As Max for Live matures, Ableton is working to convince more people to try this open-ended tool – and creations built for it – as a way of extending the experience of using Live for performance and production.

For years, music software has focused on trying to do everything you need, to be a solution to problems you haven’t even considered yet. But recently, we’ve seen a move to software that considers customization and extension a core feature – not just the province of the hard-core hacker or DIYer, but something basic to the tool. FL Studio, Renoise, Reaper, Kontakt, and Ableton Live, to name a few, each incorporate tools that allow scripting, customization, and custom instruments, effects, sequencers, and other tools. (Each does it in very different ways, I might add.) In place of from-scratch construction, these tools build on the capabilities of the software in which they’re hosted.

And even if you don’t personally decide to take on scripting or patching, that means you can take advantage of unique contraptions made by other users. These creations aren’t just hacking for hacking’s sake: they meet specific musical needs, and make tools more practical and expressive. Like knowing the reeds on a wind instrument or tuning on a guitar, they’re part of how musicians are able to make their instrument their own.

Of course, unlike a new effect or workflow tweak, getting your users to embrace an open-ended tool takes time, and it may not be for everyone. We’ve been following recent efforts by Ableton to respond to feedback from their user community. While these fall short of the ability to distribute patches to all Ableton Live users – something I and others have advocated – they do make Max for Live more affordable and patches built for it more accessible.

CDM talked to Ableton’s Daniel Büttner in February about some of the changes on the developer side, both in terms of improvements to the tools and guidelines to make patches better:
Ableton Delivers Max for Live Improvements and Guidelines, Responds to Feedback; Full Details

In the last couple of weeks, Ableton has made offerings to the user side.

Max for Live Sale: First, right now you can get Max for Live for less. In the month of April, Max for Live is free with a purchase of Ableton Suite 8 or upgrades to Suite from the Lite and Intro versions. If you have Live 1-8 or Suite 7 and upgrade to 8, unfortunately, Max for Live isn’t free – but it is half off. I’d like to see more aggressive, permanent pricing from Ableton if they want widespread adoption of the tool – it seems to me that offering a “Suite” without this key component is complex for users to understand and makes budgeting for Live needlessly difficult. But that’s my prerogative as a critic and writer, just as it’s their prerogative to determine that what I’m saying doesn’t make sense for their business. In the meantime, I can certainly recommend the Suite purchase if you’re getting Live new or upgrading from an intro edition.

Updated: Current Suite owners qualify for a 30% coupon which they should have received via email, says David from Ableton via comments.

If you’re considering Max for Live but aren’t sure if it’s for you, there’s also a 30-day free trial – always a good bet.

Featuring Max for Live patches: More interesting than the pricing stuff is the fact that you can get some truly spectacular patches for Max for Live, and Ableton is doing more to highlight the work of some of the most talented, creative artists working with the tool.

As readers have repeatedly observed, maxforlive.com is a terrific resource for Max for Live lovers and those wanting fun patches to play with. It now includes a Featured Devices page curated by Ableton’s sound team, with some really great, free stuff.

Ableton has also added both new basic devices – including some oft-requested options, like an LFO – and featured artist creations, too.

Max for Live Highlights from Artists

Artist endorsements can be a mixed bag – they sometimes feel forced, an attempt to get some fame to rub off on a product. Not so here: as with, say, some of the recent gems on the Reaktor side from the likes of Tim Exile, the featured artists working with Max for Live really are pushing the technology and the medium.

Robert Henke, aside from being an Ableton co-founder and conceptually steering a lot of their direction, has one of the best recent Max for Live creations. Monolake helped establish the granular sound on the electronic palette in the 90s, so it’s little surprise that a Henke-designed granular device is a terrific instrument. See the video at top – it’s one of the best reasons yet to try Max for Live.

Kapture by Liine is an eminently-practical entry, sucking all of the parameters in a Live set into snapshots and allowing you to morph through them. I’ve been testing this paired with their iOS app on an iPad, and it’s terrific; I’ll finally talk about it once I’ve wrapped my head around some good examples.

And, I should say, it’s thoroughly enjoyable seeing Richie Hawtin back as Plastikman – the work he’s doing on the tour is exactly the sort of audiovisual electronic performance I hope we see more of from artists famous and unknown alike.

