Transcription: 0030 - Matt Jackson Pete Dowling

Released: May 11, 2014

Darwin: Okay this week, I have some very special guests. I have Pete Dowling and Matt Jackson from Surreal Machines. Just this week they released a product called Dub Machines, which everybody that's trying is kind of getting their heads blown off. It's a really cool set of Ableton Live Max for Live devices, that are focused on delay and reverb type sounds. So one of them is called Magnetic and it like a space echo on steroids. It's a really intuitive, but really fun device. The other is called Diffuse and it is like regen network on steroids. So I'm really excited to talk to these guys about their development process. Hi, Pete and hi, Matt. So everyone's going to have to bear with me a little bit, this is my first tag team interview but, hopefully it'll go well. So first of all, for those listeners who aren't familiar with the Dub Machines product, why don't we give them a little introduction? So Matt, why don't you tell us a little bit about it?

Matt Jackson: Okay, like you said it's two delays, Magnetic and Diffuse. I've always been really fascinated with delays. When I first started getting into electronic music, it was the first effect where I just turned it on and started talking in a microphone and was like, "Oh my God, this is so cool." So I guess from that fascination, we just started playing with it. And it's something that I've kind of always come back to. So Magnetic is pretty closely modeled after a Roland space echo 201, I think I can say that on the air. And, but we took it a little bit further and that we analyze a lot of other ones and kinda took what we learned and generalize it, abstracted it, and took what we really liked from it without modeling it exactly. And kind of rolled it into something new that you can't get anywhere else. And then Diffuse, diffuses based off of kind of like a Reaper model. But, I always thought, well, why does a river have, have to always be a river? Why can't it be something more like this echo sounds so kind of decoupled some of the controls and turned it into a delay and now you can go anywhere in between with that.

Pete Dowling: No, I'm really pleased you asked Matt first,

Darwin: Like he had, he had the keys to the kingdom there. One of the things with a Diffuse for me when I started playing with it, I, I got into digital effects processor game relatively early because I was running recording studio at the time. And I had a chance to play with some of the first like space stations in the early lexicon stuff. This, this device reminded me a lot of, some of those older, older tools because they sort of embrace the echo is part of the reverb mechanism and kind of used it to do some really creative stuff. To what extent did you play around with concepts from some of that ancient gear?

Matt: Well, I mean, we, we took a lot of look at, at a lot of different models, especially like the old stuff and definitely the Ursa Major was one of the things that we, that we looked at a lot, although we're not using the exact same approach that it uses. Like we kind of wanted to embody a lot of the same sound that you get from that.

Pete: Yeah. If anything, Magnetic is closer to the idea of muddling, although it's not an exact model, but Diffuse was more playful, I think. But, it was definitely in mind, all those units, you mentioned like the lexicons and that, and then Matt was particularly interested in the Ursa Major and I did a lot of studying on that, before it,

Darwin: Yeah, that was a crazy piece of gear, simultaneously so good and so bad. It was, you know, it was, it was one of those early devices that if, and, and I remember when it came out at the time, I, I remember thinking how, you know, this whole, this digital thing is so cool and it's going to be so beautiful and I heard it and, you know, at first I was like, well, I don't want to, you know, I don't want to have to spend money on an EMT plate. So maybe this is a good alternative. And it was very, very disappointing from that standpoint. But when I started, when I started sort of embracing it for what it was, it turned out to be an extraordinarily fun piece of gear. Yeah.

Pete: I mean, the, the Diffuse is actually a really interesting story because we built an entire other device first, which never saw the light of day. And we weren't happy with it. So we, we started from scratch to build Diffuse again. And I remember early versions, I was unhappy about the metallic newness and, certain eighties quality of it until Matt pointed out that nobody liked that. And that, and that's interesting, of course, we tried to do something which goes, you know, between many different types of, digital Weaver. Now

Darwin: You actually bring up something that I'm really curious about. I'm curious to hear about both of your experiences with this process. So, the first time that I really worked on preset creation and algorithm creation for, you know, effects that were going to be widely used was the way I work with the plughole system from cycling. Right. And, what I found is after a while, it was really hard for me to remember what I thought a thing should sound like, because I got so wrapped up into what it actually sounded like that I would, that I would forget what was my original intent. Now you guys seem to have had a fairly specific, original intent. How did you maintain, so like Peter for your, for your cell, or which of you guys did most of the work on sort of like the preset and the standard of ranges and stuff?

