Max For Live

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Max for live essentials

Multani mitti for skin in urdu text. Max For Live 28 September 2020 Max For Live is a unique creative tool to help you do more with Ableton Live. If you’re new to Max For Live, I’d recommend taking a look at this video before continuing with the post. Max for Live Brought to you by: marktakeshi. Downloads: 0 This Week Last Update: 2013-04-11. Get project updates, sponsored content from.

Developer(s)Cycling '74
Stable release
Written inC, C++ (on JUCE platform)
Operating systemMicrosoft Windows, macOS
TypeMusic and multimedia development
Cycling '74
Max 7
Paradigmvisual, flow-based, declarative, domain-specific
DeveloperCycling '74
Stable release

Max, also known as Max/MSP/Jitter, is a visual programming language for music and multimedia developed and maintained by San Francisco-based software company Cycling '74. Over its more than thirty-year history, it has been used by composers, performers, software designers, researchers, and artists to create recordings, performances, and installations.[1]

The Max program is modular, with most routines existing as shared libraries. An application programming interface (API) allows third-party development of new routines (named external objects). Thus, Max has a large user base of programmers unaffiliated with Cycling '74 who enhance the software with commercial and non-commercial extensions to the program. Because of this extensible design, which simultaneously represents both the program's structure and its graphical user interface (GUI), Max has been described as the lingua franca for developing interactive music performance software.[2]

Max For Live


1980s:Miller Puckette began work on Max in 1985, at the Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM) in Paris.[3][4] Originally called The Patcher, this first version provided composers with a graphical interface for creating interactive computer music scores on the Macintosh. At this point in its development Max couldn't perform its own real-time sound synthesis in software, but instead sent control messages to external hardware synthesizers and samplers using MIDI or a similar protocol.[5] Its earliest widely recognized use in composition was for Pluton, a 1988 piano and computer piece by Philippe Manoury; the software synchronized a computer to a piano and controlled a Sogitec 4X for audio processing.[6]

In 1989, IRCAM developed Max/FTS ('Faster Than Sound'), a version of Max ported to the IRCAM Signal Processing Workstation (ISPW) for the NeXT. Also known as 'Audio Max', it would prove a forerunner to Max's MSP audio extensions, adding the ability to do real-time synthesis using an internal hardware digital signal processor (DSP) board.[7][8] The same year, IRCAM licensed the software to Opcode Systems.[9]

Max For Live


1990s:Opcode launched a commercial version named Max in 1990, developed and extended by David Zicarelli. However, by 1997, Opcode was considering cancelling it. Instead, Zicarelli acquired the publishing rights and founded a new company, Cycling '74, to continue commercial development.[10][11][12] The timing was fortunate, as Opcode was acquired by Gibson Guitar in 1998 and ended operations in 1999.[13]

IRCAM's in-house Max development was also winding down; the last version produced there was jMax, a direct descendant of Max/FTS developed in 1998 for Silicon Graphics (SGI) and later for Linux systems. It used Java for its graphical interface and C for its real-time backend, and was eventually released as open-source software.

Various synthesizers and instruments connected to Max.

Meanwhile, Puckette had independently released a fully redesigned open-source composition tool named Pure Data (Pd) in 1996, which, despite some underlying engineering differences from the IRCAM versions, continued in the same tradition. Cycling '74's first Max release, in 1997, was derived partly from Puckette's work on Pure Data. Called Max/MSP ('Max Signal Processing', or the initials Miller Smith Puckette), it remains the most notable of Max's many extensions and incarnations: it made Max capable of manipulating real-time digital audio signals without dedicated DSP hardware. This meant that composers could now create their own complex synthesizers and effects processors using only a general-purpose computer like the Macintosh PowerBook G3.

In 1999, the Netochka Nezvanova collective released NATO.0+55+3d, a suite of externals that added extensive real-time video control to Max.

2000s:Though NATO.0+55+3d became increasingly popular among multimedia artists, its development stopped abruptly in 2001. SoftVNS, another set of extensions for visual processing in Max, was released in 2002 by Canadian media artist David Rokeby. Cycling '74 released their own set of video extensions, Jitter, alongside Max 4 in 2003, adding real-time video, OpenGL graphics, and matrix processing capabilities. Max 4 was also the first version to run on Windows. Max 5, released in 2008, redesigned the patching GUI for the first time in Max's commercial history.

2010s:In 2011, Max 6 added a new audio engine compatible with 64-bit operating systems, integration with Ableton Live sequencer software, and an extension called Gen, which can compile optimized Max patches for higher performance.[14] Max 7 was released in 2014 and focused on 3D rendering improvements.[15]

On June 6, 2017, Ableton announced its purchase of Cycling '74, with Max continuing to be published by Cycling '74 and David Zicarelli remaining with the company.[16]

On September 25, 2018 Max 8, the most recent major version of the software, was released.[17] Some of the new features include MC, a new way to work with multiple channels, JavaScript support with Node for Max, and Vizzie 2.[18]


Screenshot of an older Max/Msp interface.

Max is named after composer Max Mathews, and can be considered a descendant of his MUSIC language, though its graphical nature disguises that fact. Like most MUSIC-N languages, Max distinguishes between two levels of time: that of an event scheduler, and that of the DSP (this corresponds to the distinction between k-rate and a-rate processes in Csound, and control rate vs. audio rate in SuperCollider).

The basic language of Max and its sibling programs is that of a. Hopes&Fears. Retrieved 2018-09-16.

  • ^Place, T.; Lossius, T. (2006). 'A modular standard for structuring patches in Max'(PDF). Jamoma. New Orleans, US: In Proc. of the International Computer Music Conference 2006. pp. 143–146. Archived from the original(PDF) on 2011-07-26. Retrieved 2011-02-16.
  • ^'Synthetic Rehearsal: Training the Synthetic Performer'(PDF). Retrieved 2018-08-22.Cite journal requires journal= (help)[permanent dead link][dead link]
  • ^'Synthetic Rehearsal: Training the Synthetic Performer'. ICMC. 1985. Retrieved 2018-09-19.Cite journal requires journal= (help)
  • ^Puckette, Miller S. (11 August 1988). 'The Patcher'(PDF). ICMC. Retrieved 2018-08-22.Cite journal requires journal= (help)
  • ^Puckette, Miller S. 'Pd Repertory Project - History of Pluton'. CRCA. Archived from the original on 2004-07-07. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
  • ^'A brief history of MAX'. IRCAM. Archived from the original on 2009-06-03.
  • ^'Max/MSP History - Where did Max/MSP come from?'. Cycling74. Archived from the original on 2009-06-09. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
  • ^The Contemporary Violin: Extended Performance Techniques By Patricia Strange, Allen Strange Accessed 10 September 2018
  • ^Battino, David; Richards, Kelli (2005). The Art of Digital Music. Backbeat Books. p. 110. ISBN0-87930-830-3.
  • ^'About Us'. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
  • ^'FAQ Max4'. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
  • ^'Harmony Central News'. Archived from the original on 2007-10-27. Retrieved 2018-08-23.
  • ^'GEN - Extend the power of Max'.
  • ^'Max 7 is Patching Reimagined'. Cycling '74. 2014.
  • ^A conversation with David Zicarelli and Gerhard Behles, Peter Kirn - June 6, 2017 Accessed 10 September 2018
  • ^'Article: Max 8 is here Cycling '74'. Retrieved 2019-01-13.
  • ^'What's New in Max 8? Cycling '74'. Retrieved 2019-01-13.
  • External links[edit]

    Retrieved from ''
    Instead of looking at a new device or two this time, I am going to focus on something that we’ve touched on in past articles and blog posts: the Max for Live Building Tools Pack. This is an encyclopedic set of patches that provide an introduction into Max for Live programming, includes tons of already-built (and easily extended) devices, and even includes some everyday tools for my own Live sets. Let’s take a look!
    You start working with the Building Tools by downloading the pack from your Ableton account. It’s one of the packs provided to Suite users, and looks something like this:
    When you add the pack to Live, it will place a large set of new instruments and effects devices into your Max for Live category. However, in Live 10 this isn’t the best way to explore. One of the “Places” available in Live 10 is called “Packs”, which provides individual access to the packs installed on your system. If you find the Max for Live Building Tools pack and open it up, you will see four sub-folders: API, Building Blocks, Lesson Devices and Tools.
    Regardless of whether you are looking for interesting devices, or are looking for ways to get started with Max for Live development, you will probably not want to go through these in order - the folders are just listed alphabetically. Instead, you should start by opening up the Tools folder for some quick inspiration. In the Max Audio Effect section, you will find tons of tweaky audio tools, while the MIDI Effect folder has some amazing sequencing functions. It’s pretty easy to lose a few hours just diving through that sea of devices.

    The Lesson Devices Folder

    Your next step depends on what you’d like to accomplish. If you are interested in learning more about Max for Live programming, the Lesson Devices sub-folder is where you want to go. This has a number of sections that - assuming that you know a little about Max programming - provide a step-by-step walk-through of device development. For example, the “Building Audio Delays” section starts with simple audio gain control, and leads you through synchronization, regen filtering and even harmonizing. There’s a wealth of DSP expertise hidden in these patches that a lot of people aren’t familiar with.

    The Building Blocks Folder

    If you get through the Lesson Devices and want some more inspiration, or if you just wanted to test drive more devices, it would be time to dig into the Building Blocks folder. This folder is a compendium of commonly used tools that you can use as a starting point for making your own ultra-weird masterworks. Have you always wanted a parametric EQ with LFO-driven controls? Why not start with the “Max EqParametric1” device, then add the modulation functions you learned in the Lessons? Using the Building Blocks as starting points for interesting device tweaks is one of the best ways to get started in Max for Live development.

    The API Folder

    While the Building Blocks are focused on developing audio and MIDI devices, the API folder contains similar starting points for controlling Live itself (through the Live API). This folder has tons of important examples, from simple assignable dials to mappable envelope followers and mixer randomizers. This is the go-to place for ideas about controlling the live environment, and is another place to lose hours of time to exploration.

    Max For Live Ableton

    The Building Tools Folder

    There are a ton of devices to explore in the Building Tools folder, and even the simplest among them can be pretty inspiring. However, there are some I use so often that they are now tagged in my Live 10 Favorites collection. The most important of these is the “Max Api CtrlEnvFol” device, which is an envelope follower that can be used to control almost any API function in Max - including the parameters of other devices. I use this when I need to liven things up by having a track's volume alter the pan, overdrive, reverb send or other function. In a way, it acts like a ‘super sidechain’ function for Live, and I never seem to stop finding new ways to use it.

    Max For Live

    I also am secretly in love with that graphic EQ shown above (from the Tools sub-folder); it reminds me of working with my old MXR 31-band EQ, but without the noisy sliders and amplifiers. I seem to find a way to strap that into almost every Live set, and have even hacked it (numerous times) to modulate those controls on their own. Great fun, and a killer addition to the Live device set.
    Hopefully you see that the Building Tools pack is a lot more than a set of programming tutorials: it’s the location of an amazing amount of work (most of it done by Max superhero Manuel Poletti) that should be part of your Ableton Live explorations. Enjoy!
    • for some reason the download button does not work though I am signed [email protected]
    • Thanx for the brief wokthrough. I'm wondering if there's like a set of tutorials, or a manual, accompanying these Max for Live Building Tools. Thanx!
    • In Live 10, if you go into the Packs section of the Browser and right-click (control-click on Mac) on the M4L Building Tools pack, it will have an option for 'Show Default Lesson'. That's the start of some walk-throughs on the Building Tools.