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Max 6's price hurts. Really miffed.

Jul 13 2011 | 10:47 pm

I just know I’m going to get flamed here, but here goes…

After paying full whack for Max 5, I was disappointed to find the interface so sluggish as to be almost unusable. Eventually I decided it was unusable, so I reverted to Max 4.

Very few bug fixes later and the price has dropped significantly. Oh, and if you buy it now, you get a free upgrade to v6. Which sort of promises to deliver everything that v5 should have been. Nice.

I feel well and truly stung. The upgrade price for Max 5 users is a slap in the face, especially considering that we have to pay extra for the code generation goodies.

Oh, and curved patch cords? That doesn’t fill me with much confidence that the canvas is going to be any faster at all.

Even if the performance goes through the roof, the upgrade path should still be significantly cheaper. c74, think of it as an apology to the disappointed customers you already have.

And if the canvas is still just as sluggish, then you ought to make it a free upgrade. Think of it as a compensation payment.

Sorry if I’ve offended anyone here, but I can’t help but feel cheated.

Jul 13 2011 | 11:30 pm

There there

I agree to a degree – that is I think 199 is a bit steap upgrade price, unless the Code generation thingy is included (given that I just recently dished out 200 for a Jitter upgrade)

But still really excited about the features, especially code generation

kitty hug

Jul 14 2011 | 12:48 am

Out of interest, what were you doing that made you deem 5 unusable?

Jul 14 2011 | 1:26 am

Er, trying to patch at a reasonable speed. For the record, I’m not an idiot trying to drag a thousand objects around at a time, although it should be said that a G4 ought to be able to do just than and still maintain a decent framerate.

No, mostly what bugged me was that after half an hour of intense work Max would grind to a halt. I know Max keeps hold of all the symbols since it was opened, but Max 4 doesn’t slow to a crawl. No, it just keeps on going. It’s a major disruption to my workflow to have to quit a program and relaunch it every 20–30 mins just for it to perform adequately.

There were times when encapsulating ~20 objects and minimal patch cords would necessitate a tea break.

After a while, even my quad-core Windows box struggled to drag 40 objects around at a time.

There was a big thread about this a while ago that turned ugly. The way I see it, there were two users (not naming names) who spoke the truth ("Max 5 is broken"). Admittedly they didn’t air their opinions in the politest fashion, but at least they were honest with their feedback. Everyone else shouted them down, defending the sh*tty performance with arguments like, "Oh, but it’s got rounded corners!" or, "Maybe you should upgrade your computer". It seems to me like everybody’s too cowardly to admit that they were suckered out of their money by Presentation Mode.

Nobody is ever going to make me believe that they didn’t notice a HUGE drop in performance from 4 to 5. And not just in terms of the GUI – there was another thread which quite plainly demonstrated that DSP performance was slightly down, too. And the devs said, "But that can’t be! We didn’t change the code!" To which I say, "Maybe so, but you have clearly overlooked something, because my computers all say the same thing: Max 5 is slower than Max 4, in every way."

Juce got a lot of flak, and although it may not be the speediest of libraries, I don’t think it’s to blame. You only have to spend two minutes with Renoise to see the kind of speedy, responsive interface it’s possible to build with Juce!

Without wishing to stir things up (much) more, it’s quite obvious to me that there are a good many users who don’t want to acknowledge that they should have saved their money. Nobody wants to admit to themselves that they just spent £300 on a downgrade, do they? Or maybe there are just plenty of folk who don’t mind dropping a few thousand on a new bad boy Mac Pro for the sake of rounded corners?

There are two things that Max 5 has over Max 4 for me. They are (in decreasing order of importance):

1. Toshiro’s awesome [sa.function]
2. The ability to switch [poly~]s without interrupting audio

Presentation Mode doesn’t do it for me. Switching to and from it is just painfully slow. Give me "Hide on Lock" and some well-organised bpatchers any day.

Since [1] wasn’t even made by c74, I don’t consider [2] a good enough reason to a) drop a few hundred dollars, or b) cripple my productivity.

Just my tuppence’ worth.

Jul 14 2011 | 6:47 am

Wow, this is just disrespectful. Seriously.

Good night.

Jul 14 2011 | 8:06 am

whining about the upgrade price is nonsense of course.

but as someone who uses mainly G4 processors, too, i can understand
why he switched back to max4 – that is what i was doing as well.

Jul 14 2011 | 10:36 am

Chris, I used Max 4 as well as Max 5. I’ve done a *lot* of patching in 5 and I’m actually about to distribute the applications I made in it. I can’t believe that after an hour or so of patching that Max ‘locks up’ or whatever. I’ve done much more than that on huge patches in 5 and never had any serious issues.

I agree it does seem slightly slower, but it’s a much better environment in my opinion. Easier to use and nicer to look at (cointreauversial XD)

Jul 14 2011 | 10:43 am

Im gonna start a donation

We only need twohundred people to donate the minimum of two dollars so that christripledot can get the upgrade for free :)

Send your donation to 1682 28 611452 1602814729


Jul 14 2011 | 11:21 am

"After paying full whack for Max 5, I was disappointed to find the interface so sluggish as to be almost unusable. Eventually I decided it was unusable, so I reverted to Max 4."

Dude, What are you talking about? Max 5 works perfectly fine and hardly crashes. True, it took a while to switch between max 4 to max 5 but it was well worth it. Very stable, more powerful, way better user interface and looks much better then max 4.

I welcome Max 6. Looking forward to the new features. I think its the way to the future for Max.