There’s also a House-style beat generator by Alexkid (video, above), and of course the obligatory APC step sequencer (though check out more step sequencers below).

This isn’t just about pure electronic dance music, though. Henrik Schwarz has a new edition of a device that fits notes to a musical scale, as relevant to jazz artists working with electronic instruments as electronica artists. Katsuhiro Chiba makes some classic retro-80s synths that could appeal to keyboardists in a wide variety of genres. I love seeing versions of the Yamaha TX81Z or simple, analog-style Sep2.

The most welcome offering, though, may be the addition of new LFOs, which allow synth-style modulation of any Live devices. Manuel Poletti has a powerful LFO collection with plenty of options for assigning modulation wherever you like. (See our previous, unintentionally-controversial, coverage of LFO modulation in Live, and more examples on the maxforlive.com site.)

Find the artist devices, descriptions, and downloads at the main Ableton Max for Live site:
http://www.ableton.com/maxforlive

New, Essential Devices

New devices for Ableton’s Max for Live are now included in the tool (click for larger versions). Images courtesy Ableton.

Max for Live itself has added 21 devices that give the tool a more complete set of basic building blocks for patchers. That’s good news, in that it means a lot less reinvention – and because the value of Max for Live itself goes way up.

New in the release this spring are LFOs, envelope followers (for using an audio signal to modulate parameters), randomizers, and multichannel routing devices.

Indeed, my only concern here is that many of us hoped to see some of these capabilities in “native” Ableton Live devices, rather than Max for Live patches. An LFO to many users is an essential built-in module that would benefit the software, as it has been in some rival tools, comparable to tools like chord and pitch manipulation for MIDI included in Live.

I don’t know that the LFO per se is necessarily fundamental to Live. But I do hope that Ableton continues to develop native devices for the Live environment. Max for Live could serve a useful purpose here – as a testing bed and prototyping tool, as it has been intended – and aid in determining which tools really do need to be included with Live itself.

More (updated info) on the included devices:
What Comes with Max for Live

And Don’t Forget…

Even with all these Ableton-provided goodies on their site, it’s worth visiting community sites like the unofficial maxforlive.com.

There are some gems at maxforlive.com, including the featured page:
http://maxforlive.com/featured/

– some of those, in turn, chosen by Ableton. Pictures of some of my favorites:

Let us know how you’re using Max for Live, if you find it fits into your workflow or if you focus on the core Ableton software instead. And certainly, if you’re a Max for Live patch developer or user and want to show off your favorites (including your own), we’d love to hear from you.

  • cymatics

    ML-185 for king!

  • salamanderanagram

    pretty obnoxious, really, that having a free version of ableton intro can get you a free copy of max for live, but paying hundreds for live suite just screws you over. nice one, ableton.

  • Peter Kirn

    @salamanderanagram: I hear what you're saying, that's not entirely true — it's "free" after you *buy* the Suite upgrade for that free version. 

  • salamanderanagram

    i think what really annoys me is that i bought the full, all add-ons included version of ableton, only to have them release a new version 6 months later and saying 'oh this is different, not part of suite, $300 please.'

  • Peter Kirn

    Well, you know my opinions from above… and really, the more valuable Max for Live becomes, the more it seems to me that it should be part of Suite. We'll see if the April sale is an indication of something more permanent.

  • http://rucyl.com Rucyl

    I use M4L patches all the time, love them.

  • Mr. Tunes

    Great to hear they are finally waking up to smell the coffee, even if it's just this month only. If it's $150 I will buy it.

  • genjutsushi

    The Kapture software is exactly what Ableton has needed for a long time. Audiomulch has had the same thing as core functionality in the form of the Metasurface since the early 2000s. 

  • maux

    a tip for Salamanderanagram…I got Abl suite too from long time…so I wrote to them…complaining a bit…and they gave me a 50% discount code on max4live…
    :)

  • http://noisepages.com/members/jamesmcn/ jamesmcn

    I was ready to go buy M4L at half off, but when I log into my account at Ableton.com the price is still USD $299.

  • http://noisepages.com/members/jamesmcn/ jamesmcn

    My mistake – looks like those of us who already own Suite 8 are out of luck.

