[Mar 20] Physical Computing with Max/MSP and Arduino by Sam Tarakajian

In this workshop, we’ll look at how to get data from physical sensors into Max, and we’ll investigate techniques for working with that data in an organized way. Topics include voltage dividing sensors, building simple circuits, understanding the Arduino language, using Open Sound Control to send messages between applications, simple machine learning with Wekinator, the serial protocol, and of course making sound with Max.

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Sunday, March 20th, 2016

12pm – 4 pm

Cost:  $200 / $180 members/students


Harvestworks 596 Broadway #602 New York NY 10012

With the right sensor, it’s possible to capture any real world event and turn it into music. The technical details can be tricky, but an easy-to-program device like Arduino makes the challenge much simpler. In this workshop, we’ll look at how to connect sensors to an Arduino, and how to read the data into a laptop running Max/MSP. Once sensor data reaches the Arduino, we’ll turn that data into Open Sound Control messages that can be parsed by Max and turned into music. We’ll also look at a new tool called Wekinator, which acts as an OSC bridge with an added Machine Learning layer. Along the way we’ll talk about the Arduino language, simple circuit design and making sound with Max. I ask that you bring your own Arduino and laptop, as well as a means to connect the two. I will provide some basic sensors and breadboards, but I strongly encourage to bring your own as well, especially if you have a sensor that you’re interested in experimenting with.


Sam Tarakajian is a Brooklyn-based developer and musician. He has worked at Apple, Cycling ’74 and the New York Public Library. His work centers around interface design for musical and creative tools. A recent project, the Rhythm Necklace app for iOS, lets the user create complex polyrhythms by touching and tweaking geometric shapes. Occasionally, his love for Max/MSP bubbles over into a YouTube video for the Delicious Max tutorial series.

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