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.