We rolled out of bed and into our suits this weekend to attend the annual Audio Engineering Society (AES) conference at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, a mere 5 blocks from our SOMA office. We occupied a small piece of real estate in the shadow of the big Mackie booth, and directly across from a booth featuring big reels of magnetic tape.
Cycling '74 and Ableton today announced Max for Live, the integration of Cycling '74's Max/MSP environment into Ableton Live. Available as an add-on product to Ableton's newly announced Live 8, Max for Live permits users to create devices that extend and customize Live by creating instruments, controllers, audio effects, and MIDI processors.
Now that I've got a nice generative patch and a way to hear it, I thought it'd be nice to make a few improvements and extensions that would let me begin to specify larger structures - to generate instructions to my generative patch, as it were. While I'm sure that the world is full of people who want ways to have the same thing happen again and again, I'd like to do this in ways that offer a little more freedom than that. This short tutorial will add a modest number of these kinds of changes.
So far we have talked about how Max for Live will allow you to create your own custom Max devices that run inside of Ableton Live. Most of the examples you've seen so far have been pretty similar to your average plugin, with the fundamental difference of being to edit the device in place. That in itself is pretty spectacular, and probably enough to please a lot of people and keep everyone busy. Well now I'd like to talk about a couple of features that really make Max for Live unique and pretty exciting: namely, the Live API objects.