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For the last two decades, the program Max has been used by composers, software developers, and advanced computer music enthusiasts, as a tool to create devices for multimedia production, and live performance. Starting with Live 8, Abelton and Cycling 74, the developers of Max, collaborated to create Max for Live, an app that allows Live users to create and use Max devices in their live sets. Let's take a look at how you set up Live 9 to work with Max. So Max for Live is included with Live Suite 9, and it can be purchased as an add-on to Live Standard 9. You can download Max for Live from your Ableton user account.
Let's go out there, you're on your account and can go to the software tab. You'll end up here where you can download both Live 9 and Max for Live. And once you've downloaded that and installed that you'll need to go to the Cycling 74 page, and purchase download and install Max. Next you'll need to set the path to Max in Live. So, I'm going to go up to Live, Preferences and that's under the Live menu on a Mac or the Options menu on a PC. Then select the File Folder tab, and then in the Max application area, there's a Browse button where you can browse your hard drive, and find your Max folder, and then click the Open button to establish that path.
Once you've done that, it will show here under the Max application title. The actual Max devices don't come with the basic install of Live, so you'll actually need to go and download those as well. So, I'm going to go back to the Ableton website, and if you click the packs tab and then choose Max for Live under the category. It will show you all the different Max for Live Ableton Live packs that are available. And you can download and install those. And once you've done that they'll show up in the Max for Live category in the browser. And there are audio effects, media effects and instrument devices.
Let me go into the media effect category, and I'm just going to drag and drop one of these onto the track. Let me get the note echo, and I'll put that before the software instrument that I've already preloaded here. And notice that it's allowing me to put that before the device, but not after it because that's a MIDI device. So I'll release that, and if you've just opened Live, the first time that you use a Max device, you'll actually see the Max for Live application open up. Now, with Live 9 all the Max devices have kind of the same general look, with this kind of grey and blue look.
Now the one that I've chosen, this note echo is like the audio effect that Live has for simple delay, in this case, it's MIDI. So, as you play a MIDI note it's going to come into this device and it's going to delay or add delays to that based upon 16th notes. So, I can do this one,16th, two, three and four, and that's going to give you for example if I choose two and eighth note delay for a quarter note delay. So, let me record enable the track. I've pulled the level down a little bit, because this is actually a little bit loud, and I'll trigger a note here, and we should hear several delays. (audio playing) Now, the number of delays that we're getting is controlled by this feedback.
So, if I pull that down, I'll get a few less. (music playing) And there's some other interesting features here. For example, I can actually have Live transpose the delay. So, if I pull that up, let's say, plus seven, so that I get that a 5th above and trigger that again, each delay will actually transpose up a 5th. (music playing) Now one additional thing that you get on Max for Live devices is an edit button that's up here in the title bar. So, if I go ahead and click that, it'll actually see that grey out. And then the Max application will open and we'll actually see the device in Max. Now, if you go up to the View menu and choose Status Bar. You get some controls along the bottom here.
And one of the things that you can do is switch into patching mode which actually shows you how this has been laid out with the objects that are available in Max to edit and create these kinds of devices. So, at this point you can edit and save your changes to the device. And when you're done with that you can go back up to the File menu, and choose Close, and at that point when you come back into Live, the device is ready to use again. So, if you're interested in learning how to edit and build these Max devices you can go to a couple places. First of all you can go to the Ableton page and look for the, How to get started with Max for Live.
And if you scroll downways here you'll see that there are some tutorials for programming with Max for Live. You can also go to the Cycling 74 web page and click Support, then Tutorials, and there's a lot of information here. You can also go to the Cycling 74, YouTube channel for more tutorials. So, as you can see, Max for Live has opened up the whole Max community to Live users. Maybe you just want to take advantage of the many devices that max users have created for Live, but if you're up to the challenge, try editing and building a max device yourself.
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