Announcing Max 6

I want to share some news about the next major Max upgrade, version 6, arriving this fall.

For us, Max 6 is about four things: accessibility, performance, quality, and workflow.


For some of you reading this, getting into Max was no big deal. Maybe you learned it while in school. Maybe it just clicked for you right away. Maybe the purchase was a no-brainer. However, for a lot of people who would love Max, obtaining and learning the software is too much of a challenge, and we’re committed to changing that. Max 6 is the next step in our ongoing effort to increase the accessibility of our software. Let me review a few of the things we’ve already done in this area:

But we’re not stopping there.

  • Effective immediately, we’re lowering the retail price of Max/MSP/Jitter to $399. We’re also lowering the price of some of our upgrade and academic options. And starting today, if you purchase Max 5, you’ll get an upgrade to Max 6 for free.
  • We’re introducing a subscription plan for universities that will make it possible for our academic customers to serve to more students at a lower cost. For more details, click here.
  • With Max 6, we’ll be supporting a user-driven, machine-assisted cross-platform translation project for both the software and the documentation, so we can better serve the majority of the world’s population that doesn’t speak English fluently.

Now, I suspect you’re curious as to what will be new in the software. Accessibility is a major theme here too. In Max 6, we’ve focused on improving the experience for both new and accomplished users. When we add a new feature, we think carefully about how you’ll learn about it, even if no one tells you it’s there. You might have seen our series of Did you Know videos. Even though I think these are great, I would love to get to the point where no one needs to make another one, because Max holds no secrets.


The area of performance is where Max 6 will be truly exciting for a lot of you. The big news is a completely new patching domain, which we refer to as code generation. Code generation technology will be available as an inexpensive add-on to Max 6. It focuses on areas where traditional patching has not been able to deliver the combination of performance and programmability that we wanted, namely DSP and GPU programming. What do we mean by “code generation”? Essentially, we translate the patch you make into text-based source code, and compile it on the spot. With code generation, we can optimize the entire patch, something that’s impossible with existing Max-like approaches.

In the DSP realm, our new gen~ object is a new domain of low-level signal processing operators that let you build recursive filters, delays, spectral processors, and sound generators, all using 64-bit floating-point internal precision. Not only do these things sound great, but the performance gains over equivalent Max patches are simply stunning. Where you could actually implement the same algorithm with MSP objects, a gen~ version will be up to 15 times faster. And in many cases, there is simply no way to implement the same kinds of DSP algorithms with MSP objects, you’d have to write C code. Not only is gen~ cross-platform, unlike C code, but in our tests, gen~ operators are nearly as fast as equivalent MSP objects written in C.

The code generation approach is equally suited to GPU programming for Jitter. For several years, we’ve offered the ability to write your own shader programs in Jitter for high-performance pixel processing, but text-based shader languages are not easy to learn and never felt completely integrated within the Max environment. Now you’ll be able to create high-performance image processing algorithms graphically, and our code generation technology will write the shader program for you. But the power of code generation extends beyond processing images — you can also use it to generate materials for shading interactive 3-D objects. In this application, the code generation technology is automatic — you just specify the parameters of the materials and we generate the shader program.

There’s much more to say about code generation, but at this point all I want to say is this: stay tuned — we’ll be showing you much more in the coming weeks.

Code generation hasn’t been our only performance focus. Another major area has been Javascript, where we’ve integrated the latest Mozilla runtime engine for significant performance gains. We’ve also exposed an efficient new 2D graphics API in Javascript that can be used to port existing HTML5 Canvas code to Max. We now run the audio of every top-level patcher in its own thread for effortless multicore processing. Performance improvements have taken place in many other areas as well.


Another focus of Max 6 has been quality. We think of quality in two ways: first, the quality of the output and second, the quality of the experience you have while using the software. In the former category, we put a major focus on audio quality in Max 6. The cycle~ object now uses a 16K wavetable for far better signal-to-noise performance. You’ll be able to use any sampling rate you wish, thanks to high-quality resampling filters. And, to eliminate errors with large numbers, long envelopes, and recursive algorithms, MSP processes all audio with 64-bit precision. Older 32-bit third-party objects are still compatible however.

And those resampling filters I mentioned? We used MSP to develop them, using a suite of new filter design and audio analysis tools.

Beyond looking at audio quality, we wanted to help make your time with Max more enjoyable. To do this means paying attention to every detail. I think you’ll generally see more clarity and refinement in the interface. For example, we’ve introduced curved patch cords, which make an unexpectedly dramatic improvement in understanding how a patch works.

One feature I’m particularly fond of improves the experience of editing an audio patch with the audio turned on. Whenever you make a change to your patch, we intelligently crossfade between the old and new versions, so you never hear a gap in the output. And if you have other top-level patchers playing audio, they’re completely unaffected by your edits. This is just one of the benefits of our new audio mixing engine. Another is that every audio patcher has controls in the toolbar for muting or adjusting gain without the need to add any objects.

