Barton McLean’s MAX/MSP Sequencer Playpen


A MAX/MSP program designed by electroacoustic composer and media artist Barton McLean for powerful MIDI control using sophisticated yet easily learnable techniques, many of which have never before been seen

Take a peek at these video demos which illustrate the Sequencer Playpen in action.


  1. Bullet  Three tracks of 24 steps each in step record mode

  2. Bullet  Increment step panels to see progress of each step

  3. Bullet  Each track has normal and alternate pitches and many ways to go between them.  Alternate pitches can be randomized and transposed on the spot.

  4. Bullet  Precise control of all MIDI aspects such as program, bank, controllers, volume, MIDI channel.

  5. Bullet  Several ways of instantly calling up previously recorded material.

  6. Bullet  Sophisticated manipulation of tempo including ability of pitch to control rhythm.

  7. Bullet  Controlled random ability to move up and down the track increments using patterns bandwidth mode

  8. Bullet  Ability to semirandomize time between repeated playing of track

  9. Bullet  MIDI keyboard controls choice of alternate or normal pitch, and mute or play on each increment

  10. Bullet  Reset or resume, and reset with velocity controlling starting point of track

  11. Bullet  Controlled random velocity and duration

  12. Bullet  Change track direction quickly in live performance

  13. Bullet  Pulsed program change

  14. Bullet  Auto volume scan

  15. Bullet  Multislider random instantly generates new pitch patterns via controlled random processes

  16. Bullet  Many other random and automated processes too numerous to mention, some never seen before

  17. Bullet  All features work simultaneously and are additive

  18. Bullet  Ability to save and instantly change globally or within specific areas via tables and presets

Shows more advanced Playpen techniques including the kitchen sink

Watch this on larger YouTube screen

Watch this on larger YouTube screen

Next page:  Introduction and versions

The Playpen is free to university teachers and any others  who may want to use it in their classes.  For those interested, contact me at the email address below left, stating where you might be using it.  I will then send it via email attachment.  The standalone version, complete with everything you’ll need, is c. 40 mb., and runs on a Mac with System 10.6 or higher (10.5 may work too, just haven’t tried it out). This version does not require any MAX/MSP software.


Sequencer Playpen free package includes:

  1. Bullet  40 mb standalone application

  2. Bullet  Illustrated manual

  3. Bullet  Complete tutorial

  4. Bullet  Technical help via email

Host a residency or lecture/demo with Barton McLean and Priscilla McLean, illustrating the Sequencer Playpen in action with live demonstrations, videos.