Some people just need to complain a lot. BTW I saw you posted some Max 5 stuff so it is usable after all:

Jul 14 2011 | 4:27 pm

Loved the film! :-)

Jul 14 2011 | 8:06 pm

i remember when David Z. wrote this in the ‘What Max5 Is and Isn’t’ article, "Getting rid of our ‘legacy of dependence’ stretching back to the Mac OS circa 1987 takes some time, which is why you haven’t seen a new version of Max in a while. But you will soon…"

It’s really all the explanation that’s needed. If your ‘workflow’ is one that can’t put patience and trust in the process than you shouldn’t be frustrating yourself with Max in the first place: it’s bad for your blood pressure. (I also think gen~ will speed things up DSP-wise faster than 4, and javascript improvements will make for easier and more efficient GUI design, among other things…) But maybe you should find something more suited for your system. Or come back when they release Max8. Some people can rely on a steady growth process, other people need full functionality over night. You do what you gotta do.

‘defending the sh*tty performance with arguments like, "Oh, but it’s got rounded corners!"‘

….but, Max6 has even more rounded corners! :D (I just wanted to be the first to use that as a defense for anything, i’ve never actually heard anyone use that as a defense. if i might further ask: what were you smoking? and can i have some?)

Jul 15 2011 | 12:02 pm

In all honesty it is about time you updated your computer and OS – seriously . . .
You are basically 3 or 4 processors and OS’s too old and that is probably a main source of your problem imho . . .
Also factors such as amount of memory, bus speed, graphics processing etc have to be taken into account . . .

Do yourself a favour and ‘get with the times’ because C74 should be focussing on current/future OS’s and hardware, not bothering with deprecated systems – hopefully Max6 won’t run on 32bit / PPC platforms; I certainly would not want them wasting there time in that pursuit . . .
Moving from Max 4/G4 to Max5(6) on i7 is(will be) a wonderful experience – you won’t look back . . .

Sorry if you feel offended but I believe you are ‘cheating’ yourself


Jul 15 2011 | 12:21 pm

For me, Max 5 ‘s "canvas" is just a place to graphically program, and given my love of abstraction and encapsulation, I rarely get lots of objects on the screen, so the "slowness" of the Juce display relative to the old quickdraw screen is a non issue.
For those whose Max work involves Javascripting screen actions/animations, ok, you gave up something on Max5: probably to get much better with the improved Javascript engine in Max6.
But I wonder if working with the GL tools wouldn’t be better for those users than beating their js horse. ok, I know pratically nothing of image synthesis, and am not really interested, so you can safely ignore my opinions.

please, just my ignorant take: ignore, don’t flame.
cfb aka j2k

Jul 15 2011 | 2:58 pm

Jul 15 2011 | 3:04 pm


Jul 18 2011 | 3:43 am

I think what he’s really getting at (and what I can agree with) is there were some performance issues that instead of being patched were glossed over with pseudo promises the whole version lifecycle and now we need to shell out half whack with no guarantee they will be fixed. It’s just too bad it only pissed off a minority of users…then we would’ve gotten patched earlier or ever. Win some, lose some. They were never too major…but the canvas issues were definitely annoying.

Jul 18 2011 | 2:39 pm

"instead of being patched were glossed over with pseudo promises the whole version lifecycle and now we need to shell out half whack with no guarantee they will be fixed"
A Kindly meant hint, (since we are all prone to similar issues ): try to avoid
a) run on sentences, lacking necessary punctuation.
b) anger filled expressions that pre-judge the issue being disscussed: i.e.: "with psuedo promises" : I was present the entire time here on the forums, and saw no "promises", much less "psuedo promises". I saw acknowlegement of your and other’s concern, and any "promise" was to make *efforts, where possible*: e.g: WHERE IT WAS NOT DUE TO JUCE, AND REQUIRING A COMPLETE REWRITE… of course, you and others might have read some sort of promise in this. I (and others) did not see any.
c)Finally: try and make *some* sense. e.g: "the whole version lifecycle and now we need to shell out half whack with no guarantee they will be fixed"…?….
I can puzzle out a meaning here, but you are not communicating well.

You are acting as if your particular need for improvement *must* be the main driving motivation of this small and hard working software company.
I find your ego … disturbing. Have you ever run a for profit software company, specializing in a small fringe market?

I *know* that if it were simple to provide for your desires, they would be met. Period. You should try a little humility, I think it is a bit lacking in your (and others) angry outburst.

an old and offended
Dr B.
ok, now there will be flames.. whether or not they are appropriate.

Jul 18 2011 | 4:44 pm

Sorry to disappoint non-flame here ….
I posted a question a while ago, about when was c74 going to upgrade their javascript engine to something.. .err hmm contemporary :) . I am happy that it has been answered with Max 6’s announcement (although I would prefer google’s V8 but Mozilla’s seems ok too).

All in all, I think it is too early to judge what it will be, or if it is worth it. Maybe we should wait for the first trial version to come up, evaluate and decide for ourselves if we will buy or not. Just hope that code generation (btw. does that == something a la Clang/LLVM?) will come with the trial for testing, as this is the reason (along with js) for the upgrade to me (and lot’s of others too?). If it is crap or the difference is negligible, I ‘ll just skip to 7 or 8 (and learn to live without JS generators on Max).


P.S. With m4l, I find that i make more music and less posts :) life is good !

Jul 18 2011 | 5:13 pm

I knew this was a touchy subject but I hadn’t anticipated quite such widespread upset. Firstly, to anyone who feels personally offended here, please accept a very sincere apology from me. I’m sorry. I don’t dislike you, and I mean you no disrespect.

I should probably have kept my thoughts to myself, but my fingers were enraged.

Heart on my sleeve here, I feel that Max 5 was a bit of a lame duck… for my purposes. I was lucky that my license extended retrospectively to version 4; it has saved me performance heartaches.

@Danny, I tend to post Max 5 patches because it’s all people use these days. But I don’t use it for serious stuff, for reasons I’ve already gone on about.

@Macciza, I’m using a variety of machines from G4 to i7 (with an i5, a core 2 duo, and a phenom in between). I’m sorry I dragged up the performance issue, and I acknowledge that I’m not qualified to comment on the reasons why Max 5 seems to be sluggish. But in my personal real-world experience, something about Max 5 feels slow and, dare I say it, a bit buggy/broken. My G4s handle lots of other software GUIs with aplomb, but the Max 5 canvas gives it trouble. My core 2 duo and my phenom also struggle with it. Yes, these processors are a little old, but they’re no slowcoaches when it comes to Photoshop and Illustrator, and both of these programs have much more GUI work to do.

