Max For Live is Max In Live: MSP, Jitter, OSC, and All; The Open Source Side?

Standing on Max patches. Photo (CC) Sklathill. Many people are asking about what Max for Live can do. That’s a short answer: everything Max/MSP/Jitter can, plus some new stuff to make it work with Ableton Live. It might be better called “Max in Live.” Max for Live has all the objects that Max/MSP and Jitter have – all of them. Right now, I’m gathering a big part of the testing Cycling ‘74 is doing is to try to make anything not work, but so far, it sounds as though everything does. That means Max for Live is an environment for …

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Akai APC40 Video from Ableton; More Controllers Coming

When Ableton refers to controllers, they do use “controllers,” plural. So you can expect more Ableton-official controllers coming soon. Ableton does have a video where you can see more in action. (Video via the terrific audioporncentral.) What I need you to tell me is what you can’t see in this video, so I can sit down with Jesse in New York and cover that leisurely. Briefly, there, it looks like the APC is ready to do its impression of the scene in Close Encounters. Grab your ARP emulation and Max in Live, and we could, um, actually do that with …

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Ableton’s Upgrade Options: Easier to Understand than a Large Hadron Collider

Photo: Derek K. Miller (penmachine) catches some Live action from friend Paul. Updated: Rewrite. We in fact had several users successfully upgrade from Live 6 to 7 overnight, for free. That seems to have been either some extremely particular circumstance or a server glitch. (Pointing to the latter, Ableton took their shop down for maintenance Friday afternoon Berlin time.) I could try to explain what different upgrades cost and how much it costs to buy them when, but frankly a) I don’t understand and b) this goes well beyond the realm of “things interesting enough for me to spend time …

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Maschine and APC Answers: It Does Have Hardware MIDI, It Doesn’t Need Max

As I read through comments, it seems worth some additional notes and clarifications on Native Instruments’ Maschine hardware/software drum machine combo and Akai’s APC40 controller for Ableton Live. (That’s not to say that the two are comparable – though I do hope to see them running side by side soon!) Maschine: It Has Hardware MIDI (Sort Of) I’m only going to say one thing about Maschine: it has hardware MIDI inputs and outputs. A number of folks missed this yesterday. This to me is a big deal, because Maschine is a really strong sequencer. I still want software MIDI output, …

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Keytar Revival: Exclusive Details of Roland’s New AX-Synth “Shoulder Keyboard”

CDM readers heavily lamented the loss of Roland’s AX-7 “shoulder keyboard” (better known to the world as a “keytar”). Sure, the keytar has a reputation for being dorky (bad news, chaps, the keyboard has a reputation for being dorky). But putting instruments on your shoulder is also a simple way to make them easy to play – ask a guitar, an accordion, or any other number of instruments. They let you move around, and there’s no question as computer musicians we get enough time in their chairs. Well, the Roland AX is back – and as the name implies, the …

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NI Maschine: Fully Integrated Hardware-Software-Plug-In Drum Machine, Controller

If you could have an ideal drum machine and sample-slicing workstation, taking the physical control of hardware but the flexibility of software, what would it look like? We talk a lot about hardware control of software, but hardware usually comes second – software gets designed first, and then either you have to figure out how to map hardware to it, or someone else comes along and designs gear. That means there’s usually a disconnect in the design and workflow of the two, and most of the time, you have to reach for the mouse to make up the difference. Maschine …

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Ableton Live 8, Now with Grooves: The Top 8 New Features

The new Live: perhaps no one needs it, but I’ll bet a lot of people will want it. Ableton’s site is now live with all the Live 8 information. But let’s cut straight to which bits are likely to be really significant in the new version of Live (aside from the new Akai controller and Max for Live support coming later this year, of course). In no particular order, here are my top 8 new features: 1. Extract grooves: Take an audio or MIDI source. Extract a groove. Build a groove library, then apply it to anything you want, in …

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Cycling ‘74 Reveals Max For Live: Make Max Patches that Integrate with Ableton

It’s been a long, long wait, but it’s now official: Ableton and Cycling ‘74 have collaborated on Max for Live, which integrates Max/MSP with Ableton Live. There’s tons of information on the Cycling ‘74 site, and I’ll be doing some follow-up interviews for CDM soon with more details, but here’s the overview. What is Max for Live? Max is an add-on product for Ableton Live 8, which will be announced in a press conference shortly. Note that it isn’t just Max or just Live – it’s a separate, add-on product. No pricing information yet; availability later in 2009. What Will …

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BPM: MOTU’s Software-Based Drum Machine Workstation and Ad Copy Reflections

MOTU’s new drum machine is a new software sampler/synth workstation for drums, clearly influenced by beat production workstations like the legendary Akai MPC and EMU SP1200. With all today’s hardware/software talk, I initially thought this was hardware, too, but it’s not – meaning it’s got an uphill battle against integrated features in hosts like Live and new tools that integrate more closely with hardware, not to mention existing entries like FXpansion’s GURU. But don’t write it off just yet: an internal synth, a unique sampling plug-in, import workflows, and retro groove emulations could keep this in the game. Oh, yeah …

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What Makes the APC40 Special: Interactive Clip, Device Control, Dedicated Buttons

I was able to get additional clarification from Ableton on the Akai APC40. Specifically, it’s worth talking about what makes this unique as a controller. It’s not for everyone – that’s what’s wonderful about computers, that you can control them with lots of different devices. And using Max for Live (more on that today and next week), you will have new options for custom controller applications. But here’s some exclusive info on what’s cool about the APC: Clip status: Green means playing, red means recording, orange means a clip is loaded. And yes, this means the images Akai generated are …

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