I just slowly worked my way through all the tutorials, largely without understanding what the hell I was doing, but just absorbing what was going on, trying to follow every step that was presented. And yeah, it really was a case of locking myself in a room. If there was another noise anywhere, I just couldn’t do it. It took really intense concentration; just trying to absorb what was going on and follow a tutorial from start to finish.
That’s one of my favorite things about Max, sometimes stuff that seems like it would be so complex is achievable in this very elegant simple way. And there’s a profound satisfaction in that. Just that Frankenstein moment where you kind of zap it with lightning and it’s suddenly alive, and you’re like, “Holy shit, it makes music!”
An interesting interview with Damian Taylor (Bjork’s music director/engineer/Max guy) on the Cycling74 blog. He talks about learning Max, Bjork’s approach to her music with Max/MSP and it’s application both in the studio as a compositional tool and on stage as an instrument.
He’s also got one of his Max patches (a MIDI transformer of a sort) for download here.