Forums > Max For Live

NEW M4L USER. How to start the mess?!?!

May 09 2012 | 5:51 pm

Hi everybody,
I´m new to the Forum, and I own M4L for 3 days now.
I´ve only played around with some synth and effects but get more and more frustrated about the weak documentation.
So I want to ask some questions that have been posted a million times here I guess:

Where can I start with M4L?!
I find a lot of tutorials and patches showing how to build some more ore less useful devices, but that deosn´t help me!

Where can I find a detailed manual?
A list of all modules and there possibilities?
How to learn the basic rules of M4L?

For example:
Lots of tutorials use a sinewave oscillator by creating a "cycle~" object, but HOW can I get a sawtooth or triangle oscillator? And why do I need to type an "~" behind modules?

You see there are a lot of questions like that. I´ve never ever seen a product with such a bad documentation and I hope that some specialists here can help me with the first steps…


May 09 2012 | 7:54 pm

I suggest working your way through the tutorials. Take your time and be patient. It took me a month to get through the MIDI tutorials. These explain many things, including how to access the help and documentation for each object. The documentation is different to what you normally get with a compiler/API, probably because the visual programming paradigm is different. I hope this helps.

May 09 2012 | 8:10 pm

I don’t know about M4L, but MaxMSP has some of the best documentation I have ever come across in a software package, and certainly Max 6 is packed full of learning aids.
Forget Live for a few months – you need to learn Max first. And forget audio (the boxes with the "~"s), try to understand the way basic messages and schedular rate data is handled, so even if it seems a bit old tech, do the MIDI stuff first.
There is a good reason that the tutorials work through things this way – start at the beginning and work slowly through, it really will pay off.
As my Tai Chi teacher used to say, "The more you learn, the more you realise there is to learn". Enjoy it!

May 09 2012 | 8:41 pm

Thank´s for the advice!

Still disappointing that I can´t start like with modules in N.I. Reaktor…
I feel like I bought a Lamborghini, but can´t drive it because I don´t know the road traffic regulations :-(

May 09 2012 | 8:55 pm

You might have bought the parts to make a lambo if you work at it.

May 10 2012 | 10:17 am

@Roger Strom, don’t worry…

first go through all the huge amount of tutorials that exist inside of the Live documentation system full of maxforlive devices. there are so many sets and custom tutorial devices which will give you an excellent idea of what can be done. do not worry about understanding it all. just go through them.

then go through the max tutorials (available from the max help system when your maxforlive editor is open), then msp tutorials. after this you will have a good idea what it can do, what you can do, and start on your own research / building path.

2 cents.

May 10 2012 | 7:25 pm

Thanks for the advices!

I will try to get the first foot into the Max/MSP door within the next weeks… :-)

May 11 2012 | 3:22 pm

weak documentation?! i personally think the documentation is one of the best i’ve ever seen in any program.

my recommendation would be set yourself a modest personal goal, like, i’m going to build a chorus, or i’m gonna build a drum machine, and just hammer at it until you get there. thats what i did, in conjunction with youtube, forums and alt + click on an object. i wouldn’t say i was an expert, but i think i’ve gotten to a point where if i have an idea, i could knock it out in a few hours, but my ideas are mainly basic.

a couple of people on youtube i can heartily recommend are Baz and dude837, plus jeolrich.

best of luck :)

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