Forums > Max For Live

Response curve for Live Send Pot?

Mar 05 2012 | 9:39 am

Hi all,

does anyone have information regarding the send pots in Ableton Live?

I’m trying to build an equal-power panning system for an 8-channel application and have found that the send pot is not truly logarithmic. In fact, it looks like it’s modelled on a "real life" log pot.

Does anyone know what function Ableton use to produce this response?

best wishes


May 16 2012 | 10:18 am

OK. In case this is of use to others, I’m going to answer my own question:

The Live Send pot is neither linear nor truly logarithmic.

This is of particular importance if you are using it for an equal-power application like panning. Multichannel spatialisation devices like [Max Api SendsXnodes] and [Max Api SendsPan] that control Live Sends via the API and do not address this issue produce a marked drop off in level when sounds are panned in-between speakers in multichannel environment.

I talked to Ableton who say the design is procedural and not given to a mathematical solution, so I did some measurements and produced a lookup table (antipot.aif) to make the necessary corrections.

Here is the .aif file and a small example patch.

I have also applied this technique to a couple of audio-rate M4L devices which I will put up online soon.

best wishes


  1. antipot.aif
May 16 2012 | 3:43 pm

Hi Richard,

I ran into this exact same issue earlier this week trying to implement equal power quad panning in Live. It drove me nuts for a while because all the sources and tutorials I found online claiming to do this seemed to get it wrong.

I ended up using the curve~ subpatcher from the Max Api SendsPan device. If I remember correctly a value of about 0.83 gave me – 3db between speakers.


Jan 05 2013 | 7:12 am

So happy to see someone has looked into this. Thanks fellas.

Oct 09 2015 | 12:46 pm

While developing my m4l patch I experienced the exact same problem, your solution solved it all for me. What a remarkable way to do it also! Cheers Richard, this was amazing, and saved my day!

Oct 10 2015 | 2:49 am

Thé problem is exactly the same with the volume faders and we never got a clear answer from Ableton. I started a thread, amongst others, at least three years ago…

Oct 10 2015 | 4:05 am

if you have two options: build your own slider or wait for several yers until someone else will do it for you, what option will you choose?

Oct 11 2015 | 2:14 am

I’ll build it. The fact is I like to know how things work, specially when I explain something iin a workshop. Just was totally surprised that we can’t get any official word about this.

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Forums > Max For Live