Max For Live Sneak Peak from max4live on Vimeo.

Suddenly, I have an image of American Ableton hackers patching on their MacBook over Thanksgiving turkey.

After a long, long wait, a public beta of Max for Live is available. The software incorporates the full version of Max/MSP/Jitter – complete with visual output, video processing, and 3D capabilities – with the Live host. Max patches operate with all their usual capabilities as devices inside Live. User interface elements are available to give Max patches conventional Ableton device interfaces, and there are even pre-built elements for useful functions like frequency displays and MIDI patterns. Via the Live API, Max for Live patches are also able to control most elements of the Live interface.

Because of Max’s networking capabilities, Max for Live devices can also be used to route OpenSoundControl data into Live. That isn’t necessarily with the same ease as you might route MIDI, and there’s still no native support in the Live interface, but it is a step forward.

Our friend Michael at has been busy documenting the new software. His overview video is at top, and for OSC coverage, see his tutorial [part 1 | part 2].

Updated: Pricing has now been announced.
Max for Live is not included with Live 8 or even (perhaps surprisingly) Live Suite. It will be a US$299 / EUR249 download, available separately, on top of the cost of Live 8 or Live Suite 8. If you already own Max, you’ll have a set of crossgrades available:
1. You own Live. You can add Max for Live for US$99.
2. You don’t own Live, and want just Live. You can get that and Max for Live for US$449.
3. You don’t own Live, and want the whole Suite. Suite plus Max for Live crossgrade, US$699.

Total cost:
Max owners without Live: US$449-699
Live owners without Max: US$299 + cost of the upgrade to Live 8
Max + Live owners: US$99 + cost of the upgrade to Live 8

I think this could arguably be worth the investment, but given the discontinuation of support for developing VST, RTAS, and AU plug-ins in Max – a feature that was formerly free – I expect some resistance. Also, as previously announced, there is no known Max for Live “runtime,” meaning Max patch developers don’t really have a distribution outlet for work made in Max for Live, other than other Max for Live users.

Sign up for the public beta on Ableton’s site, and you’ll be able to grab the downloads (details below). You must be an Ableton Live 8 owner, though you don’t need to own Max 5:

At the bottom of the page, you’ll have a direct link to download Live 8.1 (the official current build of Live is 8.0.9 otherwise), and a link to Cycling’s site to download Max. (Note: the Max link worked this morning, then promptly disappeared, so it’s possible they’re uploading an updated build is now back up.)

There are full instructions there. I was able to simply click a button and become a beta tester; hopefully you have the same experience. You’ll need to install two pieces of software, both Ableton Live 8.1 on the Live side and Max 5.1.


For the Python-based Live API, and the MIDI and OSC interfaces based on it, this should also come as good news. Live 8.1 should theoretically represent a more stable, feature-complete, fully documented version of the Live API under the hood in Live. That means even without Max for Live, it may be possible to, say, route an OSC input into Live as easily as a MIDI control surface.

If you’d like to join in with other people working on hacking Ableton Live and ask questions, try out our Noisepages group, which should now be functioning properly with a forum, wire, and networking features. More to come with this, with Max for Live, with OSC, with other tools, with… yeah, I’m glad I own a coffee maker.

  • so there's a link to download max 5.1 and when you get there it says "Public Beta Downloads for Mac OS X and Windows. New download coming soon". Am I in the wrong place?

  • Oh, they must have pulled a build at the last second. It was there when I checked.

  • they've put the link back up.

  • Danny P


  • edison


  • David

    Thank god its only $99 for Max and live owners! I was worried they would screw the users on this but thankfully its a sensible price point.

  • According to Ableton: Max for Live will be available on November 23rd, 2009. It will cost USD 299/EUR 249. If you already own Max 5, the discounted price is USD 99/EUR 79.

    So it looks like if you already own Live, the price will be $300, whereas the $99 price will be for current owners of Max 5.

  • Sorry, just to clarify what I'm referring to:

    1. You own Live. You can add Max for Live for US$99.

    Everything else in the article mentions the $300 cost

  • Tried to clarify pricing above. The trick to pricing is, you must own a copy of Live 8. So it's $99 for existing Max owners, yes — but only if you own Live 8, so don't forget to figure in the cost of the upgrade / new Live license.

