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Max for Live

A creative space with a modular synth setup and Ableton Live running Max for Live on the screen.

Max for Live puts the vast creative potential of the Max development environment directly inside of Live. It powers a range of instruments and effects. And for those who want to go further, it lets you customize devices, create your own from scratch, and explore another world of devices produced by the Max for Live community.

Design your system

A shot of the Max for Live edit view window laid over the Live 11 GUI.

Create and customize

Max for Live is a platform to build your own instruments and effects, tools for live performance and visuals, and much more. You can open up any of Live’s Max devices, see how they’re built, and change them to meet your needs. You can build your own from scratch using the same components. And you can even use Max to change the way Live works, including the properties of tracks, clips and scenes.

Play video: The Max for Live Connection Kit lets you extend and interact with Live in new and experimental ways.

Extend Live

Max for Live can completely change how Live interacts with all things external. Reconfigure connections to hardware controllers & synthesizers. Route audio to multiple sets of speakers from your Live project. Use Live to control physical objects like motors and lights using Arduino, OSC and other technologies—there are infinite possibilities for connection and control between Live and the world surrounding it.

Join a community of device builders

There’s a constantly growing collection of instruments, effects and tools. From curious tinkerers to professional designers, Max for Live’s worldwide community makes high-performance effects, customised hacks and everything in between. You can share your own, or just enjoy using the work of others.

Play: Bengal
Bengal

Bengal – Combining the textural intricacy of FM with the freeform approach of a modular system, Bengal is a sound designer’s dream with its four operators, eight voices of polyphony, six audio effects and a flexible modulation architecture centred on an interactive virtual patchbay.

Play: Grain Scanner
Grain Scanner

Grain Scanner – Grain Scanner lets you design experimental noises, glitchy effects, alien textures and massive clouds of ambience. Its advanced sound engine turns any sample into a blank slate for otherworldly synth parts.

Play: FlexGroove
FlexGroove

FlexGroove – FlexGroove is a Max for Live device for off-the-grid MIDI sequencing. Give parts an expressive push and pull, fluidly transition from one time signature to another, or play with unconventional swing patterns.

Play: PitchLoop89
PitchLoop89

PitchLoop89 – Create jittery glitch effects, delayed digital shimmers and outlandish vibrato with this Max for Live pitch shifting device created in collaboration with Robert Henke and inspired by the Publison DHM 89 – an early digital effects processor. It’s a flexible tool to add character to sounds in the studio, or for in-the-moment experimentation onstage.

Play: Vector Grain
Vector Grain

Vector Grain – A granular looper that visualizes sound modulation by moving particles on the interface – play with attraction and magnetism or loop the particles through a flow field.

Play: Tree Tone
Tree Tone

Tree Tone – Grow different fractal patterns inspired by plants, then use them as resonators for internally generated noise or incoming audio.

Play: Bouncy Notes
Bouncy Notes

Bouncy Notes – Bounce balls up and down a piano roll to create pitch shifting delay effects or arpeggiation with this gravity-based MIDI sequencer.

Devices made by Ableton

In addition to the devices built by the Max for Live community, you’ll also find Max for Live devices in Live built by us. These devices are available right in the Live 11 Browser together with Live’s native Instruments and Effects. Included in the list are LFO, MIDI Monitor, the Drum Synth collection among many others.

Gated Delay

Gated Delay – A delay with a gate sequencer that sends the incoming signal to a delay line on activated steps. Much like a send effect that is turned on and off in a defined rhythm.

Bass

Bass – A monophonic virtual analog synthesizer that provides the entire palette of bass sounds in one device – from classically deep and clean to heavily distorted, rumbling tones.

Color Limiter

Color Limiter – Another flavor of limiting inspired by the gritty sounds achievable with hardware limiters. The Saturation and Color parameters are the key to its characterful sound.

Pitch Hack

Pitch Hack – A single delay line with transposition control, as well as the ability to reverse audio, randomize the transposition interval and fold the delayed signal back into itself.

Surround Panner

Surround Panner – Multichannel Panning device for surround mixing with multi-channel speaker setups.

CV Clock In

CV Clock In – Control Live’s tempo from your Eurorack system.

CV Utility

CV Utility – Merge multiple modulation signals to generate new shapes.

Convolution Reverb

Convolution Reverb – Capture the characteristic reverb of real physical spaces with advanced sound shaping.

Shaper

Shaper – A flexible envelope modulation device for creating custom modulation shapes.

LFO

LFO – An LFO with sync to modulate up to eight device parameters with one device.

Envelope Follower

Envelope Follower – Use the envelope of any audio material to control device parameters.

MIDI Monitor

MIDI Monitor – Monitor your MIDI data stream.

Built on Max

A close-up shot of the Max for Live device editor.

What is Max?

For more than 20 years, Max has been an essential platform for artists and creatives who want to explore the limits of what’s possible with music, visuals and technology.

Head to Cycling74.com to find out more about Max

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A mixer, percussion instruments and a laptop with Live 11, shot from above