I’ve said my piece, and I just wanted to drop by and reiterate that I don’t want to rock the boat. Just to have a little tantrum.

Let me focus my complaint on just one thing, that I think if pretty damn reasonable: I think it’s harsh to charge anyone, let alone upgraders, an additional fee for ‘code generation’. So far this has been the single biggest feature in the press release. I don’t think that’s right. The rest of the grumbles are between me, my wallet, and my computers, but I want c74 to know that not everyone’s happy with the pricing.


Jul 18 2011 | 6:30 pm

I keep looking at the debate you guys are having and remembering when I started using photoshop (at v2.5). Every time the new version came out, the complaints sounded like what I see above. "It’s bloatware, it’s slow it’s horrible." but then I remember when the new macs came out and everyone cheered, "This will run photoshop lighting fast" The question was always, "will this speed up photoshop?" And we (at least I) would double my resolutions, filter some stuff and watch the task bar fly to the right as if it wanted to break the edge of the monitor, spill all over my desk and ruin my 100MB zip discs. I never complained. I started at eleven. I was happy to have a computer so I just screwed around within the confines of photoshops performance. At least it wasn’t KPT Bryce. I remember leaving my computer to sit for 3 days and render bryce files. Sluggish never bothered me because the alternative is "don’t do that thing you wanted to do"

Jul 18 2011 | 6:48 pm

@AudioMatt: I agree…it all seems so much easier and fascinating after creating moog/tape pieces with hundreds of splices in it & compiling a 12 min digital synthesis piece for hours and hours (and days!) on a Vax11/750, and storing the result on several large reels of "storage tape" & etc., etc.
Heck my inner child is still P.O’ed about losing Opcode’s StudioVision: now that was a stable beast, ;-).

And MSP and Live and DP and SuperCollider and Csound and
"you whippersnappers don’t know how good you have it!" :)

j2k aka cfb

Jul 18 2011 | 6:56 pm

I’ve stayed away from this debate for a few reasons:
– I’ve only been running Max for the last 2.5 years,
on my battered old 1.7GHz Athlon dual core (Vista/Max5.1.8);
– I don’t do much processor-hogging stuff
– code generation? wha?

But your remarks (and christripledot’s last) prompted some esoteric thoughts, which I felt compelled to add.

If the added resource requirements result from improved functionality (ie audio engine, media streaming stuff) then I’m happy to invest. If an application gives me an ‘improved’ workflow (ie, changed/different) plus some graphical fripperies, then I’m usually not interested. But then, I don’t make huge demands of my software. I skipped quite a few updates of Live and Reason, cos I saw through their updates as just keeping their coffers full. I buy new stuff when it does what I need it to do. But this thread goes way deeper than that.


Jul 18 2011 | 7:21 pm


I’m not really arguing for or against Max 4, 5 or 6. Although it should be said that I was thinking of 4.6 to 5 when I wrote that post. What I’m saying is that to be pissed off about it doesn’t seem pragmatic or justified to me. To me, this is really a case of don’t like it/don’t buy it. You can halve your expenditures by upgrading every other version.

I don’t see how much deeper this goes. care to explain? I see the accusation that max 6 is making up for short comings (speed) in max 5. is that what you mean?

Jul 18 2011 | 7:52 pm

I completely disagree with the statement that "Max5 is broken." Max5 brought me capabilities that let me do more than I could in Max4. Even though some things may have gotten moderately worse (e.g. graphics performance,) for me Max5 is a large net improvement. As with most things in life, there are trade-offs, and you have to be willing to meet things half-way. People who remain focussed on one thing from the past (e.g. encapsulation speed, square vs. rounded corners,) and don’t embrace what is newly available will not be happy with the changes.

• Presentation mode means that I can build larger patches while still keeping things manageable. I’ve been involved in some very large scale patches that were built in < = Max4.x and balancing the U.I. and the basic functionality of giant patches was very difficult in earlier versions. Presentation mode lets me individually optimize the U.I. and the guts of a patcher. This is a big win for me.

• Alpha channels means that I can build more sophisticated U.I.s, without resorting to pre-cooked images and ubuttons.

• Multi-threading means that I could use those other CPU cores for my DSP.

• I’m not a Live user, but M4L is a really big deal for them. (and I’ll admit I still miss Pluggo.)

All-in-all, I think that for every disgruntled customer like the original poster, there is a large group of people who look at Max5 as a genuine advance, and are happy with what it brings to the table. Every time I have to revisit something in Max4, I’m struck by how much better I think Max5 is. I’m sure Max6 will be better still. I’ve been a Max user since it was a project at IRCAM, through its homes at Intelligent Music, Opcode, and now Cycling 74, and for my uses, it continues to get better.

Jul 18 2011 | 8:06 pm


no discussion about speed or anything, I just liked your Photoshop comparison – very clearly stated, and it allows us to see the bigger picture (sic). Furthermore, Chris above says it way better than me, particularly regarding Presentation Mode. Without sounding too "cock-sucky", if Chris’ summation doesn’t end this thread then I don’t know whose will.


ps ‘taking threads off on a tangent’: guilty! :¬P

Jul 19 2011 | 4:01 am

"I knew this was a touchy subject but I hadn’t anticipated quite such widespread upset….
….I should probably have kept my thoughts to myself, but my fingers were enraged."

Not at all. I think some of your complaints are unfounded which is why i made fun of the statement that anyone ever defended Max on the basis of round corners. I too did not mean for you to take it personally if you did.