    Also, look at it from the perspective of an existing Live user new to Max. You're shelling out $300 for a patching environment you've never used. My guess is, there will be plenty of people willing to do that, but I don't see a whole lot of people doing it *just* to run other people's patches.

  • dovemouse

    finally! authorised and ready to patch 😀

    cheers for the speedy post peter!

  • rorschach

    Since month, there is this unexplainable hype for Max4Live, all forums are hyped up to the level of nausea.

    I still can't get the sense of this combination , but then, I still can't make sense of 64 lit buttons.

    Is there no way of making art then what these people want to sell you as a useless upgrade?

  • Chris Hahn

    Peter, can you find out if this will work with this new $99 Live Lite that Ableton released?

  • rorschach

    Part II: I could do the same without pay for upgrades with Max and VST.

    What is the difference of a Max based VST Instruments inside cubase or logic to max5live?

    (again except the 64 lit buttons?

    I am a Max/MSP/Jitter Veteran, I love it.

    I still vomit over Max4Live useless hype.

  • binklebonk

    you can't edit pluggo plugs in realtime, numbnuts, spoon it up, Yay! Pluggo patches are in there too

  • I couldn't find a bundle price for max + live for students. anyone know?

    BTW. this, from my perspective, is probably the most important music software release since… well… I can't even remember.

  • ah yes, does anyone know how max for live is different from the stand alone max – other then Live integration? have cycling74 ommited features from max for max4live?

  • Rorschach: Max For Live is for producers.

    Those of us that actually compose have other things we prefer to do like… umm… play our synths, instead of programming them!

    I predict that M4L will aid thousands of producers make yet more interminable minimal techno nonsense and make it even more anal a genre to listen to. Melodies, on the other hand, are not something anyone cares about any more.

  • I came from a Max/MSP/Jitter background from years back and i am interested in Max For Live because of the fact that it provides a nice integration between Max/MSP/Jitter with Live. This means that all of the timing info can be accessed from Live through their API. That alone makes a good enough reason for me to use it. I use a lot of hardware controllers to interact with Live and thus it is useful to me. In a straight Max patch you would need to sync the patch either through Midi or rewire. Live does have one of the better rewire engines, but it is an even better option to get the timing right from Live through M4L.

    Integration is another aspect that is a definite plus for M4L. Think about all of the samples you had to reload in a standar max patch or maybe you did create something to load a set. But, if you want to interact with a DAW and the Max patch, you would need to load your max patch and then anything that is required and then load your DAW and everything that is required. With M4L you an save everything in a Live Set and have it recalled.

    With the M4L API they have pre-programmed some useful features that have made it easier for newcomers to get involved with Max. For example that have a command that get's selected tracks that you could accomplish by programming all of the objects that are within the sub-patchers, but they have already done it for you. The internal API allows you to access a lot of the internal functions that are available in Live.

    I don't think any product is for everyone, but I do think that people who haven't tried it yet should do so and see if it has value to them.

  • Sorry if it sounds dumb, but, from a guy new to MSP languages:

    Why Max if I could use PureData with OSC trough LiveOSC? I think it's cool, but a little bit expensive (I already paid for my Live 8.1).

    I do know that is "because of the integration" but… do we ("we" as "average live user" really need it). Sometimes we fall into some patch / plugin frenzy… and I'm still learning to master Operator!

    @ Edison

    I guess you do, man. But I can't use a monome like that. Much respect indeed

  • What I ment is:

    Monome / Max / Jitter / Chuck / Supercollider / Reaktor really rocks, yes!


    Do we need it urgently ? (I agree with Rorschach and Casimir's Blake)

    I would like to sync pictures to Live, maybe small videos, but not to a VJ level. Just little experiments. I think PureData / Processing could do it for me. I've seen retail copies of pluggo dirt cheap in my local music store, now that "Pluggo is dead".

