Sonification with Max: Turning Data into Sound

Membership plan: Getting Started | Topics: Sound Design

Course overview

- Introduction to using Max/MSP for data sonification

- Importing data files (specifically CSV files)

- Exploring different musical possibilities using data

- Start incorporating data sonification in your projects

- Using data from a variety of sources (planet movements, weather patterns, animal migration)

What you'll learn

  • Understanding how to import and work with CSV files in Max/MSP
  • Learning how to manipulate data points and turn them into musical events and sounds
  • Gaining an understanding of the different musical possibilities when working with data sonification
  • Having the skills and knowledge necessary to start working with data sonification on your own

Who is this course for?

  • Musicians and sound artists with an interest in sonification
  • Creative coders who want to learn about processing data

Course content

  • Course Materials
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Importing C++ SV files into Max using Text Object
  • 3. Maximizing Data Processing with Thresh and Unpack Objects
  • 4. Exploring the Creative Side of Data Sonification
  • 5. Dynamic Random Value Generation in Max MSP
  • 6. Exploring Sonification Techniques: Generating Single Sound Events from Data
  • 7. Weather Prediction with Oscillators in Max
  • 8. Exploring Data Sonification through Ambient Music


  • Basic music theory skills desirable, but not necessary
  • A working PC, Laptop, iMac or MacBook
  • Access to a copy of Max 8 (i.e. trial or full license)

Course schedule

Meet your instructor

Umut Eldem is a composer, pianist, and researcher. His musical works and research focus on the exploration of synaesthesia as an artistic medium. He has given lectures on his research of synaesthesia, and had his audiovisual works and installations combining sound and colours presented in Belgium, Turkey, Romania, Russia, and Luxembourg. Umut Eldem is currently a PhD researcher at the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp, and musical director of the theatre collective Mixed & United. He gives lessons and workshops on music history, musical analysis, and audiovisual design. He is also the keyboardist of the bands Starblind = Earthbound and Transport Aerian. His current PhD research entitled ‘The Hearing Glass: Synaesthetic Correspondences in The Musical Practice’ intends to take the results of his previous research and develop them into an inter-sensory theory of audiovisual art.

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