Should I learn MAX/MSP vs M4L?

Questions and discussion about building and using Max for Live devices
Post Reply
ChrisThomas
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2009 5:45 pm

Should I learn MAX/MSP vs M4L?

Post by ChrisThomas » Mon Mar 10, 2014 6:28 pm

I’m a composer, working mainly in Film/TV, but also have a strong (though somewhat unfulfilled) background in concert and experimental music. This is an area I want to explore more, especially using electronic music/computing.

I’ve been wanting (and meaning) to learn Max for years, and I’m considering finally taking that step. However, I know how deep and how much work it is to be able to use it fluently in one’s music.

I have used Ableton Live A LITTLE over the years, and, since it’s more intuitive to me (being a MIDI sequencer user – DP8), I also recently purchased MAX for LIVE.

My question is: If I’m interested in exploring the extreme manipulation of mainly acoustic sound sources (especially acoustic musical instruments), is there a whole Universe I’d be missing out on if I avoid MAX/MSP and just use MAX for LIVE for my musical explorations?

I’m ready to start learning MAX, but if MAX for LIVE can do almost everything MAX can, I’d prefer to stick with that, since I could get started and get creative much quicker I think…

MAX users’ advice appreciated!

Thanks
Chris

dataf1ow
Posts: 230
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2008 4:28 pm

Re: Should I learn MAX/MSP vs M4L?

Post by dataf1ow » Mon Mar 10, 2014 6:46 pm

Max 4 Live IS max/msp, just deployed within the Live environment.

I do 95% of my max developing inside of Live, so from that standpoint, I don't think you'll be missing much. Untill you want to start creating your own abstractions and things that need to be done in the max environment specifically. I just find it much easier to work when Live is taking care of most of the rudimentary tasks (sequencing, mixing, basic processing etc.)

http://cycling74.com/docs/max5/vignette ... tions.html

Check that out to see exactly what you don't get with M4L.

-E

ChrisThomas
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2009 5:45 pm

Re: Should I learn MAX/MSP vs M4L?

Post by ChrisThomas » Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:26 pm

Thanks. Very helpful!

So essentially M4L consists of pre-made Max modules, which are identical to modules one uses for MAX/MSP correct? The main difference being that they are integrated as VIs in Live?...

dataf1ow
Posts: 230
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2008 4:28 pm

Re: Should I learn MAX/MSP vs M4L?

Post by dataf1ow » Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:30 pm

Well there are pre made modules, but you can also build everything from scratch as you would in max.
But the premade stuff is ace, and by opening up and poking around you can learn an awful lot about how things work.

wehkah
Posts: 496
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2008 4:19 pm
Location: Germany
Contact:

Re: Should I learn MAX/MSP vs M4L?

Post by wehkah » Tue Mar 11, 2014 7:12 pm

Max for Live is the integration of MAX/MSP in Live. So you can use all audio / midi / vizzie tutorials for learning. Its a bit confusing on startup, i hope i make it clear enough.


cheers
T
Motto: sharing knowledge...

https://soundcloud.com/bytechop

Homebelly
Posts: 2887
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2007 9:52 pm
Location: Aotearoa New Zealand
Contact:

Re: Should I learn MAX/MSP vs M4L?

Post by Homebelly » Wed Mar 12, 2014 5:42 am

MAX4L is MAX/Msp... you just open it from with in live.

So, Instead of opening the MAX/Msp environment from it's own icon and then deciding if you want to build a virtual instrument, midi device, audio processor, or what ever. With in live you select a midi device or an audio device, MAX/Msp opens and you are given a blank canvas where you start from with the relevant in/outs already in the patch.

Beyond that they are pretty much one and the same, but with the super extra added bonus that your patch is available from the live browser.
Live also handles your audio editing, midi sequencing and file management. Arguably things live does way better than MAX/Msp.

In the past you needed to convert your esoteric creations as pluggo's to use in a VST host.
Max4L does away with this.. everything is already available from with in live as a device.
15" 2.4 MBP/Live/Sampler/Operator/ Home made Dumble clone/Two Strats/One Jazz Bass.
Come and visit any time= Soundcloud

aspsa
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2012 7:02 pm

Re: Should I learn MAX/MSP vs M4L?

Post by aspsa » Tue Mar 25, 2014 11:04 pm

See http://cycling74.com/docs/max5/vignette ... tions.html, particularly the section at the bottom entitled "Other Limitations". If you purchase a Max4Live license and not a Max license, then this will impact your ability to use your Max creations apart from Ableton Live.

Here is an interesting Feb 2010 Sound on Sound article on M4L: http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/feb10/a ... orlive.htm.

See http://createdigitalmusic.com/2009/11/m ... ng-videos/, especially point #8.

Also, Max for Live UI objects leverage Live capabilities to include the ability to map an object to an external controller, as in the case of using a hardware dial or slider to control a "live.dial" object.

Bottom line: If you are comfortable with Ableton Live and you are not interested in creating standalone Max applications, then I would likely go the M4L route.

Check with Cycling '74 on licensing options. Truthfully, I am a bit confused on M4L licensing. I may be wrong, but I think purchasing M4L will get you a Max run-time engine without Max patch editing capabilities or limited Max patch editing capabilities. To use Max/MSP/Jitter fully also requires one to purchase a Max/MSP/Jitter full license. Again, I may be wrong.

Post Reply