November 15 through Sat 20 November 2021,
10 a.m.- 5:30 p.m.
salle Nono





1500 €

Practical information


Software Training

Max Initiation (session 1) / Max certification level 1

Learn the basics of programming in Max

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 certification level 1. This exam evaluates users in a real-life professional situation.


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.


Mastery of a sequencer software program such as Pro Tools, Logic Pro X, or another digital audio editing program (WaveLab, SoundStudio, Adobe Audition);
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).

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.

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.

Supervision and Assessment

Welcome the first day of training beginning at 9:45am
Attendance controlled; signature of an attendance sheet required every morning and afternoon
Certification exam for Max level 1 taken at the end of training
A certificate at the end of the program is given to each participant with the results of the exam

Training Period and Organization

Trainin period : 33 hours of training, Monday, November 15 - Saturday, November 20, 2021, 10am-1pm & 2:30pm-5:30pm (Saturday 10am -1pm)
11 students maximum

This training program will be held at IRCAM on-site in accordance with local sanitary guidelines and measures in place at the current time. These guidelines and measures may change. 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. For further information, please contact: info-pedagogie[at]



MorningGeneral presentation of the Max environment;
Types of objects, types of data.
AfternoonImportance of the order of execution: the object trigger;
Simple interactions with a MIDI keyboard.


MorningIntroduction to MIDI data and managing sequences;
Creation of a random MIDI machine.
AfternoonIntroduction to audio in Max;
Creation of a small sampler of sound files played from a keyboard.


MorningControl synthesis using envelopes.
AfternoonReceive data from an external controller (iPad, iPhone);
Play a video, understand Jitter matrixes.


MorningAnalyze audio streams and extract pertinent information using simple modules.
AfternoonRecord and manipulate reading sounds from a buffer.


MorningModular organization of a patch.
AfternoonSimple audio processing techniques.


MorningManage data external to Max: external libraries.
AfternoonCertification exam for Max, level 1

Exam for Max certification level 1

Certification listed on the specific France Competences inventory(fiche available in French).
3 hours // Saturday, November 20, 2021, 2:30pm-5:30pm
6 students maximum

The certification test is made up of two parts (90 minutes each):

  • A test of the applicant’s knowledge with open questions and comments and 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 she 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 two teachers (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.