In the Jitter domain, quality means the ability to achieve visual complexity more easily. One way you can do that is with the new materials system — an advanced toolset for high quality rendering of 3-D objects. Other ways we hope to enrich your Jitter work is though better support for 3-D model and animation files, better support for cameras and lighting, a new physics engine, and hierarchical animation and rendering tools.


As part of the Max 6 development process, we’ve observed and interviewed users, from those who’ve never seen the software before to those who’ve been using it for decades. On the basis of these studies, we identified areas for improving patching workflow and usability, and you’ll see the results vividly in Max 6. Just to focus on one area: The act of making a new object has been dramatically enhanced, with access to documentation at every step of the process. It begins with the object box, which now offers you a way to make objects even if you can’t remember their names. Then there’s the message box, which tells you about the messages understood by nearby objects as you begin typing. Arguments and attributes of objects and messages are also displayed as you type.

A new object called attrui integrates attribute monitoring and editing, eliminating the need for a lot of patching. Attrui knows the best way to edit any object attribute. For example, if you want to change a color, attrui lets you edit it as a color, not four numbers.

We’ve also reorganized Max 6 to show the most common information first. Every help file now has a simplified initial presentation of the five or so most basic things you need to know. Advanced features are shown in a tabbed interface grouped by functional area. We’ve done the same with our redesigned inspector and object palette.

A common request from educators and more experienced users was the ability to manage patches that encompassed many files. Max 6 has a new Project feature, where you can see all the patchers, code, and media files you’re using. Projects enable you to maintain multiple versions of files as well as archive and share your work more easily.

The Path to Max 6

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be telling you more about Max 6. I promise, I’ve only scratched the surface of what we’re up to. If you’d like to be notified when we release new information about the software, keep your eye on our website, Facebook, and Twitter.

One of the things that really inspires me is when I get a new piece of software that is both cheaper than what I’ve been using and better in every conceivable way. My co-workers and I are driven to do that with Max. You’ll ultimately be the judge of whether we’ve succeeded with this new version, but now you know what we’re trying to achieve. Our friends in the Max community creating extraordinary work deserve nothing less.

Jul 12 2011 | 11:41 am


Andre Araujo
Jul 12 2011 | 11:44 am

Spectacular. I am a Max for Live user and the event of Max 6 seems to be the moment of taking the leap to a full Max experience. The lower price, of course, is a plus for us. Cheers!

Jul 12 2011 | 11:47 am

CANNOT wait for that :)

Code generation teaser is so ….. teasing!

Jul 12 2011 | 11:56 am


Jul 12 2011 | 12:04 pm

I am quite pleased with this development. This sounds like a generational leap for MaxMSP, and exactly what is needed. I cannot wait to try Max 6 out.

Jul 12 2011 | 12:05 pm


Jul 12 2011 | 12:23 pm

Cool_!!! Looking forward :)

Jul 12 2011 | 12:40 pm

very interesting . . .

Jul 12 2011 | 12:42 pm

Looks awesome! Looking forward to using it.

Jul 12 2011 | 12:55 pm


Jul 12 2011 | 12:57 pm

I just bought a full license for MAX/MSP 5 a few months ago. I would like to know how much the upgrade is going to cost.

Jul 12 2011 | 1:18 pm

attrui sounds incredible… looking forward to checking it out…

Jul 12 2011 | 1:22 pm

David, could you tell us a bit about retro-compatibility? I mean, what about older patches and externals in the new version?

Jul 12 2011 | 1:36 pm

Max 6 is essentially backward compatible with Max 5. There have been some small changes which might cause issues in extreme edge cases. For example, on Macintosh, we’ve changed from using Carbon Event Model to a Cocoa Event Model, so if an object uses its own internal Carbon or Cocoa Event Loop, they may need to make some changes since the application has changed the primary event model of the application. There may be some minor visual differences. However, the vast majority of third party objects which work in Max 5 will work in Max 6 without alteration. If third party MSP externals wish to make use of 64bit resolution audio signals, they will need to be updated, but they will still work at 32bit resolution if they remain unchanged.

Don’t worry. While there are many great changes to the application, we’re not going FCP X here ;)


Jul 12 2011 | 1:41 pm

Very exciting, sounds especially good for those of us working in education

benny pedersen
Jul 12 2011 | 1:53 pm

this is SO GREAT!
i can’t wait to try it.

Jul 12 2011 | 2:01 pm

Sounds like the thing that will bring me back to MAX !!!
Since version 4 I have been more interrested in SuperCollider – but this sounds soooo great !!!!
Cannot wait !!

Jul 12 2011 | 2:31 pm

Just bought Max on Friday. Now I feel like and idiot. :(

Jul 12 2011 | 2:38 pm

Can’t wait. These new features sounds fantastic. Curved patch cords? Patches can truly become art, not to mention more readable!

Also glad to hear about the subscription model. This could entice colleges and universities to try a pilot year of new Max courses for much less than the full purchase. More teaching jobs for Max!

Jul 12 2011 | 2:43 pm

Ditto ditto ditto! Code generation sounds like a dream come true. I can’t wait to try it.

Jul 12 2011 | 2:47 pm

Very exciting news. I’m eager to learn more and look forward to getting further information at the Expo. Thanks for the teaser!

Jul 12 2011 | 2:50 pm

all this sounds like a great clever move to me… Thanks guys!

Jul 12 2011 | 2:53 pm

I want to go to there.

John W
Jul 12 2011 | 3:01 pm

I’m excited as well. The new features sound great. Alas, like @Cody above, I’m a bit sad that I’d finally upgraded to Max 5 just two weeks before this announcement… Ouch.

Jul 12 2011 | 3:10 pm

Awesome news, guys!

Jul 12 2011 | 3:42 pm

i am soooooooo much looking forward to m6

Jul 12 2011 | 3:45 pm

I suspected something was on the horizon, with the regular updates slowing down ;-)

It would be interesting to know how this fits in with max for live, if its an incremental update or max for live v2. As a Max/MSP/Jitter/M4L user i’m sure it will be a single upgrade cost.

And it would be interesting to see if freeframe 1.5 is supported, to get GPU acceleration.

Jul 12 2011 | 4:17 pm

I’m really pleased to see you guys pushing your product forward like this. Really great work! I just wish I had known since I just bought max 5. DOH!!

Jul 12 2011 | 4:22 pm

This is absolutely great news. Can’t wait to try Max 6!!!!

Jul 12 2011 | 5:20 pm

Exciting news! The gen~ object sounds enticing as do workflow improvements. The Max 5 workflow improvements made a significant difference to my patching work, so I’m looking forward to the next step. Good stuff.

Jul 12 2011 | 5:51 pm

Good news to me! I can hardly wait!

Jul 12 2011 | 6:22 pm


Jul 12 2011 | 6:42 pm

Right on! This addresses a lot of my whines and gripes… looking forward to it!

PerMagnus Lindborg
Jul 12 2011 | 7:34 pm

Exciting. Foresee lots of live coding w Max 6: "editing an audio patch with the audio turned on. Whenever you make a change to your patch, we intelligently crossfade between the old and new versions, so you never hear a gap in the output."

Just curious, perhaps someone can illuminate me: is this crossfading the same technique as "live-code-friendly" apps such as Impromptu or SC3 employ?

Jul 12 2011 | 8:01 pm


Jul 12 2011 | 8:51 pm

Sounds as exciting as the jump from Max 4 to Max 5. ;-)

Jul 12 2011 | 9:13 pm

bring back pluggo :{

Jul 12 2011 | 11:46 pm

sounds great! One thing I am curious about is whether M6 will be 64 bit to overcome the 4gb memory limit

Jul 12 2011 | 11:47 pm

Hooray! I’m definitely going to make the cross-grade plunge from M4L to full Max now.

Jul 13 2011 | 12:30 am

Joshua, could give some informations about code generation?
I’m so excited about that!

Jul 13 2011 | 1:33 am

Wow, very much excited about this and I was a MasMSP hater only about 2 years ago. Furthermore, what Joshua Kit Clayton says: about not going FCP X here just makes me smile and also makes me think, ‘wow a company that actually thinks about it’s users, their wants and not forgetting the past’.

Great work and look forward to it.

Kovács Balázs
Jul 13 2011 | 1:35 am

I want 4.6 stability and performance back!

Jul 13 2011 | 2:56 am

if i buy max before friday, and then buy a crossgrade to max for live — it sounds like i will get max 6 for free. but will i also get max for live 6 for free?

Jul 13 2011 | 3:02 am

ok … but what about max6_forlive ? max and ableton will continue their partnership in the future ? all the new features of max6 will be available for the m4l users? and the gen~ object will be like having chuck into max ?


Jul 13 2011 | 3:08 am

This gets me really exited. Sounds like the biggest update yet. Where 5 was a bit of a let-down performance wise, it looks like 6 is going make up for that triple! I’m really looking forward to this.

Per Boysen
Jul 13 2011 | 5:32 am

Wow, sounds very interesting! I owned and loved Pluggo, but when it was discontinued – with no offered Max crossgrade offer – the SoundToys plugins took over that part of sound design work for me. Maybe Max 6 will make it worth again? Looking forward to hear more about M4L compatibility as well.

Peter Castine
Jul 13 2011 | 5:39 am

Lots of impressive things here. Let me go out on a limb by saying the thing that struck me most was the promise of support for multiple languages!

Is there any chance this will extend to support for building multi-language patches? Just as Max/MSP is recognizing that about 90% of the world doesn’t speak English, 3rd party external and standalone developers need to take this into account as well.

Jul 13 2011 | 6:00 am

…and of course all the necessary bug fixes, right? ;)

Angelo Miranda
Jul 13 2011 | 6:23 am


Jul 13 2011 | 6:32 am

Wow. If I send money *now*, will I be able to get it sooner? ;-) .. ."Ah Cain’t friiiggiiin’ WAAIIT!" as they say down here…

Jul 13 2011 | 6:33 am

Is it true that there will be no gaps in audio if you are coding live? Also, I didn’t see anything about patching shortcuts, such as connecting multiple outlets to a single inlet with a keyboard shortcut? I’m really excited to see where this goes.

Jul 13 2011 | 6:49 am

And you announce this on my birthday :-)

How exciting!

Jul 13 2011 | 7:48 am

Will code generation be an add-on ? And have fixed a price for it ?

Jul 13 2011 | 9:22 am

Great! now you just need Linux support…

Jul 13 2011 | 9:32 am

I actually feel kind of wronged by this. I just bought Max5 a couple of months ago, paying full price, and now I will also have to pay again for the update… a total $900, instead of $400 if I had waited 60 days and bought it today.

A free update option for recent buyers would be nice. No matter how I see this, I just can’t avoid feeling ripped off by this…

Jul 13 2011 | 10:40 am

sounds fantastic

Jul 13 2011 | 2:50 pm

So if someone upgrades from Max 4.6 now do they get 6 when it comes out? or is it only for new purchases?

lewis edwards
Jul 14 2011 | 2:14 am

jesus, i think i just creamed.

i guess the question on every other max users lips, is how much an upgrade [from max 5] is going to cost?
i did have a plan to buy some hardware, but this seems to have won over. now to get saving and be at the front of the line waiting for my copy.

cheers for this guys.

lewis edwards

Jul 14 2011 | 2:52 am

So I was cleaning out our Server room and we stubbled across these
Rather fitting, 1992 :)) MSP was still but a dream…

Jul 14 2011 | 5:31 am

Good news~ but I just bought max5 in March… Can I get upgrade for free~?

Jul 14 2011 | 5:38 am

I’ve still got those disks – and the manual!

Jul 14 2011 | 7:29 am

yep, and version just before it was on darker (blacknavybue?) disks: I have a few of both, just for kitsch’s sake. Oh, and do you have the old original HUGE black binder of documentation ? I still hoard my old copy…please don’t ask why,
"oh, don’t ask why…for if we don’t find the next music app, i tell you we must die…"
sigh…..Weill is better auf deutscher Sprache.

Jul 14 2011 | 3:19 pm

Thanks for the answer back there, Joshua! :D
Happy to see that that is the case and looking SO MUCH forward to all the good improvements and developments!!!
All the best!

Jul 14 2011 | 5:01 pm

Thank you for all your enthusiasm about code generation. We realize it’s an exciting, yet vague, area of possibilities, and naturally there has been a lot of speculation as to what it might be. We’ll be coming out with more information in the coming months, but in the meantime, I’d like to clarify a few things so that we won’t disappoint your expectations.

The first thing to make clear is that the code generation tools don’t compile existing max patches. They use new types of patchers with new kinds of operators. Many of the ideas, and many of the patching skills you are familiar with will translate, but these new patcher domains work with data and the expressions of the patch itself in a different way than existing Max patches and objects. These new kinds of patchers and operators simplify the problem area so that we are able to make reasonable assumptions for turning a patcher into raw code, compile, and optimize. So you won’t take your existing Max 5 patches and "compile" them to produce faster code. There will be some amount of rethinking your problem and reprogramming in the code generation patchers.

The next thing to highlight is that this about more than performance. It makes it possible to do things which were previously too expensive or not possible to do with patching Max objects as they are. With gen~ for example, the graph operates one sample at a time rather than with a large vector. This alone opens the door to many DSP tasks which previously required using C code. The vector sample delay for any feedback stage got in the way of making recursive filters, FM feedback, and physical modeling algorithms just to name a few.

Finally, the Max 6 release will represent only the start of what we’re doing with code generation. You’ve all brought up great ideas about possible applications, and many of these are things we’ve been actively thinking about. However, not all of them will be in the initial release. The first release will remain focused on getting the foundation in place and making it solid for use *within* Max. We think that this is a good place to start, and will be listening to you about how we can make it better.

We realize that this might open the doors to more questions than it answers, but for the time being we appreciate your patience while we work hard at finishing Max 6 so that we can get it in your hands.

Jul 15 2011 | 4:59 am

Same as Armadillo & Jentwest, except that I bought it… two weeks ago… Would be really bitter if I have to pay full price for an update.

Michael Kedzierski
Jul 15 2011 | 5:36 am

I hope that this release brings with it a Max for Live runtime, so that any Live user can run our creations, thus creating a nice marketplace for M4L Live addons…

Jul 15 2011 | 8:50 am

Fauve72… I’m in the same boat as you. I bought MAX days before this was announced and, even after me asking customer services if there were any future products coming out and if MAX 5 was the right product (they didn’t mention MAX 6), I am not entitled to a free upgrade. Apparently the ‘cut off’ date is July 12th. Even if you bought it on the 11th you still have to pay. Disappointed would be an understatement. Thanks Cycling 74 for all your help in fleecing me for more money. I can understand you have to set a date and stick to it for fairness, but deliberately withholding information when asked. Pathetic.

Jul 15 2011 | 9:44 am

yeah I second Micheal Kedzierski´s opinion :)

Jul 16 2011 | 10:15 am

in relation to code generation technology, will it be possible for me to use, for an instance, a patch made with standard msp objects, and then adding the gen~ object to them, and compile everything, or is it stricly low level implementation, and you have to do everything from the ground? the same for gpu stuff.

in relation to javscprit, will it be easier to use mozzilla for an instance, to get flv content from an url, than it actually is with standard http maxmsp objects? in relation to 2d graphics api vs html5 canvas code.. will it be easier to do the inverse, in other means, porting maxmsp content to a website.. or even to a flash application, a video game, whatever?

in relation to quality.. have you used dsp stuff from ableton or colab stuff with them.. what can we expect, however

in relation to interface I can expect it to be much easier to use

in relation to experience, will it be something inspired in the standerd approach from ableton in live in terms of composing stuff?

in jitter, you could add the ability of jitter to talk directly to the quartz extreme apple engine, so that jitter could be more enhanced to works parallel with quartz composer.

the workflow enhances are also inpiring

Jul 16 2011 | 10:22 am

would’t it be interesting to have an high level abstraction system for gen~..
also if I compile c++ gen stuff, will it be possible to time-strech the plugins.. I have the idea of having heard that somewhere am I and someone else dreaming, or is it tru?

and in terms of prototype.. it will be easier right?

Jul 16 2011 | 10:29 am

also will it be possible to compile about 200 (just for throwing up a random high number) patchers, of existing stuff, in terms of max, msp and jitter existing stuff, and make vizzie abstractions.. I wouldn’t mind about giving away some of my code for that)

Jul 18 2011 | 1:27 pm

What will all this gen~ stuff do with existing max4live tools – and will it be of any advantage when creating new ones? Stupid questions maybe, but since I was tricked by ableton to believe I could use Max 5 as an upgrade to my existing 4.x when purchasing max4live from them, I now do think of rather working with the real Max again, but don’t want to loose compatibility – and I sure want to benefit from Max 6 advantages when using max4live (getting a better sound quality for instance).

Jul 18 2011 | 9:53 pm

Great news on the price. That is more like it! That is a fair price and I am converting from demo to paying user tonight.

Please be nice to those who bought just before the watershed- find some compromise…… I know that Cycling is not a huge company and I hope you guys can strike a balance between business need, a (good) change in pricing strategy and a happy user base. I bet this wasn’t an easy discussion and I hope this works out for you.

I am excited about the ability to work around the DSP module with some efficient coding method – I have been desperately seeking a CODEC to encode and decode the audio into a stream that has a reasonable bandwidth (not a 240 kbps jitter audio bandwidth hog). The video and other stuff is easy to compress thanks to the jit.qt objects. What I want in MAX 6 is a way to stream compressed audio using some CODEC or give me a way to set that up myself (jit.broadcast is great but too much of a lagfest).

BTW MAX is totally addictive!! Can’t wait until VER 6!! Hope it does great things!

Jul 19 2011 | 2:50 pm

Hi Maxers,

Sorry for any frustration regarding the timing of this upgrade. We honestly do our best to make everyone happy, but with the hectic and most often very unpredictable release schedule, there will always be a few people feeling left behind. You can always email me directly at to discuss your situation.


Jul 20 2011 | 7:44 pm

Is the student price still the same? I’m hoping to buy Max soon, but as I recall, it was $250 before. Is this not one of the academic options that is getting a new, lower price?

Jul 22 2011 | 7:35 pm

how am I so late to this?!?! code generation sounds right up my alley!!

Jul 23 2011 | 5:42 pm

I don’t understand something, so far I have seen some new features, but why this means that we have to go from a version 5.1.x to a 6.x version? The new features are cool, but they don’t look so big regarding the perspective of the basic architecture of the program. I mean, i haven’t seen any news regarding multithreading for example, this is something that would be nice to have news, and is something that changes a lot the basic architecture of the program, something that makes worth to leap from a version 5.1.x to 6.x.

Jul 24 2011 | 7:02 am

Sorry, a bit disappointed here
Where is the max (alone) price … please do not say that we have now to buy the full package so the price "decrease" will in fact be +$150 !? (I am just a midi users that was waiting to have some time for a project to buy it … Now I have, i connect & I discover that)
BTW: did the users you’ve interviewed for new features tell you about a way to protect the code or project they are working on for weeks or even months ? No protection is bullet proof but at least some compression with inbuild code or whatever to make it not so obvious to just edit the file …. this has been a long debate in the forum, but you have to understand that as you are willing to have your users paying for your work, we are entitle for that also for our own work. (and the community sharing will not be lower for codes or objects or examples)

Jul 29 2011 | 10:17 am

@diogo maybe you missed this: "We now run the audio of every top-level patcher in its own thread for effortless multicore processing." The 64bit audio infrastructure is also a big change which opens the door to some things we couldn’t easily do before. These are just two of several major architectural changes.

However, I’d sit tight and not worry too much until it’s here. We’ll be sharing some more information as the process unfolds, but we still have lots of work to do to get this in your hands.

Sorry to disappoint some of you who have very specific expectations and were hoping that Max 6 would solve your particular problem, or are unhappy with our choice to bundle Max, MSP, and Jitter. We are a small company and try to balance many competing directions for how to improve Max.


Aug 01 2011 | 1:12 pm

Will Max 6 see a return of Pluggo or inbuilt VST export capabilities?

Aug 01 2011 | 6:25 pm

Will we be able to run M4L apps in Ableton using the runtime, rather than having to buy the complete Max4Live package?

Aug 02 2011 | 2:33 pm

Will the accuracy of the non-audio math be improved also? I use a lot of cents and equations in my work, and it’s always a little frustrating that the best I can get is a 32-bit approximation of the number I want, even if the difference isn’t all that audible. For example, simply reading numbers into a coll object from a text file starts me off with an approximation before I even get to any math. And if not, will this be something you will improve in the near future? Thanks!

Aug 03 2011 | 11:00 pm

I think having an "add-on" feature like fire-fox to manage third-party externals along with a dedicated server to somewhat replace the functionality of the max object databse would be great. I can’t tell you how long it took me to find and test out externals or code. If I could just read a brief description and have max 6 download and install it directly (and or uninstall it) that would open up a whole world to people who have less time on their hands. Also, there have been many times where I create a patch just to demonstrate functions of an object that are not well documented. I think I am not alone here. So maybe in the same style as the "add-on" approach, have the ability to "update" your help files from the net through max (also the ability to submit new examples or help files to be incorporated into the tabbed system[and of course you will have to have somebody do quality control and sorting and management but if you want people in a community known for sharing to do a better job of it, i guess you have to make it easier and integrated])

A multi-resolution FFT and wavelet toolkit would be nice. It took me a long time to create some fairly intricate cheby, hilberted and downsampled fft poly’s and then sew the different time frames back together through interpolation. Or you could just provide cross-platform support of CNMAT’s matlab bridge.

an easy to use SDIF writing object that takes advantage of the new audio engine would be nice. Right now (due to the vectorization) my sdif files don’t have the time-resolution I want and I am not sure Ircam will update their object anytime soon.

Max Toolbox should be implemented and enhanced (there are a few situations that are not covered)

One other thing is floating windows (max window, inspector, debugger, watchpoints, and file browser )that always stay on top of the patcher and can be hidden easily with a keystroke. I wrote a patch using mxj autobot and wmangle that runs in the background and lets me change my entire window setup at the flick of a few buttons. It has greatly enhanced my enjoyment of using the Inspector window as well as letting me use all my screen real-estate. If you are interested you can have it.

MULTI-TOUCH support with native tuio integration (I know this is probably far off)

I appreciate all the work you guys are doing. And you certainly are doing alot.

Aug 05 2011 | 6:25 am

I bought Max For Live at full price, then bought Max/MSP upgrade, then Jitter upgrade… and should pay 199 € to upgrade to v6 ? That’s a high price for those of us who have already paid a lot, and a high price for an upgrade considering the software’s licence price. Not fair at all.

Aug 05 2011 | 8:19 am

The 64-bit signal, the Gen~ object sounds really exciting as well as the upgrade to cycle~. I always laughed at cycle for it’s 500-something sample wavetable. The biggest problem with digital synthesis is when something along the signal chain (most of the time right at the beginning with the midi protocol) has too small a range of values. I try to build the richest and nicest sounding synthesizers I can and I do it in max. These upgrades will mean a lot in terms of the basic sound quality I’m working with. You guys hit the nail on the head with this upgrade. Seeing what you guys are doing with the program inspires a lot of confidence in the time I’ve been investing in max. Awesome. Can’t wait.

Aug 07 2011 | 4:14 am

many pluggo/m4l runtime related questions :)
I guess we shouldn’t expect anything from that.
I tested Usine 5.7 which OFFERS VST export for windows. Impressive.

stefan kolbe
Aug 10 2011 | 7:41 am

I hope you will improve patching experience as well!!!!
My Problem is: I often work with MultiChannel Audio Stuff.

Connecting a "matrix 64 64" to a
"dac 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128"
is not funny to do this! (I´am working with 2 cascaded MADI Cards, if you wondering the numbers).

Not fun to create the dac object and not fun to connect inlet 1 with outlet 1 inlet 2 with outlet 2 …..

Hope there will be Options for multichannel users like me!!!!!!


Aug 12 2011 | 7:32 pm

@stefan and @nathaniel, you had questions about making connections more easily: check out the Max Toolbox by Nathaniel LeCaude. Both of your specific situations can be done with one keyboard shortcut if you’re using the Toolbox: just select the objects you want to connect and hit the right key. It does take a bit to get used to it, but for certain things (like a matrix 64 64 to dac~) it can be done in one second, literally.

It has a few other nice features too, like distribute objects vertically or horizontally, or send any selected object a message…even if you’ve selected 100 of them.

I still wonder whether some of these elements will get included in Max itself, maybe they would be too problematic. Nathaniel’s workaround uses some very clever javascript.

Aug 15 2011 | 9:12 am

I would love to be able to create a vstplug with max6!!!

Aug 15 2011 | 5:32 pm

How do I upgrade to Max 6? I have just purchased Max MSP Jitter 5.

Aug 16 2011 | 6:22 pm

"an advanced toolset for high quality rendering of 3-D objects" does this refer to, gridshape etc or to .obj imports?

I love JITter, but I am really crossing my fingers and hoping for a rendering quality improvement – right now processing, o.f, cinder, quartz composer, surpass the image quality of jitter, and its image quality exporting capabilities. This would be my #1 wish, for Max 6

Steve Flato
Aug 17 2011 | 11:01 am

Yeah I bought Max5 a little over a year ago and already another version I have to pay for? Count me out. I think I’m moving to PureData if I need to pay yet again.

Aug 17 2011 | 3:14 pm

Hi Sebas,
In addition to the OpenGL toolset you’ve come to know, Max 6 will include some great new Jitter features to do things like hierarchical rendering, high-quality material generation and lighting, camera control, and improved support for model import (skeletons, animation, etc.). We’ll have more info about all of this soon, so stay tuned.

Aug 17 2011 | 8:57 pm

I just bought max 2 months ago, it was in impulse buy, 800$ !!!! I pleaded to return it once I realized I have no where near the time needed to learn it… and no dice… now I have to pay to upgrade, to a version that might be easier to learn!!! … this is rediculous! Im Learning Touch Designer.

Aug 18 2011 | 6:32 am

Free upgrade for Max4Live users ??? :-)

Aug 20 2011 | 6:13 am

what about adding an attribute to (sub)patchers that will make its contents visible a la bpatcher (but without needing to save it as a separate file..)

Aug 20 2011 | 6:12 pm

a screenshot and/or a list of gen~s internals should be cool for the public, no?

Aug 23 2011 | 7:03 pm

"I think I’m moving to PureData if I need to pay yet again."

Seriously? Pd is free, I suppose, but it’s buggy and poorly supported. Why not just stay with Max 5 if you don’t want to pay a reasonable upgrade fee? Pd would be a downgrade IMHO.

Aug 23 2011 | 11:25 pm

Max 5 exports several formats but unfortunately no VST (.dll) out .is it possible in Max 6 ?

Aug 24 2011 | 8:33 pm

This is a major advance hugely widening the lead in usability over PD, VVVV and related visual programming environments. With v 6, Max becomes a much more adequate as a software development environment that can serve as a lingua franca for all refort31416@mypacks.netaltime media application artist-developers.

Aug 25 2011 | 12:44 pm

@exnato: I am sure the guys at C74 will do an amazing job to improve jitter but i am not sure about the usability comparison. Think, for instance, about the vvvv counterpart to shader(glsl vs hlsl) and dynamic externals(java vs c#) compilation. The dynamic editor in vvvv is something I would love to see in jitter, altogether with a boost on their documentation. An eye candy not necessarily means a better interface.

Aug 25 2011 | 6:22 pm

As a Max 5 user I must say I am concerned.

Please, tell me there will be an upgrade for max 5 users….
I also paid full price in the past $699 plus tax or so which in this economy is not cheap.

I really hope an economical upgrade will be feasible for previous max owners.

Pretty please?

Aug 29 2011 | 11:22 am

Hi Alex-

There will be a fair upgrade price for Max 6. You can find all of the pricing for Max 6 here:

Note there are links for student, teacher and institutional pricing as well.

As always, please feel free to contact me directly with any questions or concerns about your licenses.

Aug 29 2011 | 12:19 pm

A M4L to MAX upgrade or partner License would be cool.

Sep 02 2011 | 10:59 am

What version of Javascript will Max 6 support?

Sep 05 2011 | 2:16 pm

Javascript 1.8.5

Sep 06 2011 | 6:37 am

*snoopy dance*

Sep 06 2011 | 6:45 am

Native JSON support? Getters and Setters? Array methods? Check.

well then, I am properly excited.

Sep 06 2011 | 8:32 pm

A while ago I downloaded a trial version of Max/MSP. I could tell there was an enormous range of what you could do with the product, but I felt completely intimidated, like I’ll never figure this thing out with the limited amount of time that I have.
Will Max 6 be, um, a bit friendlier for the absolute beginner? I see that it’s called "Max" and not Max/MSP or Max/MSP/Jitter: Does that mean that those other parts are subsumed into Max 6 (I would guess that Max 6 = Max/MSP, but what about Jitter?)?


Sep 07 2011 | 3:58 pm

@Spiralfields "Max 6" includes MSP and Jitter. And check out our first sneak peek video:

Sep 13 2011 | 1:47 am

Great work! The search function will speed things up, and the code generation sounds very interesting.

However, for the way I like to work with Max, the new patch cords will clutter things up, so I hope these will be customisable to turn the thickness down and curves off.

Oliver Miller
Sep 13 2011 | 9:39 am


I am an Ableton user for 3 years now and MAX4LIVE user since a year ago. And im totally inspired and hooked on MAX. Im very excited about MAX 6, but i have some questions:

1) Would it be free upgrade for M4L users?
2) I have Snow Leopard on my computer and havent upgrade to Lion because i dont want any compatibility issues with MAX4L, what about MAX 6?
3) Would you advice me to purchase MAX as a stand alone software in order to get the most out of it?

Thanks a lot

Sep 13 2011 | 9:40 am

I have to agree with efe. I used Max/Msp/jitter on and off since 1996 when I was at UC Berkeley and CNMAT, but when I use for instant VVVV the editing of the patches for visual stuff is much easier and I must say fun. That is not to say Max is not more powerful certainly as far as sound DSP. But I wish they would boost Jitter to match it. Does Max 6 have anything for gesture processing like with Kinect?

Sep 13 2011 | 3:42 pm

ARhhhhh FUCK!
just brought max 5 :-(

Helge Gudmundsen
Sep 15 2011 | 1:25 am

Mads, if you just bought it, your upgrade to v6 is free.

Sep 21 2011 | 4:51 pm

Disappointed. When you talked about accessibility, I thought you actually meant accessibility, such as being able to use it with a screen reader so a blind student can access it. How far off is that?

Sep 26 2011 | 7:56 am

When is the release date?!?!

Sep 30 2011 | 5:14 am

I’d like to know:

1) release date
2) price for upgrade form M5 older license
3) will new max 6 be able to compile standalones?
4) will the VST export fuction of Max4 be re-implemented?

Oct 04 2011 | 7:37 am

1. Release date: more info coming ‘soon’
3. Yes – you can create standalones
4. The VST export function from Max 4 (Pluggo) is not a part of Max 6. If you are interested in compiling plug-ins from Max, you could contribute to the Plugtastic project in Jamoma which is working on bringing this kind of functionality to life.

Oct 19 2011 | 4:11 am

I bought MAX5 about a month before this announcement (9th of july), and now i shall pay 199 $ for an upgrade?
If i would have purchased a few weeks later, i would get the upgrade for free?!

Per Boysen
Oct 24 2011 | 1:37 pm

Well, MAX6 seems great but I think I’ll stay over this one. Had some bad experiences being a Pluggo user (loved the product but had issues with too long time to authorize new lappies/partitions and of course the final product belly-up with no refunding to loyal users) and I really can’t afford loosing either time nor money right now. During C74 timeout I found other tools that still work for me. Maybe I pick up M6 in the future if I can find a time window to create my needed tools with it. I guess MAX in general still is more fun for people that enjoys programming patches than people that produce music recordings?

Oct 31 2011 | 8:36 pm

Contributing my frustrations over pricing: $200 for an upgrade (and why is gen a separate purchase and not integrated with the core?) on a product whose price has practically been halved? I bought max 5 a while back but have barely used it, much in part due to the learning curve. Max 6 sounds like the version I wish I’d held out for, but paying close to $1000 (in sum) for a product that’s priced now at $400 feels like getting punched in the face… twice.

Max 6, with its emphasis on usability and lower price point, is designed to expand the user base. How about a free upgrade for existing users if this is the case? I have been getting free upgrades from pixologic for my copy of Zbrush that I bought 10 YEARS AGO. Best way to a bigger user base is a happy user base.

Joel Blain
Feb 27 2012 | 2:29 pm

yeah there should be a free upgrade to the max 6 for the older users. This is ridiculous pricing. And it should be a freed upgrade to the M4L users who are on 5, these are users who need the easiest learning curve for the software because they haven’t been using it as long as the other user base.

Make the people happy not frustrated, that’s just practical business sense.

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