Getting to Grips with Max 7: Exploring Music, Sonic and Audiovisual Art


10 weeks

Day and time:

Thursdays, 6.30-8.30pm

Next course: Starting date
Thursday, 26 Apr 2018
Future courses: Upcoming dates

Course overview

Related subjects

Composing, Computing, Sound Engineering

Department Music

Tom Mudd & Jessica Aslan


Richard Hoggart Building

Learn how to use Cycling 74's Max 7 software to compose and perform original musical compositions, and create sonic, audiovisual and interactive sound art. You will gain the skills to create and customise Max “patches”, understand the basics of digital audio signal processing, and develop the skills to modify and customise existing patches and Max for Live devices.

This is brand new 10 week programme designed to help you get to grips with Max 7. Whether you're a composer, artist, educator, performer, dancer, or anyone seeking expert guidance in this software then this is great starting point. The course is designed for beginners and there are no prerequisites but any experience with digital audio workstations (DAWs, eg ProTools, Logic, Cubase), synthesisers, music theory, or computer programming will be beneficial, although by no means essential.

Why study this course?

• Get to grips with the Max environment
• Create your own unique digital musical instrument
• Build your own customised audio effects
• Escape the restraints of tonality and regular tempo (no more four-to-the-floor!)
• Control your new instrument with ANY hardware controller


Future courses

Upcoming dates:
Thursday, 26 Apr 2018 - Thursday, 5 Jul 2018

How to Apply

Please click on the dates you would like to attend below.  You'll be taken to Eventbrite, our booking system:

Please be aware that our short courses sell out quickly, so early booking is advisable.



Tutor information

Course Tutor Jessica Aslan performing on stage

Jessica Aslan

Jessica is a composer and performer specialising in computer assisted music. She hold a PhD in electro-instrumental composition and works extensively with live electronics. Jessica is a a busy performer in popular and improvised music, gigging regularly locally and further afield with various bands and ensembles. She teaches music technology in various roles.

Daniel Ross

Daniel composes algorithmic electro-instrumental music and is a PhD candidate in composition at Goldsmiths. He has been using and teaching Max for 7 years. He has recently had work premièred at the National Museum of Wales, the Brighton Fringe, and via release on Classwar Karaoke and NX Records. Daniel improvises with custom designed Max software in various ensembles including Some Some Unicorn and Roddart, the latter having reached the finals of the Engine Room International Sound Art Competition 2015. His music combines elements of free jazz, electroacoustic, and choral music. Daniel lectures at Morley College, Goldsmiths, & the University for the Creative Arts.

Course structure

This course will consist of ten weekly hands-on workshops:

Week 1.      Introduction to Max

Week 2.      Sequencing, MIDI & Intro to MSP

Week 3.      Samples, Buffers, Audio Playback & Modification

Week 4.      Advanced Sampling Techniques: Live Sampling, Time Stretching

Week 5.      Intro to Audiovisual Techniques

Week 6.      Audio Effects: Chorus, Delay, etc.

Week 7.      Working with poly~

Week 8.      Interfacing with Arduino

Week 9.      External Packages: BEAP, VIZZIE, etc.

Week 10.  GUI, Instrument Design, Max4Live, Standalone Application

We've also compiled a list of handy tutorials that you may wish to look over in advance of the course:

Learning outcomes

At the end of this course, you will have:

• knowledge of digital signal processing
• taken the first steps in computer programming
• built your own unique digital instruments
• created your own customised audio effects
• explored a variety of algorithmic and generative processes

About the department

Our Department of Music is a dynamic, creative and exciting place dedicated to both producing and understanding the theories behind music. From symphonies to soundscape, we cover a diverse range of topics, those which challenge the status quo, and those which forge sounds of the future. We've enabled musicians ranging from Errolyn Wallen, to James Blake, to Mercury Prize winning Katy B to realise their full potential. Even Blur and Placebo frontman, Brian Molko, have studied here. We host courses from our state-of-the-art Electronic Music Studios, which uses Pro Tools HD.

We also have a reputation for excellence in real-time electronic music and Max 7 is already widely used here by both staff and students. We share strong links with IRCAM and the wider electronic music community. Many recent successful commercial music technology projects, such as Mogees, started out as Max patches developed at Goldsmiths.

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