    So I ask again:

    Do I need to rethink all my setup , throw away all my controllers and , copy Edison's setup, or Tim Exile's or The Glitch Mob's? I'd prefer to learn what I actually have right now and then maybe add something like Max (which IMO has an infinite potential).

    I think a new interface / plugin won't make our music better if we didn't miss that functionality before.

    Sorry to post twice. Now you tell me all is because my music sucks.

  • I'm going to give the dumbest, simplest review prediction possible:

    If you're a Max user and a Live user, you're going to love this.

    If you're not a Max user and it seems like this is just another tool to learn, you're right. In fact, if you feel that way, personally, you can't possibly be wrong. 🙂

    I'm not sure I've *ever* seen a music technology tool you "need." And yes, it's almost always better to work with what you've got.

    That's not a negative endorsement of Max for Live; it's just the reality of tools.

    Because part of the Live community is going to want to use Max and part of it isn't, I think that something like LiveOSC could become really important to people's productivity. Forget the price issue for a second – that could mean focusing on getting better with, say, Processing rather than getting another tool you may not have time to learn. And I'd say the reverse, too, you know — if you're really productive in Max and happy with it, then your time may be better spent with Max.

    I love learning new tools, and I have found that new tools sometimes mean I'm using the right tool for the job. But this is never a matter of "need," and I've always been happiest when I've made a conscious choice in what made sense for my work.

    Likewise, as cool as combining Max and Live can be, I think we're seeing a lot of people building their own, simpler tools, without bringing *any* host into the picture. Those kind of experiments existed long before Ableton's creation 10 years ago, and they're part of the reason Live was able to come into being.

    So I just want to be absolutely clear – it's absolutely vital that we have different approaches and different tools. It may seem some people are trolling or just killing people's buzz over Max for Live, but they've got a point – this isn't the tool for everyone.

  • jonnyfive

    @rorschach: Yeah I agree with Michael, M4L is more about control than audio manipulation, ie Max not MSP, and being able to create complex control systems and interesting dynamic interactions/routings. So it may not be for you. Also it does represent the ability for any user to implement some pet feature they wish live had exactly the way they want, which is pretty compelling. I('d like to) think the hype stems from people being excited about customization and turning the environment into an instrument.

  • Oh, I neglected to answer — this is far more than just a runtime or the previous VST/AU/RTAS interface. It's:

    * full integration of the editing facility

    * full integration with the Ableton UI, and the ability to make custom Ableton interface elements

    * hooks into the Ableton interface itself for manipulating and responding to changes in a Live set

    Those make it, truly, a new product. At the same time, to me that makes it more unfortunate that there isn't a way to distribute your creations to all Live users, without them spending $300 on Max 4 Live. Live has this really impressive mechanism for making custom devices, but I think there will be a large chunk of the user base that doesn't buy it. I certainly understand the business reasoning behind it, but it means from the developer standpoint, your audience is limited — take Live users exclusively, subtract Live users who have a version earlier than 8.x, then subtract users who don't own Max for Live.

  • @Casimir's Blake

    Actually, during the demo at AES, their was a violinist that played her instrument while M4L analyzed the audio. When she played staccato it would trigger certain accompanyment, when she played using other techniques it would trigger other things. I actually have some video from AES that i never put up. But, it is a good example of what can be done with M4L.

    I am seeing a lot of interesting interaction with M4L and Live. A lot of these techniques can be accomplished in Max itself, but the DAW aspect of Live is really very beneficial.

    I am not the best musician, but i play synths and guitars and other instruments and i like having the possiblity to perform in other unique ways. Does it make it any less valid to perform parts of a song and then save those parts in Live and use some intersting interaction technique for a perfromance? These are the things that really intrigue me.

    A lot of the major institutions all over the world have a lot of interest in these technologies in order to create new techniques in DSP creation and in interactive performance.

    All I am saying is it is definitely not one segment that is interested in this technology and it is great to have choices. If it is not for you I can defnitely respect that.

  • Peter reminded me of one other thing… Just to clarify before i say this… I have no inside knowledge of anything going on at either Ableton or Cycling74. However, I do believe it would make fiscal sense for Ableton and Cycling74 to provide a runtime and provide something similar to an App store. I strongly believe this will happen. Right now i think they just wanted to get the basic functionality out the door. I could be totally wrong about all of this though.

