This page includes a few historical notes dear to my heart. I’m still chasing after the will-o-wisp.
This was my big music software project at Cycling ’74.
Around the turn of the millenium, I was using a giant MaxMSP patch to play live shows – including improvised music with a couple of bands (including CRATER), and solo DJ type stuff. David Zicarelli suggested we try to make a commercial product out of it, and a few years later Cycling ’74 released radiaL.
It was a great pleasure to hear the music and sound that people made with radiaL – things that they never could have made without it.
radiaL was also a big experiment, to see if it was possible to make a ‘real’ software product out of a Max patch… it succeeded in the end, but it took a LOT of work. Nowadays the whole process is a bit easier, and there are a bunch of amazing projects made in MaxMSP.
Anyway, radiaL is no longer available – but if you want to read what it was about, here is my favorite review of radiaL, from Sound On Sound magazine.
We even made a box:
I’ve written about a million max patches, but this is the one that I bother keeping around:
cellsound: audio cellular automata
cellsound generates sound based on a cellular automata algorithm.
the rule is: move toward a harmonious relationship with your neighbor.
in this way, cellsound creates a unique and beautiful sound…
new application version (june 2010)
built with max 5, tested with OS 10.6
new max version (february 2004)
updated for OS X, includes full source. requires Max/MSP.
application cellsound for OS X not yet available.
old max version for archival
purposes. requires Max/MSP and OS 8/9.
old standalone application cellsound
for systems without Max/MSP. requires OS 8/9.
When I started working for Cycling ’74 in 1998, the first product we made together was Pluggo – a collection of highly unusual, creative, and useful plug-ins. Our concept was, 74 plug-ins for $74. At the time, this was a pretty radical step, as was our technique for creating the plug-ins: we wrote them in Max/MSP. I wrote over 30 of the original collection. We had a good time.
Pluggo has been replaced by Max4Live, currently available from Cycling ’74. But as I travel through recording studios and bedroom musicians in strange corners of the world, I am often surprise to hear that Pluggo was known and loved by musicians and sound tinkerers everywhere.
From a review by Sound on Sound:
Feedback Network is, to my mind, almost the perfect example of the kind of thing Pluggo excels at. It features a dozen or so sliders, half of which move randomly of their own accord. It has a large Randomize button, which doesn’t do quite what you expect it to, and no amount of familiarity with conventional effe
cts processors will give you the faintest idea what to expect when you pass a signal through it. With the dry level slider turned down, in fact, the input signal is almost irrelevant, as you won’t hear much resembling it in Feedback Network’s output. Instead, what you get is a largely unpredictable, slowly evolving textural mass of feedback and associated noise, suggestive of old science-fiction movie soundtracks and half-remembered nightmares.