Pete: I think in terms of sound design, I coming back to, this is what it must sound like. That was very much maps influence. For me, I mean, that doesn't mean I wasn't involved. And of course, if you're building algorithms, you're directly involved in that, but in terms of examples of how things should sound or ideas, we would discuss that quite a lot. And the best thing that we found is that rather than, try and come up with something, which we both together thought it should be, we would just both come up with things independently and then, you know, have a fight. And, there wasn't much, I think we agreed most of the time we did. It was most of the idea of it was a sort of Max patch battle fight. Sometimes, you know, we would really throw max patches at each other. It's a lot of materials being developed for it.

Darwin: Well, what's nice is when you throw max patches now, because they have rounded corners, they don't hurt as much.

Matt: But wait to get back to your question a little bit. Darren, I think the presets was actually really hard because, I mean a delay, it has a certain range, you know, it, it can only do so much and we really designed them to be something that you should load up and tune to your needs. So without having to do too much work. So, you know, it was hard to like make a preset, which really embodies a specific sound because the goal was that you load it up and even with the defaults, you can quickly turn a few knobs and get, get something cool out of it. So, I mean, I was, I was, I was thinking about the presets and thinking like, wow, what w what do I do with this? Cause it's like, you know, a little bit like making a preset for a compressor, you know, I mean, it's not so programmed pendant, but it's, it's like, you know, you should, you should tweak it once you, once you get it in the mix.

Pete: In fact, presets for compressors, I've always found insane, but, it's interesting cause Matt and I haven't actually talked about this, but, I found it almost impossible making presets for the delays that we built because, as Matt says, it, they sort of don't sit with presets so well in some ways, but, I think what happened with our presets and I'm actually really pleased with them now is that, we used a lot of the, more out there shaping capabilities of the devices in the presets. And so, there's not a lot of very and default pieces, but there's a lot of sound design presets.

Darwin: Right. But what I would say is that when, when you just take the device itself and drag it onto a track, in both the case of the Diffuse and the Magnetic, they seem to be very safe, starting points. Now the one thing that I found and I found this interesting, I'd be curious to know how much thought went into this. I found that the way that the user interface was oriented, sort of drew me towards the controls that I would most immediately want to tweak. And, I'm not sure which of you were focused or if you both were focused on the user interface design, but I found like, you know, particularly with Magnetic, you've got the great big knob for the, for the head setting. And really, if you think about it that, you know, choosing your, your head location in the addition or subtraction of reverb really is sort of like a key first step in finding the sound of that thing. How in the user interface design, how much did you sort of like try to lead the user in a specific direction? Or did you try and compartmentalize things? __So__ just on functionality, what was, what was your desires with the user interface? Because it's clearly a highly designed interface.

Matt: I mean, that's, that's kinda what I do, I think right now it's, it's, it kind of comes without thought a little bit. I've been doing it for a little while. But, with, with Magnetic, it was, it was pretty easy because there, there was a design to start with, like, you know, we're, we're referencing a specific product and, and that one is a really well-designed and kind of famous thing. And part of it was to make the, make the plugin fun. Right. You know, make it, make it feel original. So that was definitely one of our, really one of our really strong goals was we wanted to show people that Max doesn't have to be boring, you know, and you don't have to just use what's there, even though what's, there is great and it works perfectly. You can still do something which, serves your purposes a little bit more aesthetically or a little bit more programmatically to starting with the foundation for the space echo, which was a good step for Magnetic, but for Diffuse. Yeah, I mean, it's got these big knobs in it and I think that's the first place you start. And I think that's something that I always think about when starting a plugin is, you know, first you think about the functionality and then you, and then you try and arrive at an interface around that. And you think about, well, what's important. What do I want to see first? What do I need to access the most and all this stuff?

Pete: Yeah, the Diffuser, because it was, we, we worked on it a bit later than the Magnetic. It actually went through a phase where it was just a collection of the same size knobs in a device. And one day Matt just made four of them large. And it was a revelation how it can feel after that, whereas say Magnetic. Yeah, we, we had a layout, idea from the beginning, but, things like the breakout section, which offers more controls that, that went through many, many different stages and, looked very different at different times. And it was actually a question of making it as making something complex, as simple as possible.

