Digital Instruments & Effects

On this page you will find a series of instruments and sonic effects built in Max/MSP. Please play each video to see and hear an example of the patch in action, then go ahead and download it via the featured link. Make sure to add all files from each folder to your Max file path (go to options/file preferences to check and update this).

IMPORTANT – A number of these patches make use of Zachary Seldess’ z.abstractions, primarily z.scale as it supersedes the basic scale object in almost every way. Head to his site to download the abstractions, otherwise the patches downloaded here may not work properly. Link to his site.

For more information on how to use Max/MSP, please see the Learning Resources page.


  • Bell Synth

Using a simple enveloped sine wave to create a pleasing basic bell sound, this synth is polyphonic and users can alter note length between 1-1000ms by default.

  • Karplus Synth

Making use of the karplus-strong algorithm to synthesise guitar-like notes, this polyphonic synth allows the user to balance bright, hard-plucked & more mellow tones to achieve the desired sound. Working around the mathematical constraints of the algorithm, the synth is also designed so that desired note length will stay consistent across different pitches, which is particularly helpful when playing block chords.

  • Bass Synth

Expanding upon the wobble bass synth described in Sam Tarakajian’s tutorial (and making use of a couple of his sub-patchers), the waveforms that make up this synth’s sound can be phased between square and sawtooth, and there are several wobble presets for the user to experiment with.

  • Additive Synth

Using a basic additive synthesis technique as described in one of the MSP tutorials, this synth allows the user to select from a number of presets while also giving the option to randomise envelopes, waveforms and partials.

  • Hammond Organ

A particular use of additive synthesis, this is an emulation of the Hammond Organ with drawbar setting presets, plus a modelling of the Leslie Speaker Cabinet that gave the Hammond its signature sound.

  • Drone Synth

This synth mixes together a number of detuned sawtooth and square waves (using freqshift~ to move between the two waveforms). It can either remain static, or various elements can be set to constantly change, including the waveforms themselves, the amount of detune, and the filter cutoff & Q.

  • Noise Filter Sweep

Using a white noise generator and a simple bandpass filter, this patch allows quick production of noise sweeps of user-defined length, either sweeping up or down.


  • Reverb

This patch is simply a user-friendly version of the yafr2 plate reverb emulation from the Max help files, with some added interface options.

  • Delay

A simple delay feedback effect, in user-friendly form with presets.

  • Vibrato

A digital vibrato using a constantly moving delay line to create the doppler effect, effectively altering the pitch of any input sound to make it wobble. This works best with monophonic sources with longer held notes, although it can create some interesting unintended effects with other sources, especially with high wobble rate.

  • Tremolo

Using an oscillator to control the volume of an audio signal, we can quite easily create an convincing tremolo effect. As with the vibrato patch, when the parameters are pushed to their limit, some interesting sonic effects are created.

  • Drum Break Generator

A little chaotic drum break generator I threw together for fun. Needs more work to become more nuanced and add additional instrument sections, but can still come up with some pretty insane stuff.

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