Getting Started With 'Scanned Synthesis'

tutorial for setting up and running Max Mathews' Scanned Synthesis program
250B, CCRMA, Stanford, 2001

Matthew Burtner

Before beginning, you should obtain a copy of Max's latest mkscanned software and all related files. These can be copied into a directory in your home directory called 'scanned'. The version I am using at the present time is mkscanned8 and can be copied from my directory: ~/mburtner/scanned. But there are always new, improved versions so ask Max first! Commands are typed from the UNIX command line, and this tutorial assumes you have Max's radio baton sending MIDI to the computer.

1)compile the scanned synthesis program from within the /scanned directory. At the UNIX command line type:


2)run a.out


3) reset baton (red button on right of baton)

4)push the baton's B14 key until the display reads "Active Fast"

5)Adjust the baton knobs

P4 knob on the baton adjusts the plane height
P1 knob decides how often the string will be recomputed (audio sample level) -- Max = slowest, Min = fastest

6)push B15 button on baton to activate the keyboard. Now type from the keyboard. Instructions appear on the screen and you type a letter then hit
return to change those parameters. Some parameters are toggles which means simply entering the designated letter switches to the other possible parameter.
The following options are presented:

q->back to play mode
t->change timbre
u->toggle tension
c->toggle centering
v->toggle velocity IC
p->toggle print xyz
s->change string constants
S->change scale
1-9 ->toggle flags 1-9
k->toggle scale check

Type 't' to select the timbre.Here are the options:

1->cosine 2->sine 3->experiment
4->pulse 5->sawtooth 6->unipulse
7->hammer 8->noise 9->overtones
10->noise + overtones
11->random centering

Typing any number and hitting return will change to that timbre. After choosing 't' for timbre and selecting one of the timbres, properties of the timbre can be changed in the following way:

m = mass of elements on string
f = tension in string
c = strength of centering spring
i = damping
w = "whack" variable -- sets a pitch and stays constant
t = time variable can change throughout a note

To change any of these parameters, type 's' from the main menu then type the letter of the parameter to change. The prompt will then ask for a new

7)type 'q' on the keyboard to return to play mode. Now the batons will be active and the keyboard is inactive.

8) type '[ctrl key] c' to exit program