Thursday, June 26, 2014
Pros:- Very mature platform.
- Large userbase with many power users
- Core synthesis
- Cleanest interface you could ask for
- Loads of 3rd party modules
- Extensive documentation - help files, tutorials, referances
- Video and graphical synthesis
- No limits
Cons:- Steep learning curve
- Programer mindset > musician mindset
- Far from instant
- "On the fly" sound quality
Max/Msp has been around for ages, and in a way, like my pal Phylum Sinter said, "you are about ten years too late". I think that might even be a good thing, as the platform is now very mature with endless amounts of documentation and learning tools at your disposal. Like I was told myself, the first thing you have to understand about Max, is that it isn't a modular, it is a visual programing platform. That is a big point to consider because I see it as both a pro and a con. On the one hand, yes, for a musician looking for a quick hookup to modular synthesis it is intimidating but on the other hand if you can learn and survive max, you will be able to master any synthesis platform. Learning Max means learning the very basic functions and why things work the way they do, and even if you don't stick with this platform in the long run you will still learn a ton by getting into the core of synthesis and digital audio. Getting more advanced, Max also includes a whole set of objects for video and graphical manipulation, that interact in the same environment with the audio objects. Max will also allow you to code your own objects with generative script tools and 3rd party integration with programs such as Csound.
The thing i liked the most about this platform is that whenever I hit a wall, a Google search for the problem always found me a solution - perhaps via a youtube tutorial, a forum post or a posted patch. In extreme cases where no direct onine information was found i was able to move forward by posting on max/msp Facebook groups or chatting with advanced users.
Max 4 Live brings in awesome direct sequencer integration that in my view enhances both Ableton and Live tenfold. It is nice to see DAWs adopting powerful design platforms, and while FL Studio's Flowstone is mighty impressive I think Ableton scores the biggest win by getting Max onboard.
So, you are convinced! You want to, you open a new Max 4 Live device, click edit and..... what now?!!?!?
If you are totally unfamilar with visual programing or modular synthesis, I can indulge and hit you up with my own modular synthesis course that will get you the basic ideas of what this world is about. But even if you are a synthesis and modular veteran, Max is a different animal and will require you approach it with a bit of a programing mindset like I mentioned.
The way I made the very first steps myself was by thinking of something very simple to build and then thinking about all the things I need to know in order to build it. For example, a simplest one oscillator synth with a filter and volume envelope. This will get you researching the things you will need to know in order to build this, like how to connect MIDI and hook up your filter knobs. Hit the Youtube channels in the bottom of this article for a bunch of tutorials to get going.
Every module comes both with a help file and a referance file and both are available with a right click on the module within any max patch. These are your best friends and your basic source of information. Both Max and Max 4 Live also come with a bunch of example patches that you can have a look at to get things going.
Once you start building, the online resources you can find provide a gold mine of solutions, I found that I can integrate various circuits and ideas from various sources into my patches. A lot of people share objects and ideas for free and you are encouraged to use them.
Sound quality in Max can be a dual-sword. Being as deep as it is, if you know what you are doing you can get into the core of things and get amazing sound quality out of it. BUT, if you are just connecting some core modules, don't expect it to sound like a Virus straight out of the box. This isn't to say you can't get amazing results, it just means it will take some work.
If you are looking for a quick modular system, maybe have a look at something else, but if you are looking for a deep platform with many aspects and great interaction with Ableton Live - dive right in.
Some links to get you started:The program: http://cycling74.com/
Obvious, but a ton of info and power users here: http://cycling74.com/forums/
Ableton integration: https://www.ableton.com/en/live/max-for-live/
3rd party module database: http://www.maxobjects.com/
Very good, very big, very serious PDF all about Max from basics to the hardcore:
Essential YT channelsCycling 74 (Cool Max stuff): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqSNdDNH1Iq25ucNmqaGvig
Dude 837 (Tutorials): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHen0AQzqOMaPbpjYBhfsTA
Must 1002:(Tutorials) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkYxXxyw_K_HT271d-AKv0A
Eric Ameres (Tutorials): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzhVmOq43r5prl7u9M72wuA
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Three new Faxi Nadu tracks. One is a sort of morning trance with a bit of an experimental vibe, a remix to Algae Bloom's track Thank You. The second is a bit of a silly floaty goa type tune and the third is a borderline darkish ordeal. Released on a free download compilation by Goachestra Event Records.
