and this is one of her audio experiments

Max/MSP Gamelan Sampler

My final project for the electronic music class at UC Davis was building this virtual gamelan sampler in the visual programming language Max/MSP, under the direction of Sam Nichols.

gamelan sampler


A few of my friends had been experimenting with Max/MSP to make complicated sound and video modulators. The tangled webs of commands and cables was too intimidating for me. I knew I had to make something that looked simple. And it had to be cute.

I recorded each note of the bonang, saron, jenglong, kecrek, kenong and the mighty goong of the UC Davis Gamelan Ensemble.

gong soundwave

Each individual audio file is triggered by a separate key on a computer keyboard.

sampler backend

I tried to make it as intuitive as possible for someone who has never seen Max before. I hid all the wires and technical gobbelty gook, added in pretty pastel colors and blinking lights. I got an A.


If you want to use my sampler and believe in donating some money for it, please do!

Or at least email me whatever you create with it!


To use the gamelan sampler yourself:

  1. Download Max Runtime for free from Cycling '74 and install
  2. Download this .zip folder containing the sampler patch and all audio files
  3. Open the .pat file “ensemble sampler” through Max. (If you click on it in the folder, Photoshop will open it instead.)

Now that you’re in:

  1. Click “startwindow” at the top
  2. Raise the volume level of an instrument
  3. Press the corresponding keyboard keys to hear the notes

saron sampler

Some tips for playing around:

  1. Click the gray buttons on the saron sampler to change the pitch
  2. Activate the metronome to start the rhythmic pattern of the jenglong, kenong and gong, and adjust the speed
  3. Record and playback 30 seconds at a time with the recorder/player
  4. The looper... does nothing. But if you figure it out, let me know!
  5. If the sound starts getting garbled, click “stop" and “startwindow” again