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What is Max?

Make connections. Make things happen.

Max gives you the parts to create unique sounds, stunning visuals, and engaging interactive media. These parts are called ‘objects’ – visual boxes that contain tiny programs to do something specific. Each object does something different. Some make noises, some make video effects, others just do simple calculations or make decisions. In Max you add objects to a visual canvas and connect them together with patchcords. You can use as many as you like. By combining objects, you create interactive and unique software without ever writing any code (you can do that too if you really want to). Just connect.

Objects that Connect

With native support for a wide variety of controllers and devices, Max lets you connect anything together.

  • Add live camera or audio input to create an immersive and interactive experience.
  • Attach sensors to your Max using Arduino, Eobody or other devices.
  • Plug in MIDI devices and USB gaming controllers to control things exactly the way you want to.
  • Combine a variety of devices and software together using MIDI, serial communication, or network protocols like OpenSoundControl to create hybrid systems.
  • Collaborate using OpenSoundControl across a local network with other computers or OSC-enabled mobile apps.

Max in Your Community

The diverse tools and accessible interface has made Max an indispensible tool in a variety of disciplines where realtime media and interactivity are needed. Here are things people near you are doing with Max.

  • Electronic Musicians use Max to develop unique sound-making tools, unusual instruments, and custom performance systems.
  • Live Visualists use Jitter and Vizzie tools to create images that respond to sound and other inputs.
  • Exhibition Designers develop rich, educational exhibits that engage museum visitors.
  • Interactive Media Artists combine technologies that sense the environment with responsive Max patches to entertain and challenge the viewer.
  • Scientists and Researchers use the quick prototyping and compatibility of Max to develop experiments and record data.
  • Public Artists and Architects use Max to develop enhanced public spaces.
  • Video Game Developers and Sound Designers use Max to prototype game sound, develop custom toolchains, and test new controller prototypes.

Max in Education

Max has been used in Universities all over the world to teach Computer Music, Interactive and New Media, Sound Design, and a variety of subjects to students with different backgrounds. The visual approach of Max empowers students in the arts to harness the power of computer programming without being intimidated by lines of code. The basic building blocks of Max have been vital to training students in the theory and practice of signal processing and synthesis in Computer Music courses.

Students with a background in other programming languages will find native support for JavaScript, Java, and C. Third-party developers have also added support for a number of scripting and music-oriented languages.

Interactive and New Media courses benefit from the unique and diverse collection of tools available with Max. Students combine work with electronics and microcontrollers like Arduino with the interactive media capabilities of Max. With support for audio, video, and 3D graphics in realtime, Max helps students realize rich multimedia projects.