articles

  • So far we have talked about how Max for Live will allow you to create your own custom Max devices that run inside of Ableton Live. Most of the examples you've seen so far have been pretty similar to your average plugin, with the fundamental difference of being to edit the device in place. That in itself is pretty spectacular, and probably enough to please a lot of people and keep everyone busy. Well now I'd like to talk about a couple of features that really make Max for Live unique and pretty exciting: namely, the Live API objects.


  • A Look Back at NIME 2009

    I will try to summarize here what I thought were some of the highlights of NIME 2009...


  • LFO Tutorial 4: Building Complexity

    I'd like to share some really simple things that have worked for me that I hope you'll find useful, or that may provide a starting point for your own investigations.


  • Experiences from “Welcome Sound”

    Many of us are invited to perform in unique circumstances – it’s a part of the Digital Media life. Recently, we’ve been featuring some interesting examples of Max-based work, including Andrew Benson’s work with M.I.A. and Dana Karwas’ installations. So when I was asked to play with an electronic music All-Star Band, I couldn’t help but document the experience.


  • Pluggo Technology Moves to Max for Live

    Effective immediately, Cycling ’74 will discontinue sales of prebuilt Max-based audio plug-in packages. This includes Pluggo, Mode, Hipno, and UpMix. We will still continue to support current users as best we can, but there will be no further development on either the plug-in packages or their supporting technology.


  • Jitter on the Mainstage at Coachella

    On the afternoon of April 3rd, I received an email from M.I.A.'s manager asking if I'd be interested in working with them on a one-off show on the mainstage at Coachella that would feature live video processing... Upon reflecting, I would also like to share a couple of valuable lessons I learned working on this production...


  • A Look Back at Expo ’74

    Last week, we put on our first conference. Now that Expo '74 is history, I've been asked to share my thoughts about the experience...


  • The Video Processing System, Part 3

    In this installment, we'll be working on some more advanced ninja tricks - creating the beginnings of a control/preset structure with assignable LFOs, and building a GPU-based video delay effect. These two parts will bring our system to a much more usable level, and allow for much more complex and interesting results. Ironically, most of what we are really doing in this installment is just an extension of bread-and-butter Max message passing stuff.


  • An Interview with Keith McMillen

    Keith McMillen Instruments recently impressed all of us at NAMM with demonstrations of a new pair of string performance devices, the K-Bow and StringPort, both of which include some very rich software applications written in MaxMSP. The K-Bow, a bluetooth-based wireless gestural controller integrated into a violin bow, has just started shipping so we thought it would be a good time to catch up with Keith and find out more about the project. I met Keith at his studio...


  • The Video Processing System, Part 2

    In our last article, we began to create our processing system by putting the essential structure in place and adding our input handling stage. In this installment we are going to be adding a gaussian blur and color tweaking controls to our patch.


  • Max 5 Guitar Processor, Part 5

    In this, the final episode of our guitar processing extravaganza, we are going to step away from making effects and focus on performance support. For a system as complicated as this, performance support means two things: patch storage and realtime control. Thus, we will learn to create a preset system and manipulate the various on-screen controls with an inexpensive MIDI footpedal system.


  • Max 5 Guitar Processor, Part 4

    At this point, we have a pretty useful guitar processing "rack", but it could use a little spice. This spice will come from two additional processors: a looping delay unit, and a basic reverb system. Also, to help keep the output useful, we will drop a limiter on the back end of the entire rig.


  • The 2009 NAMM Show

    I recently attended Winter NAMM 2009 in Anaheim,CA, where Cycling '74 was sharing booth space with our friends at Ableton. I arrived on Friday afternoon, well after we had released our product announcement for Max for Live, and was impressed by the volume of booth traffic we were getting. Ableton had, of course, also announced their new Akai controller and Live 8 in addition to Max for Live, so there was a great deal of buzz surrounding our area of the show...


  • Tools for Creating Devices in Live

    This article provides a brief tour of the features we've added to Max for creating Live devices.


  • My Perspective on Integrating Max and Live

    David Zicarelli gives some insight on the decision to integrate Max within Live...


  • Announcing Max for Live

    Cycling '74 and Ableton today announced Max for Live, the integration of Cycling '74's Max/MSP environment into Ableton Live. Available as an add-on product to Ableton's newly announced Live 8, Max for Live permits users to create devices that extend and customize Live by creating instruments, controllers, audio effects, and MIDI processors.


  • The Video Processing System, Part 1

    Between the tutorials, Jitter Recipes, and all of the example content, there are many Jitter patches floating around that each do one thing pretty well, but very few of them give a sense of how to scale up into a more complex system. Inspired by a recent patching project and Darwin Grosse's guitar processing articles, this series of tutorials will present a Jitter-based live video processing system using simple reusable modules, a consistent control interface, and optimized GPU-based processes wherever possible. The purpose of these articles is to provide an over-the-shoulder view of my creative process in building more complex Jitter patches for video processing.


  • An Interview with Dana Karwas

    When you think of multimedia technology you think mostly about the technology. When you experience Dana Karwas' work you think of the rich organic layers of experience. Dana is working in the nebulous grey area between art and design. As a trained architect she is commissioned to do design works for giants such as Knoll, yet as an artist she creates amazingly tactile and organic performances like her work Party Dress and the installation Fursicle. Although based in architecture, Dana’s work uses high-end technology such as Max/MSP to explore social interaction and levels of identity within public space.


  • Max 5 Guitar Processor, Part 3

    In the last article, we added some basic tonal effects: distortion/overdrive and EQ/filtering. This time, we will expand our virtual effects rack to include both a phase shifter and a full-featured modulating digital delay. As we add these effects, you will begin to see why a DIY effects system can trump any commercial product.


  • Making Connections: The Eobody USB OEM Board

    This week the new Eowave OEM USB boards arrived at Cycling '74 HQ, and I was all too happy to give it a test drive. After having read the impressive spec sheets I was eager to see if the performance of the board lived up to all the promise. I quickly set to work putting it through its paces.


  • An Interview with Mattijs Kneppers

    These days it seems that everyone wants to be an artist so I found it refreshing to meet someone who see himself as an engineer that wanted to create tools for artists. Mattijs Kneppers spoke to me by phone from his home in Holland.


  • LFO Tutorial 3: Extending Our Generators

    Now that I've got a nice generative patch and a way to hear it, I thought it'd be nice to make a few improvements and extensions that would let me begin to specify larger structures - to generate instructions to my generative patch, as it were. While I'm sure that the world is full of people who want ways to have the same thing happen again and again, I'd like to do this in ways that offer a little more freedom than that. This short tutorial will add a modest number of these kinds of changes.


  • Anniversary at a West Coast Safari

    Cycling '74 began developing and selling software officially in late 1997, and it was in 1998 that the company incorporated and hired its first few employees. To celebrate ten years of our continued existence, we decided to have an anniversary party. Here's how it went...


  • A Look Back at AES 2008 in San Francisco

    We rolled out of bed and into our suits this weekend to attend the annual Audio Engineering Society (AES) conference at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, a mere 5 blocks from our SOMA office. We occupied a small piece of real estate in the shadow of the big Mackie booth, and directly across from a booth featuring big reels of magnetic tape.


Subscribe to the Cycling ’74 Weekly Newsletter

Let us tell you about notable Max projects, obscure facts, and creative media artists of all kinds.

* indicates required