Snyderphonics Manta

Recently I read an article in Future Music on the Snyderphonics Manta OSC controller. I’m getting more and more into OSC (Open Sound Control), so this is a really fascinating device that I can see replacing and expanding upon what I’m building for the iPod Touch. The Manta has forty-eight touch sensors on a six by eight pad. Each sensor can handle note on/off and velocity information, which you can’t do on the iPod Touch. It also has two touch sliders and four touch buttons, all assignable via OSC, or MIDI with a free application that’s available on The device also accepts input in order to provide feedback via LEDs that back light the controls. I have been researching and experimenting with multitouch devices to do music and sound design for a while now, and the Manta seems to solve a lot of shortcomings of other devices. Congratulations to Jeff Snyder for designing a unique and intriguing instrument.

Creating an OSC Network Instrument with MaxMSP

networked_instrumentRecently in my class with Ali Momeni, we had an exercise surrounding the idea of a networked ensemble of computers. It turns out to be a fairly easy and effective technique. In a couple of hours we had fifteen computers all talking to each other by sending OSC messages over a wireless network. The messages could trigger a sinusoid at a specified volume and frequency, noise at a specified volume and duration, or one of five samples played at a specified volume and rate. The samples were selected and loaded locally, so only the OSC messages were being transmitted over the network.

By the end of the experiment all fifteen computers were producing chaotic mash-ups of randomly pitched sine waves, random white noise, and an eclectic collection of pitch shifted and/or reversed sampled sounds. Unfortunately I didn’t have a portable recorder on hand, but what I did do was capture the audio that was being generated from the messages that were being received on my laptop. Here’s an excerpt of what that sounded like. Now try to imagine that times fifteen. I’m also attaching the patch in case anyone would like have have a look. Just be aware that it was made quickly (I did clean it up a bit before uploading) and there’s a dependency on an external called ali.samplor that can be found here.

Network Instrument Example

TouchOSC Controlled Glitch Looper in MaxMSP

Custom TouchOSC LayoutI don’t have this patch ready to share yet, but I thought I could at least explain a little bit about it and offer an audio example. What I’m working on is a device to manipulate samples in unconventional ways using alternative input methods. This audio clip, for example, was generated using a Max patch that adjusts the playback frequency and length of a sample using an x-y controller. The x-axis controls the frequency while the y-axis controls the sample length. For a controller I used an iPod Touch running TouchOSC. I’ve been using Mrmr as well, but wanted to try TouchOSC now that it has an editor to create custom layouts.

My goal is to create several pages in TouchOSC that allow you to manipulate one of five samples in several different ways. The image is a shot of my iPod Touch displaying the custom layout that I created and connected to my Max patch for creating the sound linked below.

Mad Looper