MaxForLive is a powerful tool that lets users design their own instruments, effects, and devices.
For years I've been teaching Ableton Live and Max in the college classroom. As a University Professor, my classes are sought after, and, frankly, expensive. I believe Ableton Live can be learned by anyone, and cost shouldn't be a barrier. This class uses the same outline and syllabus I've used in my college classes for years, at a fraction of the cost.
MaxForLive it isn't without its drawbacks: MaxForLive is notoriously difficult to learn. I've developed an approach for teaching MaxForLive that focuses on teaching it like a language: You will learn small blocks and patches, understanding the how and the why along the way. As we grow our vocabulary, we "learn how to learn" more and more.

What will I learn in this Course?

  • The unique and quirky history and development of Max
  • What we can do with MaxForLive
  • Max vs. MaxForLive
  • The MaxForLive Devices
  • Finding and Sharing MaxForLive Devices
  • Getting Help: Help Windows in MaxForLive
  • Presentation Mode & Patching Modes
  • The Max Editor
  • Messages
  • Bangs & Buttons
  • Project 1: Building a MIDI Delay
  • Project 2: Building an Arpeggiator
  • Working with Audio Signals
  • Project 3: An Audio Delay
  • ~ Objects (tilde objects)
  • Presentation Setup
  • Controlling Live
  • Abstractions
  • Controlling anything in Live
  • Project 4: A Beat-Quantized Randomized Filter
  • Finding the Beat from Live
  • Project 5: Artificial Intelligence (sort of)
  • ... And much more!!!

Course Outline

  • Welcome & Overview
    • Introduction
  • What is MaxForLive?
    • Patch Download: Artificial Intelligence Experiment
    • MaxForLive Vs. Max Vs. Max/MSP/Jitter
    • A Brief History of Max
  • Getting Started
    • The MaxForLive Devices (in Ableton)
    • Finding and Sharing MaxForLive Devices
    • Starting From Scratch
    • Getting Help: The Help Windows
  • Creating Our Own Devices
    • Modes: Presentation, Patching (editing), Locked, and Unlocked
    • The Max Editor & Patching
    • Messages
    • Bangs & Buttons
    • Learning How to Learn Max
  • Our First Project: A MIDI Delay
    • Workflow: Approaching a New Project
    • Our First Object: Pipe
    • Adding the Dry (Not Delayed) Signal
    • Why Not Notein?
    • Download Patch
  • Project 2: Arpeggiator
    • Walkthrough: What We Will Need for this Project
    • Delaying Notes
    • Transposing Notes
    • Deploying & Encapsulating
    • Download Patch
  • Working with Audio in Max
    • The Tilde (~) Objects and Yellow Patch Chords
    • Audio UI Objects
  • Project 3: An Audio Delay
    • Walkthrough
    • Tapin~ and Tapout~
    • Volume Control
    • Audio Toggle
    • Multitaps
    • Presentation Setup
    • Download Patch
  • Talking to (and Controlling) Live
    • Abstractions
    • “The M4L List of Abstractions”
    • Some M4L Patches
    • Patch Download
    • Controlling Any Parameter
    • Patch Download
  • Project 3: A Beat-Quantized Randomized Filter
    • New UI Object: Filtergraph~
    • Finding Beats
    • Controlling Filters By Using the Beat
    • Patch Download
  • Wrap Up
    • Thanks for Watching (and One More Project!)
    • Patch Download
    • Update: MaxForLive Connection Kit

Course Information

Estimated Time: 5 Hours

Course Instructor

Jay Allen Author

J. Anthony Allen is an Ableton Certified Trainer, and a PhD in Music Composition and master of Electronic Sounds. His music has been heard internationally in film, radio, video games, and industrial sound, as well as the concert hall and theater. He currently is an adjunct professor of composition at the University of St. Thomas, and is the CEO and co-founder of Slam Academy in Minneapolis.



Members – Claim your seat now!
(Non-members redirected to purchase membership)

Welcome & Overview

What is MaxForLive?

Getting Started

Creating Our Own Devices

Our First Project: A MIDI Delay

Project 2: Arpeggiator

Working with Audio in Max

Project 3: An Audio Delay

Talking to (and Controlling) Live

Project 3: A Beat-Quantized Randomized Filter

Wrap Up

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