It targets Max software and MIDI protocol and has a high level of integration with Ableton Live. It’s distributed using Max’s Package format.
The global community of live coders is rapidly growing. The past five years have seen multiple international conferences devoted to the practice in addition to almost a hundred Algorave events, and numerous individual performances that took place in the context of more broadly themed electroacoustic concerts. This rise in popularity lead to a growing number of environments for live-coding, with four being introduced at the last International Conference on Live Coding alone. But despite the plurality of live-coding environments, the use of visual programming languages in live- coding performances remains relatively rare. While there is certainly more research to be done in this area, for now interfaces focusing on text, featuring typing as the main input modality, remain the dominant paradigm.
We suggest that some of this is due to the speed and fluidity of defining sequences and generative patterns using keyboard interfaces alone. Even without considering a task-oriented analysis of text-based environments versus graphical patching environments, a simple application of Fitt’s law shows that alternating between interface elements (keyboard vs. mouse/trackpad) occupying different physical spaces causes a loss of efficiency as a function of distance, and this does not take into account the potential cognitive burden of shifting between these different input modalities. One of the goals of gibberwocky.max is to isolate many of the tasks required for live coding in Max/MSP to a constrained textual interface that does not require live patching (or significant use of the mouse/trackpad) during performance. At the same time, Max/MSP has a great deal to offer the live-coding community, with a rich history of audiovisual instrument design, experimental objects for sound synthesis, and an efficient low-level language for dy- namically creating audio graphs, Gen. We hope that integrating Max/MSP with a textual live coding interface will provide a satisfying new way to explore it, and conversely believe that live-coders will be attracted to the rich palette of sounds (and visuals) that Max/MSP provides.