The lack of a good, centralized M4L Community?

Questions and discussion about building and using Max for Live devices
jon_moore
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Re: The lack of a good, centralized M4L Community?

Post by jon_moore » Sun Dec 13, 2009 12:26 am

Greg, I think we're both misunderstanding each other. My main point is that the centralised M4L community will by it's very nature need to service the needs of non programmers as well. I'm not speaking for myself here but there are a number of people that have purchased M4L that will only ever utilize its capabilities to access devices made by others. At a push they may want to customise a device so that it better fits in with their specific requirements. These users still deserve to be a part of an active centralised M4L community. The challenge is how to segment that community so that all users benefit from knowledge within the community. At the moment the user base is forced around a combination of resources including:

maxforlive.com (Device Repository)
max4live.info (Community site and forum)
C74 Forums
Ableton Forums
Individual blogs (people like Stretta, Darwin Grosse, Nick Roswell & CDM)


And knowledge within the community is consequently disconnected. Only today I saw a great set of tutorials published on Darwin Grosses personal blog that would benefit many M4L beginners (I'll post about them here later today).

Personally, I'd like to see Michael Chenetz's max4live.info site become an integrated part of the Ableton community section. It's the only destination that seems designed to cater for all M4L community segments but it's currently under subscribed and could do with an official endorsement from both C74 & Ableton.
JM

http://leftside-wobble.blogspot.com/

MacBook Pro 2.8 (10.5.6)

Tone Deft
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Re: The lack of a good, centralized M4L Community?

Post by Tone Deft » Sun Dec 13, 2009 12:44 am

jon - yep. another fine post. nice collection of sites. I end up visiting a smattering of them just because I don't want to miss anything. now I have some to add. ;) I'll go where the action is but my bet is that this is a beta forum that will close and then there's the C74 beta forum. the writing's on the wall.

interesting stuff.
Gregory Taylor wrote:If you've looked at the tutorials and all that, perhaps you might help me by telling us what someone who's never seen a graphic programming language before would need to know that (for example) the Max Tutorial 0 and the basic tutorials wouldn't tell them. That seems like as good a place to start as any....
they can't learn what it means to write code. I'm sure many of the m4L geeks first started programming on their own when we were kids, just for fun. some people went for decades without even considering writing code. it's a LOT different to learn your 15th language, but learning the first one is a bitch. I want learning it to be easy for people to learn. there should not be a lower limit of resources on must read to get phreaky with max/msp. luddites are already scared of max/msp. they heard of it, maybe met someone that used it but hell no would they care. oh, now they can tweak their DAW with it. hmmmm... 8O :idea:

for n00bs it's useful to see well written code of simple functional blocks and have people clean up your code. wire routing in max is an art. they could use usability tips, like how many ways can you make an object from scratch? which objects are the most usable? how to think in terms of right inlet triggering an object.

bums me out when people post "I bought max4Live, can someone make me a doo-dah?" ummm, no. :lol: I might help if you tried and was stuck... but no.


IMO the makers have spoken, there's this beta forum and the m4L C74 forum.
"Obsession is a great substitute for talent." - Steve Martin on learning the banjo

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gavspav
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Re: The lack of a good, centralized M4L Community?

Post by gavspav » Sun Dec 13, 2009 12:49 am

This thread has got a bit ridiculous.

Surely its time for someone to step in with some witty glib irrelevant putdown?

JuanSOLO
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Re: The lack of a good, centralized M4L Community?

Post by JuanSOLO » Sun Dec 13, 2009 3:11 am

Gregory Taylor wrote:What would be wrong with claiming that there are two "official" forums,
Nothing. But there is no dedicated area on the Ableton Forums for this. And I can only speak for myself, but typing in a search on the Ableton forums to look for something M4L specific, is a total drag. It would be nice to click on a "M4L" area and see posts identified by thier topic/subject heading.


So strange to me how that is perfectly clear in the original post, yet this disscussion progressed out of an opportunity to dismiss that.

And for the record, Ableton markets M4L to users with no desire to program, as well as those who do. Hence, many people searching for devices as you would in the Reaktor UL, because Ableton's Max4Live video sells it insinuating that will be the case. Ray Charels could see that.

So sure it's not there yet (the M4L community), seems like having a dedicated Forum on the ABLETON site would be an obvious start.

Gregory Taylor
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Re: The lack of a good, centralized M4L Community?

Post by Gregory Taylor » Sun Dec 13, 2009 3:43 am

Look - just get a piece of black tape and put it on your screen to cover the word "Beta" where you see the "Max for Live Beta Discussion" listed. That ought to do it - I'll wager that the only thing some IT person at Ableton would have to do is that [or I suppose to choose some past point and remove everything before that]. Would you rather have a list called "Max for Live Discussion" with nothing in it?

JuanSOLO
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Re: The lack of a good, centralized M4L Community?

Post by JuanSOLO » Sun Dec 13, 2009 3:54 am

Gregory Taylor wrote:Look - just get a piece of black tape and put it on your screen to cover the word "Beta" where you see the "Max for Live Beta Discussion" listed. That ought to do it - I'll wager that the only thing some IT person at Ableton would have to do is that [or I suppose to choose some past point and remove everything before that]. Would you rather have a list called "Max for Live Discussion" with nothing in it?

Wow I never thought of that, I'm on it dude. You ROCK!

jon_moore
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Re: The lack of a good, centralized M4L Community?

Post by jon_moore » Sun Dec 13, 2009 4:08 am

Gregory Taylor wrote:Look - just get a piece of black tape and put it on your screen to cover the word "Beta" where you see the "Max for Live Beta Discussion" listed. That ought to do it - I'll wager that the only thing some IT person at Ableton would have to do is that [or I suppose to choose some past point and remove everything before that]. Would you rather have a list called "Max for Live Discussion" with nothing in it?
We're really in trouble if we're now describing community as a single category heading within the Ableton forums. As you rightly say that could be easily achieved right now by removing the word beta from this very forum category. Surely a community is a multi-faceted thing, facilitated by a series of segmented forums (the category headers over at max4live.info are a great place to start), dedicated tutorials, device library, hints & tips section, events etc etc.

It may be that this is best delivered through the aggregation of existing 3rd party resources but one would hope that C74 and Ableton would play an active part in its formation. The best example of this to my mind is monome.org - the official site that sits at the centre of the Monome universe. The information architecture of this site is admittedly far from ideal but at least it acts as a connecting force within the Monome community.
JM

http://leftside-wobble.blogspot.com/

MacBook Pro 2.8 (10.5.6)

Gregory Taylor
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Re: The lack of a good, centralized M4L Community?

Post by Gregory Taylor » Sun Dec 13, 2009 4:44 am

So the persons who've put all that time and effort into creating the sites they've made should just quit and accept a trail-of-tears-style forced relocation to a single Ableton site? I'd ask *them* what *they'd* prefer to do, myself.

I'm still not convinced that there's a single good reason for Borging the current communities at this early a stage, but I think it *is* time for me to step aside insofar as this whole discussion goes. I think you've got some good ideas about what you think your personal sense of the community requires, and look forward to seeing what you contribute. Good luck, and - as Chairman Mao said, "Let a hundred flowers bloom." Unlike Mao, I *mean* it.

jon_moore
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Re: The lack of a good, centralized M4L Community?

Post by jon_moore » Sun Dec 13, 2009 5:02 am

Gregory Taylor wrote:So the persons who've put all that time and effort into creating the sites they've made should just quit and accept a trail-of-tears-style forced relocation to a single Ableton site? I'd ask *them* what *they'd* prefer to do, myself.

I'm still not convinced that there's a single good reason for Borging the current communities at this early a stage, but I think it *is* time for me to step aside insofar as this whole discussion goes. I think you've got some good ideas about what you think your personal sense of the community requires, and look forward to seeing what you contribute. Good luck, and - as Chairman Mao said, "Let a hundred flowers bloom." Unlike Mao, I *mean* it.
Greg, you certainly have a way with words and unique manner of interpreting mine. Are you a political spin doctor by day by any chance? ;)

I salute the efforts of all the site owners I previously mentioned and would hope that their individual efforts would flourish given more support from C74 and Ableton.
JM

http://leftside-wobble.blogspot.com/

MacBook Pro 2.8 (10.5.6)

steff3
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Re: The lack of a good, centralized M4L Community?

Post by steff3 » Sun Dec 13, 2009 1:41 pm

Well,

besides reaktor there is also another community for an NI product - that might be also not that worst to compare to - KSP (kontakt scripting). That community is pretty much around kotori and some others, NI does not contribute that much besides providing the tools - at least in terms of public appearance! (Does not mean they are not helpful and interested on a more specific level! They are for sure!)

So, not sure why Ableton or Cycling have to start anything. Also, it is most likely that there is not one community - there are people who want to use M4L and there are others wanting to use M4L device. Opposed to others I do not know if a community needs to service anyone (as expressed here: 'My main point is that the centralised M4L community will by it's very nature need to service the needs of non programmers as well.' By its very nature? Interesting.) but it probably will.

I think the thing is - how does Cycling (and Ableton) see M4L and how they want to position it. The articles on cyclings site talking about a tool set to access stuff - not about a collection of ready made tools. I think their time is better spent on working further on expanding their platform and keep Max what it is today - a great tool for quickly implementing drafts and ideas.
Ableton has a lot to do to keep Live up - Live's main competitor is not Reaktor at all. (or is that a competitor for M4L IMHO.)

So, why not have the M4L communities have their own homes and just some forum section (like we have them now) here and on Cycling's site to exchange with the devs?

best

broc
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Re: The lack of a good, centralized M4L Community?

Post by broc » Sun Dec 13, 2009 3:36 pm

steff3 wrote:So, why not have the M4L communities have their own homes and just some forum section (like we have them now) here and on Cycling's site to exchange with the devs?
Yes, I think it will naturally evolve in that direction.
Seems strange to me that open-minded musicians are calling for centralism.

jon_moore
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Re: The lack of a good, centralized M4L Community?

Post by jon_moore » Sun Dec 13, 2009 3:51 pm

steff3 wrote:Well,

besides reaktor there is also another community for an NI product - that might be also not that worst to compare to - KSP (kontakt scripting). That community is pretty much around kotori and some others, NI does not contribute that much besides providing the tools - at least in terms of public appearance! (Does not mean they are not helpful and interested on a more specific level! They are for sure!)

So, not sure why Ableton or Cycling have to start anything. Also, it is most likely that there is not one community - there are people who want to use M4L and there are others wanting to use M4L device. Opposed to others I do not know if a community needs to service anyone (as expressed here: 'My main point is that the centralised M4L community will by it's very nature need to service the needs of non programmers as well.' By its very nature? Interesting.) but it probably will.

I think the thing is - how does Cycling (and Ableton) see M4L and how they want to position it. The articles on cyclings site talking about a tool set to access stuff - not about a collection of ready made tools. I think their time is better spent on working further on expanding their platform and keep Max what it is today - a great tool for quickly implementing drafts and ideas.
Ableton has a lot to do to keep Live up - Live's main competitor is not Reaktor at all. (or is that a competitor for M4L IMHO.)

So, why not have the M4L communities have their own homes and just some forum section (like we have them now) here and on Cycling's site to exchange with the devs?

best
Good points Steff. It was late last night and my choice of words were probably not the best.

I wasn't suggesting for a second that Ableton or C74 recreate the third party resources that currently exist but that they act as more of a connecting force for members of the fledgling M4L community. The comment 'by it's very nature' was an inference to the fact that Ableton are marketing M4L as a device bundle (in much the same way that NI markets Reaktor, not that I see M4L and Reaktor as direct competitors) as much as a programming interface and so the user base is made up of an audience of both programmers and non-programmers (across a range of aptitudes and skills). All of these users are paying customers and expect support to be available to them (some of it community based).

At the moment the majority of M4L conversations are taking place here on the Ableton forums (there are 50 active topics relating to M4L open in the last 3 days alone). There are only 3-5 active topics a day at C74 (the M4L sub forum) and the wonderful forums at max3live.info have hardly any activity at all. Knowledge is dispersed across multiple sources and so sometimes it can seem difficult for new M4L users to know where to turn. This is not about centralism it's about helping users connect the dots across the range of resources available to them.
JM

http://leftside-wobble.blogspot.com/

MacBook Pro 2.8 (10.5.6)

steff3
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Re: The lack of a good, centralized M4L Community?

Post by steff3 » Sun Dec 13, 2009 8:49 pm

Well, it is early on for all that ... I guess most people are all still looking into what is possible, JS stuff is still in a kind of beta state (as is the whole thing IMHO).

With the time, when people are up and running I think places for exchange will 'cristalise'. I do not know about Reaktor - but I am sure it took some years. For KSP it also took some years (it was released in 2004 and I think the community took off 2006 or so).

Patience. For the moment I would appreciate if Ableton and Cycling concentrate on the obvious - bugs, speed, the missing bits. The problem here is (well, at least from the point of view of a MaxUser) that it is nothing new, but if I add Max and Live mentally it is not what I currently get from M4L. (I mean, of course it is something new in terms of integration, but not in terms of the workflow to build M4L devices - this is Max stuff. In comparison to e.g. KSP, which was something new and so one normally gives it a some time before expectations get high).
M4L in some regard is too Max behaviour. As also someone else pointed out - a M4L device is not a Max patch - it is a different world and people approach it with different expectations. There are missing bits - which of course is normal and was to be expected. As all pointed out - there are workarounds, but that is not elegant and in some cases it is also a question of upward/future compatibility (e.g. using plugsend~ although in this regard we have a clear statement to not expect future compatibility).

I hope that Cycling and Ableton listen now and come up with solutions soon.

best,
Steff

Poster
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Re: The lack of a good, centralized M4L Community?

Post by Poster » Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:41 pm

decentralizing knowledge is a bad thing imho..
what Ableton and Cycling should've done is setting up one database which can be accessed via the Ableton and Cycling sites..

stringtapper
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Re: The lack of a good, centralized M4L Community?

Post by stringtapper » Mon Dec 14, 2009 3:23 pm

The two private sites don't need to go anywhere. They're filling needs and they make the community more robust.

I guess it really does just boil down to moving this forum up to the top and taking the word "Beta" out of the title.
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