    Back to PureData…

  • loopstationzebra

    Utterly ridiculous that there wouldn't be a flat 50% off for owners of Live8 Suite. 30%. pfft.

    50% is the exact amount that would have tipped far more people over the edge in terms of purchasing M4L. I'd wager they would have sold far more copies – and made more profit – than the measely 30% off.

    I've gone round and round on this over at the Ableton forum, but I'll say it here again. If you intend on creating patches with M4L, $300 is probably a bargain. You're gonna do it. If you want to simply use patches, paying full retail, or even 30% off, is silly.

    30%. Be still my beating heart. It's almost insulting, really.

    Better yet, how's about a $50 runtime. ffs.

  • loopstationzebra

    Oh, and I really love how M4L is now being promoting and marketed more as a tool to use awesome patches created by awesome rock stars…lol. All the previous marketing efforts really revolved around 'CREATE YOUR OWN PATCHES!!'

    All the more reason for either a deeper discount, or..God Forbid..a runtime.

  • http://www.authenticfilms.com Charles

    "Suite" just means a bundle, it doesn't necessarily mean "everything we make", "everything we or our affiliates make", or "everything we'll ever make". I don't see that they're under any obligation to include M4L in the Suite unless it makes economic sense to do so (and that would only be true if they increased the price of the Suite or a Suite with M4L attracted a lot of buyers who otherwise would have passed).

    If you bought the suite presumably you felt it was worth buying, at the price you paid, for what it was at the time (if not, then you made a mistake). If they released a better suite later or lowered the price or whatever, that's a bummer, but it doesn't change the fact that you thought it was worth getting at the time you got it – and presumably have been getting good use out of it since then.

  • http://www.authenticfilms.com Charles

    I also don't understand the apparent sense of entitlement many Ableton users seem to have, in which spending money on the product years ago means they don't have to spend more money for more features or capability later. Software costs money to produce, if you would benefit from using it you should be prepared to pay for it (free software like puredata is *only* free because the programmers are getting paid elsewhere for other work they are doing, let's not have any illusions about that).

    That said, there's a free runtime for Max/MSP, so yes, there could and probably should be a free or cheap one available for M4L. But even there, frankly, it seems like a lot of people just want access to all the free M4L patchers available without either paying to support the company or contributing any patches of their own – and we're right back to that sense of entitlement.

  • http://www.praxworld.com Will

    I think Ableton is going in the right direction by lowering the price. The Live community is growing, and not showing any signs of slowing. What better way to get more users onboard than by improving the financial accessibility? 

    And what a fantastic collection of devices and API helpers in this update! Now if you didn't feel like inventing your own LFO, you can just plug one right in. Brilliant!

  • http://www.praxworld.com Will

    +1 for the affordable runtime scenario. Max has one. NI is doing it with Reaktor. Fifty bucks would be a good entry point, and get a hell of a lot of users that wouldn't even have considered the expenditure of the full package. Plus, think how many converts would be created from the experience. I'd expect that a reasonable percentage of them would opt for a full license at some point (unable, as I was, to face the torment of not being able to hack those devices). And it would broaden the audience for those who do create. The community is loaded with friendly super-talented creative individuals, most of whom give their work away for FREE with no hesitation. On the forum many of them are willing to review your faulty code-snippets out of nothing more than good will.

  • http://www.authenticfilms.com Charles

    That's a good argument for a runtime, Will: many great things have come from someone wanting to make the tool or instrument they have work in a way that suits them better. There probably would be a lot of people who would get a taste of what was possible and then want the full toolkit.

  • jmac

    deviceAnimator and deviceExplorer – yes! excited to see m4l keep growing.

  • http://chromedecay.org Joshua Schnable

    Adobe just announced a 5.5 release of the Creative Suite today, and with it, subscription based pricing. While that may not appeal to all, it's noted in one article I read that "Money spent on subscriptions can go toward a full purchase at the end of the year". Maybe not a bad idea for Ableton.

  • http://mrtunes.ca mr. tunes

    ok i went back to try the upgrade, and as a suite 8 owner i am SOL like james.

    not very impressed with ableton here. they should start dating my ex, steinberg.

