Yes, there’s a powerful toolkit for making instruments and effects inside Ableton Live Suite. But how do you get started actually using it? Follow along here.

Ableton Certified Trainer Phelan Kane is now walking people through their first Max for Live creations with a tutorial series. You get to create Sample Mash, a sample manipulation instrument with randomization (drunken walk-style). Basically, you can **** up your sounds.

The fun part of this, though, is that you get to go step by step, and chat with Phelan on KVR’s forums with questions as you go. Plus, if you decide to go beyond Sample Mash, you’ll learn lots of basics.

The first video assumes no prior knowledge. You’ll go through how to start patching from the beginning, working with sample buffers and the groove~ object, dealing with gain, working with waveforms – all stuff you can apply to your own creations, too.

Watch – it starts with a demo where you can see what you’ll produce when it’s all finished:

KVR are hosting a nice forum with a friendly discussion on all things Max where you can go talk to Phelan.

Building the Sample Mash Device in Max For Live and Ableton Live Suite [KVR Audio Expert Forum]

(Oh yeah, and … people often ask about Pure Data versus Max. One big disadvantage of Pd is its somewhat archaic sample playback object. It would be really nice if we had buffered playback in Pd and something more like groove~. I do use some of the weird aliasing of tabread4~ for effect — very, very soon there should be a tutorial from me; I’m waiting for that to show up!)

Phelan’s M4L creations are on his site:

For another beginners’ tutorial, Phelan also did this masterclass for Computer Music last year:

Or, you know, there’s always KYMA. (Hey, I can dream. That’s a beautiful graphical music development environment, if an expensive one!)