You may donate to the development of Forester and other software projects.

I’m excited about making software again – those few who donated will be rewarded. 

Forester II ideas (no longer in development)….

Here is a little video of me testing the currents in Forester 2. Don’t have time to annotate the video I’m afraid, but im basically changing 4 parameters of the current using a midi controller – yes forester 2 will be easily midi controllable. How fast the sound ball thingies move depends on their size and the strength of the current.

Forester: magical sound creation For Mac & PC

DOWNLOAD Forester v1.4 (Mac Core2duo)

DOWNLOAD Forester v1.3 (Mac PPC)

DOWNLOAD Forester v1.3 (Win)

You may donate to the development of Forester and other software projects.

Well the time has come, Forester is all grown up and has started making radio appearances without me. If you live in the US you probably all ready know Electronic Musician magazine. Personally I’ve never seen it but huge respect to Len Sasso for trying to explain Forester on the radio. I’ve snipped the relevant part from the whole broadcast which originally broadcast June 18th 2008.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

you can hear the whole broadcast here

79 Comments to Software

September 29, 2008

Brilliant program using its software and ixi-software I wrote album KARPOOSCOOLCOLLAPSE

October 9, 2008

what file format do the sounds have to be in?? :( Want to try this so bad

Leafcutter John
October 10, 2008

Sounds can be Aiff, Wav, or SDII – It will NOT work with Mp3’s

You have to put the sounds you want to use in a folder then select it by clicking on the folder icon at the top of the Forester window.

have fun!


October 11, 2008


Great software! Are parameter manipulations triggered according to the x and y axis, or do manipulations happen inside the discs?


October 13, 2008

nice bit of max programming. Have been using it with some guitar samples I made the other month. Its a bit addictive. Nice one Jon.

Leafcutter John
October 13, 2008

The different parameters are mapped to different discs, the parameter rises as you get closer to the center of the disc.


October 17, 2008

Love the video and the concept, however, this hangs on my Core Duo MacPro with OS-X 10.5.5 build 9F33. :( I feel like there is a UI library that I need to load? Or is there an underlying library to install since this appears to be a MAS/MAX sort of thing? Thanks for any help. Can’t wait to try this out!

October 17, 2008

Installed the MAX Runtime – still the same problem. The UI isn’t initializing. Hope you’re reading this and find it helpful.

October 18, 2008

Phil, Hi I’m on tour with Polar Bear at the moment so I cant check every day – You don’t need to do anything apart from download the program. Maybe its a OS 10.5.5 thing? I know it works with 10.5.4

IS it working for anyone on .5?

Best, John.

Sean Woodward (Gothick)
October 24, 2008

This is great software. I experimented with it on Gothick’s 2008 album INVOKATION OV NUIT. Read more about my experiences in the band blog. Thanx LeafcutterJohn!

Andrew Kaluzynski
October 25, 2008

I love forester. I’ve been programing in Max for almost two years now and I’m wondering if you have a version of forester that I could open up to see the programing?

It’s given me some ideas and I’m interested to see how you pulled off some of the audio effects/interfacing. However, I totally understand if you want to keep some of it to yourself.

Great work!

[…] Forester is a sound/composition generator visualized using Tree analogy. Built using MaxMSP, Forester allows you to load a number of samples and navigate them as you would a forest to create sound composition. […]

November 11, 2008

ooooh goodie the new version forester II looks nice…i love the ideas for the changes in the tree shapes…could you possibly make it so people could switch between circles and quadrangles??? like an on off button? that would be hot!!!!

darren fisher
November 15, 2008

looks very interesting.

are you going to program a vst version?

darren fisher
November 15, 2008

umm does this work in vista?

as it loads up, but does not give the option of loading any samples :(

will try in xp now

(dual boot system).


Leafcutter John
November 15, 2008

Hi Darren,

Making a standalone version is the priority at the moment – a vst version does not make much sense given that forester likes to work with multiple sound file sources.

I don’t have a PC so i’m not sure if works on Vista or not – Maybe some of our PC users can help out with that.

darren fisher
November 16, 2008


ok cool.

yeah works great in xp.

it is a really cool program.


November 20, 2008

nice software. works well on vista for me.

November 23, 2008

This is an awesome program, and I thank you for creating it. I have used it on my first album, >4, on TDS…

I think that the song Train Ride makes the best use of it, and there is some at the end of Epic Cat and used on other tracks as well.

