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    MSP to Gain VST PlugIn Capabilities

    By Guest |

    Cycling74, a new company founded by David Zicarelli, today announced the ability to both host and create VST Plug-Ins from within MSP, realtime synthesis and signal processing software. The announcement was made at a launch party for MSP sponsored by the Center for New Music and Audio Technology (CNMAT) at the University of California at Berkeley on Thursday, March 26, 1998. The event included performances by composers Paul deMarinis and Laetitia Sonami.

    MSP is actually a set of DSP extensions to the MAX 3.5 graphical programming environment. MSP consists of over 60 objects that synthesize, process, analyze and delay audio signals in realtime on a Power PC Mac OS computer. The objects can be grabbed and grouped in a graphical manner to create custom applications that leverage the power of the MAX environment. MSP is useful for musicians, sound designers, educators and researchers. A free Runtime version is available that runs any application created with MSP. It includes the complete set of objects, tutorials, and a number of useful demos.

    Now users can build applications with MSP that can host VST Plug-Ins or build their own VST Plug-Ins. Virtual Studio Technology is a realtime native DSP Plug-in technology developed by Steinberg. VST is utilized by major digital audio software programs such as Cubase, Logic Audio and Metro and is supported by over a dozen Plug-In developers and digital audio hardware manufacturers.

    Using MSP will be a familiar experience to those who have used a patchable analog synthesizer. An oscillator is connected to a filter using patch cords and the sound instantly changes. The 60 objects cover synthesis, input/output, signal processing, sampling, math, control and signal analysis. C programmers can create their own objects to add to this basic collection. MAX 3.5 is required to create and edit MSP applications and is available from Opcode Systems at www.opcode.com.

    As part of its educational focus, MSP includes 25 hands-on tutorials written by Christopher Dobrian, author of the highly-regarded MAX manual. It also features an array of online help features and an onscreen oscilloscope that can monitor any point in a DSP patch.


    No additional hardware is required to run MSP. A Power PC MacOS computer with Apple's Sound Manager provides 16-bit stereo audio input and output at 44.1kHz. MSP also directly supports 16-bit and 24-bit PCI-based audio hardware from Digidesign and Sonorus with support for cards from Lucid Technology, Korg and Emagic in the future. MAX 3.5 is required to create and edit MSP applications and is available from Opcode Systems at www.opcode.com.


    MSP can be downloaded at the Cycling '74 web site at http://www.cycling74.com. Users transform the trial version into a fully-functional copy of MSP by purchasing an authorization code online for $295. MSP is also being distributed by the IRCAM Forum user's group(www.ircam.fr/msp), which is also providing MSP versions of IRCAM software to Forum users.

    Cycling '74 distributes and supports music software by David Zicarelli, including MSP and M 2.5 (a new version of the classic interactive algorithmic composition program). He wrote the first graphical patch editor, Opcode's DX7 Editor in 1985. Zicarelli also wrote a collection of innovative compositional programs in the 1980s that were distributed by Intelligent Music. These programs included M, Jam Factory, Ovaltune and UpBeat. In 1989, he developed a commercial version of MAX for Opcode Systems in conjunction with Miller Puckette at IRCAM. With a Ph.D in Hearing and Speech Sciences from Stanford University, Zicarelli also teaches and lectures on computer music.

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