Bitters: a M4L polysynth

Bitters

8-bit-inspired hybrid polysynth

My favorite synth sounds in pop music are usually chiptune-inspired or distorted in some way. I wanted to build my DSP chops by designing a polysynth that was sort of always a little lo-fi by design. To this end, I implemented a “polynomial transition region” asymmetric triangle oscillator and an SVF to add to excellent building blocks Peter McCulloch made for the Ableton Max4Live synth Poli. I also really like FM, so inspired by the Just Friends approach, I gave each oscillator a modulator to pair with it. Also inspired by Three Sisters, I included options to “tilt” the filter and mixer; bringing in more of the high/low end or first/second oscillator and making the other quieter.

Requirements

Max for Live with Max 8 required (uses mc.gen~). Otherwise is a normal Ableton “Instrument” playable via MIDI.

Download

v2.3.0 - download

github link

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A new thread for a new version! This one should have all the kinks of the earlier version worked out, and has much more legible innards, should you feel like poking around inside the gen~ files.

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Very interesting! I feel ya on the distorted/chippy things for sure. As soon as I get back in town I will mos def take for a spin. Love your synth Mind and have no doubt good sounds will come from it. Thanks for sharing!

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I’m so excited this has progressed. I’m gonna find some time this week to throw some fast arps through this!

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this sounds incredibly inspiring!

getting no sound out of mine though…what’s the best way to troubleshoot? do the supporting files need to be in a specific folder/location on my drive?

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For me it works when the supporting files are in the same folder as the .amxd file. Let me know if that doesn’t solve your issue, @glia!

ok unfortunately not (they were all in the same folder…then i dragged amxd into ableton to use it)

here’s screenshots to compare

short midi loop into aalto (works)
aalto_control

same seq into bitters makes no sound

any suggestions?

That looks like the same kind of failure as when I moved the support files to another folder… I wonder if adding the folder to Live and then opening it from there will work?

This sequence works for me: download .zip, add folder to Ableton’s Places, open .amxd from there. Let me see if I can reproduce the failure.

ETA: no, dragging in the .amxd file works for me. I’m a bit puzzled. I wonder if this is the “freeze first” issue again…

I “froze” the device and pushed a new, frozen version to GitHub. However, now the .amxd only works when I click the “edit” button. This is very frustrating!

ETA: okay I think I have figured out the problem.

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re-downloaded and tried both dragging the amxd and adding the whole folder to places…neither seem to work properly

not sure why

it’s probably your gen~ files, they need to be included in Documents/Max 8/Max for Live Devices/Bitters before freezing (it is very annoying)

the problem is that freezing doesn’t collect files within gen~ files. So I gotta not use the @file keyword within the gen~ subpatcher. Working on a fix now, should be ready in a few minutes.

edit: okay, I think I have things working and pushed a change to GitHub. @glia care to give it another go?

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Can I ask how you learned Gen~? I’ve wanted to take the dive but don’t know where to start!
Also this is super great, thanks for sharing!

I learned a lot of gen~ by picking apart the Max4Live synth Poli to make this! I also learned from tutorials like this one, and then of course the usual-for-Max poke around, look at help patchers sort of thing

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works now!
thanks for the quick fix

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This is wonderful and thank you for sharing! I’m going to have to dig into this and learn from it too. FYI, the first version you uploaded worked for me. I dragged the whole folder into my “Max Instrument” folder and it showed up in Ableton and worked fine.

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@alanza this is really great! I am in the process of diving deeper into max patching, synths and modular synths. ^^Thanks for sharing and all the best

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highly recommend tearing the gen filter out of this project btw - it’s my favorite one that exists in max

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oh boy, thanks! it was fun transcribing the pseudocode source into something workable!

nice! sounds great, thank you!

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