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Getting Started

Installing and Setting up Modalys on Your Computer

This section deals with helping you install Modalys on your computer, so you can access it in your preferred interface environment.

  • Download the latest version of Modalys for Mac (.dmg archive) from IRCAM Forum.

  • Launch the installation package. Selecting the "Standard" installation is recommended.

  • If you already have an /Applications/Modalys folder, don't worry, it will be renamed and backed-up.

  • For use with Max/MSP, OpenMusic or even with MATLAB, follow the relevant instructions below.

Modalys components for these various environments are all found in /Applications/Modalys/Components/.

NB: if you have some older setup for these environments, back up and then remove the corresponding files before installing the new ones!

Authorizing Modalys


If this is the first time you are using Modalys, or if you are upgrading from version 3.2 or older, you will need to authorize Modalys with the activation code sent by the IRCAM Forum server:

  • If not already done so, go to the Modalys Download Page on the Forum website and request your authorization key. You should receive it by email almost instantly.

  • Launch the Modalys Authorization Tool from /Applications/Modalys/ and then copy and paste the authorization key (it’s a long, cryptic text...)

That’s all folks !


The ModaLisp application, found in /Applications/Modalys, is Modalys’s text-based Lisp interface.

ModaLisp is the primarily interface for learning Modalys and all examples in this documentation are written in Lisp.

ModaLisp is based on LispWorks’ implementation of Common Lisp.

You can find great resources on the web to learn Lisp, such as LispWorks’ Lisp Documentation and Tutorials.

To get started, open and study the examples from /Applications/Modalys/Examples/Lisp.

Max/MSP Interface

To install the Max/MSP modalys~ object and MLYS instrument construction objects, you need to make sure that they have been added to Max's search path.

Modalys objects for Max work with Max 5 and 6 (and up).

From the Components/Max folder, the simplest way to setup Modalys for Max is to copy the modalys folder to {Max 5 application folder}/Cycling '74 or to {Max 6 or up application folder}/packages.

Alternatively, you can add this modalys folder manually to Max's search path, without copying/pasting.

Also, the Max Modalys objects are now fully documented with comprehensive Max help files.

Another great place to get started with MLYS is Manuel Poletti’s free Forum Max Apps which include a great deal of well-designed Modalys examples. And yes it is free !

Open Music Library

To install the Modalys Library for Open Music, copy the Components/OpenMusic/Modalys 3.41/ folder to {Open Music Application Folder}/libraries/.

Create a dedicated Modalys workspace and get started with the numerous and great Modalys examples found in the Open Music tutorials.

MatLab Interface

Modalys for MatLab, obviously, is used for scientific research.

To install Modalys for MatLab, open MatLab and go to File Menu > Set Path, choose Add Folder and then locate the MatLab folder inside Components. That’s it !

You can find a couple of MatLab examples in the Examples folder.

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