But other than that, I think expressing that you’re upset will at least let people know that there’re other sides… as i’ve said before! this community can feel a bit too homogenous and secluded… it’s threads like these that keep it interesting!
After all, maybe there are others who feel like you do. I too wonder if they should charge extra for code-generation, but I don’t REALLY know how kick-ass it’s going to be(I just assume if the article says, "almost as fast as" externals written in C, and I’m writing some of my externals in C to speed things up, it might still be unreasonable for me to do something slower than that. how much code-generation, gen~ in particular, is going to help me out or force me to go back to writing externals is not something I can tell for sure right now…)… I’m still gonna pay for it if they do charge, because I trust them, that’s what you do with small-niche-software companies you’ve benefited from for over a decade :) They haven’t let me down at all, either, so even if they did, i’d still be back for more with the word, "sucka" written on my forehead if necessary…and i too miss pluggo, but try to be understanding about the whole M4L thing even though I think Live, while allowing some to be original, also tempts MOST(< -ya, that's what i think) to create quite a bit of 'disposable culture' :O *flame war begin!* :D

Jul 19 2011 | 1:25 pm


Although a well-managed project usually doesn’t need loads of objects floating around, there are situations when it is necessary.

For me, Max 5’s canvas is a place to graphically program. If canvas performance decreases, so does the rate at which I can graphically program. I sometimes drag objects around because it helps me visualise the steps of an algorithm within a patch. This is not unlike adding a few carriage returns, or keeping your white space under control, when writing text-based code. I consider this to be an important part of the programming process – it helps me think, and work, faster. Max 5 slows me down here.

You are right to point out that software upgrades go hand-in-hand with hardware upgrades. I picked Photoshop as an example because I would think it has to work a lot harder than Max in order to keep its GUI updated. I understand that the jump from 4 to 5 entailed a GUI rewrite, and I agree that a performance hit is a price worth paying sometimes. But in this case I feel that Max 5 lags a good way behind contemporary software on equivalent machines.

You have a point. I, like you, sometimes resort to writing my own externals to get the job done. It would be unrealistic to expect this "code generation" feature to perform as well as C except under very select circumstances.

BTW, I wasn’t offended in the slightest. The rounded corners thing was meant as a bitter joke anyway. And yes, of course you can have some.

So… what am I saying here? I think I’m talking myself round to the (personal) view that Max 6 won’t be worth the cost of an upgrade. Not until I can justify buying new computers, anyway. Or at least, not until some of the remaining bugs have been ironed out.

A piece of software like Max, with infinite possible applications, is always going to be a nightmare to debug. Problems probably won’t surface for months, perhaps years, of many users pushing Max to the edge. I sympathise with the developers here.

But spare some sympathy for the users who can’t afford to pay "major upgrade" prices for features they won’t use much (a lot of new Max stuff seems geared towards beginners). Some of us just want the existing shortcomings fixed before we’re alienated.

Jul 19 2011 | 2:33 pm


(a lot of new Max stuff seems geared towards beginners) – oddly I was thinking the opposite – with Code Gen~, mutltithreaded bpathcers and increased support for Javascript I thought it was more geared towards old school coders rather than newer people who are fans of plug and play style patching.

My thoughts on the price is that Max is a great product and it is clear these people are working very hard to make something that people enjoying patching in. Money is always an issue but of all the things I have to pay for in this life Max is not high on the complaints list.

Jul 19 2011 | 3:33 pm

Re: prioritising monetary complaints, you are right on the money. I’m tired and slightly embarrassed, but I am capable of seeing things in perspective: I’ll buy it when it’s worth it to me, and that’s how purchasing works. Complaining about it wasn’t high on my list when I started the topic; it was merely a reaction to something I read in a quiet 5 minutes at work. But now I’m here, defending my statement, and it’s getting silly.

Code Generation is certainly not geared towards beginners, I’ll grant you that. After all, it’s charged separately. So the tech people can buy it. OK.

But the tech people have to buy Max 6 to make it work. And I don’t think we’re ready to pay for 6 when 5 needs to be fixed. Max 6’s existence suggests to me that there will be no more development on 5. And that saddens me, because I don’t feel like I’ve got my money’s worth. And to add insult to injury, new customers get to pay less for a better product. Is this really such a foreign sentiment for people to empathise with?

I care not for curved patch cords, or Vizzle, or M4L objects. I hate Live, and don’t really like the way Max has cuddled up to it, resulting in the demise of Pluggo. But that’s another story. Allow me to reiterate:

I just wish that I didn’t have to pay for new stuff, in order to receive no guarantee that the existing problems (grievances previously aired) have been fixed.

My skepticism that Max 5’s problems will be addressed properly in v6 stems from the overwhelming cavalcade of flames that engulfed the last people who dared criticise it, and what I perceive as an attempt by c74 to widen their customer base (*cough* *Ableton* *cough*). In broadening Max’s appeal, c74 make life hard for themselves – conceiving and selling new features reduces the time that could be spent making their last product right.

But far be it from me to tell them how to run their business. It’s their business and they have a great product that I could not create myself. But – and this is not directed at anyone in particular – it’s sad when a paying customer gets shouted down by his fellow customers for expressing concerns about their mutual product. Many on this forum pounce on critics unfairly, undermining what may have been valid complaints. Consequently, the devs see that the loyal have spoken, flag the OP as a troll, and the wheels continue to turn.

Now somebody’s gonna accuse me of having a persecution complex.

Jul 19 2011 | 3:53 pm

I have avoided weighing in because I was taken aback by two main insinuations in your first post: that users who bought into max 5 were duped and that the developers at Cycling ’74 were behind some conspiracy to sell you a "downgrade" as you put it. Though it sounds like perhaps you are starting to at least recognize the other side of things. I agree with your underlying issue, mainly that the performance of Max could use a boost. I also agree that dissent, in the form of users voicing complaints are important, but what I don’t agree with you on is HOW a software company should deal with those complaints. As far as I’m concerned it’s time wasted to bow to every complaint and ensure that bruised egos are mended before we can get on with business. Apple seems to do it in a particular way which is to say ignore everyone equally and address users concerns en masse if at all. I have been at the brunt of it, but frankly they are a company I trust most of the time so if my complaints are not addressed I sometimes try and investigate the other side of the story. Cycling is no where near this level of high handedness (nor should they be). But if users are petitioning their money back en masse over something which can be fixed with an update or two or instigating a riot over something they "assumed" they were promised or feel they are entitled to I feel no sympathy over them being shouted down. And let’s be clear, we are talking about consumer grade software. Your civil rights are not in jeopardy. A little perspective would be nice.

