Jitter screen grab by droolcup, which is what you’re about to need.

I’ll give you a second to let that headline sink in.

Max for Live, announced at the NAMM music trade show, adds Max/MSP/Jitter to Ableton Live, including – in a move that really caught me by surprise – Jitter. In addition to the usual Max objects, Max for Live adds objects that allow Max to control and listen to Clips, Devices, tracks, and more, and that integrate it with the interface.

This means two really big things:

1. OpenSoundControl input and output will now be possible with Ableton. Still want to use vdmx or a separate machine running Processing or (whatever app you like) for visuals? Now you can build Max patches that transmit data to the visual app, either listening to the Live set or giving you new visual controls inside Live.

2. You’ll be able to create Jitter windows inside Ableton Live, so you can run video and live 3D inside Live.

This is really huge news, of course – but it’s also worth noting how huge the impact of better OSC implementation in other tools would be, as well. And if you don’t like doing your visuals in Jitter, you don’t have to. One of the things I always liked about Max was using it as “glue,” for doing smaller projects rather than expansive software.  What the Ableton announcement means is, basically, Max has become your glue and your API to Live. And that’s a wonderful thing.

A couple of people are also thinking about Processing integration. Processing in Max in Live – yum.

People have been asking for VJ-style features in Live. In a way, this is better: rather than some boring, prescribed way of doing visuals in Live, you can do whatever you want. Visualists could even write patches for their Max+Live-using friends that they can insert as Devices into their Live sets, with friendly Ableton-style knobs that they can use to adjust the data they’re sending to another machine doing visuals.

It’s going to be a long wait to later in this year when this all comes together.

Cycling ‘74 Reveals Max For Live: Make Max Patches that Integrate with Ableton

The Ableton integration is really the stuff we don’t know as much about – especially now with the revelation that the Max side is really the Max 5 and Jitter we know and love — so stay tuned to the CDMs for more on that.

  • The more I hear about Max In Live the more I think it's going to cost a bloody fortune! Exciting though.

  • nobbystylus

    I'm really tempted to buy MAX now, so as to learn all the stuff i'll be able to do with it once Max For Live comes out.

    BUT, I don't want to pay for "MAX for Live" ASWELL as MAX (and also the LIVE 8 upgrade), as everything i need will be inside MAX for LIVE.

    We gotta know if its worth us having BOTH Max and MAX FOR LIVE if we're primarily just using MAX as a way to manipulate Live.

  • @nobbystylus: I agree. What I have heard now: if you don't mind booting Live every time you want to use Max, Max for Live should be enough. If you want Max standalone and the ability to build apps, etc., you need to buy both. You don't get Max for Live with Max, and you don't get Max for Live with Ableton, so you need to either buy two (Live + Max for Live) or three (Live, M4L, Max).

    I kind of wonder if there wasn't a simpler way to do this, but that's what they chose.

  • By this point, I'm convinced Ableton aren't just ambitious executors, they're marketing geniuses. Patterns emerge: look at all the hardware devices out there which have a coupon for Live and/or a copy of Live Lite. And with this, and the new joint-production Akai APC40 (not to mention other devices which've been introduced wieth Live very specifically in-mind), WOW.

    Social media marketing blogs don't pay much attention to the pro audio part of the pie, but it's definitely notable in my book.

  • Yeah, confirmed from both Cycling and Ableton now; full thing, Jitter, java objects, externals (subject to platform porting issues, of course) and so on. The whole enchillada.

    Look forward to seeing people go nuts with playstation controllers, web applications (yes, web!), serial control (including dmx controllers for lights) directly inside Live. Good times!

    HID inputs == high resolution inputs – upto and beyond 12 bits from knobs, IIRC
    Network inputs == interaction with servers? I can see direct file serving as a possibility; record something into a clip, use live.drop (you know about this, right?) or similar, fed into jit.uldk and straight onto an ftp for a client – how cool is that!?

  • nobbystylus

    if they made the MAX for LIVE extras a cheap upgrade to the standard version of MAX/MSP/Jitter then its not a problem. At the moment they're not getting a sale of MAX/MSP/Jitter from me cos i'm not sure how much more i'll have to cough up once M4L is out.

  • Im going to guess theres going to be a lot of folks wanting to learn jitter. heh heh..

  • Actually, Peter, if you get this, we should look at how best to integrate video and shaders into Live. Once this is available we can do some tuts 🙂

  • You know when you type a message and you forget to put your name in and your browser tells you there was an error and you hit back and your message had gone – that is annoying. Grr. And why don't I ever remember?

  • What I was going to ask is – is Jitter good? I've used it a few times and whilst versatile, performance wise it sucked. Could've been the way I was using it though! I know there's some CPU heavy stuff, but also Open GL stuff! It didn't seem that good for video layering/playing/triggering though. Please tell me I'm hopelessly wrong.
    Whatever its still exciting whether you use Jitter or MaxforLive as a bridge to something else. I'm looking forward to making some instant av loopers and remixers.

    When is PDforLive coming out anyway?

  • You are hopelessly wrong. 🙂 Programming Jitter is not easy. There are good ways and bad ways to go about things. And usually simple equals fairly slow.

    Check out http://abstrakt.vade.info/?p=147

  • @vade: I'm game — let's do it!

    And actually, some of the techniques for performance optimization might well apply to Pd, too…

    New slogan: "Jitter. It WILL kick your ass."

  • Thanks! That is good news.

    I'll check your post out.

  • Fantastical. That's going to be lots of fun. I'd already planned to spend more time in PD this year, I don't see it being particularly tough to extend that to Max/Live/Jitter as well.

    MLJ? LMJ?

  • wooooohoooooooooo to a flexible API for live. i only want the glue, but man do i want i the glue. hope they keep the price reasonable.

  • oh dear. this might be enough to scare me into finally learning jitter.

  • sick as f**k… this will make so many things possible. a really nice frontend for max and an infinitely configurable backend for live. this is the future…

  • Max for live seems a great step forward. How are the liveApi python team going to swallow that?
    I hope the Api will be still available in Live 8

  • Andrew Benson

    As of this writing, all of the Jitter objects I've tested appear to be functional in Max for Live, but I would like to offer one caveat to this fact. Max for Live is Max IN Live, which means that you might not get the same screaming frame rates you would expect from a standalone copy of MaxMSP/Jitter. For the first version, the focus is really going to be on the message-passing and DSP side of things, but we have some really cool ideas for Jitter in Live in future versions. That said, assuming you know how to keep things reasonably lightweight, it should work. I have a couple of little OpenGL audio visualization patches that appear to be running just fine.

  • Thanks for the update Andrew. Awesome news indeed, and I'm sure the performance hit is reasonable and understandable: If we want more performance we can use OSC to glue things together.

  • yes Andrew the input from you guys is always appreciated!

    Looking forward to the beta! Holy fuckballs, just realized: bands with proper visualisation are going to be a dime a dozen now… brilliant!

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