  • Matt Gnarly

    Any academic pricing available?

  • FFTHomie

    No App Store Please. How about a user community site like Reaktor has where you can freely download uploaded user created patches for free if your a licensed user. And BTW there are literally thousands of Reaktor Patches in those forums. I know I've downloaded hundreds of them.

    In short keep the user created patches free please. Dont milk us any more.

  • @FFTHomie

    I am not sure if they are going to have an app store. That was just speculation in my part. They are going to utilize their share feature in order to exchange patches like they do with the Live sets right now.

  • @Peter

    Reaktor Session wasn't built in a day.

  • S Ford

    It seems a little on the expensive side however interesting a proposition available. I've been dabbling with the free version which came with my soundcard and have been thinking about getting Ableton with M4L, but if I was to buy both together, they'd be around £500 together. Which seems far too much I am afraid.

    I'd be interested what the price for new users would be though, if there was a special bundle price.

    I am not sure how in this time of recession how £500 is a viable option for that many. Musicians in particular who are pretty broke as it is!

    If there is an App Store, that could be quite ridiculous. Native Instruments have a great system so far. If Ableton adopt a App St, that could virtually annoy many more people.

  • s

    I agree it's pretty expensive. I have live 8 but it makes me wonder if I'd rather just buy Max/MSP with an education discount for 250 instead of M4L for 300. I guess theoretically I could get Max for 250 and get the 99 upgrade and then have both for 350, but it's still pretty expensive.

  • jack

    All Hail The Coming of the King

  • @S Ford

    Yeah, I may have gone a little crazy when invisioning and app store. However, I do believe they will have a runtime at some point so that other people can use the patches that are created in M4L. While thinking about that i put on my business hat and I was trying to figure out how AbletonCycling74 would make money on that and the only thing i came up with was an app store. Ther could then be commercial and free apps like on the iphone. Maybe that is not part of their model, but as a business I was trying to extrapolate what their next step would be with M4L.

    Again, I hope everyone will just share their creations and it is one big utopian society. 🙂

  • I own Live 6, Max/MSP 4.6 & Pluggo 3. Do I get that $99 + cost of upgrade path too?

  • regarding the differences between stand alone max/msp/jitter and max4live. I found the answer at cycling74's FAQ:

    "The editor application has some limitations in comparison to a regular version of Max. The two main limitations of the editor will be that there is no built-in support for audio and MIDI (all audio and MIDI output occurs via Live) and no ability to build standalone applications, plug-ins, or collectives."

  • @Michael

    Please don't misunderstand me, the "engineer" in me (and I make a living in PC tech) does get a little buzz out of the whole idea behind Max 4 Live. And you gave a great example of how, I'm sure, some fascinating new uses of this software will positively add to music production.

    But this is why I never bought Reaktor, I hate sitting for hours tweaking on synths and plugins, and only like to do so in bits and pieces during composition. Live already provides enough tweakability for me. 🙂

    However I'm hoping that, at some point, a free "runtime" will be made available so that we can use M4L plugins, if not change them.

  • sambot


    I'm in the same boat with Live 7, Max/MSP 4.6, Pluggo, and Jitter. I have a feeling we'll be screwed…having to either fork up the full price to upgrade Live and then buy Max for Live or upgrade Live, upgrade to Max 5, then upgrade to Max for Live. I *really* hope there's a cheaper upgrade path out there after being an avid Max and Live user for so long.

  • Happy about two things. 1. It will only cost me $99 to get M4L. 2. I just got csound~ working with the M4L beta.

  • salamanderanagram

    hey guys, i have live suite 7 and live LE 6 that came free with pro tools. i was able to get a free upgrade from LE 6 to LE 8 which allows you to get into the beta. so if anybody has LE 1-7, you should check it out.

    unfortunately, no free upgrade for my suite version!

  • shamburglar

    No special pricing for suite owners! Boo!

