(Note – please see update at the end of this story regarding controversy over this device in the Live community.)

Ableton Live users have wanted an LFO for a long time. Using basic wave shapes, you’d be able to modulate anything in a set, from clip parameters to instruments and effects, producing shifting timbres or rhythmic patterns or anything you’d like.

Julien Bayle, the Marseilles-based (certified) Live guru, ambient musician (as protofuse), and builder of the protodeck controller, has built a solution. “LFO Everything in Live” is a Max for Live device that allows you to control any parameter anywhere in Live using LFO waveforms. Features:

  • Tempo sync toggle
  • Multiple waveshapes – new ones added this version – or draw your own.
  • Route an LFO to another LFO to another LFO, etc., for some sophisticated signal chains.
  • Lifetime free updates.

You’ll need a recent version of Live – 8.2.1 required – plus a copy of Max for Live. But if you’ve got those two things, prepare for some serious LFO goodness.

The tool is normally EUR8, but anticipating some interest from CDM readers, you can get it for EUR6 and go buy yourself an espresso (or two) instead. Use coupon code CR3AT3 (first fifteen buyers only – you might ask nicely to extend that)!
Follow Protofuse/Julien on Twitter, Facebook, and if you have opinions about what kind of hardware he should be building, take his survey

I’d still like to see an LFO as a default device, and for Max for Live devices to be easier to distribute to users who don’t own a copy – as well as for more M4L patchers to use a GPL license for patches they’re selling. But this looks like a terrific solution, nonetheless, and could really change the feeling of working with Live. Great work, Julien!

Updated: You’ll find plenty of reader discussion of alternative LFO patches for Max for Live, along with what people think of their relative merits, in comments. The maxforlive.com library is a terrific resource.

Also, unfortunately, I’ve learned of a dispute between Julien and an author of another LFO plug-in; I can’t comment directly on the content of that debate because I don’t feel I have all the facts. If a third party wishes to step in and let us know your opinion, please feel free. Otherwise, I’ve asked these two authors to communicate with one another directly.

Since asking them to do so, it appears they have not reached a resolution. You can follow the forum thread on Ableton’s forum in which Max for Live users weigh in here, as well as on the original LFO Everything thread.