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Getting Started

Modalys v.3.8.2


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

  • MacOS

    • Download the latest version of Modalys .dmg archive from IRCAM Forum.
    • Launch the installation package. Selecting the "Standard" installation is recommended.
    • The Modalys for Max package will be installed automatically, but alternatively, you may download the compressed (zip) package (for Mac) and install it manually.
    • For use with Max (Modalys for Max), OpenMusic or even with MATLAB, follow the relevant instructions below.

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

  • Windows (Modalys for Max only)

    • Download and launch the installer. The Modalys for Max package will be installed automatically.
    • Alternatively, you can download the Modalys for Max compressed (zip) package and install it manually.

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

Using the Documentation

This documentation has been historically centered around the Lisp interface, but more and more articles now also cover Modalys for Max and Lua.

Modalys for Max (Max Interface)

Modalys for Max works with Max 6, 7, 8.x and later in 64bit (Mac or Window), or arm64 (Mac "Silicon"). Make sure that Modalys for Max ("modalys" package) has been added to Max's search path.

Modalys for Max is documented with comprehensive Max help files, and there are many examples available from the "Modalys for Max" Extras menu item, and from the /instruments and /examples folders within the package.

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!


The ModaLisp application, found in /Applications/Modalys, is Modalys’ text-based Lisp interface. ModaLisp is the historical interface for learning Modalys, and many examples in this documentation are written in Lisp. it is based on LispWorks’ implementation of Common Lisp.

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

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

Open Music Library

To install the Modalys Library for Open Music, copy the Components/OpenMusic/Modalys 3.8.2/ 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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