  • salamanderanagram

    @charles, when i purchased ableton suite, it was everything made by ableton (even now, the suite is every ableton product except m4l, as far as i can tell). so, it didn't seem like too much of a stretch that future products would be bundled in as well (collider certainly was…). i don't have a problem with paying for upgrades, i don't know where you got that idea.

  • loopstationzebra

    I don't have any expectation of Entitlement from Ableton. I'm just not going to buy M4L at anything under $150. That's the value I've assigned it, for better or for worse.

    I'd be happy to also shell out $50 for just the runtime. Which, of course, is my preferred option. Either way, the cash is ready when Ableton is..

    And let us, for a moment, consider those who have had to deal with ENORMOUS bugs in Live 8 since it's release – to the point where Management even writes an apology letter, lol. Then, months later, M4L is given away with a copy of Suite, while longtime users who have had to put up with endless amounts of buggy bullshit get a measely 30% off? omfg. If that's not the biggest fucking FAIL, I just don't know what is really.

    I love Ableton, but frankly they aren't winning any Public Relations points…lol

  • Jonah

    I'm waiting for Live 9 which has gotta be soon, haha. Although if Ableton decided to concentrate on stability and workflow refinements to  Live 8 for the next 5 years and just released fabulous (paid) m4l devices I wouldn't complain.

    Ableton's pricing structure hasn't kept with the times, but it's still a good price to get into m4l and max/msp. If this lowers the used price of m4l below the 180ish it is now I'll be happy. Compare Live's pricing to say Cubase 6(which I'm tempted to grab just because) and Live Suite becomes less appealing.

    Peter you forgot Logic and it's environment in your list. :) Sure, it's dusty, but still useful. Len Sasso has some wonderful creations(lfo) and the Logicprohelp forum has some brilliant tools too.

  • Groc

    What about the other way around. I have Live 8 and Max for live but not Suite. Not much incentive to upgrade there :(

  • http://www.ableton.com Ableton_David

    To all Suite 8 owners – you are eligible for a coupon for 30% off for Max for Live. The coupon went out to all subscribers to the newsletter. If you aren't subscribed or didn't get the coupon, then please get in touch with Ableton customer care to claim your discount:&nbsp ;http://www.ableton.com/support/contact_customer_care

  • dood

    I almost died when I saw the press release for free M4L when you upgrade to suite 8, Ive been planning on updating for a while so I was really happy about it.

    On further reading I realized that Live 8 owners don't qualify for free upgrade(not cool)

    I reckon Suite 8 owners should get it for free. Its only fair, at the very least they should get 50% off.

    But thanks anyways Ableton, I certainly appreciate the discount, I hope the coupon lasts longer than April as I cant afford the update and M4L.

  • http://institutfatima.org pepezabala

    The new devices rock a lot, but I am a little worried about the cpu-consumption of Live8. I am under the impression that my 2GHz CoreDuo macbook is too slow already again. I really would like to use a dozen device animators and envelope followers to get some generative madness going, but Live runs against a wall for me lately, cpu meter over 60% and playback dropping out.

  • http://noisepages.com/members/griotspeak/ griotspeak

    @salamanderanagram – it certainly is not everything except M4L. Orchestral instruments is not included and costs much more than m4l

  • dood

    @pepezabala, unfortunately thats a sign of the times, sad but true really.

    Count yourself lucky, Im running live on centrino 1,4ghz single core.

    Thats pretty much 4-5 real time vsti's and a few fx.

    Atleast im still writing hits. LOL

  • Peter Kirn

    @pepezabala: I can definitely make Live 8 run light on CPU. In fact, I still find usually hard disk activity is the big bottleneck in Live – not because of Live per se, but because it's sample-intensive.

    That's not to say you aren't having an issue; I'm just curious what may be the cause. What Warp mode are you using, for instance? Theoretically, Live 8 CPU consumption really shouldn't be radically different from, say, 7. 

    As far as entitlement, you're the customer. You can be as entitled as you want about the price because it's your money. By the same token, Ableton can price things however they want because it's their product. When those meet up, you're in business.

  • http://saturnneversleeps.com King Britt

    Its all about the MLR 4 M4Live patch….its flawless….it integrates so well for Monome users….then you can have endless live capabilities with that and an apc40….its like awesome

  • http://audiocookbook.org John Keston

    Thanks for the great article Peter. It's good to see that progress is being made toward making M4L more available. I'm a big advocate for a runtime version too. 

