As Max for Live has matured, this tool for extending the functionality of Ableton Live has played host to a growing wave of brilliant custom tools – enough so that it can be hard to keep track. This month saw a few that deserve special mention. In particular, two tools help make MIDI mapping and automation recording easier in Live, and point the way for what the host itself could implement in a future update. (Live 9, we’re looking at you.) And in a very different vein, from Max for Live regular Protofuse, we see an intriguing alternative approach to sequencing.

Clip Automation does something simple: it patches a limitation in Live itself, by allowing you to record mapped automation controls directly in the Session View clips. (As the developer puts it, it grabs your “knob-twisting craziness in Session View.”) The work of Tête De Son (Jul), it’s an elegant enough solution that I hope the Abletons take note.

Clip Automation

Mapulator goes even further, re-conceiving how mapping in general works in Ableton – that is, how Live processes a change in an input (like a knob) with a change in a parameter (like a filter cutoff). Live does allow you to set minimum and maximum mappings, and reverse direction of those mappings. But the interpolation between the two is linear. Mapulator allows you to ramp in curves or even up and down again.

There’s more: you can also control multiple parameters, each at different rates. And that can be a gateway into custom devices, all implemented in control mappings. BentoSan writes:

For example, if you wanted to create a delay effect that morphs into a phaser, then cuts out and finally morphs into a reverb with an awesome freeze effect, you would be able to do this with just a single knob…

Again, this seems to me not just a clever Max for Live hack, but an illustration of how Ableton itself might work all the time, in that it’s a usable and general solution to a need many users have. Sometimes the itch Max for Live patchers scratch is an itch other people have, too.

Lots of additional detail and the full download on the excellent DJ TechTools:
Mapulator: An Advanced MIDI Mapping Tool for Ableton

Protoclidean We’ve seen Euclidean rhythms many times before, but this takes the notion of these evenly-spaced rhythmic devices to a novel sequencer. Developed by Julien Bayle, aka artist Protofuse, the Max for Live device is also a nice use of JavaScript in Max patching. See it in action in the video above. There are custom display options for added visual feedback, and whereas we’ve seen Euclidean notions in use commonly with percussion, the notion here is melodic gestures. Additional features:

  • Eight channels
  • Independent pitch, velocity, and offset controls
  • Scale mapping
  • For percussion, map to General MIDI drum maps (Eep – darn you, English, we’re using the word “map” a lot!)
  • Randomization
  • MIDI thru, transport sync, more…

More information:

Also, if you’re looking for more goodness to feed your Live rig, Ableton has added a new section to their own site called Library. You can find specific Max for Live content in that area, as well:

This is in addition to the community-hosted, community-run, not-officially-Ableton Max for Live library, which is the broadest resource online for Max for Live downloads:

  • catchingthewave

    I’m responding to your Twitter plea to test the new commenting system. Yes, I have bravely negotiated the Livefyre registration process simply to help out this fantastic blog (yours, not mine).

    Does this mean I get some free software? Ableton Live, perhaps? I’ll take Geist or Alchemy at a pinch. All right, z3ta+2, but that’s my final offer.

    Keep up the good work.

  • peterkirn

    Did you really just mention Geocities? Seriously?Information gathering – maybe. But recall that you’re posting publicly on a network that already gathers that information. If you don’t feel comfortable making information public, you should question why you’re writing something public at all.Anyway, I know we’re testing the system, but can we please keep comments on CDM stories relevant to the stories themselves?That is, we can test the commenting system by posting actual comments. 😉 If you have feedback on the comment system, you can address it to us.

  • JonathanKops

    Mapulator picture looks kinda nothing like the actual patch. this is what it really looks like –

    Maybe put this pic in the article ?

    Other than that, wicked read, i appreciate the coverage of Mapulator :)

    • peterkirn

      @JonathanKops Done! I liked the image on djtt, too — but is that djtt’s and not yours, Jonathan, i.e., should I remove it entirely? 😉 (if so, maybe we can get a pic of you at your machine turning a knob or something, I don’t know…)

    • JonathanKops

      @peterkirn @JonathanKops

      Your edit works good :) the editor smashed that picture in there probably cuz the right hand of the patch looks a lil ugly in V1.0 – theres no issue of you using this picture if thats what your worried about.

      Speaking of which 1.02 is coming out with bug fixes today, so i should be at a pretty solid base for further upgrades from there on in. Hope i didn’t just curse myself !

      I have a ton of ideas for the patch myself which ill share when they get released. This patch is FAR from finished in terms of features – I’m really looking forward to showing some uncharted waters in the future that i think will take some people by surprise :)

    • peterkirn

      @JonathanKops Excellent! Keep us posted! If you’re feeling really ambitious, shoot a video … or, actually, save that time for patching ;)And yeah, I think this is an idea whose time has come.

    • Ofer Smilansky

      @JonathanKops Hey,

      I love your device!!! super good Idea.

      Is there anyway we could have a little chat? for commets and improvements? I dont have facebook nor twiter…

    • JonathanKops

      @Ofer Smilansky @JonathanKops

      Of course :)

      Mail me on

  • peterkirn

    FYI, we’ll have an update on commenting and why there are some tradeoffs we have to make later this week, once we’ve had some test feedback.

  • jln

    While Mapulator looks handy, I feel it would be nice to say the least to mention credits to Toshiro Yamada as the patch seems to rely on his sa.function… Not sure what the license for using his object is but I hope he is ok with that.

  • peterkirn

    Which, createdigitalmusic?We hadn’t had any issue with that that I had seen, but we had a general DNS meltdown that’s prompting me to abandon our DNS host for someone else. It’s possible that impacted createdigitalmusic in very localized areas.

  • ElEmbajadorRodriguez


  • 7AR

    can i say a personal thank you to you sir, that device has instantly given me the ability to do what i’ve been trying to do for months

  • heinrich zahlen

    Clip Automation gives Live machine style loop recording of automation..nice!

  • oliverchesler

    My favorite Max4Live device is the schwarzonator…

  • Bill Thompson

    Hm, I can’t see the other 15 comments…but also can’t download mapulator…just directed to a 404 page.

    • Peter Kirn

      The comments will reappear; we’re facing a glitch in Disqus’ initial WordPress import. I’ve contacted support, but it’s the weekend. 😉

      Mapulator article I link to is right here – – you’re unable to get the patch itself?

    • Blob

       Download link is working now

    • Blob

       Err correction – it’s NOT working. I’ve reported the problem to DJ Tech Tools

  • Bill Thompson

    Got it now guys, thanks…looking forward to trying it out :)

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