Jul 19 2011 | 4:25 pm

I would hardly call it a conspiracy. I call it good business sense. And by this I’m not accusing c74 of being cynical money-grabbers. I hold them in very high regard. But "Fix it for free, or sell them a replacement?" is a no-brainer in this world.

You’re right in that I assumed things would be made better. This was naive of me, and I suppose I don’t deserve sympathy for that. Perhaps more users should have shouted louder, more constructively, and sooner, and 5 would have been OK.

But I still think the upgrade pricing policy is a joke, and the less vocal users are about it, the more we’ll get rinsed in the future. OK, the "duping" thing may have caused some offence all-round, but I was just running my mouth. The point is that if you bought Max 5 new, you got a bum deal compared to those who upgraded, and now you’re getting an even worse deal compared to new users. How does this not smell like disappointment, and valid disappointment, at that?

As for perspective, I’m hardly shouting it from the rooftops or setting myself on fire. I’m just complaining in the bloody Max forum, is all. Sorry, I’ll take it to the MOTU forums.

"You can’t win. If you shout us down Max will become more costly than you can possibly imagine."

Jul 19 2011 | 5:43 pm

Hi christripledot,
I’m sorry to hear your frustration, and appreciate your willingness to express your opinions here. I also remember that in the initial versions of Max 5 there were many cases where the interface would draw slowly. Since then, we’ve done our best to improve patching responsiveness wherever we could, through researching real-world examples. The latest versions of Max 5 are much more efficient in terms of the user interface, and I encourage you to give it a try if you haven’t already. If there are specific cases where UI responsiveness is slowing you down, please take a moment to provide us with a bug report and example patch so that we might reproduce it and discover what mechanism is slowing things down for you.

On the Mac OS side, Max 6 will be a Cocoa native application, and there will be a number of patching improvements that will speed up and simplify your patching experience.

I’d like to share something about our process in developing Max 6, in response to several concerns raised in this thread. For the first time in our history as a company, we devoted a great deal of time researching how both new and experienced users worked with Max. We looked intensively at how people patch, what their habits are, and what is slowing them down or keeping them from being creative. We found areas all over the software where we could improve this experience, and used this data to inform our development choices. I can’t overstate how obsessed we are with making Max better. I’m hoping you can give us a little time to present those improvements to everyone, and withold any judgements of this upcoming upgrade until we’ve been able to fully represent it.

Jul 20 2011 | 1:51 am

When you upgraded to version 5 (before testing) though knowing the limits of your cpu, I don´t see how to blame anybody but yourself. Or tell me the piece of complex software which reduced hardware requirements by its latest generation.

Its always an unlucky position of having bought before a price drop. It happens, but life goes on.

Jul 20 2011 | 7:38 am

^And I thought I was the only bot around here!

*Never fear, Noob4Life was never here!*

Jul 20 2011 | 7:38 am

Thank you for taking the time to respond to a thread that has already gone in circles, Andrew. I never doubted for a moment the time and effort you guys put in to Max.

I haven’t tried Max 5 since v5.0.3 I think, so I will definitely download the latest build and see if that improves things, but I’ve spoiled myself with the responsiveness of v4 so I expect I’ll stick with that for a bit.

I’m very glad to hear that Max 6 will be Cocoa – I don’t doubt this will speed things up dramatically. I bet you guys regret writing all that Juce code now ;)

Re: buying before a price drop: Yes, it’s that old chestnut.

Re: higher version number = better performance = Renoise. Continuously being optimised for all platforms (including PPC) and the price keeps you in the upgrade loop for quite some time. I don’t earn much; I like this policy.

Re: the other thing: I didn’t actually upgrade to 5, I bought it outright. I tested it as best as I could within the 30 days, but you don’t really get a chance to do much complicated patching in that time if:

a) You’ve never used Max (or anything like it) before
b) You work 50 hours a week
c) You have a girlfriend you want to keep

Only after getting a bit deeper did I start to think "something’s not right". I tried Max 4 after I realised my license extended to it, and couldn’t believe the difference.

Look, I’m going to shut up now.

Jul 20 2011 | 8:27 am





i have been desperately trying to ignore and avoid getting drawn into all this teenage angst bullshit surrounding the max6 anouncement on various threads. but christripledot, this last post of yours brings me kicking and screaming to the table. whilst i disagree with you from post outset regarding finances (i am not even going to comment here as i could take pages to do so), i have basically felt perfectly warm and gentle towards you and your right to bring up some points of negativity as you have, and also feel you have been unfirly shouted down a little by some folk. typical that it is andrew benson who gives you the warmest and most constructive response.

AND THEN: you admit that your max5 knowledge is based on… Max 5.0.3 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i mean for fucks sake christripledot?!?! you have made a COMPLETE fool of yourself! you idiot!

the current Max5.1.8 is a DIFFERENT programme to max 5.0.3. i cannot BELIEVE you have been basing this thread on knowledge of Max5.0.3 !!! that is actually insulting!

comparing 5.0.3 and 5.1.8 is like comparing 4.0 with 4.6 ! cycling could so easilly have called some of the 4.x updates max5, 6 &7 ! certainly since 5.1.x max has SO many improvements, a great deal of which max-users can be hugely indebted to the maxforlive project for.

i am actually in shock. i do not know what else to write you. oh i know, i could tell you this: i have run massive audio/OSC (seriously massive) max patches using 5.1.4 (or maybe 5.1.3, i cannot remember), on a 1GHz G4 Powerbook PPC with 768 MB ram in hugely mission critical live situations as high profile paid work for other people — ZERO issues. performed perfectly. maybe you are just shit at programming? maybe i could give you some lessons?


p.s. – i am NOT a cycling74 apologist or fanboy; but anyone who knows anything about max (and csound and supercollider and pd and all the rest) knows from reading mr zicarelli’s article that max6 will represent a revolution not just for max, but for creativity in audio and video with a computer period.

p.p.s. – presentation mode alone was worth the $199 upgrade to max 5.