Darwin: Sure. I hadn't really thought of it this way, but the original space echos with their big and centralized knobs sort of blazed the trail for, for it conceptually, but that's pretty smart. So now Matt, you said that you kind of have a background doing this kind of stuff and, and Pete, those of us that are part of the Max world certainly have seen you, around a lot. But what I'd like to know is a little bit about your background. So Pete, why don't you start and tell me about where you're coming from and how did you get to the point that you're doing what you're doing now?

Pete: Yeah. So I knew this would be the scariest point of the interview. Well, okay. Yeah. Let me, let

Darwin: Me just, let me just say that. When I asked this question, it really is open-ended on a per on purpose because some people, some people talk about like gigs, they've done. Other people talk about like their education and some people talk about how mean their dad was. Right. So it really started doesn't matter. You can pick, take whatever is the thing you want to get off your chest. And now's a great time to throw it out there.

Pete: No, I don't think I should get anything off my chest. We'll be here for a long time, I guess. It's interesting with the civil machines project, it's been fantastic, hooking up with Matt because I've been wanting to do something which is structured like this for some time. Because for the last few years I've been helping artists realize work. And so, it involves a lot of one off bespoke projects. So you spend a long time on large pieces of software that they're going to do one thing in a gallery for three months or for a piece that will be performed a few times. And so I've been working with visual artists and composers and people like that, and a few organizations just helping them realize their art. And yet most of the time when I do my own patching, let's say at home, it's working more on things like what I've been doing with surreal machines, the Dub Machines project.

Pete: I, I started getting into making really solid reusable code when I first started using Max quite a long time ago now. It was just as an artist myself and I used to make these huge complex, very messy patches, which were only to serve my own ends. And it's been a sort of journey, in recent years, taking all that knowledge and enthusiasm and sort of, beating it about the head to get it into a position where it could be useful for other people. So that's sort of where I'm at now. My history is I used to be a performer or you would perform a lot. I was a saxophone player and, was in the free improv scene for quite awhile. And I played a lot of electronic music, as well. And before that is ancient history really, but, I have, my, my, my, my study was all, well, a long time ago I studied classical music and, although I didn't really spend much time doing anything classical. I, I was lucky enough to discover reel to reel tape studio very early in life, relatively early in life. And I was always fascinated from then on. So yeah, that's a sort of roundabout way to avoid your question

Darwin: Very well done, quite a savvy avoider there. Matt, why don't you give us a little background on yourself?

Matt: So, as a child of the eighties, I guess there was always really, really fascinated by synthesizers and stuff. I remember kids in my neighborhood and stuff would come over to my house to listen to Michael Jackson thriller and have like break dance, thinking, contest and stuff. And I put on Africa, boom, bada and, and whatnot. So I guess I always just thought that these cool new sounds that are coming out, you know, it never been heard before were interesting and always got kind of just followed it a little bit. And then, in college or maybe high school, I found out about this program called buzz, which is a tracker. And I think even Richard Devine mentioned it on one of your former podcasts, right? And it's like this modular environment where you can just like hook up different effects and instruments. And what was really cool about it was it was free and it had like a community, it was kind of like a family and people would just put out new plugins every week or so.

Matt: And I just started playing around with them a lot and because it was like a community I could, I could talk to the developer and just make suggestions like, oh, I wish it could do this. And I wish it worked like this and started following conversations and just started really getting into thinking about how, how this stuff should work more than actually making music. And so, kind of went from there and, and, started making music a little bit traveled around with, this guy, Andres Tilly ender, who helped us a lot with this project who was on note and at the time, as Mo Kira and ****** playing with him and he showed me a reactor, which I had always of, but I didn't know much about I would, I had been using synthetic for awhile. Right. And building things. And yeah, just kind of got hooked on, on making things.