December 21, 2008

really nice piece of software!
but i have a problem, if im recording then it records only the left side.
in the program the right side lights aren’t moving at all.
can you please help me with that?
what might be the cause of this?

December 21, 2008

got the problem solved :)

December 25, 2008

hi, thanks for this gorgeous piece of software, its really cool on tiger/PPC (though i’m bothered by the “small loops” on version 1.3) but 1.4 nearly doesn’t work at all on leopard/intelC2D ; most of the loaded samples won’t play (usually just 1 at a time), or there will be bursts of unpleasant noise on top of this.

ph Neutre
December 25, 2008

Formidable votre logiciel qui m’a fait découvrir votre excellent album ! Bonne continuation et un sincère merci pour la mise à disposition de Forester…

December 28, 2008

nevermind, i guess i was just messing with the audio driver settings :)

Eric Klein
January 19, 2009

Awesome program! I will definitely be incorporating this into my music. BTW, works great on my Windows XP laptop.

Roland St. John Perez
January 23, 2009

This is great! Easy to use and very creative. We’ll put it through the paces here at seventy three records. Can’t wait for the new version. Cheers!

bray Poor
January 25, 2009

I am so anxious to try this. however, i think perhaps i might be in small minority of users: namely, people who are on the 1st gen Macbook Pros which are NOT Core Duo, though they run intel. is this why i can’t get it to sound?
should i download the PPC version? does it run Rosetta?

Albert Fox
January 27, 2009

Thanks, I’m about to check it. Looks great!!

Albert Fox
January 27, 2009

Wow! Really cool and fresh – I have so much audio and it’s nice to breath some new life into it with such a cool interface. Thanks!

dominique Fabre
January 28, 2009

Bravo !!! its very funny and usefull.Merci beaucoup

January 28, 2009

This has some great potential. Any chance of adding a feature to modify the loop sizes (would be cool to have longer loops)?

Great work :)

January 30, 2009

I downloaded v1.3 for the PC and the audio is only coming out of the left channel. I read that someone else had this problem but solved it. I am seemingly not as capable. Help anyone?

February 6, 2009


I’m having a great time with Forester. It is a very useful way of finding new angles on material you’ve created. Two questions- what exactly do Smoothing and Overdrive do?


February 7, 2009

This is an amazing piece of software! I love it. I think I’ve met my new writing partner. Forester Rocks.

John Thompson
February 8, 2009

An excellent piece of software. I haven’t fully gotten the hang of it yet, but only a few minutes of playing around with loops on my hard drive and I’ve stumbled across some very intriguing sounds. I’m an amateur, but I’m glad this tool has been made available. I’ll be donating some (weak, what with this economy) American dollars to the fund as soon as I’m able.

Leafcutter John
February 9, 2009

Rovadams – ‘smoothing’ changes how long it takes for the delay times to change, higher setting take longer and are smoother. ‘Overdrive’ is a legacy of the Max/MSP environment and should be switched on.
I hope that helps – thank you very much for your generous donation!

Luis Aly
February 14, 2009

Great John a real masterpiece of programming.
Could you post something about your work progress on building Forrester. Once again thanks..gggreat!!

March 5, 2009

does this work in vista? prog loads, but folder find tab seems dead. everything else works find, but it won’t load sounds. hmmmmmm.

March 8, 2009

Agreed– great fun program. Longer loops, please.

April 8, 2009

Thanks for this great piece of software John. Im only just discovering the joys of MAX MSP. Love the way of interacting with this patch. Youre the man leafcutter John.

May 1, 2009

This is really cool. Just read about it in EM and decided to check it out. I love the concept. Is there a BPM or tempo clock that can be mapped to this?

May 3, 2009

O.S.C. for lemur user please

[…] Software | […]

[…] Download und Infos Hier […]

July 28, 2009

Keen to try it but have had no luck. I’m on Mac osx. Hangs on startup and then shuts down.

Kintra Starling
August 5, 2009

Thank you thank you! Downloaded this this morning and had a day off work. Breathing new life to some sounds.

September 7, 2009

I work on aPC and I love this program
but its a shame that I can’t record what I do to HD coz< everytime I try stop the recording it blocks the computer and nothing gets ever recorded. maybe it would work for gathering short samples but not longer recordings. its a shame, Ive find beautiful generative – like sequences that I won’t ever capture…
any idea maybe?

