Max For Live multiple output

Oct 19, 2010 at 7:58am

Max For Live multiple output

Good morning to everybody,
I’m developing a multichannel plug-in for sound spatialization.
Working on it I reliazed that there is no possibility to use the ‘plugout~’ object with more than two outputs although you can specify more outputs in the argument.

Using different kind of track in Ableton or ‘dac~’ instead of ‘plugout~’ does not seem to work equally…

Is there any possibility to implement multiple out?!
Thanks to everybory

Oct 19, 2010 at 10:10am

Nope. It’s a limitation imposed by Live.

Oct 19, 2010 at 10:29am

This is a very bad news…
So it’salso impossible doing something like this:

Thanks for you availability!

Oct 19, 2010 at 11:02am

Good point.
In fact, Live recognizes the individual output channels of a multi-channel plugin. So strictly speaking, the limitation is caused by incomplete integration of M4L devices, namely that devices with multi-channel output can’t be built resp. are not recognized as such from Live. But this shouldn’t be too difficult to implement, so we may expect some improvement in future updates..

Oct 19, 2010 at 4:30pm

The limitation comes from Live itself. There are only stereo tracks in Live. Even boring 5.1 isn’t possible.
But I found a workaround – have a look at it. I made this some time ago and haven’t touched it for a while, let me know if it works for you:

I uses a rack to obtain multiple physical outputs. The sound is not going through the Master track, but the master volume will control the volume accordingly…

As I have a running Live again, I could tweak it if necessary…


Oct 19, 2010 at 5:08pm

Very nice solution,

So it could be possible to turn this way of spatialize in live into ambisonnic technology, including ambiencode~ and ambidecode~ objects inside each patchers, using each time only two outputs of ambidecode, and controling it via the system of forward/receive with an ambimonitor object inside the main patch…

isn’t it?

Oct 20, 2010 at 10:59am

In my solution, I simply forward control data for gains, which I calculate in one patch. I guess that for ambisonics you probably need to duplicate the same patch with multiple ambiencode~/ambidecode~ objects which only feed different outputs to the device output. Its not very effective, but should work. And please nag Ableton to finally allow universal tracks. Not only for more audio in/outputs…
I know exactly how it should look like, but nobody would listen to me – revolutions are worrisome, I guess…;-)


Oct 23, 2010 at 7:06am

what do you think about plugsend~ and plugreceive~ ?

Oct 23, 2010 at 3:55pm

plugsend~ and plugreceive~ are not officially supported in M4L.

It seems to work somehow, but induces unpredictable latency.

Sep 23, 2011 at 8:48pm

@ Stefan : I think St.pace is broken under Live 8.2.5 (m4l 5.1.9) … I’ve been using it regularly. Recently tried to put it into a new session but without any luck … I can still pan on 1/2 but it’s not going to 3/4 etc.

I’m on OSX Lion but noticed it’s also broken on Live 8.2.2 Snow Leopard … got it working on 8.2 though (don’t know which m4l version) under SL

Would be nice if you could look into it … If you’d be able to find some spare time. I really love this tool!!


Oct 28, 2013 at 11:49pm

Well, more than 2 years later and this is still a current problem.

Is there any more news about multiple outputs in ableton?
Like a multiple output m4l vst?
Or even better different multiple outputs in 1 channel. Like a 8 output channel, or a n-output channel.
Like reaper does it, is very nice. But I guess that’s up to ableton.

But the multiple output m4l device must be doable right?

Thanks for any answers (especially from cycling74 ;) )

Oct 29, 2013 at 4:59am

I also interested in and support the issue of implementing multichannel out.

Oct 29, 2013 at 2:35pm

I have done 8 channel outs in Live with M4L before.
You have to use sends, and you can discretely assign those to physical outs, bypassing the master. You have to set up a patch that controls the audio being sent to each output (by output I mean send), using live.remote’s that are tied to the track sends. I have a patch at home I could throw you guys if anyone’s interested.
It’s a hacky approach but it works really well.

Oct 29, 2013 at 11:25pm

that´s only a workaround……but not so powerful, if every channel has it´s own 8 outputs (especially for spatialization).

Oct 30, 2013 at 10:08am

Well it’s Live, so every solution will be a workaround. Use Max standalone if you don’t want to have to “workaround”.

What do you mean by “not so powerful”? What is lacking in this particular solution?

Oct 30, 2013 at 10:36am

independent spatialization on different audio tracks with amplitude panning f.e.

Oct 30, 2013 at 11:14am

This solution CAN do that.

Oct 30, 2013 at 11:18am

The “powerful” solution I chose for the moment it to MIDI remote control Max from Max4Live. I send audio from Live to Max using “loopback” fonction on RME interfaces.

Oct 30, 2013 at 12:51pm

ok, can I have a look in your setup (patch) ?
(I already use 11 track sends for FX…so it becomes confusing with additional 8 sends for spatialization)

Oct 30, 2013 at 2:37pm

If you’re using sends for effects, then this solution wouldn’t be able to spatialize the processes as far as I know….

That could be a potential deal breaker.

Oct 30, 2013 at 3:36pm

The maximum of sends is 12…

Oct 30, 2013 at 11:54pm

@ chapelier fou

12 sends, good to know.
Never saw the feature of loopback in rme-interfaces and “accidentally” I use MetricHalo.

Nov 7, 2013 at 8:58am

for the record, Kontakt VST 16ch *can* send audio to other channels from one Live channel. Here’s how :

(edit : my point is that if Kontakt can do it, then it should be possible from Max too. The method discussed is not as versatile as a max send~/receive~ pair though, but it could be some sort of temporary workaround)

Nov 11, 2013 at 8:36am

Did you ever use [plugsend~] [plugreceive~]?

Even if Max documentation says: “The use of the plugsend~ and plugreceive~ objects to pass audio between Max for Live devices is not supported.” it seams to work.

I am trying them at the moment. With my setup I get a steady 46ms latency (2048 samples) between [plugsend~] and [plugreceive~], and I have not noticed any problem.

Well, it is not perfect, as I get 1ms latency between [send~] and [receive~].

Here my latency test devices:

Mar 27, 2014 at 4:05am

This is really something that needs to be done.
is there any official statement wether or not this is going to happen anytime soon?

Mar 28, 2014 at 6:18am

Totally agree with you Dibek.
I’d like to know as well.

Mar 30, 2014 at 7:34am

This is a question to ask Ableton rather than Cycling ’74.


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