  • @Casimir's Blake

    I really didn't take it a negative way. I just wanted to illustrate that there will be many uses for M4L. M4L is just a toolkit that allows you to create whatever your heart desires, or whatever is accessible from the API 🙂 And FYI… I am a enterprise network security consultant.

  • salamanderanagram

    "No special pricing for suite owners! Boo"

    Pretty sure they dropped my suite upgrade price by $50.

  • the raker


    “The editor application has some limitations in comparison to a regular version of Max. The two main limitations of the editor will be that there is no built-in support for audio and MIDI (all audio and MIDI output occurs via Live) and no ability to build standalone applications, plug-ins, or collectives.”

    hmmm, I was very excited about M4L until I read this. I'm a Live 7, Max5 user and I already had some ideas about building/modding some patches to work in multichannel spaces. But if we're limited to the Live outputs, this won't be possible. For my sins, I might have to use rewire…

  • @sambot, @Soundsurgeon:

    I'm in the same situation as both of you – Live7, Max/MSP 4.6, Jitter. I think it might be worth inquiring as to whether or not we can get in on the upgrade pricing.

  • Jordaan

    For those looking for education pricing for Max for Live here it is:

    Ableton Live 8 + Max for Live Crossgrade for owners of Max/MSP 5 EUR 289/USD 369 EUR 349/USD 429

    Ableton Suite 8 + Max for Live Crossgrade for owners of Max/MSP 5 EUR 409/USD 519 EUR 499/USD 599

  • Josh

    What if we have Live 8 Suite (edu) and want m4l? Any kind of edu discount like that?

  • senitor

    Bill Van Loo

    @sambot, @Soundsurgeon:

    same boat here.

  • Jordaan

    @Josh none that I can see although I don't see any education discounts for other pluggins like Operator so M4L seems to be treated the same way.

    One option you have is to buy Max 5 for $250 with a student education discount then you could pickup M4L for $99. It is $50 more but you'd have both programs in the end.

    Looking at my earlier post, it might not be clear to everyone so I neatly formated my earlier post on education pricing for Max 5 upgrades:

    Ableton Live 8 + Max for Live Crossgrade for owners of Max/MSP 5

    Download: EUR 289/USD 369

    Box: EUR 349/USD 429

    Ableton Suite 8 + Max for Live Crossgrade for owners of Max/MSP 5

    Download: EUR 409/USD 519

    Box: EUR 499/USD 599

  • Buffer

    im having trouble authorizing this via ableton. installed both new versions of max and live but live wont authorize and no M4L devices are listed in Live. Maybe could be something to do with the uni's internet connection. been trying for the last 3 hours. time to find an internet cafe.

  • @ Peter Kirn

    @ Casimir's Blake

    Thanks for answering. I really get your point. Like Casimir's I've "ignored" Reaktor not because I dissmis it as a musical tool, but because I want to focus on one thing at a time. I'll keep an eye on Max but I'll try to do my little music/animation projects on PD/Processing… if I get stuck, I'll search for help in the M4L world.

    I've been using Supercollider with some "8 bit emulation" patches lately… together with Plogue's Chipsounds, I'm afraid I'll be quite busy.

    Maybe Max 4 Live would raise a new "Pure Data 4 Live" feeling among the community?

  • Dan

    had a play and went through the demos of the beta last night, looks amazing and actually seemed quite solid too! this is the next level in integration and extensibility 🙂

    not looking forward to paying the $300 though 🙁 but it looks like i have no choice 🙂 🙂

  • This is a sad day: US$299 🙁

    Was waiting a $99 or something.

  • wa

    I still have to try the last one, but all the previous beta versions are somehow disappointing.

    there's no documentation about control surfaces, and they answer with silence when asked if this 'advanced integration' will give access to some specific functions inside live that are now only accessible via keyboard shortcuts or via some of the ControlSurfaces Script like the one for the MackieControl. It seems that for some stuff M4L just is not a solution… it'll be better to spend some bucks on other solutions, like Bome and made_with_Bome ones… or to spend nothing at all.

