Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Developing a Step Sequencer using Max - Introduction

My big project this year for university is to build a step sequencer using Max. I'll be using a Novation Launchpad as an external controller, and hopefully by the end of this I'll have built something pretty versatile that I can offer up on here to try out.

I found a great starting point on YouTube thanks to dude837. His Max videos are absolutely great, so I encourage you to check them out. His step sequencer project provides a brilliant starting point for me.


My initial focus is getting the launchpad to set cells in the matrixctrl object, so I've downloaded a copy of the Launchpad Programmer's Reference, which is available from the Novation Website. It gives a detailed explanation of the MIDI implementation of the Launchpad, and how you can take advantages of the various functions of the device.

I've laid out my project in a series of milestones, and for the first the sequencer must be able to do the following:
  • Store a simple polyphonic sequence of 8 steps
  • Receive messages from the Launchpad to set cells in the matrixctrl
  • Select different tempo divisions
  • Output correctly formatted MIDI messages
Nothing too ambitious to start off with, but the purpose of milestones is to implement functions sequentially. It also gives me a chance to get things working properly so that I can iron out any bugs as they come up, rather than leaving me in debug hell at the end.
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