To run the examples on your computer, you will need a copy of the latest version of Cycling '74's Max, PureData (Pd-extended), or ChucK. If you are already familiar with one of the three, then the choice will be obvious, but please make sure you are using a recent version.

Cycling '74 Max

Max is a visual programming environment that enables musicians, visual artists, and researchers to create software without writing lines of code. My favorite of the three choices is Max because it was my first introduction to any type of programming, but Max is commercial software. You can download and use Max free for 30 days if you would like to try it. View the video below for more info about getting started with Max 7.

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Pure Data

Pure Data (Pd) is an open source visual programming language that is very similar in scope and design to the original version of Max. It runs on Linux, Mac OS X, iOS, Android and Windows, and is available for free download.


ChucK is a real-time programming language that is very different from Max and Pure Data, but has a lot of the same capabilities. The biggest difference is that ChucK is not a visual programming language like Max or PureData. ChucK is available for free, and runs on Max OS X, Linux and Windows. The easiest way to run ChucK is by using the miniAudicle IDE available on ChucK's website.

ChucK presents a unique time-based, concurrent programming model that's precise and expressive (we call this strongly-timed), dynamic control rates, and the ability to add and modify code on-the-fly. In addition, ChucK supports MIDI, OpenSoundControl, HID device, and multi-channel audio. It's fun and easy to learn, and offers composers, researchers, and performers a powerful programming tool for building and experimenting with complex audio synthesis/analysis programs, and real-time interactive music.


There are versions of the examples available for all three environments, and you can download the latest version of the examples by clicking the link below.

This guide was first published on Mar 26, 2015. It was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

This page (Setting Up Your Workstation) was last updated on Mar 25, 2015.

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