The Max Lab is the hub of what we call Physical Interaction Design at CCRMA. Named after Max Mathews, the Max Lab is where we focus on hardware and software interfaces for interacting with sound.
We are physically located in Rm. 103 of the Knoll.
During any given term, the Max Lab may have up to 50 users, including students of Music 250 -- Physical Interaction Desgin for Music and Music 36N -- Experimental Musical Instruments. Regular inhabitants of the Max Lab are:
There are 2 prerequisites to using the Max Lab:
1. You need to have a CCRMA account and access card in order to enter the lab. People who are unfamiliar to regular Max Lab users will be asked to log in to a CCRMA machine and open the Max Lab door in order to demonstrate that they are a current CCRMA user. If you are a Max Lab user, and someone you don't recognize attempts to use the Lab, do the same. It is the responsibility of the entire community to ensure our safety, security and the continued availability of resources.
2. As of Fall 2006, new Max Lab users must all receive a 30-minute safety and courtesy briefing. Please contact Sasha Leitman (sleitman at ccrma) or Michael Gurevich (gurevich at ccrma) to schedule a briefing.
The Max Lab is available 24 hours a day. The door automatically locks when it is closed. The door can be left open only when someone is working in the lab. If you are the last person to leave the lab, turn off the lights, close the windows and close the door behind you. This applies at all times, even during the day.
There is a large number of people using the lab, and it doesn't take long for the lab to get very dirty. Our cleanliness rule is as follows:
Leave the lab cleaner than when you found it.
This means thoroughly cleaning up your mess, in addition to something else. It only takes a couple minutes to sweep the entire floor or wipe down all the work surfaces. Plan on stopping your work at least 15 minutes before you need to leave, or longer if you've made a big mess. This will give you enough time to properly put away all the tools or components you have used, and to clean up the lab.
The Max Lab contains many power and hand tools for your use, but many of these tools are dangerous if used improperly. Important safety precautions must be obeyed.
General Safety Common Sense
Use common sense to keep the lab safe and your fellow lab users happy. Examples of common sense:
Work in Pairs
It is always a good idea to have someone else around while you are working in the lab, especially if you are using power tools. Try to avoid working alone wherever possible.
Safety glasses, disposable foam ear plugs, dust masks and work gloves are available for your use. Eye protection must be worn at all times while you are cutting, drilling, soldering, or near to anyone who is doing any of these. Use your discretion for when to use ear plugs and dust masks.
Ventilation and Dust
The Max Lab is not set up with an industrial ventilation system. Furthermore, it contains and is used to produce many sensitive electronic devices. This means that you should avoid using hazardous chemicals or creating large amounts of dust in the lab. If you are soldering or making moderate amounts of dust, open the windows to help air circulate. Make sure to close the windows when you leave. And as always, thoroughly clean up your mess and one other before you leave.
Absolutely no alcohol may be consumed in the lab. Do not use the lab if you are intoxicated or your coordination may be impaired. This includes fatigue. Especially toward the end of term you may be run down and working late. If you are very tired, its not a good idea to operate power tools.
Appropriate Use of Tools
The Max Lab contains many specialized tools. However, it is not a machine shop or a woodworking shop, and doesn't have every tool that you may need. It is generally a bad idea to use a tool for something for which it was not intended. This is a great way to break tools and cause accidents. For example, a jigsaw is not meant for cutting through-holes, and the drill bits we have are not for cutting titanium. If you have a very specific need, you may need to look to work elsewhere, the Product Realization Lab, for example. Also, things like screwdrivers or hammers should not be used as percussion mallets. Feel free to use your own tools for this purpose, but not those from the lab. If you do not know how to use a tool, ask a staff member. Some general principles apply:
Be aware of your fellow lab users. Some things that may not be immediately obvious:
There is a designated “Scrap bin” in the corner beside the workbench. You may use materials in the scrap bin for your projects. If you see something else that looks like scrap, it probably isn't. Always ask before handling or using materials from outside the scrap bin.
Again, the lab is small. There is very little room for storage in the lab. Floor space should never be used for storage. You may store things only for very short periods of time (e.g. while waiting for glue to dry) only if they are clearly labeled and you can find an appropriate place for them. If you leave something in the middle of a desk, it is occupying space that someone else can no longer use. Note that Max's desk is not a good place to store things. CCRMA's lockers are the best place to store your stuff that you can't take home.
Obviously tools make noise. Many projects make sound as well. There is a fine line between testing your noise-making project and “jamming”. Testing is welcome and encouraged where it is necessary. In order to conserve space in the lab and to avoid disturbing other users, take your project elsewhere to jam. There are other spaces available for jamming, including studios at CCRMA, practice rooms in Braun, and your house. Caring for our Tools In addition to using tools properly, they need to be cared for.
Putting Things Where They Belong
Tools should not be removed from the lab. If you have a messy project that requires you to work outside, you may take the tools you need and return them to the lab promptly. Tools should never leave the Knoll.
Certain dangerous or valuable power tools are kept in a locked tool cabinet. Max, Bill, Michael and Sasha have keys to the cabinet and can open it to allow use of these tools while they are present. If you need to use tools from the cabinet, try to plan ahead so that you are doing so during consultation hours.
The Lab is not very big, and currently has around 50 regular users. For this reason, please don't bring guests into the lab. If you need someone to help you with a project, you may bring a guest provided that they have been thoroughly briefed on lab safety and obey all the safety and courtesy practices outlined here. You are responsible for the conduct of any guests.
In case of an emergency, pick up a CCRMA telephone (there are 2 in the lab), select a line by pressing one of the buttons on the top row, and dial 9911.
For minor accidents, a First Aid Kit is located in the Lab in the open upper cabinet beside the drill press.
In case of fire, there is a fire extinguisher as well. Familiarize yourself with the locations of the telephones, safety equipment and building exits in case of emergency.