Monday 31 August 2009

EMS Sequencer 32

EMS Sequencer 32 1, originally uploaded by olilarkin.

I uploaded some photos of one of the earliest digital sequencers made by EMS, found in a cupboard at work. Not the most exciting thing to look at but historically interesting imo. Check out those shiny switches. It works too!

Thursday 20 August 2009

Plugin Jams

I thought i would upload some old jams i made with plugins that never got finished. I loved the sounds that i got out of these half-built things, but sadly most of them are missing certain externals etc, and so no longer work. First up is groove modulator, which was a ridiculously feature-heavy step sequenced synth. It could make some fantastic evolving FM sounds. The MP3s encoding here is quite poor, sorry.

Tuesday 18 August 2009

Auto set audio driver in Max

Here's a patch i uploaded to the Cycling '74 forum recently.

If you work with different audio interfaces in max this patch can help. If you usuallly use a Firewire or USB soundcard, when you launch max without it connected, no ad driver will be selected. Then if you select your built in sound output, next time you connect your external soundcard, you'll have to select it again. This patch specifies a preffered (1st choice) soundcard, and one to use if that is not available (2nd choice). To use it specify your 1st and 2nd choices as arguments (the name needs to be exactly the same as what is repoted by adstatus. Put it in a patch in your maxstartup folder to open automatically when max starts.

Monday 17 August 2009

Lingon - keep max open

The other day I needed to find a way to restart Max automatically on OSX. For a project at work we're using Max 5 in an installation - many different sub patches are loaded dynamically by a scheduler throughout the day. The machine (a Mac pro) restarts every night, but I wanted to make Max restart as soon as it crashed, so as to minimise the downtime. We were experiencing seemingly random crashes that didn't appear to be linked to any specific piece or any specific time of day. The crashes seem to happen once or twice a month at random times and with different crash reports, even though the same schedule was played every day, therefore it was almost impossible to debug.

In order to keep Max running I used a program called Lingon which allows you to automatically restart a program once it's crashed. It's an interface to the OSX launchd daemon. The developer seems to have abandoned the project but you can still download it from here:

You can download my "keepmaxopen" launchd script here:

Once you've installed Lingon, you can put this plist file in ~/Library/LaunchAgents/

Launch Lingon, and in the section labelled myagents it should show com.olilarkin.keepmaxopen.plist. Check the enable button and restart your computer.

Now Max will boot automatically when you restart. Try quitting Max, and you will find it launches again. This is a potentially dangerous situation if you build a patch that crashes straight away as it will keep on crashing/restarting/crashing/restarting forever until you disable the script!