All I know is this: I've spent just 48 hours in the Max/MSP world and it's a fucking jungle out there. Definitely not for the faint of heart. Just getting your feet wet is an eye opening experience. After getting my Launchpad and downloading Max runtime and the great new nonome app, I thought I was ready to dig into some Max standards like Step64 and mlr/mlrV/mlrV4live. Was I ever wrong. I wasn't ready. It was akin to climbing the hill in my backyard and thinking I was ready to climb Mount Everest. There's three issues that destroyed me:
1. Finding anything in the Max/MSP world. Fuck me. It's like getting on the internet circa 1994; in which one must search through pages long threads to find the latest version of some patch. One can immediately tell that the Max/MSP world was created by and for geeks. That's to be expected, but someone should have hired somebody to organize things. My mum would have been great for that. Something simple, like the download section of KVR. Who the fuck has time to sift through mounds and mounds and mounds and mounds of stuff only to find one post that explains how a certain patch won't work with the latest version of Max Runtime and that you need an earlier version? Not I.
2. Thank God for the select few souls who have posted video tuts on Vimeo and such that walk a neophyte through the basic shit like rewiring mlr and Live. Because, eh, instruction manuals for anything are few and far between and usually explain things in the briefest of possible terms. Many times you might as well be reading Greek. I know this is to keep interlopers like me out of the whole fucking Max/MSP world (some kind of test to see if I'm worthy or some shit). Instruction manuals are for pussies, and you're reminded of this every. step. of. the. way.
3. Rewire is a total buzzkill. Nearly all of the Max apps I tried worked on their own with the nonome emulator. Some are just wicked cool. Getting these to work with Live is a whole other matter. Nightmare. Rewire. Ugg. It's hideous. I've got a modest setup, and know my way around hardware MIDI routing. Rewire isn't brain surgery but, I swear to fucking God, something that connects and work fine one day will just refuse to do so the next. Did I offend the Rewire Gods during the night? Say the wrong thing? Insult Rewire's wife? Who the fuck knows. The clock drift, when things get working, is so godawful most times that it doesn't even matter if it's working or not. I cannot imagine EVER running something during a performance. I don't know who does, but I'll say a prayer for you tonight. Rewire? Fuck you.
Which leads me to this:
If paying $300 or whatever for M4L means that I won't have to rely on fucking rewire - and I get amazingly stable versions of Step64 and mlrV4live and a host of other great patches - I'll plunk my cash down now. Fuck a runtime version. Not dealing with the agony of rewire makes me forget all about a runtime version.
I can also only hope that maxforlive.com or Ableton or C74 or someone/something else will offer a cohesive, intelligent, reliable, and graphical way for me to cruise through apps/updates/tutorials/etc/etc/etc. This is where the idea of an APP STORE (or if you don't like that term, an APP CENTER) is very valid. Pay apps, free apps, whatever. I don't give a shit. I will, however, give my left nut if it's all organized in some manner that makes sense and will allow me to get back to playing music as quickly as possible.