For those of you just joining us, Max for Live is an interactive environment that incorporates the full Max/MSP/Jitter inside Ableton Live, with the addition of hooks that allow it to integrate with and control Live, and to make Max creations look like Live devices. Individual artists have begun using Max for Live, and we’ve seen some free downloads, but less of its use as a development platform. The problem is, your target audience must own both a full version of Ableton Live 8.1x or later, as well as the paid Max for Live add-on.
Max Fuel from Ableton soundhouse Puremagnetik nonetheless reaches out to just those people with a US$38 bundle of instruments. While they’re Max for Live devices, they’re not editable. (This demonstrates that it is possible to lock down patches made in Max for Live. An earlier draft of this story got this exactly wrong.)
Unfortunately, that means in a way, you get the worst of both worlds – you have to buy the development environment, but then you can’t use it to see what’s happening inside the patch. For projects like this, it seems some sort of “player” for Max for Live is badly needed. It could still be a nice pack of stuff for existing M4L users, though.
Here’s what’s included – two instruments:
- Bump – A mono synth with a generous, easily controlled feedback section
- Stick – A drum instrument based around classic FM synthesis, ready for use in Drum Racks
…five audio effects:
Drop – A multiband device where each band receives a percentage chance of being heard Jumble – An audio processor with the same delay/feedback portion as Bump Marx – A rebranded Spectral Mixer, setting different volumes and interactions for the signal’s quiet, mid and loud portions Veer – A flexible pitch shifter with a dry/wet control for the output. Yell – A rich multiband distortion
…and three control devices:
- el Effo – A versatile low frequency oscillator/step sequencer
- Multiplexd – A single knob that proportionately controls up to 4 plug-in parameters, simplifying automation or MIDI control of multiple parameters
- Side Chainer – A robust converter of any audio signal into a modulation signal
Even with built-in side-chaining for some devices, it’s especially nice to see the side chainer, and of course an LFO/step sequencer is something Live users have wanted for a long, long time.
You need Ableton Live 8.1.4 and Max for Live; standalone Max/MSP won’t work with these bundles.
This is “Max Fuel, The First,” so obviously more bundles are planned.
So, I’m curious – does this model appeal to you? Does it make you more likely to purchase Max for Live?
In other paid patch news, the wonderful Paramdrum for Reaktor from Peter Dines has just gotten a big update with a nice, new skinned interface; read more on Pete’s Noisepages blog:
Skinned Paramdrum Now Available for Reaktor 5.15 (non beta)
ParamDrum Update: now with Jonathan Style skin, new sample maps!
…and, of course, even Reaktor remains an option for Ableton Live, albeit without the Live-controlling powers or other integration.
Let us know what you think of these offerings in comments.