Max/MSP APC40 Step sequencer
edit (16/11/13) – I’m afraid that I am no longer making this patch available for a couple of reasons, I apologise and will still offer any help I can to those people who previously received it via email if they have any problems.
Firstly this wasn’t developed with the intention of distributing it on any level, it was simply an exercise in using external controllers with Max/Msp and on reflection the patch itself is very primitive and is poorly constructed with a whole host of things which would need serious reworking before it would be suitable for proper distribution (which will not be happening).
Secondly, after being featured on the http://www.createdigitalmusic.com I started looking into up-dating the sequencer and have recently found that several other apps that do the same thing or similar (albeit much better and with much better support) are available, some with ‘Toxic’ in the name. I want to apologise for any confusion caused in my naming of this app, like I said, I never intended to distribute it and hope that I have not caused any offence or problems for the creator/publishers/distributers of these pieces of software and am sorry for any confusion resulting from this app.
If you are interested in using the APC40 as a step sequencer you’d be better off checking out the following apps/scripts/patches -
The Sickness + other instruments from http://www.sonicfaction.com (Unless i’m mistaken it was previously called ‘Toxic Sickness’, but I am quite frequently wrong!)
Mark Egloff’s APC40 step sequencer
Ill Gates APC40 template
other APC40 templates and Ableton resources:
There are many more out there, google will know where.
Once again I apologise if my actions have caused any confusion, problems or had any negative impact on either users of, or anyone involved in the development or distribution of any such software.
I am leaving this post up but will not be sending any copies out and will be amending any other posts I have made on other sites to mention this.
The original post:
Having not written a post for so long i felt an update was needed. All my time recently has been devoted to university work, specifically a project for ‘Introduction to Creative Music Programming’. I have recently bought an Akai APC40 Ableton controller, which I love to bits. As an Ableton controller it is fantastic, but i have felt the need to use it in other ways. For my final ICMP project i originally wrote a patch for Max/Msp that was an FM Synth with several buffers to record to allow layering of sounds, all controlled by an XBOX gamepad. As much fun as this was my previous task was an FM synth controlled by a midi keyboard, so i decided to do something different this time. I saw the potential in the APC40 and couldn’t resist. Through Max/Msp this controller has now been adapted to act as an 8 step sequencer, primarily designed as a drum machine, but any sample can be used. It makes use of the controllers matrix of clip launch buttons as the step sequencer with BPM control, and the clip stop buttons as trigger pads, for live input. The five rows of clip launch buttons allow for 5 samples to be sequenced at a time, each with it’s own dedicated filter (filter type, cutoff, gain and ‘q’ value all controlled with rotary knobs), volume slider and level meter. They can all also be routed through a delay (with variable delay time , quantized or by millisecond, and variable feedback), and/or a reverb, both controlled using the rotary knobs. Output from the sequencer has a master volume slider and level meter. It also provides 4 timesynced buffers to record your loops to, and keep layering up. The buffers are all synced to the sequencer, so recording and playback is all in time. The live trigger pads all have independant volume control (rotary sliders) and level meters – they can be routed through delay and reverb too. The buffers all feed into a master buffer volume control too. The 2 master volume controls then output through the controllers crossfader allowing ease of switching between sequencer and buffer outputs, or playing both simultaneously. All the LED’s are working too (after lots of experimenting). The record arm row of buttons light up in order following the position of the step sequencer, the matrix lights up to indicate which triggers are active, the activator and solo rows are used to control routing to the delay and reverb (and light up accordingly) and all the rotary knobs use LED’s to indicate the output value.
This patch has been a lot of hard work to produce, but i have enjoyed experimenting along the way, and been having fun playing with the finished patch (i have some amendments i like to implement at a later date). I came up against some infuriating problems along the way, other wise it would be a 16 step sequencer with time variable buffers, although i did manage to get these features up and running (to some degree), but with the 16 step sequencer i couldn’t get the LED’s working properly when switching views (The APC40′s matrix of clip launch buttons is 5 x 8). Also i did try setting the buffers to playback at different speed (Full speed reverse, half speed reverse, half speed, full speed and double speed, but because of the way i set the ‘sfplay’ object to record the loops would gradually slip out of time. I will get these problems fixed and working fully, but i have other uni projects i should be concentrating on.
Once i have some video i’ll upload it so you can see what this looks like and how it works more easily than reading this post, and
i’ll also upload the code here for anyone to check out if they have Max/Msp (an APC40 would probably be handy too!!)
If you don’t know what an APC40 is this is what one looks like, including the controls midi values.