Jul 20 2011 | 8:37 am


I hardly resorted to calling anyone "a COMPLETE fool", "an idiot, or "shit at programming". I think that’s a little more insulting, don’t you?

Like I said, I’ll look into it and see if it improves things for me. If the latest build of 5 was all that much better, I would have expected to see some widespread "Hurrah! Juce isn’t so bad after all!" elation. Forgive me if I’m being myopic, but I never saw it. I’ll try it out again and if necessary I’ll eat humble pie. But I don’t need your help to ram it down my throat.

Kindly smeg off with your CAPS LOCK YUH DUN KNO shouting and your gross generalisations ("anyone who knows anything abous max (and csound and supercollider and pd and all the rest) knows…").

Jul 20 2011 | 12:39 pm


Turns out I’ve been running 5.1.3, not 5.0.3. Yes, it’s a few digits behind, but after downloading and playing with 5.1.8, surprise surprise, it’s still chuggy. Do you remember the exact version numbers of every piece of software you have installed, particularly in moments of passion? Do you feverishly download updates for software that you’ve already abandoned out of disappointment? Come on. My points were still valid. It’s not like the canvas has been magically fixed.

Now I realise I have higher standards than you regarding GUI performance, so we’re going to differ on this. But your argument is moot.

Can we lock this Godforsaken thread please? I promise to play nice from now on.

Jul 20 2011 | 3:35 pm

I don’t think it should be locked, you have a right to air your grievances.

Also, just because forum members disagree with you on this issue doesn’t mean they are in allegiance with C74 and that they would blindly buy any new version of the software. As mentioned previously, I often work with very large patches and never had serious issues to report with the UI, so it’s hard for me to see why it’s such a big deal for you. Nevertheless no one is calling you a ‘fool’ except pid and he is only speaking for himself, if the software seems broken to you then there’s no problem in letting people know.

Jul 20 2011 | 7:13 pm

My issue with this thread is largely with the language that is used; it’s too similar to religious language. Much of it is stated as absolute "truth", and not opinions. It is implied that anyone who doesn’t agree with the absolute "truth" has not seen the light, is somehow duped, or is not being honest with themselves. It implies that there are a few brave souls that speak this truth, and that the masses are too "cowardly" or deceived by presentation mode to speak out.

If it would have been written in terms more like "I didn’t like Max5, so I am pissed about paying anything for Max6" it would have been one thing, and probably would not have gotten as much discussion, but it was presented more along the lines of "Max5 IS ‘broken’ and a ‘lame duck,’ so we are owed Max6 as retribution."

The use of JUCE is an orthogonal issue to whether an app is programmed in Cocoa or Carbon, I think. I would bet that JUCE is still used in Max6.

Jul 20 2011 | 8:00 pm

probably max 5 is NOT broken. But I understand some do not like it. I use max for most of my work sinc, well, more than 10 years. I did upgrade to max 5 but mostly use max 4 – in my opinion (I am not a programmer but a composer) max 4 is faster. And – !!!! – max5 does not look that good (no, i don’t like the rounded corners). But the point is that very often the same patch runs a little faster in 4 than 5.
but well, I bought 5, did all the updates, and will buy max 6 as soon as it is out. come on it’s WAY cheaper than changing the hair of your cello bow!!!
maybe that is just supporting C74, or hoping that max6 will at least change something in the "sound engine" of max (funny how for years it was "forbidden" to say that max sounded "not as good" as reaktor, and now max 6 will sound better……!!!! so it was not that great after all!) but yes, i use mainly this software so……
It’s not perfect (the integration of most NI software was broken at some point – be it reaktor, guitar rig or absynth) and I still prefer to use max4- but will upgrade to max6

actually the only question I have (and am really surprised no one asked) is – willmax4 patches run on max6??

best to all


Jul 20 2011 | 8:00 pm

probably max 5 is NOT broken. But I understand some do not like it. I use max for most of my work sinc, well, more than 10 years. I did upgrade to max 5 but mostly use max 4 – in my opinion (I am not a programmer but a composer) max 4 is faster. And – !!!! – max5 does not look that good (no, i don’t like the rounded corners). But the point is that very often the same patch runs a little faster in 4 than 5.
but well, I bought 5, did all the updates, and will buy max 6 as soon as it is out. come on it’s WAY cheaper than changing the hair of your cello bow!!!
maybe that is just supporting C74, or hoping that max6 will at least change something in the "sound engine" of max (funny how for years it was "forbidden" to say that max sounded "not as good" as reaktor, and now max 6 will sound better……!!!! so it was not that great after all!) but yes, i use mainly this software so……
It’s not perfect (the integration of most NI software was broken at some point – be it reaktor, guitar rig or absynth) and I still prefer to use max4- but will upgrade to max6

actually the only question I have (and am really surprised no one asked) is – willmax4 patches run on max6??

best to all


Jul 20 2011 | 8:06 pm

1+ and a big AMEN! for that Chris!

