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RE: MAX/msp question

From: Stefan Tiedje [mailto:Stefan-Tiedje@addcom.de] 
> Jeff Larson wrote:
> > but I cannot imagine implementing them by drawing pictures
> > in Max.  But I look forward to the Max-o-philes telling me I'm wrong

> Its called crossfade, you fade the end out while fading the beginning 
> in. Very possible in Max. You just need to think about times. Your
> has to be longer by the crossfade time...

Yes, I know about crossfade.  But saying something is possible in Max
is like saying something is possible in C.  Lots of things are
possible, but that doesn't mean they're easy, or that anyone will ever
do them.

A looper with the complexity of something like an EDP contains an
enormous amount of logic, it isn't just data flow through a graph of
connected objects.  The thing I find most awkward in Max are all those
places where "you just need to think".   

Expressing complex logic by connecting graphical objects like =, +, <,
&&, abs, etc. is excruciating.  The next step of course is to start
encoding logic in Javascript, but this requires greater technical
skill.  Javascript is not a good language for writing large scale
applications, so eventually you need Java which is quite powerful,
and requires even more skill.  But it is difficult to debug
because you're running inside a C application.   Java programmers
are accustomed to using tools where you can set breakpoints and
browse the memory model.  In Max you have to rely on trace messages
which are very tedious.

Or you could use C++ which is easier to debug, but at this point the
audience is limited to hard core programmers, and a programmer is
going to wonder whether to write something that will only run in Max,
or do a bit more work and write a VST plugin or a standalone application
that will run anywhere with no 3rd party entanglements.

So, while I'm willing to believe that many things are theoretically
possible in Max, I still maintain that you will never see a Looper
that comes anywhere close to the complexity of the EDP written in Max.
And I don't mean just a multi track looper with multiply and overdub.
I mean unlimited undo, continuous feedback, MIDI synchronization,
loop windowing, beat quantization, SwitchQuant, alternate endings,
and a few hundred other things.  I wait to be proven wrong :-)