September 9, 2009

Love it – but have a fair bit of trouble with glitches and clicks – sometimes they are feature, others an irritation. Any way round this?

Ricky FRy
October 26, 2009

Great fun and creative inspiration. Thanks.
Question: what is the purpose of the little selector next to the “rec” button-has int16,int8 etc etc? cheers..

[…] Software | […]

January 13, 2010

Hi John, i love the program. I am curious, how not to hear/use the sounds you included from your album ( your sounds are included when a forest is created)? would love to try with imported sounds only.



Leafcutter John
January 13, 2010

click on the folder icon, then select a folder on your hard drive which contains aiff or wav files Forester will then pick some files from within that folder.



Leafcutter John
January 13, 2010

click on the folder icon, then select a folder on your hard drive which contains aiff or wav files Forester will then pick some files from within that folder.



sean sutton
January 16, 2010

how do you get this to work as an instrument plugin with protools for windows? i saw my professor using this software in class last week, but he didn’t tell us how to get it into protools.


Leafcutter John
January 19, 2010

Probably using rewire, I’m guessing. When in doubt ask a teacher – don’t they learn you nuffin at skool these dayz?

January 28, 2010

really impressive work. others have asked, so wondered whether it’s possible to see the max patch? Really like to see behind the graphics to know what exactly is going on…

[…] Forester by LeafCutterJohn > Mac & PC […]

February 10, 2010

i like this very much,
but i have some questions and problems:
1) after i select a sample folder only few of the 6 sample slots get filled with the sample.
2)when i click on the “load again button”, most of the times no sample changes, and if i keep clicking after a while only 1 or 2 samples get changed.
3)when i move around the forest often there are long periods of silence, with only short perdiods of audio,in general silence is predominant.
i suppose these 3 problems are related to each other, but i don’t know why.
Then i wanted to know if there is any king of synch bpm going on with the loops or it’s just tempo free.

ph Neutre
March 9, 2010

Merci beaucoup pour ce génial utilitaire qui permet de créer des ambiances incroyables!

[…] Press Here To Enter The Site […]

March 17, 2010

looks awesome.. looking forward to experimenting with it.

[…] LeafCutterJohn’s Forester (Mac & PC) Forester Tutorial […]

April 21, 2010

I love the sounds that are made possible by this program. Can anybody shed some light on how to use the “MIDI Setup” window? It would be awesome to have control over the red dot’s position using a device other than my mouse.

Joe McMahon
September 7, 2010

Thank you very much for Forester. I have a recording I made of gamelan samples transformed with Forester out on the JNN netlabel called Gamelan Collider.

i love
October 20, 2010

you all and I am available for marriage/for a price of course. Inquire withinnn.

Alessandro Rescio
October 30, 2010

Great stuff John, i’m looking forward to v2! (also windows version please)

What would be great is to control speed.

Chris Stokes » Video: Japan
November 4, 2010

[…] Have found a way of soundtracking via this fellow. […]

Mr SteamPunk
December 3, 2010


yes please make a windows version of Forester 2 too…
Thanks for even considering it :)

Mr. SP

February 4, 2011

amazing work! I love this tool within 5 minutes of use. Can’t wait to see 2.

*max/msp basics 1* |
March 7, 2011

[…] we had more time, we may have looked at this nice application by Leafcutter […]

[…] Steve Moyes Selection Box Shane Cadman Piece 121209 Jeff Duke Forester-1-JD (text link 1 – text link 2) J.C. Combs Safe Passage (text link) Lee Noyes Reflections 11XII09 WIre – long 11XII09 […]

April 21, 2012
August 21, 2012

This is a brilliant software. Just the kind of randomness I love working with. Thanks a lot mate, and do give a word if you ever make more software:)

tony maas
October 11, 2012

LOve your work, John. Just the kind of software I’ve been looking for.

[…] is now exploring new territory with this new recordings, which is derived from sounds made via Forester. The glitchy, lo-fi, and bit-crunched moments are an intentional part of the way this recording is […]

January 26, 2013

it’s not working any more on my PC,why? O_o

May 31, 2013

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June 6, 2013

forest walks will never be the same again!
thanks LCJ!

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