Max for Eigenharp

Using Max/MSP to control the Eigenharp


If you have come to this website, then you are most likely interested in how you might use your Eigenharp (Alpha, Tau or Pico) with the Max/MSP visual programming environment.

The Eigenharp ships with a proprietary environment known as EigenD that is used to configure and control the Eigenharp. EigenD is a very powerful and sophisticated environment but requires a lot of time investment to become fluent with its capabilities.

Max/MSP on the other hand is extremely popular, has been around for more than 20 years, is still undergoing development, and is taught in many schools and universities. A version of Max called MaxForLive is available as an addon for the well-known Ableton Live DAW.

Towards the end of 2011, the Eigenharp developers added initial support to their EigenD platform for the OSC protocol. With this protocol in place, it is possible to configure EigenD to send OSC events whenever a key is touched. More recent updates to EigenD include support for the breath controller and the ribbon strips.

It is therefore feasible to create a very simple (and almost instant loading) setup for EigenD that essentially just sends out raw OSC events and does no other processing. These events can be received by Max/MSP and processed in that environment. I have created a basic Max environment do just this. There is still plenty of work to be done. For example, there’s no support for velocity yet and I’m sure there are plenty of bugs to be killed.

I have posted some videos on my youtube channel that show the Eigenharp Alpha being used with Max.

In future postings, I will describe more about what I have done specifically to support the Eigenharp and provide links to download the patchers created so far.   I am hoping that a collaborative effort can be put together to further develop this environment.


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