Cycling ’74 have updated Max 5’s pricing and streamlined a bit in the new release. (That means Max for MIDI and basic data crunching, MSP for audio, synthesis, and signal processing, and Jitter for video, 3D, and advanced data processing.) Since this impacts a number of our readers, it’s worth going over this.

Updated: The story now reflects a clarification from Cycling ’74 over which Jitter objects work in Max/MSP.

New academic pricing:

  • US$250 per student
  • US$59 for a 9-month authorization
  • US$109.45 for a permanent upgrade from Max/MSP 4

Student discounts

See also education and teacher discounts; 1-4 licenses for either K-12/higher ed faculty or your institution are now US$475.20 for the full Max/MSP/Jitter

Academic pricing is now only for Max + MSP + Jitter — none of the tiered pricing from before for just Max/MSP, etc. And if you bought after October 1, the new version is free. Plus, if you own an academic license that didn’t include Jitter, you get it now with your upgrade.

I recommended the 9-month license for my students ($39 of it gets subtracted from your final order) when I was teaching Max at Brooklyn College, and people were really happy with it.

New full pricing

  • US$699 for the full Max 5
  • US$495 for Max/MSP + a limited, unsupported set of Jitter objects (see below)
  • US$199 upgrade

Pricing details and Max 5 overview

Note that Max 5 at this time doesn’t yet include the ability to export patches as plug-ins via Pluggo. ReWire, etc., still work, but if your main application for Max is building plug-ins for other hosts, you may want to hold off.

This came up in comments, so I’ll say it again — we’re not covering Max because I think it’s the only alternative. On the contrary, Reaktor and Pd are also each cross-platform patching environments with their own unique strengths, to say nothing of other synth environments (ChucK, Csound, SuperCollider). Each of those can work in academic settings, as well. But there’s no question Max 5 is big news on this scene, a major update to the tool that first popularized visual patching as music software

How much Jitter do you get in Max/MSP?

Cycling ’74 revised their site; while Max/MSP does now include a limited set of Jitter objects, they’re officially unsupported if you haven’t bought Jitter. In other words, you can use them — and this means developers working on patches can share those patches with people who don’t have Jitter within the limited subset — you just don’t get support from C74. I think if you want to use Jitter objects, you should just buy Jitter, but this is still good to know (particularly for teaching environments, I might add). Here’s the list:


… Note this doesn’t include the important networking objects, so it’s just FYI.