New(ish) free music creation software Music_SDP

Hi everyone, I’m looking for new outlets of spread the word about my software, and this site appears to be perfect. I head a small team that’s been building free, open-source music creation software called ‘The Music and Sound Design Platform’ for quite a while now, and we recently put out some huge updates.

Music_SDP is made in Max 7, and the source code is available for anyone to download, but it exists as a standalone application for both Windows and OSX. Here’s a brief description:

Inspired by the way guitarists connect effects together on pedal boards, Music_SDP allows synthesizers, file manipulators, filters, MIDI tools, and audio effects to be created, crafted, and combined in a linear or non-linear fashion. Processes in Music_SDP are loaded into modules, and pedal boards can be built to accommodate any number of modules. Modules can send and receive signals from and to each other in any combination, and can be connected across multiple boards. Modules can be controlled in real-time by the user directly or scores and automation can be created to control the changes.

There’s a lot more to it than that, but I’ll leave it there, since you can explore more on our website:

This is a project that I maintain as a labor of love with a couple of contributors. A while ago, I found a post on this forum where some members were asking if there was more information on the software’s modules and functionality. I took inspiration from that post and added a features section to the site:

We listen to the community, and in our recent updates we’ve been adding lots of community-requested features, like VST support and CPU management options. I’d love to know what people on this forum think, since users here seem to be a really knowledgeable bunch.

Thanks for reading, and I can’t wait to hear what you all think!


thanks for dropping in

thanks for sharing that glia! We posted that with our initial 1.0 launch, and we’ve made huge progress since then. Here’s a bit more:

I’ve been keeping tabs on this for a while now and it’s really starting to look great! Keep up the good work.:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

Fascinated by the routing, score, and automation possibilities. I’d love to see some practical demos of these features.

thanks for the kind words! We have tutorials for all of that on our YouTube page, but it’s true that we’re currently lacking some practical demos. I’ve been thinking a lot about that lately myself. It’s hard to balance my free time between updating the system, the website, and documentation, but you’re absolutely right. I think I’ll get to building a video of a short song that uses the score system…

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I’ll start experimenting with it tonight. Thanks for sharing!

I hope you enjoy it Dan! If you have any feedback, complimentary or critical, I’d love to hear it. I’m building this for all types of creators, but having responses from a particularly knowledgeable and discerning audience like the users of this forum will be really useful.

The recursive and inter-referential possibilities of the scores and metronome seem really promising but I’m having trouble wrapping my head around how I’d use them exactly. Would love to hear your thoughts on this.

Really fantastic work all around!

I hear ya. I’ve decided to take your idea of practical tutorials and I’m going to run with it. I’m currently in the process of building some much needed enhancements to certain modules, and I won’t be able to to the series as I want until I release those upgrades next weekend. I’ve started the series, but it’ll be a bit longer (getting ready to go out of town for a bit) before I work my way up to videos showing off scores.

However, just brain-storming, I can share ways that I’ve used scores and other controllers in tandem:

  1. I have used the Signal-to-MIDI to turn a voice into a controller. Then, for every pitch that the voice sings, a different score event occurs, and the performer is harmonized by pitch shifters, creating unique harmonies for each note.

  2. You can start a loop with the metronome, finish it with the metronome, create a different loop later, and switch back and forth between the loops, all at different times.

  3. Using the repeat score, you can trigger an audio file to play at set intervals, then use the metronome to switch the repeat score off.

  4. You can set a series of delays that all start at a 0ms, and then, at specific points in a performance, slowly start to stretch the different delay times out, creating a type of Riech-style phasing. You can then re-route certain delays to go into other delays, creating a feedback loop.

  5. You could run a file through a granulator, use the metronome to record a segment, then use the score to load the file you just recorded into a new player and run that through the granulator again. I think that gets to your recursive idea. You could repeat the process and automate it through careful design. Of course, you could remove the recording segment and just run the whole thing as a feedback loop that makes a stop through the granulator.

That’s just coming up with stuff off-the-cuff. I usually find my users go in directions that I totally don’t expect. I’m also not sure if any of these ideas answer your question, since you discuss using the scores recursively. If this gives you some ideas, I’d love to hear what you come up with!


Exactly the kind of thing I was thinking about! Thank you.

I’ve been planning on doing some heavy Max-ing over the holiday, so I’ll dig into this and report back.

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This forum has helped me understand the need for more introductory material! I just spent the morning putting together a new Getting Started Guide on our website, feel free to browse it to learn more!

Hi everyone. On occasion I post updates here about my music creation platform. This community drives me to learn and grow, and I am constantly impressed by the level of sophistication by the posters here and the depth on knowledge on this forum. For that reason, I’d really appreciate hearing any feedback you may have on the progress of this software, or your feature requests. I’d even love to hear if you have comments or thoughts on the copy that I’m using to promote the update! So, without any further delay, here’s the official announcement:

The Music and Sound Design Platform is a 100% free and open-source tool for the design and performance of live electronic music. It is available as a free download for Windows and MacOS, and the Max 7 source code is available on GitHub.
Download here: Loading...

MSDP is designed around a non-linear pedal board system that includes 64 modules that can be created and combined however you’d like. Our module list currently includes 11 instruments, 33 effects and filters, and 20 tools and utilities and has modules that provide full VST compatibility. Develop system scores to have the computer follow your performances, or design controller setups to get in-depth manipulation of every knob and parameter in the program.

This is a really flexible and unique program, and it utilizes the full strength of Max 7 to create something new. Treat it like the ultimate guitar pedal rig, or make compelling live compositions from scratch. Four granular tools, several stochastic (chaos) controllers, and a large variety of electronic music staples makes this a very robust system for all kinds of performances. We are often compared to a more intuitive and contemporary Ppooll, and you can design everything from droney soundscapes to searing chaotic drum patterns without having to do any programming.

Our latest update, version 1.3.0 just launched today, and includes the ability to completely save and re-load projects exactly where you left them. We also have a brand-new wavetable synthesizer, expanded metronome sync options, and much more. You can read all about the updates in detail in our latest news post: Loading...

Music_SDP is completely free because we believe that powerful and impactful tools can change the world. We think that a better society is one where everyone has access to professional software, and that income should not be a barrier to the creative spirit.

Learn more at
Join our facebook group at:
Watch our videos on YouTube:
Follow us on Twitter:
Find our source code on Github: GitHub - MusicSDP/MSDP: Music_SDP is a toolbox for Multimedia Synthesis, Design, and Performance

Thanks everyone. Just wanted to share the love!