Matt: Cause I always liked making things as a kid and I liked the Legos and I liked going with my dad and nailing some wood together. And so I really got the satisfaction of like merging my interest in synthesizers and making things. I built this kind of weird drums program, which was basically a rip off of Propellerheads Redrum with a friend of mine F and they called it CATA poem and kind of put it out there and it got good reviews and stuff like that. It was just like a freeway thing. We, we made like an open source project. And one day I saw a job opening in Berlin for a product designer at a company called native instruments that always really, I just kind of applied for it. And somehow after like a year of process got a job there, designing reactor kind of like came, came around full circle.

Matt: So I became a product designer for, for that program and then started doing product design for absence and Tarik. And then some of the, all of the reactor powered by this reactor player thing and all the instruments that came out like mouth finger and razor. Yeah. So, yeah, I guess I've just been kind of addicted to building things. And, I, I immediately moved to able then when I was making music after, after I moved away from buzz and always had a huge passion for that software and always was really interested in, in how it could work better and what was going on with that and move over to Ableton and got really into Max. It had always been really interested in Max, but because, it was a new language was kind of scared to get started. And then once I got into it, it was just hooked immediately because it was so easy to patch things together. And so flexible could make your own externals. And I guess I'm rambling now.

Darwin: That's, that's cool because, I think it's, it's a very interesting trail that you took. I, I have a quick question. Whatever happened to buzz, I heard a rumor that the developer just had like a hard drive crash and lost all the source code or something. But that sounds unbelievable.

Pete: Yeah. I mean, I think that sounds unbelievable as well. I sort of that happened and, it just seemed like a really strange excuse for, I dunno. I mean, I loved buzz by the way as well. I was using one of the funny things Matt and I found out about each other is that we both used that software. But, I have no idea what happened. I mean, I know he's, he's doing it again now, isn't he? Matt? Maybe, you know?

Matt: Yeah. So yeah, somehow he magically fixes broken hard drive and started building it again.

Darwin: That's hilarious. Cause one of the funny things was, I used to run a website called creative synth and, we actually had one segment of the website kind of dedicated to tutorials on, on making buzz machines. It was a, it was actually a pretty big deal. There was a lot of people that were really, really into that at the time. So now I'm curious though, hearing about the diversity of background between the two of, of how you approached a coauthored development. I think that, it's curious because an awful lot of people that do this kind of thing are either lone wolves or if they do have people that they work with, they're highly defined, roles, you know, one person is like a code monkey and the other one is the gregarious, marketing person. Right. But it sounds like you, you guys definitely collaborated and worked together and your backgrounds would imply that you both were, were, were very much integrated in the code. So, like Pete, how would you, how would you define the, what you each did in this project?

Pete: Okay. It's I haven't thought about it that much actually. Mainly because it's gone so well, I think, but as you can probably hear, we have pretty diverse backgrounds. Although I do want to point out that I also used to dance to thriller when I was young, but, what happened was, is I am actually quite a lone coder. I, I do sit in my bedroom and, and code, that's just the sort of guy I am and Matt and I actually met on some beta forums and Matt was basically posting this insane, the ambitious gen code, and I would post back with my obnoxious versions of it. And, so we got, we got to know each other that way. And actually we got, decided to collaborate through our use of Max, not, through any other, shared, background.

Pete: And it turned out that, we both had really similar interests with what we wanted to do and how we wanted to approach it and what we felt about should, you know, what, what things should be done in Max for Live devices and things like that. And, and also, yeah, as you say, we both very much, both doing everything, we, we both code and we share it and we talk about it and we change it. But sometimes with collaboration, you've just got to let go and do your own thing in the hope that your coding partner won't diss it basically. And also in the sense that things which are made by committee never work. And so in our devices, there's actually things I could point to where I think, well, that was my idea. And that was Matt's idea. And they sit together really well. And, you know, we were, we went about it quite methodically. We built a huge library of Max code to share together. So we use the same modules, which we built. So it's not just a question of throwing things into a Max. That's true.

Matt: I mean, we, we spent a lot of time just getting ready before we even started. So we had some like prototypes floating around, but then, then we started building a library because I guess we both knew we needed it. And Jen was still kind of new and there wasn't like a really good place to stock up on these things. And I think we both wanted to know exactly how the things we were using worked in the first place. So yeah, there was, there was a lot of time just, just kind of like merging thought patterns.

