About Cycling '74

    Max - sometimes called Max/MSP - and RNBO are interactive visual programming tools made by a software company called Cycling '74. We also develop Max for Live with Ableton.

    A Brief History

    Cycling ’74 was founded in 1997 by David Zicarelli, who since the late 1980s has been a developer of the Max programming environment originally created at IRCAM by Miller Puckette. The company initially sold an add-on to Max called MSP but soon took over the development and sales of Max itself from Opcode Systems.

    In 1998, we opened our first office for sales and administration in the South of Market neighborhood of San Francisco just in time to get some cheap office furniture out of the dot-com crash. After a couple of moves to other converted residential spaces in SOMA, we closed our office in 2013 due to lack of employee interest, becoming a fully distributed organization.

    In addition to Max and MSP, the company has expanded its software offerings with Jitter in 2001, Max for Live (co-developed with Ableton) in 2009, Gen in 2011, and RNBO in 2022. We've also convened an occasional Max conference called Expo '74, and hope to do so again in the near future.

    We currently have around 30 employees and consultants in the US, Canada, and Europe. And since you asked: yes, over the past 25+ years we have found that working remotely is a good thing. We encourage others to give it a try.

    What's With the Name?

    When David Z. was desperately in search of images to decorate the original site for selling some software he had created, a catalog from his childhood sporting images of stylish models posing on or near bicycles in San Francisco in 1974 magically appeared. Immediately upon opening the catalog, David was transported back to a simpler time when Brush Script was the font choice of the cool kids and no one dressed in black. A new direction was born, one that connected to the spirit of freedom, adventure and discovery made possible by Max and MSP.

    Cycling ‘74 continues to this day to be, er, saddled with the burden of explaining to the uninitiated that while we believe in bicycles as a form of transportation, we neither sell nor service them.

    Next Steps

    Contact Us

    Work at Cycling '74

    This is a an example of an image from our original web site. You can check out the Cycling Adventures '74 catalog here as well as the Cycling '73 catalog (which features many of the same models) here.