Max4Live Jitter-MIDI demo from Greg Lorincz on Vimeo.

Ableton’s Max for Live places not only the audio and MIDI capabilities of Max/MSP in Live, but video and 3D as well, in the form of Jitter. There is one significant caveat, in that you can’t live-patch in Jitter when running inside Live – you can’t get live video output while the patch is open for editing – if you don’t own a full Max/MSP/Jitter license, too. You have to lock the patch in order to get video output while running inside Live. (As near as I can tell, this is to prevent Max for Live from cannibalizing Jitter sales.) But what this does mean is that the power of Jitter can live inside Live – big news for Jitter users.

Greg Lorincz has the first video demo I’ve seen from users with this feature in action. Here’s his status report:

This is a simple application I built in the last few days (thanks to Max’s abundant and generous documentation). It is based on n.26 Jitter Tutorial (‘MIDI Control of Video’). The patch plays a Quicktime video file and triggers different frames according to the incoming MIDI notes. The rate (speed and direction) of video playback is controlled via a MIDI controller. The patch features a graph that draws the waveform on the screen.
The video footage was recorded at s studio of London College of Music and Media (Thames Valley University). The synth in the video is an EMS “Putney”, Brian Eno’s and the Chemical Bothers’ fav semi-modular.

It’s a damned nice application, and – specific tools aside – I have a feeling we’re going to see a lot more of this kind of work.

Greg reports that the solution isn’t entirely stable yet, but is encouraged by the results. (For their part, Ableton has committed to improving the reliability of its products, even if the cost is slowing progress on new features temporarily, and have already delivered a significant bundle of bug fixes.)

Twenty ten could be a very audiovisual year. The year sound and visuals make contact?

If you’re working on similar projects, whether in Max for Live or another tool (like routing MIDI or OSC between applications), do let us know!