Max 5 advantages

Nov 18, 2008 at 12:44pm

Max 5 advantages

I’m currently thinking of moving from Max 4.6 to Max 5. Since there must be a few experienced users of the latter out there by now, I was wondering if anybody has any broad impressions of the pros and cons of the two programs. I’m currently using Windows vista premium, by the way.Thanks.
David Roden
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Nov 18, 2008 at 1:04pm

Hi David,

I am not a veteran of Max at all, i am still learning much and have now moved from making extreme noise patches to now sampling and the such.

From my experience of Max 4 compared to Max 5, is vast and different, although many people people will have different views, respectively.

I have used Max 4.6.3 for a bit and did buy it a few good months before the release of 5, so i was entitled for the free upgrade, of which i am very happy with.
I still use Max 4, but only every now and again, but plan to stick with Max 5 and make do with the program rather than go back.
I did go on Max 4.6.3 on my friend’s ibook (yes iBook) and made him a noise patch on his computer before he went back home to Australia. I did enjoy it, but since getting myself dug into Max 5, felt out of date. Although in the end, enjoyed my time and made a great program for him.

There are upsides and downsides obviously with the upgrade. For one you get a nice interface to play with. The ability to make your patches look incredibly nicer than that of max 4. The intro of bar timing ie 4n with the metro object.
Plus a whole plethora of updates, some minor, but much worth it.

The downsides, that many a people have pointed out is the speed at which max 5 plays at, saying that it is slow and sluggish and basically a bad program altogether.
I am NOT on of these people, because i make do with what i have and make the best of it. And i am extremely happy with this update of Max 5. I love it actually.

My advice is for you to try the 30 days demo version and see for yourself.

I do particularly like the presentation mode. There i can make my patches the way i want to, with moving any objects or wires, fantastic.
I am now waiting for Pluggo, then i will take over the world (add Mad Scientist laugh here)

Hope this in some way, shape or form helped you…

Nov 18, 2008 at 1:23pm

Sorry i meant to say my experience is ‘NOT’ vast and different. Because i am still a learner

Odd what happens when your brain just skips a few seconds…

Nov 18, 2008 at 2:11pm

> I’m currently thinking of moving from Max 4.6 to Max 5. Since there
> must be a few experienced users of the latter out there by now, I
> was wondering if anybody has any broad impressions of the pros and
> cons of the two programs.

I reviewed it for Sound On Sound:

You’d need to pay 99p for the review, unless you can wait for another
few months until it drops out of the e-sub window.

– N.

Nick Rothwell / Limited

Nov 19, 2008 at 11:41am

In my experience the only disadvantage was bigger default font and obects size so i got less objects on my 1280×800. Everything else was amazingly great, especially that presentation mode and new keyboard shortcuts so i cold make patches almost twice faster. It’s amazing.

Expected some improvements in file handling and preset managing, hope this will be in later versions…

Nov 19, 2008 at 7:52pm

I can’t recommend the switch highly enough. There are a few setbacks (like slower moving elements around the screen while patching) but this will be smooth soon enough anyway with processing power increasing, it hasn’t been a big concern for me. The tradeoff is that you get alpha for your objects, which is fantastic, and well-worth the bit of slowing down, in my opinion. It’s so much easier to make things look great with the new color controls, plus more GUI objects have new appearance settings (kslider, nslider, and LED are three good examples). Even your most basic button can look really slick now.

As far as actual performance during a running patch, I haven’t compared it precisely. My gut feeling is that it may be a *little* slower, though perhaps just with certain processes. Again, for most patches this will not be a problem, and if your patches use crazy amounts of CPU, the GUI will probably not be the central factor which slows things down anyway—or at least it doesn’t have to be if you design it right.

Other than that, the improvements are absolutely incredible. I can’t imagine going back, for too many reasons to mention. Take an evening to dig into all the new ways you can patch, you’ll really appreciate all the new possibilities. Cycling really got it right with this massive upgrade!


Nov 20, 2008 at 12:16am

I agree with the previous comments.

If you care at all about UI design, Max 5 is a huge win. Being able to click through partially transparent objects opened up so many possibilities. Presentation mode is sweet.

There’s also some very useful new core functionality. Like the transport system, which makes it much easier to do sequencing and event-rate synchronization. On the off chance you were using timeline, you know it’s gone in Max 5? Transport and timepoints are a better system anyway.

Patching workflow is much faster. I can’t stand patching in Max 4 without the one-key object creation. And 5 has tons of other little improvements, like a right inlet to message boxes that avoids the need for putting [prepend set] everywhere. Really there are just too many things to mention. The old version is painful by comparison. Max 5 spoiled me rotten ;)

It’s a little slower on the surface, which hasn’t been a problem for me (I think there’s only 2-3 people on this forum that have a big problem with it and I am sorry I ever got involved in the threads about that, what a waste of time). And there’s some bugs, which is to be expected, but as usual C74 is great about being responsive to bug reports. Plus there are a few bugs and annoyances from Max 4 which have been fixed in 5 and will not be fixed in 4.

Personally I never open Max 4 anymore if I can help it.