And in general to all of us guys and gals: I feel very very happy that we can afford to be the release of a new software to our main concern!! Imagine it would be a nuclear war we would have to worried about! ;)

So let’s keep on being concerned about software – that means we are generally very happy and lucky people ;)…

Jul 20 2011 | 8:53 pm

I disagree with Chris Muir.

in christripledot’s first post, he was very careful to note that it’s a subjective view: "Sorry if I’ve offended anyone here, but I can’t help but feel cheated." (he talks about how HE feels SUBJECTIVELY, and apologizes in advance for it. Later on, when he speaks of another thread, he even says, "the way i see it")

THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG WITH HOW christripledot HAS GONE ABOUT THIS AND ANDREW BENSON’S CONSIDERATE MESSAGE EVEN SHOWS THAT. and christripledot’s reply to that was nicely grateful and understanding still keeping some polite reservation, imho, but then some other folks came in here and started flaming up again. OF COURSE, christripledot will have to come back in here and feel the need to explain himself and perhaps even defend himself.

Also, in particular, this:
"so we are owed Max6 as retribution…."
is blatantly putting words in christripledot’s mouth. nowhere has he said that he is owed it as retribution(use your browser’s text ‘Find’ function and show me exactly where the word, ‘retribution’ is used…. that is just uncalled for), it’s just another ridiculously fanatical interpretation of what christripledot said(i’m thinking also, a very ‘Christian-Judeo-Islamic’ interpretation…. yuck!).
No offense to Mr. Muir, but when someone accuses someone else of being ‘similar to religious language’ and then jumps to radical conclusions and even puts words in someone else’s mouth in a manner which i would then also say is similar to religious fanaticism, i feel the need to question their ability to view the matter holistically(damn, can’t i just spell that word, "wholistically"?).

The way i see it, christripledot is actually just saying MOST OF ALL, that he’s having a hard time keeping up financially with Max.
That’s actually a pretty valid complaint. It IS expensive and anyone using it could never validly claim that they are poor or broke in any way. This is a pretty damn extravagant luxury for us compared to what the entire rest of the world can afford(not to mention the computer you need to have to use it; congrats! everyone here using Max IS IN FACT a frivolous yuppie compared to the world at large… yes! that includes me! :D).

And everyone else is being too harsh to christripledot.
I don’t agree with him, but he didn’t post anything ridiculously inflammatory in my view UNTIL others started getting their panties in a wad. :D (i got jokez, too!)

The flamers and accusers here seem very quick to jump to conclusions, judgmental, merciless, and heartless to me.

Please, everyone, stop posting here for just a minute, call your mothers and tell them you love them(just to make sure we all still have a heart).

Jul 20 2011 | 9:46 pm

Raja, he also said things like "The way I see it, there were two users (not naming names) who spoke the truth ("Max 5 is broken")," and "It seems to me like everybody’s too cowardly to admit that they were suckered out of their money by Presentation Mode." From this, I infer that he thinks he knows the truth, and people who don’t agree with him are cowardly suckers.

And while it’s true he didn’t use the word retribution but he did say "And if the canvas is still just as sluggish, then you ought to make it a free upgrade. Think of it as a compensation payment." Close enough to ‘retribution’ for me.

Jul 20 2011 | 10:12 pm

Chris wrote:
"Raja, he also said things like "The way I see it, there were two users (not naming names) who spoke the truth ("Max 5 is broken")," and "It seems to me like everybody’s too cowardly to admit that they were suckered out of their money by Presentation Mode." From this, I infer that he thinks he knows the truth, and people who don’t agree with him are cowardly suckers. "

But Chris, those are exactly the same sentences I was looking at thinking the words, "The way I see it" and "It seems to me" qualify them as purely subjective statements. To me, he wasn’t at all saying that it is an absolute truth, nor expecting others to agree with him, otherwise, he wouldn’t have included those statements.

We agree to disagree :)

Jul 21 2011 | 12:32 am

A lot of us old timers think you people who are complaining are making an awful lot of negative noise about a (to us) small loss of functionality in something that was only peripheral to the "original" main purposes of MAX. If you found another use of MAX that *required* the speed of the now long gone quickdraw commands behind the screen redraws, well, then i am sorry you were "forgotten" in the upgrade…BUT
I know that many people were deeply sorry to hear that their long practiced tape splicing skills were no longer needed in modern music studios; and I know all the nifty MIDI stuff I did w/ Max in the early 90’s is already mostly a lost tech practice as well.
SO Grow with the product
OR DON’T….it’s OK!!!
just don’t think repeating this noise (heard since the moment Max5 was released,predominantly from the same 4 or 5 forum people), when you have already received (several over time!) kindly answer(s) from the hard working developers, buys you any friends or makes you noble or something. You may be a bright and accomplished artist. But You are definitely "grating on my sensorium", I assure you.
And part of this as Dr Muir points out is the rather extreme nature of the wording : "suckered out of money": "a slap in the face," "everybody’s too cowardly" …..hummmph!
*I do not need this*, darn it, and most others don’t either!!,and *Even* if there were deliberate moves to sacrifice some display speed for dsp processing in Max5, the developers do not need or deserve this kind of language, or the repeated nature of the (always strident to our ears) request.
They know, and they have replied. And as much as they want you to use their tool, your needs are not the only ones they try to meet.
Ok, hate me offline, this place needs an airing out badly.
Dr Baker

Jul 21 2011 | 12:53 am

A world with so many kitty´s, yet so few hugs :´(

Jul 21 2011 | 2:28 am

Hey christripledot,

I have worked up a solution that you may find helpful. This has not been tested on other platforms but I do not see any reason why it would not work.

Hope this helps,


  1. Solution1.maxpat
Jul 21 2011 | 3:31 am

Now that… that is art.

Jul 21 2011 | 8:45 am

I wonder whether the devs have noticed any speed decrease with the new curved patch cords? The only real speed decreases in patching/on the canvas I noticed was when I moved large groups of objects with many cords, that could get pretty slow, and in fact sometimes "stick" to the mouse even after letting go of the button, especially if they were dragged off-screen and back. (I think there were some improvements in that regard, it was a rather bad glitch at times.)

Aside from that, it’s a *bit* more sluggish overall than 4, but hardly noticeable, even on my aging laptop, so it’s never been an issue for me The new features and benefits vastly outweigh any minor slowdowns, in my opinion.