    Another thing that it still isn't clear is if the actual Control Surfaces Scripts will be given to the customers, in Max/Javascript/Python/whatever form as a perfect starting point to be directly tweaked and modified…

    Also, there are MaxForLive Instruments, MaxForLive MidiEffects, MaxForLive AudioEffects. The only example I've seen that could be compared to a ControlSurface script was a patch responding to a usb HumanInterface device. Tried instantly to control Live with a joystick and works like a charm but still… it's not very intuitive because this MaxForLive Midi Effect it's in Track 1… isn't this supposed to be in a 'global' area instead of being linked/bound to a specific Track?

    And this are just a few of the concerns about the control surface stuff… reading the betas forum it's clear that there are a lot of issues in a lot of areas and that there are things that aren't part of the deal. some of them 'probably' in future releases but 'not now', some of them surely never…

  • Here's the official word I received from Ableton support re: Live 7 / Max 4.6 pricing:

    "Thanks for your interest in Max for Live.

    To be eligible for the USD 99 upgrade to Max or Live, you will be required to upgrade your current version of Live 7 to Live 8 and your current version of Max/MSP 4.6 to Max/MSP 5.

    I hope that clarifies things for you.

    For more information on an upgrade to Max/MSP 5, please visit Cycling 74."

    Bummer – looks like I won't be making the jump to M4L any time soon (I'd have to lay out $159 for the upgrade to L8, and another $299 to add M4L for a grand total of $458 – ouch!). Alternately, I could upgrade my Max 4.6 to Max 5 for $299, then qualify for the $99 upgrade…again, not an attractive option price-wise.

  • scarkord

    Looks good but too rich for me, especially with the current exchange rate for sterling.

    Agree there should have been a lower price for Suite owners.

  • LoTuS

    In the presentation of Max for Live in Ableton's website, we can see three "devices" (Buffer shuffler, step sequencer and loop shifter). Are there any other "devices" delivered with max for live or is it the only three ?

  • @LoTuS

    There are two other areas to llok for devices. I highly suggest you look at the provided tuorials on page 6 of the help seciton that pops up on the right. Each trck in those live sets has a device. These devices build on what you have learned from the previous device.

    The other thing to do is install the max for live pack that is under the max installion folder and support. This will give you the converted pluggo devices.

  • @Bill Van Loo

    Thanks a lot for checking that out, I suspected that was the case. Too rich for my blood but still looks pretty cool.

  • Odd that the demo video shows you how to do things that are already very well implemented in Live.

  • pietro

    any chance we can use live intro lite with max4live

  • Howl Din

    I'm in much the same situation as sambol, and i wrote to Cycling 74 today to see what they would say about an upgrade path from earlier versions of Mx/MSP. Here is what they said:

    No, sorry.


    On Thu, Nov 5, 2009 at 11:17 AM, Howl Din wrote:

    Hi, Jill.

    Yes, I understand Live 8 is required, and I’ve seen the pricing for a new copy of Max for Live and for an upgrade from Max/MSP 5. But my question was, is there an upgrade pricing from earlier versions (in my case 4.6) of Max/MSP?


    So, for me there is 199 to upgrade to Live 8, 199 to go from Max/MSP 4.6 to 5, and 79 to go from Max/MSP 5 to M4L. I've been hoping that M4l would reduce the steepness of the learning curve for Max, but I am gathering from comments here that it won't be so. Pondering….

  • salamangkero

    the pricing really is not the issue here….

    For the people who understand the potential of the power of max/msp running inside of Live its like having a whole new program with zero learning curve and the knowledge that anything is possible you just got to figure out what you want (and then of course how to do it; but that's now our problem not the computers).

    This won't be for everyone and i like that.

    It's like my drill and powersaw just had babies so now i have a whole workshop.

  • rorschach

    Really interesting discussion. I thought a lot recently about that topic. I still don't see the use for Max4L and Live, but it is really a question of personal taste and personal tools.

    And also, my interest shifts more and more from a passion for tools and gearlust to spending much more time in the art concept than in the tools.

    It is not the ABleton/Cycling collaboration and the new tools and the overpriced pricing, it is the hype that bothers me.

    This is all nothing new.

