Multitouch external for MaxMSP

The trackpad on the late MacBooks can track up to 10 or more (!) fingers at once. Fingerpinger is an external object for MaxMSP that we wrote around code from This is an experimental hack. No guarantee it will work on future OS versions. But its fun and its free…

Update: Works with the Magic Trackpad, too!


TrackPadSynth is a simple but fun example of what you can do with fingerpinger. It’s a standalone version, you don’t need MaxMSP to try it out…


Fingerpinger provides the following data in realtime (about every 8ms, very low latency):

  • Finger index
  • Frame number
  • Angle
  • Major and minor axis of ellipsoid
  • Position
  • Velocity (x,y)
  • Identifier
  • State
  • Size


You’ll need a recent Apple MacBook with Intel processor
MaxMSP 4.6 or MaxMSP 5


Fingerpinger 2009 by Michael & Max Egger is licensed under GNU GPL 2.0
Code based on

Known Issues

Mouse gestures still work

On the latest MacBooks with 4 finger gestures, we could not find a way yet to suppress the gestures for Exposé, so you’ll be confronted much too often with flying windows when playing with fingerpinger. Any help for turning off this “feature” is greatly appreciated.


Somehow we had to copy the MultitouchSupport.framework from /System/PrivateFrameworks/ to the xcode project folder to be able to compile the external.


  • Max External (version 2009-06-01)
  • Source code
  • TrackPadSynth is a simple but fun example of what you can do with fingerpinger. It’s a standalone version, you don’t need MaxMSP to try it out…
  • TrackPadSynth’s max patch


6 responses to “Multitouch external for MaxMSP”

  1. […] I nuovi Macbook (Pro) hanno una trackpad in grado di leggere i movimenti di tutte le dieci dita contemporaneamente. Fingerpinger è un oggetto per MaxMsp in grado di trasmettere in tempo reale i dati della suddetta trackpad… […]

  2. […] fingerpinger is a “hacked” Max external; GPL’ed so if someone wants to build it for Pd, it could be tested there, too. – Ideally, though, something less hacky and built around the native APIs, then translated to something higher-level and cross-platform and portable would be the way forward. […]

  3. […] I was looking for somekind of framework or script in order to use trackpad as multitouch device. At first I found TongSeng from TUIO. After a little googling, I came across with an external called Fingerpinger which was written for Max Msp Jitter. It’s free and opensource. You can download it from here. And it’s very easy to work with it. Share and Enjoy: […]

  4. […] Organize the icons on your desktop and in your downloads folder. Marvel at all of the strange things you downloaded over the past few months/years. (Strangest downloaded file I have found so far: Fingerpinger (, a fun little app that tracks your fingers on your Mac’s trackpad and makes noise.) […]

  5. […] Works under Mac OS 10.5+ Made with Max 6 and fingerpinger object. Beta This entry was posted in Blog by admin. Bookmark the permalink. […]