MMJ4M 12: Working with Audio

In Chapter 12: Working with Audio from VJ Manzo‘s book Max/MSP/Jitter for Music, we get to start working with the MSP part of Max/MSP, which allows audio signals (you know, actual sound waves and recordings) to be used in addition to MIDI notes or mathematical equations. The chapter shows how to:

  • Get sound into Max with a microphone, at first with the adc~ object (that is, “audio-to-digital converter,” where the tilde ~ means that it is an MSP audio object) and later with the more intuitive ezadc~ object.
  • Create gain~ controls to keep the speakers from exploding
  • Create audio meters with the meter~ object
  • Output sound, at first with the dac~ object (i.e., “digital-to-audio converter”) and later with the ezdac~ object
  • Create sine waves with the cycle~ object and combine waves for more complex sounds
  • Create a virtual oscilloscope with the scope~ object, thus creating a visual display of the sound wave
  • Create a monophonic synthesizer with the ddg.mono object
  • Convert MIDI to audio frequencies with the mtof object
  • Use pack and unpack to combine or separate MIDI data, as well as midiparse
  • Create a polyphonic synthesizer with the poly~ object

Lots of good stuff. I plan on using several of these in my final project.


  • Max/MSP/Jitter for Music, Ch. 12: Working with Audio (17 exercises)
  • Patches can be downloaded from (Dead Link)
  • UPDATED LINK: Patches can now be downloaded from
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