Daily Archives: 10 Jan 2012

MMJ4M 01: Introduction to Programming

In my previous post I reported on my independent study project with Processing. Now I’ll report on a second project, this one using the visual programming environment Max/MSP by Cycling ’74. (This project is being supervised by Music Professor Miguel Chuaqui, who, according to the map on the Cycling ’74 site, is the only person in the state of Utah who teaches Max/MSP.)

Anyhow, I’m using a lovely book entitled Max/MSP/Jitter for Music by VJ Manzo, who looks much more like a wild man rocker than someone who would write clean, crisp prose about programming (good for you!). I started reading this book back in November. I posted on it previously but now I’m ready to put up pictures of all of my patches, as the programs are called. So, the gallery at the top of this post includes the five patches from Chapter 1 and the videos below show them in action.

(I’ve also come across a blog with a total of nine entries from 2009 called “Learning Max/MSP: Using Max/MSP for a Generative Music Burning Man Project.” Excellent!)


  • Max/MSP/Jitter for Music, Ch. 0: Preface (0 exercises)
  • Max/MSP/Jitter for Music, Ch. 1: Introduction to Programming (5 exercises)
  • Patches can be downloaded from http://db.tt/GBYLb0vY (Dead Link)
  • UPDATED LINK: Patches can now be downloaded from http://j.mp/1iy19Xl
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"Visualizing Data" for Real Now

As part of my independent studies projects this semester (of which there are four), I’ll be reporting on each step here on this blog. This is so my supervising professor — in this case, that’s Photography professor Ed Bateman  (Hi, Ed!) — can see what I’m doing and grade my work accordingly. It’s also to show my university that I did something useful for my sabbatical. Finally, it’s to show something that may be of use to other people who are trying to learn the same things that I’m working on.

With that said, my first project centers on the wonderful programming environment Processing and the equally wonderful book Visualizing Data by Processing co-creator Ben Fry. (I bought this book a year and a half ago so it’s time I actually did something with it….) This book and course of study are follow-ups to the introductory course on Processing that I taught last semester at the University of Utah using the much shorter book Getting Started with Processing, also by Ben Fry and the other Processing co-founder, Casey Reas.

(As an interesting note, part of what has finally gotten me around to doing this is the fact that I now have the book not only in print but in ebook format, which I read on my wonderful new Kindle Touch and on the Kindle software on my Mac. It beats Apple’s iBook hands down. Also, I can have the book open on my MacBook’s monitor and have all of the working material open on my big external monitor at the same time. I’m in paradise.)

Sooooo, for today, I went through the Preface and the first two chapters (for about the fourth time) and, to prove it, I’ve included screenshots of the two numbered examples in those chapters, which I’ve recreated by hand. Extremely basic but always so rewarding. I’ve also included a short video clip of the second one in action:


  • Visualizing Data, Ch. 0: Preface (0 exercises)
  • Visualizing Data, Ch. 1: The Seven Stages of Visualizing Data (2 exercises)
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