Similar to the actuator, the computer interface is intended to be easily modified by other musicians and engineers. MAX MSP, used in this case to develop the Shred software, is a visual programming language intended for audio visual installations. MAX MSP also has a feature that allows the program to communicate with Ableton Live, a digital audio workstation designed to cater to electronic music producers in order to mix and create dynamic tracks while playing live. The drumming community has also adopted Ableton, incorporating it into live setups in order to trigger backing tracks and samples on stage using the Roland gear and Monomes57. MAX MSP has the built in capability to use Ableton Live Plugins as well as to transmit MIDI data into and out from Ableton58. In this way, the Ableton's sequencer and MIDI environment can be easily be used with the Shred device. The MAX patch features a built in Sequencer but is primitive in its capabilities. The only adjustable parameters are tempo, controlled via a graphic dial and by tap tempo and volume. It allows the user to place hits on a grid setup that allows for thirty-second note values at the smallest. The sequencer has the ability to save up to six preset rhythms. The transportation menu can be controlled by any external MIDI device as well as on the designed computer interface. In this way, if the user is using a Roland device or something similar, pads can be mapped in order to play/pause, and go previous/next. It is clear that the Shred device in combination with its software has potential to behave in a various ways. One such way would be the development of real time responsiveness.
The primary feature of the device is the ability to loop record. Currently there is no device on the market that allows a drummer to record a performance on the spot and playback directly on the drum heads. Ideally, users can record a rhythmical idea and play it back on the drum kit, while continuing to play naturally. This allows the user to build up complex rhythms that otherwise could not have been achieved. Just as in the case of the sequencer, Ableton Live can be used as the primary interface if preferred. Ideally, there would be no limit as to how many sequences could be recorded and played back simultaneously. Future functionality would also incorporate the ability to move sequences from one drum to another, play backwards, invert, or double and half the tempo of the sequence.
The last functionality, and currently the most underdeveloped, is the ability to support the performer with time based effects such as echoes, delays, and dubbeling up on drums. For example, if the user strikes the snare, the floor tom could be struck at the same time, supporting a thicker sound. As discussed in chapter two, adding a time based effect on a drummer's performance carries a significant effect on how he or she constructs a groove-- it becomes a process of push and pull, allowing space for the effect as well as filling in the gaps, and the decisions made on the next rhythmical sequence are constructed by the musician. Currently, there is no device on the market that allows for such time based effects.