Pete: Yeah. I mean, that's the best thing we did, I think is just spend time with lower level things before embarking on a bigger project, because actually I learned a lot about code for max code, for example, as well as about collaborating. But yeah, you do have to, organize yourself. I don't know, Matt and I are both, we're both quite direct people, so, there's a lot of, no, yes, no, don't do that sort of communication, but it just, we just seem to muddle through in the end. And we had a clear vision, but, there's still worm for muddling and muddling is where the fun is as well. That

Darwin: Sure. Well, what I'm curious and, I'll throw this at you, Matt, since, since Peter just gave us the overview, is there like parts of the design that are like no touch zones? So it's sort of like, this is my area, please don't fuck it up. Right. Do you, is there, parts of it that, I really

Matt: Wish that there weren't like, I really try very hard to say no, like in anything that you can improve should be improved, but you know, if you do spend a lot of time thinking about something or, or working on, of course you get attached to it. But I think we were both really good at it. Just letting go when we had to. I think, I think that's super important too, because you're never going to get past a certain barrier unless you can just say, you know, what someone else has got to try something new here to push it past where I could take it myself that is better than letting go than me.

Pete: I would say I have, I have got a hell of a lot better at that through working with Matt. And so, Max way in that most, most often you find that your own code gets better when someone else has a go at it.

Darwin: Sure, sure. I agree. Now, one of, one of the other things that you mentioned that I think is really interesting to sort of think about is this idea that, that Jen is new. And I, I actually really agree with that from kind of a funny perspective, Max, the language is what it is because it's sort of been massaged for the last 20 years to become what it's become. Jen is a relatively new thing. And so I think that a lot of water becoming norms are what our norms in Jan are still being developed in libraries of use are, are just now being developed because it takes a while for those things to come together. Was there, was there any point where you, where you felt like, ah, I can't really go here with Jen or conversely, I just feel a lot more comfortable with either C plus plus or straight Max because that's what I'm used to. I,

Matt: I felt immediately comfortable with Jen because I think, Max in general, as a language that I've only been using for three or four years now, and, I guess I kind of always knew how things worked better than I knew the actual modules that were built into Max. Cause I mean, Max has so many powerful tools, but you really got to dig into the examples and other people's patches to understand all of their unique powers. But when you build something up from the bottom, you do it just to do exactly what you want. I guess I always felt more comfortable with Jen, but of course there's stuff in the gooey that you just can't do with Jen. Of course. So there you have to use Max.

Pete: Yeah. I mean, I agree, I, I have loads of opinions on this subject, so I better be careful. I think, it's, it's funny the way Jen seems to be seen, in the community at the moment, is still seen as the thing you do fourth after you've learned Max MSP and different. And the funny thing about Jen is because it hasn't had the 20 years of massaging, I think it's the easiest part of Max to learn, by none. I think it's easier patching in gen than it is in data in Max. It's so it's so logical and it's so well thought out and, yes, there's a lot of talk about how it's low level, but it's only low level if you want it to be. And, it's been made in such a way that, it feels like patching an MSP.

Pete: You've just got to think differently because of the, the audio graph, I guess, the one sample, for me it's, I, I was so lucky to get my hands on Jen and feel, oh wait, this is what I always wanted. And Max and, and so actually I feel what happened, initially with me is I started to forget my MSP skills because I wasn't using it. And that's one of the other sort of traps that I felt fell into that some people think coming to journeys is that if it's in gen, it means it's better. Rather than gen is something you use to do specific things. And actually with this Dub Machines project, there was no point I felt limited by Jen for this project. It was perfect. There were a couple of other projects which Matt and I have on the back burner, where there are some things which are quite difficult and we've been considering some see externals. But, the thing I love about Jen is that I don't want to have to write C code. I mean,

Matt: Yeah, you can't forget to mention that. I mean, we, we are using the externals that, that Alex Harker, so generously donated to the community and it wouldn't be possible to get that spring sound without the convolution that we got from his C plus plus code. That's also a really interesting example about how like, a product that's already out there gets reused and recycled in a meaningful way. Yeah.

Pete: I mean, I just want to second that, kudos to Alex ARCA. I mean, those, his, his library is, is astonishing. And, the fact that I can go and look at all the, all his code on get hub is also pretty wonderful as well. And you couldn't have done what he's done in his convolution, externals in gen for example, and not at the moment anyway, I don't know what you have planned, but, and so actually it was a really nice, mix to, to, to use, his external and also, mixed them with Jen in the, in the delays Bill.

