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

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).

  • 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

          • 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?

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Rodrigo Constanzo
-makes music and art
-lives in Manchester, England
-is a crazy person

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