Max/MSP and Max for Live - What's the difference??

    Jul 24 2010 | 2:10 pm
    Hi all... I'm new to all this as just bought Max for LIve last week... what an amazing program, it has really inspired me and bought a whole new enthusiasm to my music production. I am loving every minute of going through the Max help tutorial learning how to program patches. I can't believe how long I've been missing out on Max.
    So after discovering max I'm thinking about crosgrading to Max/MSP. (not including Jitter)
    Can anyone tell me or post links about what I would gain by doing this. Had a look about the Cycling and ableton sites but can't really see any info directly comparing the two. Obviously I'd be able to run Max in stand alone but are there any other gains??
    Many thanks

    • Jul 24 2010 | 2:50 pm
      Max4Live comes with only a small subset of objects. The full version of Max comes with many objects, not sure what the exact list is.
      You can also save your patch as a standalone executable. And if you are a coder, you can create your own externals with the Max SDK.
    • Jul 24 2010 | 3:20 pm
      Er, hold on a minute there young man.
      Max for Live contains all of the objects MaxMSP has, and 3rd party objects are fully compatible.
      Yes it is true that you may not create standalone applications with Max for Live, but you can save Max patches from it which you may run in the Max runtime.
      Also, development of 3rd party objects has never required a MaxMSP license. You can do this in MFL perfectly well.
    • Jul 24 2010 | 3:26 pm
      hi neil - they are the same program in terms of objects etc., with M4L having a few more (useful) ones to interact with live. the difference you'll find is speed. M4L, since it has to run inside ableton, is slower. I would purchase Max/MSP if you want to be able to patch outside of Ableton, and create performance/compositional systems entirely inside Max. If all you want to do is create an array of devices to help out with your composing/performing in Ableton, I'd stick with M4L.
    • Feb 14 2011 | 6:15 pm
      Hey people, likewise I am new to this game, I am using ableton at the moment, and am looking to buy Max to use with it. Is it worth paying the full for max msp, or is max for live good enough (price difference?)? Is max for live any less of a program, I dont want to pay less for half a program.
      Am I under the assumption that Max for live cant export standalone patches?
      What would people advise?
    • Feb 14 2011 | 6:42 pm
      like andrew said you can even export "normal" max patches from max4live, not only devices.
      there are a few things in max4live whicih will only work in live and there are a few which work better or only as standalone. i love to work in fullscreen mode for example, not sure if max4live can do that.
      i also doubt that in 4live it is very handy to work with a dozen patches open at the same time. and in maxmsp it will also be a bit easier than in 4live to build something with lots of midi- and audio-IO. or to switch between built-in audio and your ASIO/coreaudio device driver.
      those little things during development are a bit different.
    • Feb 14 2011 | 6:59 pm
      Right I see, so if I were to get MSP, i could easily use that through ableton? (sorry for the novice question)
    • Feb 14 2011 | 11:19 pm
      MSP is included in 4live, actually it is included since max v 3.0 (about 10 years back)
    • Feb 15 2011 | 2:01 pm
      so which one should I opt for? how would I use Maxmsp through ableton?
    • Feb 15 2011 | 3:40 pm
      (written From memory: please correct...) Through AbeltonLive, MaxMsp can only speak audio to a Live channel or bus : one or two channels only. You can do this several times to fake "multichannel". It can only send MIDI to the normal midi output of a Live Midi "track". and you can't specify what midi channel it is sending on. (Abelton limit, evidently) In other words, as far as I/O, your maxmsp patch in Live can only access what a live object can access. *UNLESS* you use msp networking, etc. to get around this, as seen before in this forum. There are no such limits in the MaxMsp app; you can create applications that access any system registered midi or audio channel,and you can use the networking extensions to communicate with , well, just about anything. These Abelton Live "limits" are just the result of having MaxMsp patches act like Live code objects (such as live filters, midi arps, vocoders, etc.) as far as I/O and control goes. integrating them with Live,as it were, :).
      Much of what can be done with MaxMsp can be done using Rewire (supplied in MaxMsp and Live and Reason and well, lots o apps)... but these lack the "integration" where the code object appears in the Live application, looks and likes like a Live object, to a remarkable degree...making integration simple and predictable. As shown here repeatedly, there are other ways to get back some of the "lost" i/o functioning within your Max Live patch...
      but ps: Live does not support polyphonic MIDI aftertouch messages, or MIDI program change.
      I use both Max4Live and MaxMspJitter alone... nice to keep everything in Live for ease of use,nice to be able to step out to do more than just create live objects.
      Your mileage may vary... g/luck! Charlie B. aka j2k
    • Jun 27 2017 | 12:20 pm
      talking about cpu I experienced that max is working more fluently but after I turned off the multicore support in Live I was able to use more m4l patches at the same time without any lags (while multicore support was turned on this was only possible in max but now m4l is working fine as well)