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Ableton Max for Live

Music creation, production and performance software
MFR# 84112

Product Description

The Ableton Max for Live puts the power and potential of Max/MSP inside Live.  Create all the instruments, effects and extensions you've ever wanted.  Go beyond the common and predictable, and transcend the limits that conventional tools impose.  Build completely unique synths and effects, create algorithmic composition tools, or fuse Live and controller hardware into radical, new music machines.  Join a society of makers and share ingenuity.

What it is
Basically, Max for Live is a tool kit for making new devices. Think of a diverse and comprehensive set of building blocks that you can use to build pretty much anything you can think of. These building blocks include basic objects such as "+", audio elements such as filters and oscillators, user interface objects, and a set of objects that regulate access to Live and hardware devices. Max for Live also provides a canvas where you can place and connect these objects with virtual wires. Flowing through these wires are audio, MIDI or video signals, or any other kind of data. Max is essentially a visual programming environment where you build courses or tracks for these signals to run through.

You can build new devices from scratch, modify existing ones or simply use devices that others have made. Max for Live includes several ingenious example devices and plenty of tutorials to take you from using to tweaking, and then to building.

Push the button
The edit button included on every Max for Live device may be small, but there's some big stuff behind it.

Click to open up the device and delve inside, where you can edit, add controls, modify the signal flow and configure as much or as little as you want. While you're editing, your track keeps playing and you hear the changes you're making in real time.

Interface friendly
Devices made with Max for Live are perfectly integrated into Live's workflow and user interface. You can manage Max devices just like Ableton devices, save presets or using automation and mapping just as you do now. The tool set provides user interface elements straight out of Live for an Ableton-like look and feel, but you also have the freedom to create new and unique interfaces using the extensive set of Max 5 user interface elements.

Official Live API
Max for Live also provides objects that allow you to access and modify the inner workings of Live. Modify the tracks, clips, notes, names and values, selection states—and pretty much anything else you can see or hear in Live. This API also allows you to access controller hardware via Live, creating new mappings that can completely repurpose a hardware device. Even if you don't know what an API is, you can still use devices that other people have built and apply them to your Live setup.

Learning curves and tutorials
Nobody can claim that programming with Max is easy: There is an unavoidable learning curve involved with any kind of programming. So, yes, it can get complex, but it's worth it. Max's visual approach is a lot easier to get into than traditional programming, especially because you can immediately see and hear the effects of your changes. Max for Live also includes a number of in-depth tutorials, each with its own reusable example content. The tutorials guide you through Max for Live, from the first basic steps to the advanced, ninja-style stuff. They'll help you find your level and provide support and examples as your skills develop.

Attention Max users!
The equation works both ways: If you already own Max, Max for Live provides straightforward tools for controlling Live from your Max environment. Maybe you want to exploit Live's timeline, or work some magic with the Session View—it's up to you. If you own Max 5, this will be your editing environment when you open up a Max for Live device. Please note, though, that Max for Live doesn't include a version of Live.


  • Build your own audio effects, MIDI effects and instruments
  • Use the API to control Live Sets, tracks, clips, devices, notes, loops, parameters etc.
  • Extend your hardware's feature set: provides objects to access any hardware controllers that are connected to Live
  • Includes a specialized version of Max for creating and editing Max devices (Please note: does not run independently of Max for Live)
  • Comes with a selection of MAX devices that are ready to use out of the box for audio and MIDI processing, algorithmic composition, real-time performance and hardware control
  • Devices keep playing in Live while they are being edited in Max
  • Flexible user interface design: the UI can look like Live or completely different
  • Includes hundreds of built-in Max objects for logic, MIDI, scripting, audio and video processing
  • Supports video synthesis and animation via "Jitter" objects
  • Includes step-by-step tutorials for learning to program with Max for Live

Product Specifications

Condition New
Software Delivery Electronic Delivery
iLok Required No
Operating System Mac, Windows

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