There is so much value in this book, I will try to highlight a lot of what I felt shined through for me. This review is more about the audio and synthThere is so much value in this book, I will try to highlight a lot of what I felt shined through for me. This review is more about the audio and synthesis side of this book.
The book seems to be aimed at readers with a level of knowledge that stretches from an advanced beginner through intermediate skill levels. Going through Max example patches and the related reference docs has always been the best thing to do as a beginner. The documentation is great and has gotten better over the years. Even so, once one has put the time in with the docs, it is very helpful to have someone who is an experienced patcher to show some of the often unfamiliar visual programming patterns. This book fills that role very well. Though there is a lot of dense technical information, the author clearly elucidates how it all works together. Each chapter brings the reader step by step into the labyrinths of knowledge that is visual programming in Max.
The early chapters present an indispensable discussion of foundational information for anyone who needs to get up and running with visual patching paradigms in Max. The author's techniques are not only useful in general, but also inspire the kind of thinking that visual programming really requires. Throughout the rest of the book, the subpatches / abstractions in his examples teach a lot on their own. For a motivated learner, there is a lot of time to be spent learning and understanding these. There is so much detail presented in patcher form alone, I recommend one keeps the chapter projects' windows open in Max as you move through the author's instruction. I know I will be digging through and experimenting with these for some time.
There is an in-depth debugging discussion, which rounds out the practical programming methodologies presented for the individual topics. If one comes from a non-visual software background, some software paradigms are related to the patching environment. For instance an MVC approach is covered in the section for designing and scripting interface elements.
The sections that deal with audio describe all the parts of a synthesizer and sampler that one might be interested in creating. There is an overview of the essential synthesis foundational information. The author shows everything from feedback, FM, filter theory, polyphony, sample accuracy, loading audio into buffers, and creating advanced samplers. If you are into effects, you don't go home empty handed, the author also shows some mixing and effects creation like tape delays. The techniques shown in the examples for the more advanced and non-user-facing aspects of building instruments are holistic best practices that can simply be used to solve problems without having to get too down and dirty. Along with all the components themselves, the way that they feed into and mix together is shown. This all makes for a concise and refreshingly complete learning path for the budding synthesist. I will now highly recommend this book because of these sections alone.
The author speaks about his topics with an emphasis on clarity, but keeps the high level perspective in view throughout. He utilizes the max environment to create a well illustrated and in depth discussion of the various synthesis and sampling techniques.
There is also a totally amazing section about reverbs and impulse responses and convolution, does it get any better?! yeah because then advanced fft effects are discussed. I learned a lot here and feel like I have somewhere to go from in order to get into all kinds of audio processing. I think the later parts of the book are where it is really up to the reader to be following along and studying the project patches as they read. This is laborious work, cause the urge to get creative is
There is a high level overview of gen, jitter matrices, and Max for Live. There are some cool examples of how to do things like implement karplus-strong synthesis and creation of filters in Gen. The author moves into some advanced physical modeling and further more advanced acoustics discussions ensue. I see this as part of the great mix of topics that define different levels of challenge for intermediate-level programmers.
Some of the information, like the max for live section and the initial intro to jitter, are simply more wordy overviews of what the docs cover. These simpler sections are good for the unfamiliar though fewer compared to the depth of awesome presented everywhere else. The book provides a steady, deep dive into the subject matter with the author's great experience and smooth writing as a guide. ...more
Yeah I think I just had other things to do and haven't gotten back to the end of the book. But it' obvious that this dude totally loves himself. It'sYeah I think I just had other things to do and haven't gotten back to the end of the book. But it' obvious that this dude totally loves himself. It's hard to get an understanding of him for real because he basically says he does everything himself. I'm much more interested in geniuses who explain themselves in order to help build others' understandings of the things they know. The book is very general and reminds me of when random people at coffee shops want to be chatty and explain themselves and their goals and ideas at length to you when you don't really feel like talking to them or anyone. The kind of person who doesn't listen when they talk and always talk over you and don't care whether you aren't asking them what they are answering and you interject and they just speak louder. No wonder he started apple, most mac fanatics are just like him....more
What a great book. The geek in me was totally into hearing about how people become engineers at MIT. He kept up the comic relief throughout the book,What a great book. The geek in me was totally into hearing about how people become engineers at MIT. He kept up the comic relief throughout the book, which is appreciated when the more serious issues rear their head. The reality of Pepper's experience hits you pretty hard. He has the great ability to relate his story well. His conclusions (closure chapter) pretty much erased any inclination that I had to go back to school at a place like MIT or UCB, etc....more
This book lends insight into the way our brains work to predict short and long term events. Definitely a collection of some of the most interesting brThis book lends insight into the way our brains work to predict short and long term events. Definitely a collection of some of the most interesting brain research facts, but it does more for you by uncovering the actual understandings about our reality that comes along with the findings from our last century or so in neuroscience research. (though it may not be completely up to our current date's research, it is super rich and interesting)...more