Darwin: I also feel like I'm learning a little bit more about you just through your discussions with Jen, because, when we were first talking about it and you were talking about how you could control everything, I kind of scribbled down is Jen from megalomaniacs? Well, no, I mean, the way you were talking about it, it was sort of like, it's sort of like, I don't want to cede control to the other people. Right. Which means that I'm learning about your approaches to the world, but that's, that it's, it is really interesting to think about it because you're right. I fall into the same trap that I think a lot of people do, which is to think of Jen as like a low level tool for making something that in some undefinable way is supposed to be better. When in fact it's just a different way to approach or to attack the data stream. It's, it's a trap that is clearly a common one because everybody falls into

Pete: It. Yeah. It's the thing is also maybe it's something that happens with something really new and exciting. I mean, I think, there was the thing is when Jetta was released, it was different enough. I, it was tackling a different type of data for it to maybe not fall into those traps, but, Jen, is, really adding to MSP and jitter. And so it's got still got this shiny new, exciting feel to it as well. I would say that Max is for megalomaniacs to be on the whole, the whole thing.

Darwin: Yeah, there's that? So, when I, when I crack open, when I hit the edit button on the Dub Machines stuff, I'm presented with some of the cleanest code that I think I've run across. Cause believe me, as part of my job, one of the things I do is I get a lot of Max for Live devices and crack them open just to see how people are doing, because you can learn about how people are learning about the software by seeing how they patch. Right. Yeah. You know, first of all, have either of you guys been in the military because it definitely has that, that Rowan column gridding, like, you know, very, lock step kind of way. I mean, it is beautiful and super understandable. To what extent did you feel like you needed to do that? Just to make it easier for each other to use? Was this another place where collaboration kind of became a thing or is that just the habit of one or both of you? Okay,

Pete: I'll take that one. Actually what you just said there, at the end Durbin was, was very true in some ways when you're collaborating, you have to be able to communicate with each other. It's almost no good sharing patches, which are almost impossible to understand, like you may have come up with some great sounding idea, but there's no good if your fellow coder can't really dig into them. And of course the other thing that happens over time is, you develop a style together. And so I feel that our patching style has changed slightly. And I try to be more matte, like a match. I tries to be more me like, you know, but, I, I must admit, I haven't, maybe we should have discussed this map beforehand in case this came up, but I have to admit that, we do actually have different ideas on how patches should look.

Pete: And so what I'll do is I'll speak personally about it and it's, I'm not speaking for Matt here, but, I actually do get upset. Let's say, if I come across a great patch and then open it up and find that I can't understand it, I think being clear is just something which the community deserves. If, if, if you want them to see your, if you want them to benefit from your code, if it was a VST plugin, I wouldn't care at all what my code looked like inside, but just because it's something which, which can be looked at, I don't, I want people to be disappointed. And on top of that, I do genuinely have some serious OCD problems with patching and it really slows down my patching. I have to admit, like sometimes I make a patch just for myself.

Pete: And it's needlessly neat. And, and, and I've actually learned to stop doing that so much. Because the other thing is if you try and make things too neat, too early on, of course it's just a disaster. And also if you try to make things too neat, then they actually become incomprehensibly. Neat. And so I guess what we did with Dub Machines, it was towards the end. I asked Matt if it was okay if I could tidy them up a bit. So that's my response. I don't really want to take credit for anything military.

Matt: Yeah, I don't know. I mean, when I, when I start with ideas, I'm just drawing wires all over the place and not even leaving comments and getting weird names. And then one, once I start to see the patterns, then I, I may even go back and start over from scratch, or just start ripping out pieces and using copy paste, duplicate, and, and I think really like showing the patterns visually really makes it understandable and also reusable for yourself. So I try and reduce things down to the simplest element possible and then make it reusable. So I tend to think very object oriented and try and just lay things out like that.