    I'm just speculating, but one thing that might be preventing Ableton from including M4L in the suite is the licensing with Cycling 74. It might have an impact on how they price M4L too. For Live users it might be easy to overlook that M4L is not just another Ableton product. Rather it's more-or-less integration with Max 5, Cycling 74's longstanding bread winner. 

  • Peter Kirn

    Yes, absolutely, I would imagine that is very likely a reason on the pricing. That's why I separate my own personal opinion in terms of what I believe makes sense from the user and developer point of view from whatever decision Ableton and C74 make from a business standpoint. But that's also my place, I think – for the same reason that I can't simply be a mouthpiece for Ableton. That isn't something they've explicitly talked about, however, with me – they've focused on what they believe the value proposition is. 

    To put it more simply, if M4L is the primary means of extending Ableton Live, and if it does become an invaluable part of Live, then I still believe that purchasing it and/or running patches benefits from simplification.

  • http://audiocookbook.org John Keston

    I agree, and I'm optimistic that the terms will improve eventually. I think it's an achievement that both organizations enthusiastically entered into a cooperative arrangement like they did to integrate their tools – complementing rather than competing with each other. It was a leap forward for Ableton and hopefully it has been positive for C74 too. 

  • http://birdsusestars.com BirdsUseStars

    Incidentally, I used so many sales and coupon codes to buy my copy of Ableton Suite that I'm barely even entitled to the software I have!

  • strunkdts

    "it’s thoroughly enjoyable seeing Richie Hawtin back as Plastikman – the work he’s doing on the tour is"…. utterly crap! >>> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3dJkE5Kchg&lc

  • Teed

    This is like the Pluggo DAW now (getting closer at least), still upset about discontinuing that BTW.

  • http://institutfatima.org pepezabala

    Peter, I made this little Liveset containg InstantHaus, a deviceAnimator and a Device LFO. One sample only, used in four drumrackslots with a couple of generic live efx. This is barely running on my macbook, if I start adding stuff Live starts to choke. Download the set here :http://www.institutfatima.org/paulrose/instant%20haus%20rambo%20ambient%20Project.zip
    and tell me what your CPU meter (in Live) reads

  • http://bubblescum.com Vaihe

    I think "30% coupon" finger for long time Ableton financial supporter like me. I bought live 3, then Operator, then Sampler and then Suite. Now they give M4L it free with Suite. They really should give it free for current Suite owners.

    M4L is good, but for non-programmer like me, the current cost is too high.

  • Leon Tricker

    All of the above negative comments about Ableton: this is why at the start of the year sold up and bought an Octatrack. Best move I ever made. The only way software companies will learn is if you vote with your wallet and get off the rip-off package deals and upgrade cycles.

  • Random Chance

    Sweet, didn't notice that there's an update. Downloading now …

    And to all the people who complain: Most of you, I guess, will complain about anything just so you can complain. If Ableton were giving away Live you would probably complain about stability issues or how it cannot load Fruity Loops or Logic projects. There's almost always a catch and so far I can only say that dealing with Ableton's support has not been one of them. Live and all its accessories are certainly not cheap, and there are issues, but to re-iterate that is just wasting bandwidth. Of course, I'm biased somehow because as a user of M4L and Suite among other software I don't care and never really have.

    There's no silver bullet and if you want real flexibility then you have to get a number of different programs and diverse hardware. That's just the way it is, unless you want to write your software yourself, which could be the start of something beautiful. Come to think about it: How about all the people who complain now join together and write the ultimate Live-killer as free software? You've already got Pd and a bunch of great libraries out there, multiple free plugin formats, example code for dealing with VST and AudioUnits in a professional way (see Ardour for instance) and so on. What's stopping you?

  • http://braduro.com James Levine

    I'll join the gang that thinks the suite is too rich to begin with. For all the bells and whistles, I'd buy a full license for logic at Ableton's upgrade price. M4L is really the only add-on that I'm interested in.

