android touch osc too! Great work, this is awesome. It’s also crazy responsive after its loaded for such an array of modules too.

  • hey, thanks for this, i came back to it after some time away…
    as solid as it is I have one or 2 questions.
    1. when you press stop on, especially the top two windows, a loud audible click happens.
    Any way of fixing this as I want to use it in a live setting this month.
    Also some buttons on the monome cause the app to crash, bottom row, no 5 from left.

    • Both of those are weird. I use it in a live context all the time and don’t have any clicks or crashing. Are you running it in Max6 or Max7? There are definitely crashing issues in Max7.
      Also, what are your IO vector settings? It could be that your CPU is spiking? (take a look at the CPU meter inside the ‘setup’ window).
      (the 5th button on the bottom row of the first page is the record button for the 2nd wtpa looper)

  • Hey, thanks for this amazing patch! I had so much fun messing around with it a bit.. but after some time making sound (I think I recorded some ten nice files of weird ambient stuff) it started crashing when I tried to use the cd module. I try to record sound into it and it just crashes. I used it extensively but now just out of the blue makes the whole thing crash. any ideas of what’s happening? I’m running the patch on Max 6 runtime, on OSX 10.9 (I gave up trying on yosemite, it didn’t work on max7, nor max 6 runtime). Well, overall it’s just an amazing app and thank you for letting us be a little more creative.

  • Hi Rodrigo – will you be updating this to Max7 at some point in the future? I thought I would check with the turning of the year.



    • Sure will! Been working on it for a bit actually, but as it’s a complete rewrite it’s taking longer than expected.

      It’s getting there though. It’s nearly to the point that I can start performing with it myself, just need to figure out the fx routing, as that’s being done completely differently.

  • Oh man, so glad I swung back by here. Been trying to get it up and running on Max 7 as well to no avail. It’s not me, phew!

    I’m fiending to to try all of your apps out Rodrigo, but totally understand the whoas of a total rewrite. Any of your other apps Max7? And if not, can I sign up on a mailing list?

    I just got my (old/used) 40h monome 64 and I’m super excited to dive it, but I’m a little overwhelmed and feel like I came to the party as everyone is cleaning up.

    Weird scene…why is it so bright in here???

    • Cut Glove is basically a TPV lite but made for xbox controller:

      AND if you’re more adventurous, there is Block Party, which is a TPV 1.5ish thing I shared on the Lines forum:

      It’s for varibrightness 128, but works with Max7.

      • Great! Thanks Rodrigo, I don’t have an X-Box (I drew a hard line between games and music gear a while back), but I’m psyched to try Block Party. Hopefully it works on the 64!

        Keep up the great work!

  • Hello!

    The party van seems to be really cool. When do you plan release a version for MAX 7?


    • Been working on TPV2 fairly actively. I’ll probably have a beta version in not too long, it won’t have all the same features of TPV1, but longs of new/cool stuff.

  • I’ve been using The Party Van on same computer setup (late 2011 MBP, OSX 10.9.5, Max 6.1.10, monome 64, Focusrite Sapphire Pro 24) for a couple years with no issues… works great, LOVE IT, probably my favorite software instrument ever!

    but.. something has changed between the last time I used it and today, and I’m lost as to what the problem is. Last time I used it, The Party Van was working fine, when I finished, I closed out cleanly, no issues. Today, it seems to start correctly, the main GUI displays, but as soon as I do anything with it, click on setup, or anything else, even just move the window, it freezes and I get permanent beach ball on Max until I force quit.

    Other Max 6 patches work fine, and all of Party Van’s sub patches open without hanging. It doensn’t seem to be tied to any external hardware, it hangs if my external soundcard and monome are attached or not. I’ve also tried downloading a new copy of Party Van, replacing the required externals and running it from a new location, all with the same results. The only things I’ve run on this Mac between the last TPV session and this one are The Block Party beta, and Tom Mudd’s Gutter Synthesis, both of which run in Max 7, which I have installed in a separate location. Not sure how either of those would affect TPV, but I suppose it’s possible.

    Any one else encounter this, or have any ideas on what else I could try, because frankly, I’m stumped…

    Thanks in advance for any help,


    • Hmm, that’s a weird one. For sure TPV won’t work in Max7, but it’s odd that the other ones would mess things up. Block Party does include different versions of externals and other things, so it may be worthwhile testing where you maybe delete Block Party and/or check the Max externals that are installed on the system, in case some wires have gotten crossed somewhere.

      (I have had some issues with “max projects” grab externals from elsewhere, and vice versa)

      • So I tried those suggestions, removed Block Party, Gutter Synthesis, and any instances of the related externals that didn’t apply directly to Max 6.1 & TPV.. no luck.

        on a whim, I opened the other only other patch of yours that I had on this computer, C-C-Combine, and it starts up fine, works perfectly. I close C-C-C, and decide to give The Party Van one more try… starts up, hangs for a second, and… the input meter starts flickering, I can open setup.. yep, monome connects.. we’re back to normal!

        No idea what magic opening C-C-Combine worked, but I guess it did something?!

        • Weird! I imagine it has to do with different versions of externals and/or subpatches getting loaded when they shouldn’t.

          Glad that’s working though!

  • Hello Rodrigo,
    Fantastic work!! Will not you make any max7 or 8 versions of TPV?

    • Yup! Been working on it for a bit. I was never able to figure out why it was crashing in Max7 so have literally rebuilt it from scrxatch. I finally have a version of TPV2 that I can start gigging/practicing with, but it’s still very rough around the edges. Once I have it somewhere usable I’ll make an alpha available.

      In the meantime, however, I did make a sort of 1.5 app I called Block Party which has a new version of the main loopers in it. It’s built for 128 grid. Have a look:

      • Amazing!!
        I’ll play with him now !!

        Thank you very much.

  • Hi
    Very nice work!
    Will this work with max for live?


    • Not really, since it’s built around having it’s own I/O. You can use something like JACK audio or Soundflower to send audio from Live to The Party Van and then back again.

  • Hi Rodrigo,

    when I heard about TPV I immediately needed to try it. It looks amazing! However, I have the same issue as Jasper had: opening it results in the beach ball, and Max 6 isn’t reacting anymore. Same happens with the Monolase whereas karma~ runs nicely even in Max 8. Do you have an idea how to fix this?

    Thank you for your amazing work!

    • I managed to get a version working on Max8, but it’s a bit hit-or-miss for some reason. As in, it opens and works fine on my laptop, but not on my desktop. Both are running the same version of Max and the same OS. You can give this a spin:

      To be safe duplicate your normal version of TPV, then download this and replace all the files with the versions here (ignore any externals though), and then try opening the Party_1.2 file.

      • Hi Rodrigo,

        thank you for your advice. Unfortunately, it still does not work. If you have another idea how to fix it, please let me know, I would really appreciate it. I’ll try a few other things, maybe I get it to work somehow.

        Thank you!

        • At this point my main energy has been on making TPV2, so it’s unlikely I’ll be able to find and fix any major bugs in the first one. The 1.2 was kind of a stop gap as it sort of works for me, and I figured I should share it with others.

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 :