Category Archives: Music Composition

Music composition activity of David Hirst

Sonochrome I

Sonochrome I (2019) A “video music” art work first screened at the “Seensound” event in October at the Loop Project Space in Melbourne. This piece continues my work using music to activate moving imagery using the visual programming language Max/MSP/Jitter to create the images and sound, which then interact with each other.

Sonochrome I Excerpt from David Hirst on Vimeo.

The Portuguese Suite

The 8 channel version of my electroacoutic music piece The Portuguese Suite was performed at the Australasian Computer Music Conference held in Melbourne in July 2019 in conjunction with the 2019 TENOR Conference at Monash University. You can listen to a stereo version on Soundcloud here.

The Portuguese Suite follows on from the piece Imaginação de Viseu (Imaginations of Viseu) which was composed for the project: SONIC EXPLORATIONS OF A RURAL ARCHIVE – Electroacoustic Music and Sound Art International Competition, coordinated by Binaural/Nodar (Portugal). That work used sound sources recorded in the rural region of Viseu Dão Lafões in Portugal. The Portuguese Suite takes some of the sounds from the previous piece and processes them into purely abstract sounds using two suites of tools I developed in 2017 for Max/MSP. The first suite of tools is called NES-Tools, and processes sound in the time domain. The second suite of tools, NES-Spectrale, processes the frequency domain representation, and builds on the work of Jean-François Charles (2011). This version has been especially mixed and mastered for  8 channels using the Ambisonics Toolkit (ATK) from the University of Washington.

NES Max for Live

I have  ported over a selection of the NES-Tools and NES-Spectrale suites as Max for Live devices. The NES-Tools suite processes audio in the time domain and NES-Spectrale suite processes the FFT representation of sound in the frequency domain. Most of the Max for Live devices function as audio signal processors, but two of them process the FFTs of sounds, and one functions as a granular production instrument.

NES-Max-for-Live is available for free from the software page.



  • The devices have only been tested with Ableton Live 10 and Max/MSP 8
  • Special care has been taken to make the devices below capable of multiple, independent instances in Live. Here is a list of them:










NES-Spectrale Updated to Beta-02-2019

NES-Spectrale-Beta-02-2019 has two updates from version Beta 01:

  • A stereo version of NES-Interpolate has been created as NES-Interpolate-periodic-02-ST
  • A new process of NES-Distort-Del-Fbk has been added

This software consists of Max patchers that process the FFT of a recorded sound. Available to download free from the software page.

Composers Little Helper


The Composer’s Little Helper (CLH) is a Max patcher that makes use of the “Bach” and “Cage” libraries to manipulate and mix musical notation that has been saved in a “shelf” as separate segments. CLH implements musical operations such as transposition, inversion, retrograde, plus a number of other “treatments” that use the high-level “Cage” library for real-time computer- aided composition.

This version is the version that was show-cased at the Australasian Computer Music Conference 2018 in Perth. The Max code is available from the software page.