Out of the Loop/Into the groove~
Still out of the loop. The long-awaited release of Max/MSP 5 totally passed me by. When did that happen?
Anyway, I've finally caught on, downloaded the demo and made some time in my schedule to try it out (by staying up 'til 2AM every night). My first impressions suggest that it's going to be well worth the $200 upgrade fee.
Max 5 has a completely overhauled programming interface, making it waaay simpler to use (and nicer looking) than any previous version. There are also a number of key improvements to how Max handles musical time - making it much easier to build beat-centric patches.
I can't tell you the hell I went through with Max 4, just to build the chintzy step sequencer I use when making Not Me tracks. But after two nights trying out Max 5, I'd already built a completely new, far better sequencer.
The only downside is Max 5 seems to be bit more processor hungry than Max 4, making it hard for me to run my old connect_icut patches in the new version. Luckily the two versions are totally separate applications, so installing one doesn't mean wiping the other. Particularly good news because I want to keep using my old Max 4 patches and I can't afford a new goddamn Mac.
Anyway, y'all know how I love Max/MSP. It seems to me that the new improvements (nicer interface, increased ability to work with rhythm) could make Max accessible to a much wider user base. It could even create a minor revolution in contemporary electronica. Here's hoping.