Max is a graphical programming language that lets users process, generate, interact with MIDI data in audio and video contents as well as all other types of data, for example from sensors.
Upon completion of this course, participants will acquire the knowledge necessary to make simple patches. They will be able to identify the means necessary to create a project using Max. The training will be followed by an exam for the Max IRCAM Certificate level 1.
Any creative person who wants to work on a project requiring Max: composers, developers, performers, sound technicians, choreographers, sound creators, video artists, live coders, music or art teachers, makers, etc.
- Good understanding of sequencer software (DAW audio-digital workstation) such as Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Reaper, or another audio editing software program (WaveLab, SoundStation, Adobe Audition, etc.)
- Good understanding of the English vocabulary used in the software
- Mastery of the basic functions of a Macintosh computer (use of a keyboard and mouse, create and manage files and folders, use menus, launch an application)
- Basic mathematical concepts will facilitate participants' understanding: integers, rational and decimal numbers, sums, subtractions, multiplications, divisions, absolute value, study of simple functions.
Prior to the training, it is highly recommended participants download the software and test the demo mode (30 days with all functions available) and do all the included software.
Training Period and Organization
36 hours of training. Monday- Saturday, November 20—25, 2023. 10am-1pm & 2:30pm-5:30pm
10 students maximum
In the event that IRCAM cannot physically welcome students for a program that requires face-to-face instruction, the program and the certification test will be cancelled.
Jitter will not be addressed.
|Morning||General presentation of the Max environment;|
Types of objects, types of data.
Identify the difficulties raised by the execution of processes in real-time and master the principles of the execution order (<trigger>);
|Morning||Advanced data manipulation: data groups (lists and message boxes), flow management (<send>, <recieve>, <route>, <select>, <gate>...), information storage (<int>, <float>, <list> or <zl>...), random processes (<random>, <urn>...) and encapsulation (<patcher> and abstractions);|
Creation of a random MIDI note generator.
|Afternoon||Further algorithmic development of the random processes of a MIDI note generator: conditional manipulation of data groups (<list>): chords, "arpeggiator”|
|Morning||Becoming familiar with the audio operation in Max. Signal manipulation: input, output, send, receive, multiply and sum;|
Comparison of audio and data streams, generators (<noise~>, <pink~>...), oscillators (<cycle~>, <saw~>...), envelopes (<line~>, <curve~>) and synthesis.
|Afternoon||Realization, control, and step by step improvement of a monophonic synthesizer played from a keyboard.|
|Morning||Record, play, and manipulate the playback of sounds from a file (<sfplay~>, <playlist~>) and a buffer (<buffer~>, <play~>, <groove~>…);|
Realization, control, and step by step improvement of a monophonic synthesizer played from a keyboard.
|Afternoon||Learn some simple audio processing in the amplitude/time domain: delay line, ring modulation, amplitude modulation.|
|Morning||Modulation of a delay lines: the chorus;|
Frequency shift: <freqshift~>;
Transposition with delay lines: <transposer>.
|Afternoon||Filtering and control in real-time (amplitude/frequency/time domain): <biquad~>, <filtergraph~>, <lores~>... ;|
Analyze the audio stream and extract relevant information using simple modules: amplitude tracking and pitch tracking (<yin~>, <sigmund~>);
First steps towards a programming architecture: modular organization of some processes performed during the week.
|Morning||Manage data external to Max: external libraries;|
A look at the next level Max training;
Exam for Max IRCAM Certificate - level 1
3 hours // Saturday, November 25, 2023, 2:30pm-5:30pm
6 students maximum
The IRCAM Certificate test is made up of two parts (90 minutes each):
A test of the applicant’s knowledge with open questions and comments on screen captures;
Following a break, a series of exercises is given to the applicant with several concrete cases, with increasing difficulty. The applicant must find solutions, as if they were in a professional situation (test on a Mac computer with Max).
This exam evaluates users in a real-life professional situation.
The jury, made up of a teacher (IRCAM Computer Music Designers/ Specialized Instructors) and a specialist in Max, will evaluate 3 major criteria:
Theory: restitute basic knowledge on Max and its environment (vocabulary for the MIDI and audio system, programming conventions);
Analysis: analyze and interpret the Max programs’ functioning, offer “debugging” solutions;
Application: apply this knowledge and skills to the conception and realization of interactive Max interfaces with precise specifications.
A certificate with the results will be sent to the participants 3 weeks following the exam.
Educational Resources and Techniques
- Classroom equipped with computers with all the necessary software installed, headphones, and MIDI keyboards ;
- Class Format: Training alternates between presentations, explanations on theory, studying examples to analyze, and hands-on exercises;
- Didactic Materials: Video-projected presentations. A class guide will be given at the beginning of each training session and all complementary files will be given as needed.
- Welcome the first day of training beginning at 9:45am
- Attendance controlled; signature of an attendance sheet required every morning and afternoon
- A certificate at the end of the program is given to each participant with the results of the exam
- IRCAM Certificate exam for Max level 1 taken at the end of training. Test of the applicant’s knowledge with open questions and comments on screen captures, exercises on concrete cases (3 hours).