Grab the whole album for free:
You can also download our three tracks through our Soundcloud:
Grab the whole album for free:
You can also download our three tracks through our Soundcloud:
Monday, June 23, 2014
Originally broadcast at DI.FM Psytrance channel 210614
Just a little history as some people on the original broadcast's posting have mentioned. As Faxi Nadu I produce music for over a decade. In 2008 I took almost a three years break from production and at that time hosted a trance radio show, made some parties and all that. From that time come the various oldschool goa sets that are floating online :) Faxi Nadu music started basically as silly nintendoish noodles and went through and still is going through constant change, one of the things I pride on is that every one of our albums is a totally different story. In 2011 I met Oss who became both my partner in music and my wife and now the Faxi Nadu name is both of us. She has progressively taken part since The Last Kick of Your Life album and today she is a full partner in crime :) In 2013 Nuno Muacho (Nomad Moon from Portugal), Leander Winkler (Killik from Germany) and I met online and started to talk about music and from that the Ocean Star Empire project was born. Leander has left the group after the debut album, but we have been joined by Kyle Ramos (Bacchanalian Bass from the USA). There is a Faxi Nadu album waiting in the wings for 2015, and we are 6 tracks into the next Ocean Star Empire one. Also at the moment Oss and I are working on a live act where we perform REAL live with synths and controllers and jam the music.
Here is the complete tracklist of the Solstice Set.
Ocean Star Empire - Arrival (The Purest Form 2014)
Faxi Nadu - After People (The Last Kick of your Life 2011)
Faxi Nadu - In Another Life (In Another Life 2012)
Manny Zagri - Absence Mmakes the Heart Go Yonder (Faxi Remix) (2013 unrl)
Faxi Nadu - Fusion Platform (The Way Back 2014)
Reefer Decree - Target Practice (Faxi Nadu Remix) (2014 unrl)
Kolishin - Fingerprints (Faxi Nadu Remix) (Never Denied 2013)
Ocean Star Empire - Three Dots On a Map (The Purest Form 2014)
Ocean Star Empire - How Small We Are (The Purest Form 2014)
Faxi Nadu - Tears of the Morning Flower (unrl -The Dangling Thread 2015)
Faxi Nadu - The Other Day (The Way Back 2014)
Faxi Nadu - Half a Ship in a Bottle (The Way Back 2014)
Killik - Spaetzle (Ocean Star Empire Remix) (The Purest Form 2014)
Ocean Star Empire - Woven Drops (The Purest Form 2014)
Ocean Star Empire - Rain From Within (The Purest Form 2014)
Bacchanalian Bass - Astroidial Artifacts (Ocean Star Empire Remix) (unrl)
Syntezia - Chaotic Alien (Faxi Nadu Remix) (Free Download on SC 2008)
Ocean Star Empire - Nuno's Abduction (The Purest Form 2014)
Syntezia - Microman (Faxi Nadu Remix) (Free Download on SC 2008)
TG Virus - Kilomix 98 (Faxi Nadu 2012 Classic Trance Remix) (Free Download)
Faxi Nadu - Who We Are (Who We Are 2012)
Faxi Nadu - Ancient Explorers (Kosmicheskaya Mechta 2012)
Faxi Nadu - Golden Axe (2011 Remix) (Free Download on SC)
Faxi Nadu feat. Eli Marshak - Boundless Love (Remix) (unrl 2009)
Ocean Star Empire - All Good Things (The Purest Form 2014)
You can find The Purest Form and The Way Back on bandcamp, still have a few cds left -
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Monday, June 9, 2014
Saturday, June 7, 2014
Ocean Star Empire's Purity LIVE show is performed by band members Faxi Nadu and Oss - a journey of hypnotic levels. Real live psychedelic trance with constant interaction between the performers and the music using synths and controllers.
Akai Mpk25, Akai APC40, Novation Launchpad, Access Virus, Waldorf Rocket
Perforned and recorded live over the web on June 7 2014 at Babaganousha Radio
Taking a look at LFO concepts - what an lfo and the controls for it are built from. Using the Synth Edit syntax for designing an LFO circuit, but this shows general concepts good for any design platform.
Friday, June 6, 2014
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Walkthrough of the concept and setup for our "purity" live show. Gear used and gear usage in interaction with Ableton Live. Taking a look at the workings of the project file for the track 3 Dots On a Map.
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Monday, June 2, 2014
Getting into Max4Live (myself included) by looking at building a controller for a hardware synth, in this case for the Waldorf Rocket. Also a (very confused and confusing!) look at a usage for basic math functions in order to scale values.
If you are here for the device, grab it here: