An Introduction to Video Lessons for Max Users

    While we at Cycling '74 have worked hard to provide in-depth documentation and tutorials that are built into the Max application, we also love highlighting tutorials created by other people. It’s amazing to see the level of expertise, and the amount of time and effort people have put into these online resources that are available to the Max community at no cost. It’s a labor of love that doesn’t go unnoticed! With this article, I’d like to highlight a number of our favorite free video lessons. Hopefully there’s something in here for you that will either deepen your understanding of the software, or inspire you to create something new.


    Are you new to Max? Do you need a little help getting started? Check out this video series by dearjohnreed. It walks you through the very basics of Max, from installing the software to making your first patch cord connections, then dives into MSP, Jitter, and 3D graphics.

    Max 8 Tutorial # 1: Download and Install Max 8


    I know this article is focused on tutorials created by people outside the company, but I still want to give a shout-out to Cycling '74’s own Sam Tarakajian and his beloved Delicious Max Tutorials. He’s created over 90 video tutorials, ranging from how to create a vocoder to video reverb, the basics of Mira, and gen~.

    Delicious Max 8 Tutorial 1: The New Ceiling


    Peter Batchelor produced a number of tutorials for undergraduates in the Creative Music Technology and Music, Technology & Performance programs at De Montfort University, Leicester. These tutorials, which include an introduction to MSP, are available on the MUST1002 youtube channel. Many of these videos were created with older versions of Max, but the information still applies to Max 8.

    Max MSP Tutorial 04a1: Introduction to MSP


    Want to strengthen your Jitter and OpenGL skills? Here are two video series that will help you dive deeper. Amazing Max Stuff has been creating videos since 2015, and currently has over 70 tutorials available on their youtube channel.

    Amazing Max Tutorial - Normals Vertex Extrusion with jit.gen

    Chris Vik has not only created a fun 5-part video series called Selfie Sunday, but has also made one of his patches available for free download on his website. This patch takes a webcam image, turns it into a 3D mesh, then glitches it out based on audio level. The first Selfie Sunday tutorial offers a full guide on how to turn your webcam into a mesh.

    Selfie Sunday (tutorial) 001 :: [] luminance displacement

    Max for Live

    Are you more interested in using Max for Live? ELPHNT, a computer musician and Ableton Certified Trainer from Cape Town, South Africa, has compiled a list of unique Max for Live devices. Check out his youtube series for an in-depth look at each of these devices, and tips on how to use them in your music making.

    Generate Chord Progressions With The Nordmann Chord Generator

    And it's time for just one more in-house shout-out to my colleague Tom Hall for his series on creating some basic audio effects processors in Max for Live. As with a few of the tutorials listed here, the videos were created with older versions of Max, but the information still applies to Max 8.

    #1 Max For Live Decoding

    Those are just a few of the free video tutorials available online. If I’ve missed any that you think are especially noteworthy, please post them in the comments section below!