There are many benefits to Max for Live; for one, it comes with a number of ready-to-use devices, including the entire Pluggo collection of synths and effects. In addition, the Max for Live community is a rich resource for hundreds of devices. Max for Live is also a powerful tool for making or customizing your own devices, as it puts the limitless possibilities of Max, MSP, and Jitter inside of Live.
Cycling '74, the creators of Max, have uploaded a comprehensive new set of tutorial videos for programming in Max for Live. If you're an absolute beginner, these 18 videos will take you from Max's core concepts to making your own instruments, effects, and devices that interface with Live's API. If you're a seasoned Max programmer, then don't miss these tutorials for inspiring ideas. Here's video #1: