The seven days of Ableton Live 9- Thursday, 28th February: 5 days to go

One of the major additions to Ableton Live has been the inclusion of Max for Live as part of the Ableton Live 9 Suite version. If the term Max/MSP is new to you, then it’s something that you might be interested in looking at…

Max is a graphical programming language that allows you to build your own audio devices and plugins. If you’re not ready to take the plunge into designing your own bits and pieces, you can take advantage of many of the devices that other users have created. You can browse a huge number of these user-created devices at, where you can also get hold of a rather fetching maxforlive t-shirt!

With the huge number of available Max for Live devices, you can pretty much make a track with nothing else. The range of M4L devices includes MIDI sequencers, virtual instruments, effects, and a whole range of useful utility tools, such as LFOs that can be used to modulate other devices in Live, motion detection devices that can be used to modulate various device parameters and random note generators to help with that tricky writers’ block or for creating generative music.

Our download pick today showcases the fun of using Max for Live for one of our favourite genres for hands-on compositional tweaking: acid house. With Skinnerbox’s Sting acid pattern generator M4L device in front of your 303 plugin of choice, you’re on the path to instant squelchy acid house goodness.

Combine this with the Instant Haus device from Alexkid, and you’ve the beginnings of a great track using just two channels, with a bunch of parameters you can map to the knobs of your MIDI controller for a whole night of railway tunnel ravey goodness.

Here’s the result of a very quick play around with these two plugins using just two channels in Live. We put Sting ahead of Muon’s Tau 303 synth, and used Instant Haus to control an Ableton drum rack loaded with some 909 samples. We put an instance of a Live delay plugin on both tracks, and setup some quick MIDI mapping so we could use the knobs of an Akai MPK25 to control the synth parameters, the drum patterns and the delay feedback and dry/wet amount. All we did was hit play and twiddle with the knobs…


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Fynn Callum

producer, guitarist, engineer & dj
From indie guitarist to deep house producer via Northern Soul dj; mix engineer, producer and gear enthusiast. Jaffa Cake aficionado.

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