Time Value Syntax
One of the fundamental aspects of working in Max is the notion of creating processes that progress or act over a period of time. Traditionally, time values in Max have always been expressed using milliseconds as the unit. In Max 5, time values for many objects (see the complete list) may also be expressed in a number of human-friendly units. There are two types of time values: fixed values are similar to milliseconds in that they express an amount of time that doesn't change. Tempo-relative units vary according to the current tempo set in a transport object.
Fixed Time Values
Tempo-Relative Time Values
Time Offsets and Time Intervals
With tempo-relative units, particularly bars/beats/units, you can specify a time interval or a time position. A time offset or position refers to the value of a transport, so for example, the time argument to the timepoint object is considered a position. A time interval, by contrast is a distance or an amount of time. Interval, quantization, and delay attributes of objects are generally time intervals. The bars/beats/units method of specifying time will be interpreted differently depending on context. A time of 1 1 0 as a position is 0 ticks. A time of 1 1 0 as an interval in 4/4 time is (4 * 480) + 480 ticks (2400 ticks).
The translate object has a mode attribute that can convert time units as either intervals or positions.
Table of Ticks and Note Values
Here is a listing of the note and tick values associated with common note durations. Note value abbreviations that can be used in Max to specify time are in bold.
1nd - Dotted whole note - 2880 ticks
1n - Whole note - 1920 ticks
1nt - Whole note triplet - 1280 ticks
2nd - Dotted half note - 1440 ticks
2n - Half note - 960 ticks
2nt - Half note triplet - 640 ticks
4nd - Dotted quarter note - 720 ticks
4n - Quarter note - 480 ticks
4nt - Quarter note triplet - 320 ticks
8nd - Dotted eighth note - 360 ticks
8n - Eighth note - 240 ticks
8nt - Eighth note triplet - 160 ticks
16nd - Dotted sixteenth note - 180 ticks
16n - Sixteenth note - 120 ticks
16nt - Sixteenth note triplet - 80 ticks
32nd - Dotted thirty-second note - 90 ticks
32n - thirty-second note - 60 ticks
32nt - thirty-second-note triplet - 40 ticks
64nd - Dotted sixty-fourth note - 45 ticks
64n - Sixty-fourth note - 30 ticks
128n - One-hundred-twenty-eighth note - 15 ticks