Nov 20, 2008 at 3:21am

The improvements in Max 5 go far beyond graphics and the changes that are mentioned in the “What’s New” documentation. All sorts of small changes have been made under the hood (and often with no publicity) that make this new version a huge step forward. Here are two examples:

1.) Multiple pvars can now actually refer to the same named object without suddenly losing their association when the patch is opened. I have been able to go back and remove dozens and dozens of hacks that I had put in my patches to re-assign multiple pvars to a single object on load.

2.) You can now copy an embedded bpatcher with #0 arguments and the automatically generated number will be updated. In Max 4 this wasn’t the case. Try this:
-In Max 4, make a patch that contains a receive object with the folowing argument: “#0-test” (without the quotes). Save it, and then create a bpatcher in another patcher window and open the patcher that you made. You should see that the #0 is substituted for an automatically-generated value. Copy the bpatcher and the value will change. Now select “Embed Patcher in Parent” in the bpatcher inspector. Copy this bpatcher in the same window and you will see that when it is embedded the value of the #0 argument doesn’t change. This means that any messages sent within one of these bpatchers will also be received in the other, which is bad.
-If you do the same thing in Max 5 (do the entire process again, don’t just open the Max 4 patch in a bpatcher), you will see that even when the bpatcher is embedded the #0 value is changed.

These two changes might not seem very flashy and they certainly haven’t been publicized, but they have made a *huge* difference to my work. I have been going back and “de-hacking” (if that is a word) a ton of patches to remove the work-arounds that I had been forced to make.

For me these two examples reflect a great deal of thought and hard work in getting all of the little things right and in removing long-standing issues from Max 4. I really appreciate the relatively unsung effort that has gone into cleaning up the basic functionality in Max 5 and I would *never* go back to Max 4.

But don’t get me started on the rounded corners… ;-)

Sean Ferguson

Nov 20, 2008 at 9:04pm

Nov 22, 2008 at 3:04pm

strange, david usually posts from his cycling adress.

and the writing style seems a bit off….

some people just don’t know where to stop.
i whish i had so much spare time

Nov 22, 2008 at 6:06pm

Ok – Please do not respond to this post!

The user pretending to be DZ has been banned and your cooperation in staying away from the thread would be appreciated.

Thank you


Nov 22, 2008 at 9:49pm

what’s the problem? just take it lightly, you’re all doing the best you can and that’s appreciated!


Nov 24, 2008 at 1:43pm

To my opinion, everything is better in MAX5, EXPECT the fact that audio/video performance has gone down the drain dramatically.
The way I work now :If I have to make something “beautifull” ->MAX5
If I have to make something that performs well e.g. has to run on small machine ->MAX4.
I still have a small hope left that this will become better, but I fear for it, since audio performance has become even worse with the upgrade from 5.04 to 5.05, this is why I still stuck with 5.04

Nov 25, 2008 at 10:44am

Nov 25, 2008 at 11:07am

I feel, in my opinion, that Max 5 can make you think of better things, because of this change in how it looks.
Which it does look much nicer and less industrial UK 1980′s depression.

True the video has gone down a tad in performance wise, but this is why we have software updates for everything now-a-days, over time, once people report things it gets better. It is better that way, rather than having software out that is not perfect, but also does not have updates coming too it.

I do sometimes go back to Max 4, just to play on a friends computer which is not fast enough for Max 5. But it does feel weird, fast yes. But at the same time, it feels like strange land in some ways. I guess that is the same way F.E. feels about Max 5.

I don’t think i can go back now at all to Max 4 on a professional level. Considering i am not a pro, hahaha. But more to the fact that there are so many new features applied in Max 5 that makes it hard pressed to go back a step.

Rather than getting Max 5, not being happy with it, then going back to Max 4. I prefer to just bear the minor pitfalls that Max 5 has at the moment, do what i can, and keep at it. Then over time, will end up with really good performance specs like Max 4. But in time.
Then i feel i can then keep up to date with the advances that do come to Max 5 with every update.

I have not had any real hardships with Max 5 yet. Maybe because i am not a pro Maxer yet.
But aside from that have built some pretty big patches. That i feel make Max 5 a worthy update. Especially with the presentation mode, which i feel has freed up a lot of stress away from making final patches and applications.
When Max 5 first came out there were minor crashes problems, but that was sorted with the next update. Now i am more than happy about going more and more into the World of Max 5.

But this is just what i feel about this subject…

Nov 25, 2008 at 10:06pm

On 25 Nov 2008, at 10:44, f.e wrote:

> I can stare at a Max 5 new empty patch for long, like it is still
> not my friend and i’m still unsure if i can trust him.

Max 5 has a tendency to be a little slow (the patcher lock/unlock
cycle can sometimes be several seconds, which is frustrating (*)) but
the workflow is really, really smooth so I find Max 5 to be a much
more transparent, flow-thinking experience than Max 4. I wouldn’t go
back, were it not for Pluggo.

– N.

(*) But I learned recently that MacBooks run slowly if the battery is
removed. (I managed to kill one battery in less than two years,
causing all sorts of bizarre system instabilities, which is why I
leave the new one on the shelf if I can. But I’m definitely paying for
it in performance.)

Nick Rothwell / Limited


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