Pete: Yeah. I remember, when Matt first did one of the core elements, of one of the devices, it was so simple and it's something we'd been struggling with for awhile. And I really appreciated how easy it was to read and, how clear it was to understand, the process so that I could get involved. And, there were a couple of moments. I overcomplicated some things in the devices and ended up just deleting them and making them again, a fresh, you know, in a simpler style. And so, yeah, I'm not, I guess my answer wasn't intending to preach. It was more of a confession. Oh no, that's this

Darwin: Preachers have to confess occasionally too. Right.

Matt: One thing that I think is really good about Pete style is he, he always leaves like really great comments everywhere. So when you're, when you're, you know, you're taking a walk through the woods, you can really find your way and you know exactly where you are.

Darwin: Well, and it wasn't only only comments, but it was like the naming conventions for things and stuff. Just the clarity that comes, cause you had like these multi-layer gen things, right. And just the naming conventions that you used for the gin sub patters just made it so that I felt like I was just taking a walk through a familiar part. It was, it was a real pleasure to look at. And I think that's important because unlike so many coding environments, this is one where distributing your product also is distributing, distributing the source. You know, it is all, it is like by default an open source project project because yeah, because you can open it up and look at the source. How intimidating did you find that? I mean, since, since Pete, you're already a little OCD about that, I can see where, you know, maybe it wasn't as, as bad or maybe it was a horribly bad. I don't know. What was your perception of that?

Pete: I mean, it's something I think about, but not in the sense that I feel oppressed by it more in a sense that, as I said before, I do have a certain sense of if someone wants to learn something from it, then it's good. If it's clear with, with regards to this project. I think Matt and I both have quite strong ideas about how, you know, the sorts of things we'd like to see in Maxim Max for Live devices. And so we just tried to do it the way we would like to see it when we open it up. And also, it's in this case, I think it's, there's a part of it, which is an act of sharing what you are saying. I share this and, and like, like all those hundreds of projects on get hub, you see with people's open source code that you just cannot make head or tail of all the code, because it's just so messy and someone, someone shared something or other and that's it. And then they abandon it. I liked the idea that, by, documenting your code worldly that at least has a certain amount of longevity. And that's part of the process of, these devices and of Max for Live.

Darwin: I think that's a really important point, which is, the information that's provided by the source actually adds to the longevity of the project because, people are going to look to it not only for the cool sound it has, but also for the sort of like educational purpose of learning more specifically since you, because there's a lot of gen code in there, people can actually take this kind of new environment and see how someone else approached

Pete: It. Yeah. I mean, it has to be said that the most important thing for us is the sound, it's not like we're producing a pedagogical tool. It just has that element to it in.

Matt: That that is to say, yeah, he's totally right. The sound is, is really what was driving the whole thing. And that's what matters in the end. I mean, we could have released a bunch of spaghetti codes if it still sounded good. I think we would have been somewhat happy, but I mean, I mean, we do also see this as like, if you're a max freak and you're buying this, you're not only getting a great plugin, but there's also, you know, a lot of reusable stuff in there that you don't have to develop yourself anymore. And that's, that's pretty big, big bonus. So, making that easy to understand and, and showing people some good design patterns and that kind of thing was pretty important to as well.

Darwin: Fantastic. So, what's, what's next from surreal machines you guys have in the hopper that you can talk about?

Matt: Well, I think, yeah, well, we still have to talk about this amongst ourselves a little bit. I mean, we have so many ideas it's really hard to pick, but, we we'd like to do a, later on down the road, we'd like to do some instruments of course, but, I think we are still talking about what the next thing will be,

Pete: But there will be a next thing. There will be a next thing. Yeah. We have a few ideas for molar releases basically,

Darwin: Or fantastic, or like we'll all be looking forward to that. Well, our time is up. I really appreciate you guys spending time and being willing to sort of, reveal a little bit about how you do the things you do. Again, I want to really congratulate you on the fantastic release and, the excitement that it stirred up. It's really beautiful work, both, both looking and particularly sounding. So congratulations on that.

Pete: Thanks very much. Thanks. And

Darwin: Thanks a lot for taking the time for the, for the, talk. It was great. It was a lot of fun. Cool. All right. Have a great day. Bye bye. Hey, another one in the bag. I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did. If you have a chance go to surreal, it's a pretty awesome thing for, to just try, see if you like it. Thanks skins for everyone. That's helping out with podcasts. And if you have any questions, make sure you shoot me. Email Thanks and see you next week.

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