Music Technology


This page contains hyperlinks to online documents and information relevant to the class
Music 215: Music Technology - Spring 2013
University of California, Irvine


Assignments are posted online for the upcoming class session.

A document detailing all the music technology facilities at UCI and the policies that govern their use is available online.

There is a class email address, which addresses all registered students and the professor.

Some discussion outside of class will take place on the EEE MessageBoard that has been created for this class.

Cycling '74, publisher of Max.

Cycling '74 User Forum for discussion of Max/MSP/Jitter.

Max 6 Help and Documentation online.

Max Objects Database of third-party objects for Max.

Cycling '74 offers a variety of tutorials by members of its staff suggesting ways of working with Max.

Max programmer Joshua Clayton has written this helpful article on Event Priority in Max (Scheduler vs. Queue).

Christopher Dobrian's blog on algorithmic composition with sonic, musical, and visual examples in Max.

The book Electronic Music and Sound Design, volume 1, by Alessandro Cipriani and Maurizio Giri teaches basic principles of audio synthesis and processing using MSP.

Peter Batchelor has compiled a large collection of his own Max Tutorials.

The "MaxMSP Baz Tutorial" is a set of video tutorials demonstrating various audio and video techniques in Max/MSP/Jitter.

V.J. Manzo has written a book titled Max/MSP/Jitter for Music "A Practical Guide to Developing Interactive Music Systems for Education and More".

Miller Puckette, the original creator of Max, has written a book, which is published online, titled The Theory and Techniques of Electronic Music. Although its examples are in Pd rather than Max, the two programming environments are sufficiently similar that you can usually easily port his ideas to Max.

Here is an online textbook/course called Music and Computers - A Theoretical and Historical Approach that covers a wide range of topics, by Phil Burk, Larry Polansky, and others.

Introduction to Digital Filters (with Audio Applications) by Julius O. Smith III is a complete online book on filters. It's dense, but thorough and useful.

Nigel Redmon posts a blog of well made and comprehensible tutorials on many topics of digital audio at the site EarLevel Engineering.

Here's a pretty good article explaining The Decibel as it's used to discuss sounds in the real world. (The same principles apply when talking about digital audio, except that the 0 dB reference amplitude in digital audio is usually the greatest amplitude the system can produce, rather than the softest sound we can hear.)

If you're interested to know the details of common audio file formats, you can read detailed explanations of the WAVE and AIFF file formats.

A book on Max is available in Spanish, Max/MSP: guía de progamación para artistas by Francisco Colasanto.

For francophones, here is a French Max forum.

And here is a whole page of links to additional Max resources.

Website of David Cope, including writings, compositions, and software.

Leonardo Journal

Leonardo Music Journal

Computer Music Journal

A drum sample player (programmed in Flash).

Whitney Music Box by Jim Bumgardner, software realization of phase relationships between geometry, time, and musical tone.

An interactive musical Flash animation of an eight-bar march/fanfare, animated by Aude Picault and realized by Zanorg.

Documentary video of a remix of "Bicycle Built for Two" done with Max.

Reactable, an innovative computer music instrument with a Maxlike interface.

Demonstration video of SLABS, a music controller developed at UC Berkeley, which sends multiple streams of signal data from pressure- and location-sensitive touchpads to Max.

Andrew Benson recounts his experience using Jitter at Coachella 2009.

SynthPond is a clever and interesting algorithmic composition application for iPhone and iPod Touch.

RGB MusicLab is an application that converts image documents into music algorithmically.

Here is a New York Times article from early 2010 on Microsoft's efforts in gesture-controlled media that would come to be named Kinect.

Light Music is a gestural music/video performance by Thierry De Mey and Jean Geoffroy.

An algorithmic improvisation for 6 pianos done in Max/MSP by Maurizio Giri.

Works made with Max/MSP by Akihiko Matsumoto.

The following videos explain the basics of Max for Live:
Introducing Max for Live
Max for Live Video Tutorial #3: Simple Delay
Max for Live Video Tutorial #4: State-Variable Filter
Max for Live Video Tutorial #6: User Interface Part II
Programming in Max for Live: Creating a Wobble Bass MIDI Instrument (3 videos)
Programming in Max for Live: Creating a Live API-based Step Sequencer (2 videos)

The full collection of Cycling '74 tutorial videos is on the Cycling '74 YouTube channel.


Cipriani, Alessandro, and Giri, Maurizio. Electronic Music and Sound Design - Theory and Practice with Max/MSP. Rome: Contemponet, 2010.

Cope, David. The algorithmic composer. Madison, WI: A-R Editions, 2000.

Cope, David. Computer models of musical creativity. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2005.

Cope, David. Computers and musical style. Madison, WI: A-R Editions, 1991.

Cope, David. Experiments in musical intelligence. Madison, WI: A-R Editions, 1996.

Dodge, Charles and Thomas A. Jerse. Computer Music: Synthesis, Composition, and Performance, 2nd ed. New York: Schirmer Books, 1997.

Harries, Dan. The new media book. London: BFI Publications, 2002.

Kahn, Douglas. Noise, water, meat : a history of sound in the arts. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1999.

Loy, Gareth. Musimathics, v. 1 and 2. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2006.

Manovich, Lev. The language of new media. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2001.

Manzo, V.J. Max/MSP/Jitter for Music "A Practical Guide to Developing Interactive Music Systems for Education and More". New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.

Miranda, Eduardo Reck. Composing music with computers. Oxford; Boston: Focal Press, 2001.

Miranda, Eduardo Reck. Computer sound synthesis for the electronic musician. Oxford; Boston: Focal Press, 1998.

Miranda, Eduardo Reck. Computer sound design: synthesis techniques and programming. Oxford; Boston: Focal Press, 2002.

Miranda, Eduardo Reck. New digital musical instruments: control and interaction beyond the keyboard. Middleton, WI: A-R Editions, 2006.

Miranda, Eduardo Reck. A-life for music: music and computer models of living systems. Middleton, WI: A-R Editions, 2011.

Moore, F. Richard. Elements of Computer Music. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1990.

Puckette, Miller. The Theory and Technique of Electronic Music. Singapore: Wolrd Scientific Publishing Co., 2007.

Roads, Curtis, et al. The Computer Music Tutorial, Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1996. The single greatest concentration of computer music information.

Rowe, Robert. Interactive Music Systems. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1993.

Rowe, Robert. Machine Musicianship. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2001.

Schank, Roger C. and Robert P. Abelson. Scripts, plans, goals, and understanding : an inquiry into human knowledge structures. Hillsdale, N.J.: L. Erlbaum Associates, 1977.

Wardrip-Fruin, Noah and Montfort, Nick. New media reader. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2003.

This page was last modified April 27, 2013.
Christopher Dobrian,