Multimodal Media Madness - Winter Semester 2004/2005

Assignment 6 - Making audio look nice, part 1
Due on Sunday, December 5, 2004 @noon


In this assignment, you will build an application that shows the waveform of live audio. This is the first part of a two-week project of building a music visualization system as seen in Windows Media Player or iTunes.


Your assignment for the week is to build a Max/MSP patch that opens or contains a Jitter window showing the waveform of an audio signal at the input, similar to an oscilloscope. Your program should allow the user to change the amplitude of the signal display and the color of the signal itself. Try to keep your display as flicker-free as possible.

You may find the following jitter tutorials helpful:

  • 2: Create a Matrix
  • 3: Math Operations on a Matrix
  • 4: ARGB color
  • 27: Using MSP audio in a Jitter Matrix

To get audio into your patch, use iTunes to play music (like your favorite mp3) and SoundFlower.

This assignment is to be completed in groups of 2.

Some ideas for extra credit for this assignment:

  • display of the waveform in polar coordinates
  • show a frequency analysis of the input signal (using a fft operation)


Email an archive (.zip) of your assignment to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. before the due date. The subject of your email should be "M3 Assignment 6"; be sure to use this exact subject line as it will be used to filter assignment submissions for grading. Do not submit a patch file that has not been compressed using zip.

Your assignment archive should include all files required to run your patch. Include a short plain text README file that contains:

  • the names and email addresses of all group members
  • instructions on how to use your patch
  • a short description of your design
  • non-obvious things you did (if any)
  • if you did any extra credit work, be sure to tell us what you did

It is strongly recommended that you test your submission before sending it to us. If we cannot figure how to open your submission (strange or non-obvious compression format, no README file) then you will get zero.
Be prepared to discuss your solution in the next lab.


The assignment will be graded on the following rough scale:

  • 1.0 - exceptional work that clearly went above and beyond what was given on the exercise
  • 2.0 - exercise was completed satisfactorily as per the assignment specification
  • 3.0 - exercise was completed, but has some problems
  • 4.0 - incomplete exercise
  • 5.0 - little or no effort was put into the exercise

Late assignments will be graded with a penalty of 0.5 per 24 hour period after the due date.

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