    I confess to being superficial and biased against the Live instruments. The minimalist aesthetic seems entirely appropriate as a Host. However, as a source of sound generation, the visual feedback doesn't translate. My sense of fantasy wants to be taken over with a nice interface, the uniformity of the suite instruments doesn't win me over-it's like buying wine for the label, I confess. Or it just feels predictable. If Live was such a break through, I want their synthesis to be the same. And the sample libraries aren't putting me a step ahead: they're just offering me more samples to dig my way out of. IMO, aside from some workflow improvements (that too is subjective: the new warping modality is confusing to me) the main reasons to buy Live 8 for a DJ is M4L, CliphX, and admittedly some freebie racks for sampler and operator. I can spring $149 (the basic upgrade price) for features I won't take full advantage of in order to get a discount. $500 for the upgrade price and $800 flat out, just leaves me out of the game. 

  • Blob

    Regarding lowering M4L's price I think it's good news from Ableton, but I also think it's a bit overdue – especially considering the buggy first releases and the fact that they (Ableton + Cycling) are still refusing to release a runtime environment, which I find perplexing. I am pretty sure many electronic musicians (my*cough*self in*cough*cluded) do not have time to tinker around with patching / programming, but would love to use some of the M4L devices out there (both free and commercial patches).

    @James Levine

    I have to disagree with you on the matter of Live's minimal interface. One of the things I love about Live is the uniformity and relative simplicity of the GUI and its instruments/plug-ins. Compare that, if you find the time, with something like NI Kontakt's cluttered workspace. Mind you, Kontakt is an amazing piece of software – but the GUI puts me off. Same for FL Studio when you are using its features and plugins to full capacity.

    Anyway, different users are attracted to different work methods, so I understand where you're coming from – Live does sometimes lack some dynamic visual feedback and is very "dry" in that aspect. I just happen to enjoy working that way ;-)

  • http://mathiasfekjaer.com Mathias

    M4L is worth every penny, even at full price :) I payed full and you don't see me whining about it! You deserve it guys!

  • GovernorSilver

    Anybody know if the free Max For Live deal applies to those who upgrade to Live Suite 8 from Live Launchpad Edition?  The deal on the website only mentions upgrades from Live Intro or Live Lite

  • http://routeit.noisepages.com gbsr

    considering that we bought live suite 8, was promised two flag features (share and looper) and none of them works + we paid full price for a version that wasn't even ready to market, i think they totally screwed us over. if i wanted to beta test i would beta test. when i handed them my bankaccount i expected to have a working version with the features working that they announced it with, not an endless beta cycle.

  • GovernorSilver

    Octatrack looks like a promising product. The latest OS update enables recording start/stop via MIDI, which brings it closer to what guitarists, violinists, etc. want to see in a looping device. OTOH, there's still no Looping Machine implemented.

    Ableton Live at least has been road-tested as a software looping platform by several guitarists, violinists, cellists, etc. If the "free Max For Live" offer with purchase of/upgrade to Suite 8 does not apply to Launchpad Edition owners, I suppose I could just get Live Intro and save $50.

  • Blob

    @gbsr

    Hear, hear. I got Live about 3 years ago on a promotion with a free version 8 upgrade when it came out. It took me a whole year to finally trust Live 8 to do a full gig. Hell, what a mess – I reverted back to Live 7 for a long time.

    Fortunately, 8.1 (and the 8.2) has been working fine for me so far – I've had a good experience with the product and the company's tech support, I'm a Live maniac through and through, but I'm also disappointed with the whole unending "beta" situation. They should definitely sort that out before expecting more people to shell out 200-300$ for M4L – I know I won't even though I'm drooling with curiosity over Henke's and Chiba's creations. And if they finally come up with the mysteriously missing runtime version and charge for THAT too, a bit of mass rage will likely ensue.

  • http://none OutlandSound

    Seriously, Ableton products are competitively priced in my opinion.  There are plugins out there that cost thousands, you should really look at the world of post production and compare what's going on there.  Every person that uses this software gets a hell of a lot of mileage out of it from their initial buy in.  If you can't afford it then opt out, it still perfectly functional and standalone.  Sure it probably feels shitty when you have to put down $900 for a piece of software but get some perspective.

  • digid

    "The only way software companies will learn is if you vote with your wallet and get off the rip-off package deals and upgrade cycles."

    Yeah, that'll show 'em! And it'll also close them down. Upgrade prices are what keeps most of them afloat, but, of course, if you want to kill them, your strategy is the right one.

