Touch Board + MaxMSP

laptop with electric paint board

MaxMSP user? Cool! The Touch Board works great with Max. The following tutorial shows you how to get your board set up and gives you a brief introduction to our basic Max patch.

Materials To begin you will need:

1 x Touch Board

1 x USB A to Micro B cable
1 x Computer running Max/MSP 7.0 or later

1 x Internet connection (but you are reading this, so I guess you must have one!)

Touch Board, computer and USB cable

Step 1 Upload Datastream to your Touch Board

Your Touch Board will need our DataStream code to communicate with the Max patch. The DataStream code is an example within our MPR121 Library. Find it by navigating to File/ Examples/ MPR121/ Examples/ DataStream. Make sure to select the correct Board and Port before hitting upload.

If you haven’t set up your Touch Board with Arduino then make sure to complete our “Setting up Arduino with your Touch Board” tutorial first (link below).

arduino code on laptop screen

Step 2 Check Datastream

Check that you’ve uploaded Datastream correctly by opening up the Serial Monitor (Tools/Serial Monitor) in Arduino. You should see a stream of values.

Uncheck autoscroll to pause the values and you’ll note that there are repeating lines of values which start with TOUCH, TTHS, RTHS, FDAT, and BVAL. Don’t worry about them for now, this is the raw data that Max is going to parse.

datastream on laptop screen

Step 3 Download the Patch

To download our Touch Board Communication patch, click the link below and unzip it to a convenient location. Our patch runs on Max 7.0 or later. If you don’t already have MaxMSP installed you can find a link below.

Step 4 Start it Up

Make sure that the Touch Board Communication patch is closed. Plug in your Touch Board and open up the patch. Your Touch Board should then appear in the drop down menu. Select it and you should see the numbers immediately start changing and the slider objects should come to life. Touch the electrodes on the board and watch the values change.

Step 5 Presentation Mode

The patch is well documented, so make sure to read all the notes there. The patch opens in presentation mode and is only showing you a small piece of the data the Touch Board is producing. Exit presentation mode (View/Presentation) to see all the data types available.

Step 6 Experiment!

MaxMSP and the Touch Board work great together. Have fun connecting the physical to the digital, getting Max to talk to Ableton Live, but most importantly do something we haven’t thought of yet. Let us know how you get on and share what you get up to!

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