Andre’s Max/MSP Guitar Processor

copyright Anglia Ruskin University 2005

Download it – The zip file contains a Max patch (both in mono and stereo versions) and further documentation.

This is a software project – a Max/MSP patch – that I developed back in 2005 while finishing my Music Technology degree at Anglia Ruskin University, UK (formerly Anglia Polytechnic). Using Cycling 74’s Max/MSP 4.5 programming environment, I created a virtual effects processor for electric guitarists.

This is the first, “beta” version of the patch, which nonetheless, with the addition of some adjustments to current operative systems, should be fully functional whithin its defined parameters. It was used as a final project for the author’s Creative Music and Sound Technology degree at ARU’s Music Department.

The program is designed to be used with the following ideal setup: electric guitar and MIDI controller connected to a laptop and soundcard (preferably an external interface). It will still work without a MIDI controller device, but manipulation of parameters will have to be done through the computer’s keyboard.

The purpose is to explore the possibilities of computers and software as tools for expanding the sonic palette of conventional instruments and live playing. The Max Guitar Processor is composed of six patches/modules: an amplifier/sound control module, a filter, a delay unit, a ring modulator, a pitch shifter and a sampler/loop player.

Although the software is directed mainly at guitar players, other amplified instruments can also be processed, as well as vocals. At the time, a Boss GT6 effects processor was been used as a MIDI controller for test purposes, but the patch can be modified to work with any kind of MIDI controllers.

To run the program, you will need to download the Max/MSP runtime environment, or acquire the full package if you want to modify the software and create your own variation of the Guitar Processor. Visit the Cycling ’74 website for downloads and more information.

Basic System Requirements (way back in 2005 – any computer should be able to run this today!)

Windows (XP or higher):

Pentium IV 2GHz (or equivalent) – 512 MB RAM – Soundcard with MIDI In/Out and audio Line Input + Direct Input control – Max/MSP 4.5 Runtime

Macintosh (OS9 or OSX 10.x):

Power PC G5 2 Ghz – 512 MB RAM – Soundcard with MIDI In/Out and audio Line Input + Direct Input control – Max/MSP 4.5 Runtime

The patch was successfully tested under these setups – I cannot guarantee results with older hardware, lower RAM memory or slower processors.

On the software side of things – bear in mind that Cycling’74 has since released major updates to Max – incompatibilities have been reported, since this patch was built with version 4.5. The Windows and Macintosh operative systems have also evolved in the meantime. Therefore, retro-compatibility is not guaranteed, and  unfortunately, at the moment, I do not have time to maintain and / or update this patch, so a bit of editing may be required, depending on your setup!

In any case, feel free to modify the patch to suit your own setup, create your own variations of the Max Guitar Processor, use it for your work and live performances – just give credit where it is due! (The patch includes portions of Sakonda’s granulation devices, while the rest was programmed by myself).



Many thanks to Julio D’Escrivan for technical, academic and moral support during the making of this project!

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