Am I the *ONLY* one finding M4L actually honestly unusable!?

Questions and discussion about building and using Max for Live devices
jonbenderr
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Re: Am I the *ONLY* one finding M4L actually honestly unusable!?

Post by jonbenderr » Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:24 pm

Windows user here.

I've never had a single problem with Live/Max4Live in 10 years of use. System upgrades/software upgrades/hardware upgrades...never a single problem with any of it other than my own oversights.

I've even put out a lot of my own M4L apps and have never had major issues or complaints from users. Unless they just choose to not contact me about it.

I understand not liking the way max is setup in the message/object/visual sense. To say it's unreliable and a waste of time? Nah...think there is something else going on there.

19oclock
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Re: Am I the *ONLY* one finding M4L actually honestly unusable!?

Post by 19oclock » Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:48 pm

ecuk wrote:
19oclock wrote:Max is a kludgy shit show attempt at mimicking true programming
Sorry, I can’t let this comment pass unchallenged. Max is a Turing complete programming language that has been around for a very long time (and is based on languages that have been around even longer). The fact that it does not look like many of the ‘standard’ text-based languages does not mean that it is any less of a programming language as a result.

Yes, I too tend to use JavaScript within Max when it seems easier for a given task. I also often write my own ‘externals’ in C when this is more appropriate. (Indeed, these might be more accurately called ‘internals’ because they effectively become part of Max.) But this extensibility does not detract from Max itself. Quite the contrary: it makes the language that much more powerful.

Max is a very capable language (and development environment) for DSP and audio—when in the hands of a good programmer. As a programming language it is semantically nothing more nor less than a bog-standard object-oriented language. It just happens to have a visual-oriented syntax.

Cheers,
Eric
It's all good. I guess I don't see the point in re-inventing the wheel with this visual approach and devices that store code in the form of pipes and objects. I come from a comp sci background and don't recall any of my teachers extolling the virtues of M4L. Hell, if I find myself using a mouse I'm usually disappointed in an application. I guess I don't like the idea of having to orient code readability across a 2 dimensional plane. By storing geometric orientation in code it just adds another layer of interpretation/overhead to the whole thing. It's wasteful.

jonbenderr
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Re: Am I the *ONLY* one finding M4L actually honestly unusable!?

Post by jonbenderr » Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:04 pm

19oclock wrote: By storing geometric orientation in code it just adds another layer of interpretation/overhead to the whole thing. It's wasteful.
Not sure what your point is. It's wasteful because of the visual elements? Pretty sure it's not.

It's meant to be accessible so people who are not familiar or comfortable with legit scripting/coding can still be creative and open new possibilities and creative avenues.

If it's not for you, I'm pretty sure that's fine. Get along with what you do like.

19oclock
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Re: Am I the *ONLY* one finding M4L actually honestly unusable!?

Post by 19oclock » Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:09 pm

jonbenderr wrote:
19oclock wrote: If it's not for you, I'm pretty sure that's fine. Get along with what you do like.
Totally agree.

indigosm
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Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2009 6:21 pm

Re: Am I the *ONLY* one finding M4L actually honestly unusable!?

Post by indigosm » Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:40 pm

ecuk wrote:
19oclock wrote:Max is a kludgy shit show attempt at mimicking true programming
Sorry, I can’t let this comment pass unchallenged. Max is a Turing complete programming language that has been around for a very long time (and is based on languages that have been around even longer). The fact that it does not look like many of the ‘standard’ text-based languages does not mean that it is any less of a programming language as a result.

Yes, I too tend to use JavaScript within Max when it seems easier for a given task. I also often write my own ‘externals’ in C when this is more appropriate. (Indeed, these might be more accurately called ‘internals’ because they effectively become part of Max.) But this extensibility does not detract from Max itself. Quite the contrary: it makes the language that much more powerful.

Max is a very capable language (and development environment) for DSP and audio—when in the hands of a good programmer. As a programming language it is semantically nothing more nor less than a bog-standard object-oriented language. It just happens to have a visual-oriented syntax.

Cheers,
Eric
my scripts are sometimes only JS, sometimes only nodes and both break. so i don't think it's the nodes' fault. it's the underlying system that has some bug(s).

XSIMan
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Re: Am I the *ONLY* one finding M4L actually honestly unusable!?

Post by XSIMan » Mon Jan 28, 2019 12:41 am

All MAX devices the gui lockes up so cant use them seems to only happen on mixes with a lot of tracks. max has always been too unreliable.

maky355
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Re: Am I the *ONLY* one finding M4L actually honestly unusable!?

Post by maky355 » Mon Jan 28, 2019 6:45 am

jonbenderr wrote:Windows user here.

I've never had a single problem with Live/Max4Live in 10 years of use. System upgrades/software upgrades/hardware upgrades...never a single problem with any of it other than my own oversights.

I've even put out a lot of my own M4L apps and have never had major issues or complaints from users. Unless they just choose to not contact me about it.

I understand not liking the way max is setup in the message/object/visual sense. To say it's unreliable and a waste of time? Nah...think there is something else going on there.
That's cool. You can really think what you want and no it's not something else.

I am also windows user and i have problems with Max stability and i spotted problems with some of the bundled M4L devices (such as lost of sync, GUI freezes).

Mind you i reported these problems to Ableton and someone from their staff confirmed them to me. So it is not my computer.

Some of these issues still aren't fixed after almost 3 years of my report. I call that highly unreliable. Not Ableton itself but M4L portion of it.

They obviously can not (or they don't care) fix these issues.

Sorry if i am playing live gig and i lost my sync or something freezes or i need to pray to someone for it to work - i call that highly unreliable.

I did noticed things are getting better over time with M4l however this is still unreliable for any serious work. It's cool for bedroom experimentation but tell me this.

Look at their bugfix history release and tell me then - do we - people who claim M4L is unreliable - are pulling this out of our asses or we are to blame? We are doing something wrong with our computers or it's something else?

https://www.kvraudio.com/product/max-ma ... ng-74/news - click on various updates (that list is not full btw)

Almost every update they are fixing dozen and dozen of bugs and god only know how many new ones are introduced. I just randomly picked this one from the beginning of 2016 (i am using m4l way longer then that) https://www.kvraudio.com/news/cycling-7 ... v7-1-32158 - there is like 30 bugfixes.. Look this one almost 3 years later https://www.kvraudio.com/news/cycling-7 ... -0-1-42874 they are still on going with around 30 fixes per release.

You want to tell me that application which is having almost 30 fixes every update through the course of 3 years is reliable?

My point is - this M4l system is a hornet nest. I get it and i see development is made but - it's unreliable for serious work (with regards to stability not what can be done with max and all that that is great).

edit: to the ones with "ohh if it's not working for you it is your fault go somewhere else and pass it on" attitude - gimme a break. They sold M4L to me without telling me some parts of it won't work correctly. I was hooked by product highlights and promises. And no i was not able to spot such issues in 30 days of demoing - back then. I don't consider myself prick (who does?). However if i paid them something which turned out not to be working as advertised i do feel i am free to tell my opinion about it after i exhausted all my options (which were reporting bugs to them which they confirmed and waiting for fixes which never happened).

XSIMan
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Re: Am I the *ONLY* one finding M4L actually honestly unusable!?

Post by XSIMan » Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:29 am

I've fixed my issue with max it was Unfiltered Audio Byome it needs openGL option enabled or it messes up max devices.

indigosm
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Re: Am I the *ONLY* one finding M4L actually honestly unusable!?

Post by indigosm » Fri Feb 08, 2019 2:22 am

XSIMan wrote:I've fixed my issue with max it was Unfiltered Audio Byome it needs openGL option enabled or it messes up max devices.
i tested my scene which i bugreported to ableton and i did have the opengl option off, but turning it on, saving the song, and closing/restarting ableton didn't un-corrupt the M4L LFO device.... so it's something other than that (in this one case)

eclipxe
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Re: Am I the *ONLY* one finding M4L actually honestly unusable!?

Post by eclipxe » Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:43 pm

maky355 wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 6:45 am
jonbenderr wrote:Windows user here.

I've never had a single problem with Live/Max4Live in 10 years of use. System upgrades/software upgrades/hardware upgrades...never a single problem with any of it other than my own oversights.

I've even put out a lot of my own M4L apps and have never had major issues or complaints from users. Unless they just choose to not contact me about it.

I understand not liking the way max is setup in the message/object/visual sense. To say it's unreliable and a waste of time? Nah...think there is something else going on there.
That's cool. You can really think what you want and no it's not something else.

I am also windows user and i have problems with Max stability and i spotted problems with some of the bundled M4L devices (such as lost of sync, GUI freezes).

Mind you i reported these problems to Ableton and someone from their staff confirmed them to me. So it is not my computer.

Some of these issues still aren't fixed after almost 3 years of my report. I call that highly unreliable. Not Ableton itself but M4L portion of it.

They obviously can not (or they don't care) fix these issues.

Sorry if i am playing live gig and i lost my sync or something freezes or i need to pray to someone for it to work - i call that highly unreliable.

I did noticed things are getting better over time with M4l however this is still unreliable for any serious work. It's cool for bedroom experimentation but tell me this.

Look at their bugfix history release and tell me then - do we - people who claim M4L is unreliable - are pulling this out of our asses or we are to blame? We are doing something wrong with our computers or it's something else?

https://www.kvraudio.com/product/max-ma ... ng-74/news - click on various updates (that list is not full btw)

Almost every update they are fixing dozen and dozen of bugs and god only know how many new ones are introduced. I just randomly picked this one from the beginning of 2016 (i am using m4l way longer then that) https://www.kvraudio.com/news/cycling-7 ... v7-1-32158 - there is like 30 bugfixes.. Look this one almost 3 years later https://www.kvraudio.com/news/cycling-7 ... -0-1-42874 they are still on going with around 30 fixes per release.

You want to tell me that application which is having almost 30 fixes every update through the course of 3 years is reliable?

My point is - this M4l system is a hornet nest. I get it and i see development is made but - it's unreliable for serious work (with regards to stability not what can be done with max and all that that is great).

edit: to the ones with "ohh if it's not working for you it is your fault go somewhere else and pass it on" attitude - gimme a break. They sold M4L to me without telling me some parts of it won't work correctly. I was hooked by product highlights and promises. And no i was not able to spot such issues in 30 days of demoing - back then. I don't consider myself prick (who does?). However if i paid them something which turned out not to be working as advertised i do feel i am free to tell my opinion about it after i exhausted all my options (which were reporting bugs to them which they confirmed and waiting for fixes which never happened).
Number of bug fixes per release has NOTHING to do with reliability - every system has bugs, especially a system that has been around as long as Max. Every OS update, every Live update brings opportunities for bugs. 30 bugs fixed per release means nothing unless you can compare against number of bugs found, overall code size and complexity, etc.

cvlol
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Re: Am I the *ONLY* one finding M4L actually honestly unusable!?

Post by cvlol » Tue Feb 26, 2019 3:59 am

Max4live is definitely an unstable implementation of Max. If you've not run into issues with it, you most likely have never used it to any extent beyond tinkering with a device or two in isolation. In larger projects where you have multiple devices across many channels, you absolutely will have run into issues with parameters unmapping themselves, device GUIs disappearing, or the entire project freezing up on you. And especially if you've tried using one max device to control or modulate another max device, then you know what I'm talking about.

The people in this thread going "oh I've never had problems with M4L in it's entire decade of existence" have never worked with Max in isolation, and don't use M4L to do any heavy lifting in their projects. By ignoring it, you're going to end up driving people away from Ableton and away from trying to use M4L in any meaningful capacity especially with Bitwig 3s grid right around the corner.

Ableton desperately needs to be optimized for performance under load, and really desperately needs device sandboxing so that entire projects don't seize up the moment some device decides to throw an error. I've pretty much had it with Ableton tbh, I like Max/MSP and I like having a DAW but I'm ready to try something new on the DAW front, even if it comes at the price of not being tightly coupled to Max.

scheffkoch
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Re: Am I the *ONLY* one finding M4L actually honestly unusable!?

Post by scheffkoch » Tue Feb 26, 2019 9:38 am

...i don't have problems with m4l devices and i use them a lot and have a lot of them implemented in my standard template...so what does that tell you?...maybe i'm just lucky but maybe others who have problems with m4l just use devices that are not built/designed in the best way...
macbook pro late 2016, osx 10.13.6, rme multiface via sonnet thunderbolt expresscard adapter + thunderbolt to usb-c adapter, ableton live 10.0.1, push 2, komplete 9, maschine 2.7.6, touchable

Angstrom
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Re: Am I the *ONLY* one finding M4L actually honestly unusable!?

Post by Angstrom » Tue Feb 26, 2019 12:31 pm

scheffkoch wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 9:38 am
...i don't have problems with m4l devices and i use them a lot and have a lot of them implemented in my standard template...so what does that tell you?...maybe i'm just lucky but maybe others who have problems with m4l just use devices that are not built/designed in the best way...
I think this comment shines a light on my issue with Max in Live.

Consider that the defense of Max is to say that any substandard devices can cause issues:
"... others who have problems with m4l just use devices that are not built/designed in the best way..."

This Implies that its possible for a user to create something in the DAW which will destabilise the DAW. Surely that's not a good possibility. Have you ever created an operator patch which crashed the DAW, or written a series of midi notes which crashed the DAW? If they did it would be a bug, and Ableton would aim to fix it..

Ableton had a bit of a problem a few years back when Live 8 was released and many users encountered stability issues. Gerhard issued a public apology and Live 8 spent around 9 months bug hunting. The aim was to improve stability.

Now, Max is a great IDE, that's undeniable. It's super powerful and multi-faceted. But I'd say that massive power means it's not compatible with stability. If a user writes something in it which gobbles memory, or sends the DAW into a death spiral ... of course the users ineptitude is a primary cause, but we have to say that whoever gave us monkeys the keys to the control room is also partly at fault. If you are going to lot monkeys in to wiggle all the levers and press all the buttons then you best make sure that absolutely nothing can go wrong as a result. The control room needs to be monkey-proof..

Because Max is so powerful and multifaceted there are countless control room doors and a million interrelated levers to check for problems

scheffkoch
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Re: Am I the *ONLY* one finding M4L actually honestly unusable!?

Post by scheffkoch » Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:28 pm

...i get what you mean but i don't know if it's possible to implement limitations to that "system"...i see it the same way as native instrument's reaktor platform...there are some user instruments/fx that have a nice concept but they are "unusable" because of the cpu consumption...on the other hand you have "semi professional" users/programmers who know how to get best results...
macbook pro late 2016, osx 10.13.6, rme multiface via sonnet thunderbolt expresscard adapter + thunderbolt to usb-c adapter, ableton live 10.0.1, push 2, komplete 9, maschine 2.7.6, touchable

stringtapper
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Re: Am I the *ONLY* one finding M4L actually honestly unusable!?

Post by stringtapper » Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:15 am

cvlol wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 3:59 am
The people in this thread going "oh I've never had problems with M4L in it's entire decade of existence" have never worked with Max in isolation, and don't use M4L to do any heavy lifting in their projects.
Not in my case. I use Max more than I use M4L (or even Live for that matter), and when I do use M4L it’s building my own devices that can indeed become quite complex (mostly for controlling Eurorack hardware these days).

Are you a Windows user?

Not asking to be polemical but rather to get an idea of how pervasive the seeming imbalance between the OSes really is in terms of M4L performance.
Unsound Designer

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