For the pricing, that is always a concern, and Max isn’t exactly "cheap". But neither are most software products of this kind of complexity. The academic discount is fantastic, and of course not everyone is eligible, but it’s a great offer that’s pretty rare in commercial software (even with academic pricing you often have to agree to not make commercial products with it, I’m assuming there is no such restriction with Max? — out of curiosity and OT, but wondering). And there simply has to be some sort of cutoff for buyer upgrades based on a date, not sure how one gets around that, and of course some people get the better deal and some don’t.

I wonder whether there would be a market for a subscription service, like buying Max for month-blocks at a time. This could allow someone to develop a custom app/installation/whatever if the demo’s run out, say for a school project or a paying client. So you pay just a bit and get that important 30 days to work, make your standalone, everyone’s happy. You could choose which elements you want to include in the purchase/subscription price.

In my opinion, the jump to Max 5 brought a program which had a powerful engine but an older, somewhat struggling interface into the 21st century by matching the UI, workflow, and features to the power that’s always been underneath. Now it looks like another leap is nearly here…fantastic!

Jul 21 2011 | 12:46 pm

@seejayjames : I always wondered about the cycles used up by Reason with that nifty swinging patch cord physics thing… it may seem more "natural", but it sure looks like a lot of screen calculation and redraws, ;-)…the simpler NordModularEditor style curved patch cords seem ‘lighter’, resource wise.
i dunno, just my ‘pinion, ymmv, pax
j2k aka cfb

Jul 21 2011 | 12:47 pm

Last words then I’m leaving this horrible debacle forever.


Thank you for your understanding. Have another toke on me ;)

@Chris Muir:

The issue is one of performance and pricing, not one of verbal semantics. This is exactly the kind of nit-picking I have already mentioned, and it undermines what could have been a valuable discussion. Granted, my initial choice of language may have undermined it from the start, but *you* are continuing to do so by focusing your energies on wordplay instead software issues.


The selection/dragging/mouse-button-sticking is one of the main problems I’m talking about… also, the long wait before the inspector window appears. But it’s clear that my frustration with such things is greater than that of the majority of people involved in this discussion. I accept this and will now bow out of the performance debate permanently.

I also take your point about the cutoff date. Pricing policy is always going to upset somebody, and in this case it’s me. So I guess I have to suck it up. But in the interests of feedback, good or bad, I felt compelled to express my dissatisfaction. I know it won’t make any difference, but it’s my right to tell c74 that I feel they’re treating me unfavourably. I won’t say any more on this either.

@Charles Baker:

There is no hatred here. I’m sorry that my language upset you; you are right to point out that it was not constructive, nor was it conducive to a welcoming response. But I think after this many posts you ought to realise that I was just having a little rant. I don’t need to be reprimanded for it time and time again.

And let’s be clear about one thing – I’m not bemoaning the loss of an old and irrelevant technique. I’m talking about the single most important way we all interact with Max: clicking, dragging and selecting.

You insinuate that I am some young upstart, and that young people have less of a right to complain, because they haven’t slogged through the hard times of days of yore. I’m not interested in your age. We are talking about a product that is being marketed and used *today*. Its history is irrelevant to this debate, so, respectfully, don’t get all high-and-mighty with me on account of your seniority.


Look, you’re all bright, talented people and we share a common interest. I’ve apologised enough. Now stop telling me that I’m wrong for disliking Max 5. It’s my prerogative. I can see that you all have many good reasons for loving it, and I’m not knocking you for them, but I make no apology for not sharing them with you.

Jul 21 2011 | 2:42 pm

Hi christripledot et al

this thread has been informative, illuminating, fun (maybe not for all) and relevant. Many of us are no doubt reading and learning, without participating. I certainly have stuff to learn (forum etiquette, the role of software, for example), and this thread has been as I say, very informative.

A new law: As the length of a thread increases, so the probability of someone mentioning ‘kitties’ approaches 1.


Jul 21 2011 | 2:50 pm

I always wait for ‘puppies’ to come up ,myself…beats mentioning 20th century mass murdering political leaders…But then so many conversations come around to mentioning PolPot, anyway….;)
RE: thread
really, I am not mad, and ok, the display is slightly slower.
I noticed, but I was not bother or harmed.
I am very sorry to find out there are people who were, but please forgive this fact: I am personally tired of hearing about it.
Mah two bits: Max5 rocks, darnit, and "I pity dah fool who sez it don’t!!"…(channeling Mr.T)
ok, you disagree, got it.
I wish us all good luck and much musical inspiration!!

Jul 21 2011 | 2:54 pm

No musicians were harmed in the making of this rebellion. ;) Happy patching everyone.

Jul 21 2011 | 3:03 pm

Well said, cap’n.

And thanks Charles. Y’know, I’m tired too. No hard feelings :)


Jul 21 2011 | 3:09 pm

i’m not tired now but i must’ve been when i posted that stream of unconciousness crap a few posts above. what a CAR CRASH it was ! apologies! not my first stray either. i think i should be banned from the forums for my own benefit, let alone others. i think christrippledot came out pretty well from all this ftr! i’m not even that old, but i HATE kitties and needless capitalisation.

Jul 21 2011 | 3:21 pm


regards. Kitty lover

Jul 21 2011 | 3:24 pm

Think puppies…

Jul 21 2011 | 3:48 pm

Thanks pid. Yeah, all things considered I think I got off quite lightly ;)

Jul 29 2011 | 6:35 pm

Tough guy.

Jul 29 2011 | 8:13 pm

Deleted posts! Making me look insane. Again.

Jul 31 2011 | 1:42 am

Mike: sorry to laugh at your misfortune but it is indeed funny how deleted posts make you look like a raving lunatic. ;) But don’t worry, I saw the post that got deleted incase the men in white jackets come looking for you.

They really need to keep a post deleted placeholder.

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