  • Greg

    This argument about the price is pathetic. Max4Live is by far the most exciting piece of software I have ever used. It enables me to seamlessly integrate my Arduino based controllers, I can create and manipulate video and animation, build new instruments, etc. I payed the full price when it came out and it worth every penny. I'm glad that it is discounted and is more affordable for others. Whining over how much you have paid is unnecessary.

  • Leon Tricker

    @ Digid – my point being that rather than whine and complain, why don't people take matters into their own hands? No one has to use a specific piece of software or hardware – there are loads of options out there.

  • renderful

    I upgraded to Suite 8 from Launchpad Edition in November. When I read this post, I emailed contact@ableton.com to ask if I could get in on the pricing that other "new" users are getting. They emailed me back with a coupon code for 50% off on M4L. SCORE.

  • maux

    yes…I repeat it and confirm it…write to them and get it at 50%..thanks Ableton :)

    IMO the LFO alone is worth the price.

  • GovernorSilver

    I got a reply from Ableton's customer care.  They said that Launchpad Edition qualifies for the April Max For Live promotion.  I can get a Launchpad w/ Live Launchpad Edition for $130, then the upgrade to Live Suite 8 for at  most $500 to grab M4L for free.

  • Brian

    Where are these new max4live patches i've installed the latest version of max and ableton (so I assume max4live updated with either one of those.) I cant see them in ableton at all…..odd anyone care to help me out?

  • renderful

    You have to download them from http://ableton.com

  • masta de gumbo

    Max For Live has expanded my approach to making new effects, using ideas from net, and generally pushing me musically in new sonic directions that regular Live could only lay the groundwork for.  Also, in my experience, I've found the effects I've used and created in Max are a lot more efficient on the CPU than outside effects I've tried using from other developers.  Of course, every effect is different, but I am impressed with the relative CPU efficiency and organic integration from Max into the software.  In other words, the Max for Live upgrade was worth every penny.  

  • ed

    i'm a long-term Live user with little to no interest in making m4l patches. i would definitely buy a reasonably-priced runtime version, but have no need for anything beyond that.

    what frustrates me is not so much Ableton's pricing policy with m4l, but the way in which they're marketing its use. increasingly, i feel, it's being positioned not just as a means to creatively re-imagine the way Live operates or to create bespoke modifications, but to provide fairly straightforward DAW functionality which Live doesn't or can't (for whatever reason) offer on its own.

    I am worried that m4l solutions to the problems of natively implementing (for example) LFOs and OSC messages are going to make Ableton less inclined to develop them as features for the standalone version of Live in the future: it's not that i don't trust their motives, but i can imagine the sizeable impulse to put such tasks on the back-burner if you've already got a semi-native solution available, particularly one which directs users towards a more lucrative upgrade path.  

    So I get rather a sinking feeling  when Peter says he can envisage a time when "M4L is the primary means of extending Ableton Live". What would that mean for the extension of Live itself, and for users like me, for whom m4l is over-featured and subsequently over-priced? I am unsure, and slightly cynical.

    I obviously hope that developments in m4l catalyses improvements to the standalone version of Live, but given the energy Ableton seem to putting into promoting m4l, and the fact that Live 8 is still buggy as hell however many months / years after they promised to prioritise its stability over any new features, I'm getting increasingly concerned that the opposite seems to be happening.

    I would much rather see Ableton devoting their attention to solving the coding problems which prevent them making native LFO generators / OSC mapping / clip chopping / session view automation etc etc, rather than what seems to be happening, where they're just bolting more and more stuff on top of Live's slightly wobbly foundations.

  • hopefully not

    hope that ableton will not use MFL as the what many speculate as the reason to not develop good tools for the software. It will be pretty obvious once they released 9 what direction they are heading

  • http://www.ckid.org Higher education

    Maintain ‘em coming…people all implement this type of best wishes in these sort of Principles…simply cannot say what amount MY SPOUSE AND I, personally get pleasure from all you complete!

  • N8 Sann

    While Max is a great product I can’t justify dropping all that money on Ableton (like I already did) and then spending another $250 for Max. They should give current valid Ableton users a substantial discount on live. Cycling has to make their money to I guess…
    http://stereopool.com