Sometimes, people build things in Max for Live more audacious than any host has on its own. Dispatch is a global modulation matrix. It attenuates, it inverts, it mixes, it submixes. It talks to modular gear. It blows Live wide open.

A reader actually picked this up earlier this month and describes Dispatch as “amazing.” (I concur. Mazed, a, I.)

It comes from developer Cong Burn, whose excellent Euclidean sequencer Strokes (and companion Weights) I covered in the free-wheeling days of February 2020. Weights already started to run with the idea of a complex modulation network, with the ability to set up four modulation buses, eight sources, signal shaping (slew limiters and delays), and even the ability to make an evolving feedback network when you combine Weights with Strokes.

Dispatch, though, goes way further – a full-blown CV-processing tool that can be a hub for all of Live. It works with Eurorack modular gear if you’ve got it, but with Live alone, it transforms the control of the normally grid-oriented Ableton software into a world of continuous signals. And check all the possibilities:
  • 3 built-in modulators
  • 20 modulation submixes
  • Use other modulation devices from Max for Live
  • Signal routing in and out for hardware CV (Eurorack or other analog gear – ooh, I am glad I have a DC-coupled MOTU M4 for doing this quickly)
  • Attenuate, invert, and mix into four submixes …. or 16 submixes of modulation from Grid view
  • Smooth and offset with still more CV
  • Turn signal into MIDI notes (and get super generative)
  • Store, recall, interpolate snapshots with Patterns system
  • XY pad – which also allows easy control of everything (KAOSS style!)

Dispatch – Global Modulation Matrix 1.0 []

Dispatch v1.0: Global modulation matrix for Ableton Live 10 & 11 []

£20, a steal.

Now, wait, combine this with our recent tutorial and you could not only use modulation sources but also mangle Live Clip launching, too. Basically, you’ve just re-patched Live into a completely different compositional environment.

As Keanu would surely say… whoa. (Okay, now that The Matrix came out before a lot of readers were born, I feel like I’m making a sort of ironic historical reference here. What’s this generation’s Keanu? Oh… still Keanu. Awesome. Keanu is forever. Later he can time-travel back with George Carlin in a rectangular box no one will be able to identify and I’m back off-topic / not topical / wrong decade. Someone re-patch the modulation matrix in my brain, please; it’s self-oscillating again.)

This one is on the top of my list to check out. (Just gave it a fast spin and it works brilliantly straight out of the gate.) Will the music I make with it be remotely listenable? Possibly not; I’m not sure I can handle this kind of power. But it sure looks like good, clean fun.