Is Max for Live Enough for Plugin Development?

DSP, Plug-in and Host development discussion.
hhuang9611
KVRist
283 posts since 1 Mar, 2018 from USA

Post Fri Aug 03, 2018 6:28 am

Hi guys,

After suffering from GAS so much, I finally decided to develop plugins myself, in hope that this can help me deal with the problem. :hihi: I have fair amount of knowledge in programming, math and physics, so hopefully it won't be too hard for me to get started.

Since I use Ableton most of the time and I try to avoid too much boring coding and debugging (I can do coding, but I don't enjoy them very much), I think Max/Max4Live would be a good environment for me.

However, I still have some questions about full version of Max vs Max4Live
1. Is Max4Live enough for audio plugins development? I am wondering because I think Max is a very powerful tool but it could also be too much if I only want to use it for audio related stuff.
2. Those commercial Max devices selling on Ableton website, are they developed using full version or only Max4Live? I currently have no intention to develop commercial stuff, but I am hoping to make stuff like those in term of flexibility and quality.
3. How does the compatibility work? I think if the device can be run inside Max4Live, then it should be able to run in full version, but does stuff developed in full version run in Max4Live?

Also, I am wondering if Cycling 74 does sales often? I did a bit of search and find the there was a 30% off sale every year around June... but not for 2017 and 2018.

Thank you in advance for your replies! :tu:

ghettosynth
KVRAF
11097 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Re: Is Max for Live Enough for Plugin Development?

Post Fri Aug 03, 2018 7:16 am

There's no need for the full version of Max if your interest is in developing MFL plugins for Ableton. There are no differences that really matter. Keep in mind that there's very little motivation outside of Ableton for most people using Max as, AFAIK, it still doesn't run as a plugin in any other format. They used to have a product that allowed for that but they killed it off.

That is, if it's not clear, Ableton is the only DAW that runs Max code as a plugin.

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Unaspected
KVRist
430 posts since 4 May, 2012

Re: Is Max for Live Enough for Plugin Development?

Post Fri Aug 03, 2018 7:55 am

I should think Max for Live would be plenty fine for developing working models of your designs. Pure Data would be another choice (also developed by Miller Puckette) - which has some third party VST support available - though I have yet to test it.

https://github.com/pierreguillot/Camomile

Vanilla PD can also be used as an audio library for various programming languages via libpd.

https://github.com/libpd/libpd

pottering
KVRian
632 posts since 14 Dec, 2014

Re: Is Max for Live Enough for Plugin Development?

Post Fri Aug 03, 2018 2:08 pm

I bought several Max For Live "plugin" devices.

Some half-dozen synths, 10+ FX and several MIDI devices.

Plus the free stuff.

They are great. If you don't own M4L I greatly recommend it (note that Suite is better deal than only M4L), even if you never build anything of your own.

M4L should be enough for most stuff.

For making M4L devices, standalone Max may be needed for building with "gen".

I don't know what "gen" is exactly, I think it is lower level programming (than MSP, MSP is the DSP part of Max), with "normal text".

IMO, you should only worry about standalone Max when you hit some actual practical limit when using M4L. You will need to buy M4L first anyways...

[edit:] TL,DR: Any "plugin" can be built with Max For Live.

hhuang9611
KVRist
283 posts since 1 Mar, 2018 from USA

Re: Is Max for Live Enough for Plugin Development?

Post Sat Aug 04, 2018 11:49 am

Thanks for the info. I got Live suite so M4L is ready to use for me. After some more research I did find out that gen~ edit is not possible without standalone Max licence. But I think since I just get started, I am okay without it. Maybe I will give full version Max a go when I dive deep enough into all these.
pottering wrote: M4L should be enough for most stuff.
For making M4L devices, standalone Max may be needed for building with "gen".
I don't know what "gen" is exactly, I think it is lower level programming (than MSP, MSP is the DSP part of Max), with "normal text".
IMO, you should only worry about standalone Max when you hit some actual practical limit when using M4L. You will need to buy M4L first anyways...
[edit:] TL,DR: Any "plugin" can be built with Max For Live.
Very helpful buddy! I took a look at Pure Data and it seems pretty nice!
Unaspected wrote:I should think Max for Live would be plenty fine for developing working models of your designs. Pure Data would be another choice (also developed by Miller Puckette) - which has some third party VST support available - though I have yet to test it.

https://github.com/pierreguillot/Camomile

Vanilla PD can also be used as an audio library for various programming languages via libpd.

https://github.com/libpd/libpd
Thanks for the advice. I too think that M4L is good enough for me for now. And sure, I know that outside live the Max device is rarely used. But I think that's okay for me, because I'm sure that I will stay with Live as far as I can tell and I make plugins mostly just for self entertainment.
ghettosynth wrote:There's no need for the full version of Max if your interest is in developing MFL plugins for Ableton. There are no differences that really matter. Keep in mind that there's very little motivation outside of Ableton for most people using Max as, AFAIK, it still doesn't run as a plugin in any other format. They used to have a product that allowed for that but they killed it off.

That is, if it's not clear, Ableton is the only DAW that runs Max code as a plugin.

soundmodel
KVRian
644 posts since 28 May, 2010 from Finland

Re: Is Max for Live Enough for Plugin Development?

Post Sun Aug 05, 2018 12:35 am

These days I'd go with Faust.

http://faust.grame.fr

PurpleSunray
KVRian
813 posts since 13 Mar, 2012

Re: Is Max for Live Enough for Plugin Development?

Post Mon Aug 06, 2018 2:40 am

because I'm sure that I will stay with Live as far as I can tell and I make plugins mostly just for self entertainment.
Than you will love it, just like I do :D

It is perfect to quickly dump down ideas - you don't even need to leave Live environment.
You want to try ryhtmic gate on the feedback line of that cool delay plugin from pack xyz? Push edit button and add it. It's 5min work, all within your DAW.
No mind switch from sound to c++ or live to MSVC or whatever..

I'm down to use about 5 different VST pugins on my projects, from erm... >50
Live 10 & M4L has taken over all other tasks :)

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