    And before drooling about hyped up jiggle this and jiggle that gimmicks, just get back to reality and think of what you want to do, not tools.

    The performance described here with the violinist – I did the same last year with just Max and RTC and it was all great. No Live involved, no need to.

  • rorschach

    and I forget:

    The performance with the cello and max/rtc was also without 64 lit buttons!

  • Redoom

    Nah this is bull. I totally get the price point but……… I recently bought Suite 8 and mainly only intended to use the tools that will be built in M4L and think something should have been done for this constituency as far as pricing not $99 but def not $300 ( totally excludes all but the hardcore ) . Especially considering the fact that all these new controllers are out as well and the large amount of users is limited on how much they can shell out on gear and software.

  • QuoteBot

    "It’s like my drill and powersaw just had babies so now i have a whole workshop."


  • sambot

    @Bill Van Loo, Soundsurgeon, and senitor:

    Yeah, I received the same form email when I inquired as well. 🙁 I'm still not convinced that $430 is the lowest price we can get.

  • Birds Use Stars

    Still cheaper than a smoking habit, and I just quit

  • The pricing wise is amazing to consider what it can do for you, but when you only see limited usage for example the customization of the APC we were promised is possible from M4L (i'm sure it is but it seems a long way away after using the beta for the last month) then it's a steep price to pay for what should have been included in the purchase price of an albeit expensive controller (the korg nano series has more flexibility from a £50 device!)



  • shamburglar

    Thing is, I'm really into the concept of Max, but I like making music more. I can't even calculate the hours I've spent trying to learn PD and Reaktor (which I bought and collects virtual dust on my HD), so I'm concerned about making another investment. Numerology 2 has become my quick fix strange experiment patching environment (and its really fun to use), but I do recognize the insane potential of M4L; particularly for creating interactive devices… and I do have an APC and would really really like dig into it and make it mine.

  • @shamburglar

    If you know PD then it should not be too much of a stretch to learn M4L. It is really just the M4L specific API stuff that you will need to acclimate yourself with. PD is essentially the open version of Max.

  • Greg

    Everyone seems so frustrated and disappointed. Am I the only one who thinks M4L is revolutionary? I find it brilliant that I can OSC or serial port (Arduino anyone?) within Live or that u can build Jitter patches? Surely expensive but this moaning is just ridiculous…

  • rorschach

    REVOLUTIONARY??? maybe as revolutionary as re-inventing sliced bread these days….

  • Greg

    Ah Roscharsh, accept my deepest apologies for being enthusiastic about M4L. Will you ever forgive me?

  • @Greg

    The hardware integration is definitely one of the aspects that I am excited about. Not only that you can integrate things over various different technologies like OSC, but that you can save your settings in a Live set. Historically you had to do the following for a typical live performance using a hardware controller…

    turn on your controller of choice

    – open your max patch

    – load your presets in max

    – open up your daw

    – load your presets in the DAW and/or samples

    – make sure everything is synced

    – test

    – test

    – test

    – your ready to perform

    It's not that things didn't work, they did. It was just a lot of preparation. Not to mention the timing, direct from Live, is much better. This is just one scenario in which I find Max For Live exciting!

  • S Ford

    Personally, I don't think that sliced bread was ever that revolutionary. I personally prefer buying a loaf and cutting it myself. Sliced bread is overrated, full of chemicals and preservatives. However if you are making 'Grilled Cheese' for you Americans, or 'Cheese-on-Toast' for us limeys, sliced bread is ok. This is because if you are putting bread under the grill you want it to be the same thickness, otherwise one piece of bread will cook faster than the other. Personally, I am usually able to evenly cut two pieces from a loaf, so I rarely ever buy a sliced loaf of bread.

    Not sure how this relates to M4L though.


    What is good about Numerology?

    My favourite little tool is the modular lloopp/ppooll, which is a great Max/Msp Patch of sorts. A recent beta version allows many patches to linked together. Free too, highly recommend it if someone hasn't used it.

  • S Ford

    The comment above may seem to be negative about Numerology, it isn't. I just haven't heard of it, but would be interested to find out what makes it a option to consider.

