Cycling '74 and Ableton today announced Max for Live, the integration of Cycling '74's Max/MSP environment into Ableton Live. Available as an add-on product to Ableton's newly announced Live 8, Max for Live permits users to create devices that extend and customize Live by creating instruments, controllers, audio effects, and MIDI processors.
Devices developed with Max for Live utilize the same features as those created by Ableton engineers. This includes UI controls, MIDI mapping, multiple undo, tempo-based effects, sample-accurate automation, and comprehensive file and preset management. Devices created in Max can be shared with Ableton's new web collaboration features. An innovative "preview mode" feature permits editing in Max while devices continue to process audio and/or MIDI as if they were inside Live. When an edited device is saved, it updates in place inside Live's device view.
The devices included with Max for Live illustrate the potential of the integration of the two products. Step Sequencer is a MIDI effect that features four 16-note sequences with adjustable step sizes. It includes unique features such as sequence shift buttons, a random mode, and real-time MIDI control. Loop Shifter is a new type of loop playback device that uses MIDI to change the way loops are played back. It includes automated mapping and playback modes that produce surprising and entertaining results. Finally, a Max for Live extension for the newly announced Akai APC40 transforms the buttons on the hardware controller into a step-sequencer-style editor for Live MIDI clips.
Max for Live features a variety of basic building blocks for creating new devices as well as an extensive set of interactive tutorials illustrating the development of instruments, audio effects, and controllers. 15 new Max objects duplicate the UI elements found in Live devices, manage parameter state, and provide an unprecedented level of control over the Live environment itself.
Availability and Pricing
Max for Live will be available from Ableton later this year. Pricing information will be announced when Max for Live is released.