Playing a sample from RAM

You can use the play~ object to play the contents of a buffer~, simply by sending it a start message. By default it starts from the beginning of the buffer~. You can specify a different starting time, in milliseconds, as an argument to the start message, or you can specify both a starting time and a stopping time (in ms) as two arguments to the start message. In the patch, you can see two examples of the use of ‘starttime’ and ‘stoptime’ arguments.

Simple wavetable synthesis

One of the earliest methods of digital sound synthesis was a digital version of the electronic oscillator, which was the most common sound generator in analog synthesizers. The method used was simply to read repeatedly, at the established sample rate, through a stored array of samples that represent one cycle of the desired sound wave. By changing the step size with which one increments through the stored wavetable, one can alter the number of cycles one completes per second, which will determine the perceived fundamental frequency of the resulting tone.

Getting a sound sample from RAM

The buffer~ object holds audio data in RAM as an array of 32-bit floating point numbers (floats). The fact that the sound is loaded into RAM, rather than read continuously off the hard drive as the sfplay~ object does, means that it can be accessed quickly and in various ways, for diverse audio effects (including normal playback).

Generate a sinusoid with gen~

Max provides an object called gen~ that opens up a new patching window in which you can program audio at the sample level. You build an audio network inside the gen~ window with objects that are quite similar to MSP objects, but within the gen~ window there is only audio, no non-audio events.