Comparison: vvvv, max/msp, pd and processing

Anybody can provide some information and advice on what are the major differences or advantages between the following tools: vvvv, max/msp, pd and processing.

for a fast answer (and what i know):

vvvv advantages:
The User Interface in Detail

sure lots to add.
don’t have experience with the alternatives though.

depends. in my opinion:

if you want to patch (visually programming), mostly generative with good perfomance and maybe in a multiscreen setup over network, use vvvv.

if you want to patch, process audio or video (-clips), use max/ msp/ jitter, because of the excellent quicktime library. use it on a mac. (windows video is ridiculous shit in contrast to qt). Pd would also do the job for audio, but i wouldn’t recommend it for graphics.

if you want to write some lines of code for generative graphics conventionally, put it on the web with user interaction and stuff, use Processing.

i’d recommend to simply test drive all the tools yourself and watch some high profile projects developed with them.


all cycling74 stand alone patches i have encountered are not dealing with video up to 800 600 px. maybe it is inproved now.

PD: is dead somehow now. many people stopped to use it because of bugging ( essentially midi weakness), despite Gem incorporation for video.

Processing: less versatile than vvvv, but will be simpler if you have habit of coding. a real weakness: based on java. a real strongness: its approach is based completely for artist preoccupations, its a linear programmation language designed to be the more simplest as possible for artists needs .but it will be less handy to prototype.

my little opinion:
for sound: use max, years and years of experience and developpment with artists, engineers, etc… so a galaxy of tools.

for video: use vvvv, it rocks 5 sky up all other apps.

if you need the two: global tool : osc com between Max and VVVV.
vvvvery powerfull…

in general: vvvv approach is far more stronger and quicker, and its philosophy is “modern”.
its incorpore sounds from the beginning, so i think sound and video are no problem for vvvv , in terms of general inner design ( Pd and Max incorpores video, but this is add on, so its not powerfull, and its ressources consumming).

community is there and provides many technical help, patchs, shaders, plug ins…

I have to add also that vvvv is a free tool, pd and processing are open source tools!! and max is very powerful and very expensive tool.

vvvv rules

i would not sign that pd is dead. see their wiki and active forums. i’d always recommend pd for advanced sound needs like synthesis and analysis.

processing being based on java is in no way less versatile than vvvv. you’ll more likely hit boundaries with vvvv than with processing. but in the end they are really hard to compare. i’d say the main decision the user needs to make is between textual and visual programming. then either is fine.

also, while vvvv truly rocks it is not a free tool.

To all great answers! Thank you very much. Now I have better ideas on what and how to use them for different purpose.

Totally agree vvvv rocks!!!