  • Greg

    Agree Michael! And again, it is revolutionary: for instance, Jitter IS included in M4L so finally I can play or synthesize video in Ableton and use the Ableton interface elements AND use serial port for my Arduino to control the video-playback… or use video-tracking/analysis to control anything in Live with webcam. Even if you could do it before M4L, I find it brilliant that I can program everything (sound and video) within Live!

  • Albert

    It cannot be! I in a shock!

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  • chinkial


    will u beable to load up your existing max patches

    just wondering as ive been heavily getting into max/msp version 4.6 and 5 to do a bit of learning the program to see how easy i could pick it up just using the 30 day demos

    but ive made a couple of pretty decent live patches

    an fm drum machine

    and an 8 track dj app similiar to ableton live and traktor using my bcd3000 kp3 and nanopad

    also whats the cheapest version of ableton

    i could get that runs max for live

    as i never really use ableton that much anyway

    just just excited at the posabilities

    of such things totaly new dj systems

    ive always wondered why native instruments

    aint done something similiar with traktor

    or even just adding multi format audio

    and id be happy using reaktor5



  • @chinkial

    You can definitely use your max patches inside Live with some slight modification of the gui widgets. In terms of the cheapest Live, the rumor is that Live Intro may work. But, I am note positive on that yet.

  • chinkial

    thanks for the reply michael

    i was hoping id hear somthing about live intro

    running max for live

    as i im totaly skint and cant see me being able to afford live8 max4live and a novation launch pad probably cost in the the region of about

    700 squid uk



  • I own both Live and Max, but I'm not enthusiastic about Max for Live. I can't justify paying $100 just to integrate two tools I already own. Sure, it would cut down on the overhead involved in setting up Max and Live separately, but that's not something for which I'm willing to pay $100 (plus the cost of upgrading to Live 8.)

    I'm not particularly frustrated or disappointed with Max for Live, to use Greg's words, just skeptical of its value to somebody who already owns both programs. I'm also not a fan of required software upgrades. 😉

  • @agargara

    Max for Live is really a great solution when you are using Live and Max together. The reason for this is that you not only get the regular Max/MSP/Jitter combo, but also the Live API. This means that you can do things like:

    – Integrate hardware without having to use intermediary apps with Max and then rewire or midi sync it to Live.

    – Grab stable timing write from the DAW

    – Control different aspects of Live programmatically

    – Create devices inside of Live

    – Save devices, device settings and any other info in Max patches within you Live set.

    – Use easy objects like live.step sequencer, live.matrix, etc…

    – Use integrated I/O within Live

    There are a lot more features. These are just some off the top of my head. I suggest that if you own Live 8, that you try the beta and evaluate it for yourself and decide whether it has any benefit to you.

  • shamburglar

    @S Ford Numerology is great because you can with a little effort and imagination patch together very complex modular midi and audio devices that can serve all sorts of immediate "musical" purposes. It's deceptively deep and far more than a simple step sequencer. Everything can be interconnected and its very easy to start developing complex relationships between all sorts of information. All with little to no math and a very short learning curve once you realize the possibilities of the modules it comes with. This is important to me, because as much as I have seen of Max, I've come to accept the fact that I don't have the time and really the brain for that matter to learn it. But I do love to tinker and build. Numerology is no replacement for Max, but it certainly has allowed me to accomplish a lot of the things I have tried to do with PD and Reaktor in a way that I understand. Making generative music, sending out lfos and complex modulations to any audiounit plugins and building custom performace patches that can interpret whatever you choose to feed it. Its not an alternative to Max but it is a great substitute for those who don't have the brain or time to learn the coding involved and just want to make music. It's worth a look, plus the community and developer are extremely helpful… if you're curious check out the forums and download some projects people have made… that was what really opened it up for me.

  • Greg

    Tried to install the demo but it didn't work at all. Ableton was unable to help. I know it's just a beta, but I was waiting for this shit for months…and I couldn't even try it. I feel frustrated and very angry. I just wanted to try M4L before I spend hundreds of dollars/pounds. I think I just won't.

  • Andrew Benson

    Please see the following page for further details about Max for Live pricing: