Max and MaxForLive, Part 1: Producing and Composing With Max | J. Anthony Allen | Skillshare

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Max and MaxForLive, Part 1: Producing and Composing With Max

teacher avatar J. Anthony Allen, Music Producer, Composer, PhD, Professor

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      The Different Versions of Max


    • 3.

      Installing Max / What You Need


    • 4.

      The "1 in 10" Rule


    • 5.

      Max in a Nutshell


    • 6.

      The Big Picture


    • 7.

      What Can You Do With Max and MaxForLive?


    • 8.

      A Brief History of Max


    • 9.

      Max Files, Text Files, M4L Files, and Apps


    • 10.

      Opening Max Patches


    • 11.

      Interacting With Max


    • 12.

      "Bangs" and Buttons


    • 13.

      UI Examples


    • 14.

      Example 1: Simple Synth Patch


    • 15.

      Example 2: MIDI Madness Patch


    • 16.

      Opening M4L Patches in Ableton Live


    • 17.

      Using M4L Patches in Live


    • 18.

      The Ableton UI Objects


    • 19.

      Example Patch: M4L Tricks


    • 20.

      Signal Flow in Ableton


    • 21.

      Example Patch: Buffer Shuffler 2


    • 22.

      The Max User Community


    • 23.


    • 24.

      "Famous" Max Patches


    • 25.

      The Convolution Workshop Patch


    • 26.

      The Radiohead Patch


    • 27.

      The Autechre Patch


    • 28.

      For Mixing: Envelope Follower


    • 29.

      For Glitchy Effects: Buffer Shuffler


    • 30.

      For Ambient Music: Drone Liquifier


    • 31.

      For Synthesis: Mono Sequencer


    • 32.

      For Pure Chaos: Bouncey Notes


    • 33.

      Max Applications: Museik and Others


    • 34.

      Opening up the Guts


    • 35.

      Presentation Mode


    • 36.

      The Help Files


    • 37.

      The Max Console


    • 38.

      Learning How to Learn Max


    • 39.

      Bonus Lecture


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About This Class

It's time to unleash the full power of Max and create your own "secret weapon" tools for music production!

In this comprehensive class series, you'll discover my personal best tools and learn how to harness them to elevate your music production. Plus, I'll reveal an unlimited source of amazing (and free!) Max projects that you can customize to your heart's content.

Why Learn from Me?

With over a decade of experience teaching Max to thousands of aspiring creators, I know exactly what it takes to help you master this versatile platform. By the end of this series, you'll be amazed at your newfound abilities.

What You'll Get:

This class is packed with valuable content, incorporating my entire university Max curriculum. Get ready for an immersive learning experience!

This class has a ton of material. I've put my whole university Max curriculum into this class, so buckle up!

Designed for those with little or no existing experience working with Max, this sequence of classes is going to be divided into three parts. Part 1 is going to focus on using max to make music, finding great max patches, engaging with the max maker community, and understanding the max workflow. Part 2 will focus on the basics of Max programming, and Part 3 will get more advanced and dive in deeper with MaxForLive.

This is Part 1: Producing and Composing with Max. This class contains:

  • Max Basics: Explore the history of Max, its powerful capabilities, and how it can revolutionize your music-making process.

  • The Interface: Dive into working with Max objects, views, and environments, including MaxForLive and standalone Max.

  • MaxForLive: Learn how to seamlessly integrate Max within Ableton Live, gaining full control over your music production.

  • Finding & Sharing Max Patches: Join the thriving Max user community and discover an array of incredible patches to inspire your creativity.

  • Famous Max Patches: Delve into legendary patches loved by the community, like the Radiohead and Autechre patches, among others.

  • My Favorite Patches: Uncover six of my handpicked patches for mixing, glitchy effects, ambient music, synthesis, pure chaos, and more.

  • Understanding Max: Get a glimpse into the inner workings of Max patches and learn to explore and dissect them effectively.

Why Choose this Course?

  • Designed for Beginners: No prior experience with Max necessary. This course is perfect for newcomers to Max looking to dive in headfirst.

  • Step-by-Step Learning: Divided into three parts, this course gradually builds your expertise from the basics to more advanced techniques.

  • Direct Instructor Support: As a committed instructor, I personally answer 100% of the questions posted in the course to ensure your success.

Max opens up a world of possibilities for your music production journey. Join the vibrant Max community and take your skills to new heights.

Jason Allen, renowned instructor and mentor to over 1 million students, is committed to your success. As an active participant in the course, he personally answers 100% of the questions posted, ensuring you receive the guidance and support you need.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

J. Anthony Allen

Music Producer, Composer, PhD, Professor


Dr. J. Anthony Allen has worn the hats of composer, producer, songwriter, engineer, sound designer, DJ, remix artist, multi-media artist, performer, inventor, and entrepreneur. Allen is a versatile creator whose diverse project experience ranges from works written for the Minnesota Orchestra to pieces developed for film, TV, and radio. An innovator in the field of electronic performance, Allen performs on a set of "glove" controllers, which he has designed, built, and programmed by himself. When he's not working as a solo artist, Allen is a serial collaborator. His primary collaborative vehicle is the group Ballet Mech, for which Allen is one of three producers.

In 2014, Allen was a semi-finalist for the Grammy Foundation's Music Educator of the Year.

J. Anthony Allen tea... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: If you're a producer, a composer, or any kind of music maker, you might be searching for the perfect tool to help you make music better, faster, and to be more innovative. And maybe you've heard of Max a tool that lets you build your own tools, but you were told it was too complicated to learn. Hi everyone, My name is Jay. Max isn't too complicated to learn. I've been teaching Max for about a decade and I've helped thousands of students understand and master Max. I've seen students build some unbelievable projects and I bet you can too. I'm not going to lie. Max and Max for live can be tricky to learn. I have a system and a curriculum. It's worked for countless students. I'm sure it's going to work great for you too. I'm going to break this class up into three parts. The first we're going to focus on understanding and using Max. There are tons of Max patches out there in a big community of people making stuff so that you can use Max without ever having to learn how to program it. In this first part, we're going to talk about just using Max and not get into the programming stuff. Now in the second part, we're going to dive into making our own tools with Max. In the third part, we're going to get into some more advanced stuff and talk about Max for a lot. By the end of this series, you're going to have the skills to build your own projects from beginning to end. The ability to make anything you can imagine in Max, and that's not hyperbole. Let's dive in and learn how to use Max and Max for live. Okay, let's use one of these things. Let's go to instrument. Most of these are the things that come with live. I don't think I've installed a whole lot. Maybe some of these ones. Key here is that the one that's just called Max Instrument is going to be blank. This is just a blank Max patch. It's going to be a combination of the two. It's going to take an Midi signal in, meaning it's going to be looking for a Midi signal to control it, and it's going to output an audio signal. Because it's generally, if you're thinking that's just super random, how would you use that? I'll show you how I like to use this effect. Watch this, I'm going to duplicate this track. Then in this track, I'm going to get rid of buffer shuffler. This one is going to play normal. This one has the buffer shuffler on it. I'm going to turn this one down just a little bit, okay? And then I'm just going to get some harmonic, something happening here. Let me just go to random samples and give me, I don't know sure, we'll use this random D minor thing. Okay. Now I'm going to crank my tempo up super high. Oop, I think it is. I'm going to launch all three. Okay. Up next, the Radiohead patch, or more accurately the Radiohead patch is Johnny Greenwood, the guitarist of Radiohead. And some would argue one of the masterminds behind Radiohead is a big fan of Max. I really love teaching online and I'm fortunate to have over 1 million students watching my classes online. Like all my classes, I had a ton of fun making this class. So if you're ready to learn the ins and outs, sign up now and I'll see you in the first election. Thanks. Okay, welcome to using Max and Max for Live First, let's talk a little bit about me, if you're not familiar with me and how I came to Max, which is probably a little bit different than how a lot of you are coming to Max. Well, all of you. If you haven't taken any of my classes before, my name is Jay or Jason. I'd like to go by Jay. I've made a ton of online classes. I'm also a university professor, Ableton Certified Trainer. I have a Phd in music. I've done a lot of stuff. I'm also a composer, songwriter, producer. All of those things. Google me, I think there's a Wikipedia page now. When I learned in the early 2000 or so, Max was almost required in some ways to be learned if you were in music school, especially if you're in a composition program. I Max first, as an undergraduate, I had a class where I had to learn how to use it. Now this isn't like the really old days of Max. I don't remember what version it was, but you could only do Miti stuff. There was no Max for live, there was no live. Um, and you could really just do some mitty things and it was neat and I really liked it. I got even more into it when I was in graduate school. I had to learn a lot, and I had to really start building some heavy stuff, getting deep into it, and writing some of my own externals, which is things you have to do in different programming languages. Building some compositions and some applications With Max. I learned Max before I learned any other Dot or computer music making tools. It's really my first language when it comes to music production. In some ways I still, I still have some super secret tools that I've made to do mixing and mastering and some sound design tricks. I'll show you those in this class. Probably they're not going to be so super secret anymore. Max has really changed a lot since I first used it. Now you can do audio stuff and you can do video stuff, and you can integrate with Ableton and even some other programs. And it's a whole huge program. I end up teaching it a lot. It's not the easiest thing to learn, it can be hard to learn. Fair warning. You may get frustrated. You almost certainly will get frustrated for a minute in this class. Stick with it and you'll get it okay. You have to train your brain to think a little bit different way, but once you do things start to really make sense. That's a little bit about me. Let's talk a little bit for the next few videos about getting set up, what we're looking at, what we care about with Max, and the different versions, and how to navigate what the software is actually. 2. The Different Versions of Max: Okay. There's a whole bunch of different versions of Max. They're all the same but they have a ton of different names. Just so that we're all on the same page, let's go through the different things that Max has called and what makes them different. There's really just two things that we care about. But I want to just wrap this up so that we all know what we're talking about. I want to draw a picture of this and I think I'm just going to do it in Max. That's what we do here. Okay. So don't worry about how Max worked yet. We'll get there, the program is called. We'll talk about why it's called Max in a minute, in a little bit, I'll do a little history of Max because it's fascinating. Max, the short name for it. There are two primary versions of it. There's Max for Love. Max. Max for Live. Max for live is sometimes called Four L or Max. Four Live. These are all the same thing. Neat huh? See how I connected those? I'll talk more about connecting things later. There's also another name for Max, which is Max MSP. There's yet another name which is Max MSP. Jitter. Oops. All of these are, at one point they were not the same, they were all different things, but at this point they pretty much are all the same. We say what we're really talking about is what was formerly known as Max MSP jitter. You may still see this written out some places. What this is, I'll talk more about this later, but the short version of it technically is the ability to do mi stuff. That's a simplification but we'll go with it for now. Msp is the ability to do audio stuff and it is the ability to do video stuff. Again, big simplification just roll with me. For men, we collectively call this just Max now, but for a while it was max. Msp is what it was called, that's when I started learning it. Then it turned into maxims, P jitter, when we added video stuff. Now we just say max. The max for live version is slightly different. There's a few different things you can do. But like almost all of it works the same. The difference is that Max for live runs within Ableton Live. Max runs on its own. Right now I'm running Max on its own. So this is not Max for Live, this is Max. Max for Live needs to be within Ableton. Other than that, Max for Live is basically a full version of Max. There are no other big differences. There's a few things you can do in Max for live that you can't do in Max, namely talk to live. These two are not necessarily different versions, they are just different names for the same thing. When you see any of these things, that's what we're talking about. The two things you really need to keep track of are Max and Max for live. If we're talking about Max, it means we're in the Max program on its own. If we're talking about Max for live, it means we are in the version of Max that runs within Ableton Live. Okay. Those are our two big things that we will be talking about in this class. Now when it comes to the programming language of which Max is, they become synonymous because the way you build stuff within the two is the same. I might say the Max language or I might talk about programming in Max or something like that. And that may apply to whether we're in Max or Max for Live. If I'm in Max for Live and I say you can do this in Max, I'm referring to the programming language basically, we can go between the two just fine. Try not to get hung up on whether or not we're in Max or in Max for live, Aside from the one being standalone and the other living within Ableton Live. Other than that, they are effectively the same program. That's the only thing to really keep in mind. 3. Installing Max / What You Need: Okay, let's talk about downloading and installing. This is actually fairly easy and we have two different ways we can do this depending on the version. Okay, let's talk about Max first. For Max you're going to go to the easiest way is to go to cycling 70 That's the company that owns it. More on that later, cycling 70 And then at the top of the screen, click max. Then it'll show you some cool stuff. Just added this patch more on that later. Some cool stuff. If we're going out to the bottom, try max for 30 days. We can download it. We can download max. It's free for 30 days and then you have to pay for it. Now there are some options to buy it cross grade. They have some student things that you can, you can do a subscription as a student for $59 a year. It's a pretty good price. Or you can buy it at $150 off? No, yeah, about $150 off. As a student, that's pretty great. Now, I don't know what it takes to prove that you're a student with Max otherwise. Right now the price is 399. For a permanent or you can do $99 a month. Not bad. Okay. Once you have that, you're going to download it and install it. Run an installer, just like anything else, you'll select your operating system here and then hit download. It'll download a DMG file if you're on a Mac. An executable file. If you're on a PC, you're going to launch that, run the installer, then you're good to go. Pretty simple. Now if you're installing max for live, then I think you actually can do it through cycling 74. But you don't want to do that. It's cumbersome and strange. The easier way to do that is to go to and actually get it with your Ableton license. When you buy, if you buy Live Sweet, it is included. You can get just Max for Live for 199 or if you're buying Live Sweet. I believe it includes Max for Live. Yes it does. None of the other versions do. You can get Live suite and you'll get the full version of Max for Live included in it, or you can just buy Max for Live for 199 and add it on. Now your question might be, what if I have live and I already bought a full version of Max separately. Can I use normal Max in Max for Live? I think you can. What you're going to do is you're going to go into live and then in the settings, I think under files and folders it says choose Max for live application. If you then open that and say point it to your application, it'll, it'll basically figure everything out and it'll give you max for live from that. If you've already bought Max separately and not max for live, you paid too much money, but you can't make that work. The short version of all of this is if you want to, just to use Max alone, go to Cycling 74, buy it there. If you want to use Max for Live, exclusively Max within Live, go to Ableton and buy it there. The cheapest way is probably to buy Sweet Ableton suite because it's included. If you don't know which one you want to buy yet, go to cycling 74 download max for 30 days. Don't buy anything yet, just use the free version and then take this class, all of it in the next 30 days if you can. And then decide which is the best to buy after that. Yeah, that's my recommendation. Onward. 4. The "1 in 10" Rule: Okay, here's a funny thing that I tell all my students. Whenever I teach a class in Max, this is different for you all because you've clicked on this and bought it and decided to watch this class because you want to learn Max. This theory won't apply to you. But when I teach Max and in college, in my university classes, what I tend to tell students is that there's a one in ten rule. And that means that in a class of ten people, nine of you are probably going to hate Max the way it works. And what it can do just really is not conducive to the way a lot of people think, especially people who are more traditional musicians, Classical musicians, which is what I end up teaching Max to a lot. But then there's one in ten and it will absolutely change your life. Like you're going to start doing everything in Max for a little while. Figuring out how to control your washing machine with Max, which you could do, but more on that later. Maybe one in ten for every ten people, one person is going to just have their mind completely blown and then nine people are going to be like, this is not for me. I made a little max patch to help us with that. Here's how I'm going to do it. Just humor me. This is our introduction to a Max patch, This little thing I can click on. When I click on it, it's going to generate a random number 1-10 Then if it happens to be the number one, it's going to send an output here where it says set max is going to change your life. Then that goes to this big box where where this will say Max is going to change your life. I can also just click on it and it's going to make this say Max is going to change your life. You can see that the word set means put this text into this box if it chooses anything other than one, this is the nine people. It's going to hit this box which says you are going to hate Max. Every time I click this, it's going to generate a random number about 90% of the time. It's going to hit this box. About 10% of the time is going to hit this box. Here we go. You're going to hate Max. You are going to hate Max. You're going to hate Max. You're going to hate Max. You're going to hate Max. You're going to hate Max. There you go. Max is going to change your life, okay? So I can click this over and over and that's what's going to happen. Very, very simple Max patch to proves the point not to prove anything but to show how Max works and also tell you this little funny thing that happens in my in person classes. Now again, you are a very small subset of the world in that you are people who have said, I want to learn Max because there's something you want to do. Or maybe someone has told you that you should learn Max. Or maybe you've just seen in live that little section of the browser that says Max for live. And you've always wondered how to do it and what it is. I think you all are going to love Max and I think it's going to change your life. I really do, especially if you're into multimedia art in any way whatsoever. Okay, there you go. The world's simplest Max Patch and my funny little rule. 5. Max in a Nutshell: Okay, in this class we're going to be focusing primarily on using Max. Getting to know the interface of Max, how it works in Max for live, the general user interface of what you can build. We're not going to be going a ton into the code and how to build things, but we will be doing that in the next class. In this sequence, let's first talk about what is Max? Because there's a lot of people that say, oh, I need to learn Max. Or you could do this in Max or all kinds of stuff. But what is it actually? You might even be thinking to yourself right now, okay, I've been told I should learn this, but I have no idea what it even is. Let me put it this way. The one sentence explanation of Max to me is a programming language optimized for audio and video and designed for people who are bad at programming. That's my thing. Copyright? Um, let's pick that apart a little bit. Max is a programming language. Yes. You can write programs in Max from scratch. You can save them as programs, you can export them, and you can submit them to app stores and write real functioning programs that people will download and pay for. You can do that with Max. Max can do a lot of things, but it is optimized for audio and video and Miti, I should say applications. If you want to do things with audio, you can do it in Max. If I wanted to write a program that was like a whole functioning mixer with plug ins and EQs and all that stuff, that would be relatively easy in Max compared to if I wanted to write a program that balanced your checkbook in, that would be really hard. Max really has the tools for audio video stuff, things like balancing your checkbook. It's not so good at that, but you certainly could write that program in Max. You'd have to do a lot of weird stuff. It's really optimized for audio and video. Then the last part of my little statement is for people who aren't good at programming, I don't consider myself a programmer, I'm not a programmer, I've never been very good at it. I can do some web stuff but not much past that. I'm pretty good at Max though. Uses these boxes and lets us connect one box to another box to put something together. Now you can write code if you want to write just Python or C or something like that. You can actually do that in Max and just write that code. But the majority of the way we interface with it is we say, here's a random number. Select something in that random number and then do this thing. It's more like an infinite amount of guitar affects petals than it is like writing complex code, right? A lot of the time when people think about programming languages, they're thinking about text and writing these pseudo English looking things. Max is designed to, we connect a whole bunch of boxes. You can think of each little box as its own little program. Like this, one generates random numbers. This one looks for a specific number. There's a couple thousand of those little programs and we connect them together and we can do really useful things. That's it. It's relatively simple in that way. The trick is knowing what little program you're looking for to do the thing you want to do. But more on that later. That's my big picture. What is Max in a nutshell? 6. The Big Picture: Okay. So let's take a look at an actual max patch. Here's a max patch, first of all, terminology a max file, we call them a patch. Okay? Whenever I say a max patch, we're talking about a file. This one is called missing echo V one dark MR. Okay? What we have here is this is its own little program, right? I can do stuff with this. I think this was designed for Max, for live because it looks like live ish. But what we have is basically a little mixer set up to do delays, delay, left pan frequency, Pan frequency delay, right rate, dry, wet, make up. I can click on these dials and adjust things. I can interact with this just like any plug in, the dry, wet, Let's say I wanted to do something different with this. I don't know. Let's say the delay amount to be, I wanted it to always delay by, in some relationship to the temperature in Alaska. Okay. This is the most random thing I could think of at the moment. But how could we do that? We could do that and it'd be really simple. What we would have to do is open up this patch. The first thing we're going to do is we're going to open it up. And I'll talk more about how to open these things up later. Okay, so this is what it looks like on the inside. This is the code. Okay? There's a lot more to the code that we're not seeing. There's some hidden away bits like this stuff. If I open it, there's another thing, another little patch within it. But all I'd really need to do is find that delay amount. Here is delay. Here's left and right delays. All I would need to do is make a little program that says, find weather in Alaska. A L A S K A. There we go. Okay, fine weather in Alaska. And then connect that to these delays right, easy. Now, when I typed fine weather in Alaska, I got a little message over here in the max console that says, hey, that's not a thing. There's no object called fine weather in Alaska. Yes, I would need to create that object and there would be ways I could do it. There is a weird little browser built into live, so I could point that at a website that shows the weather in Alaska, retrieve a number and spit it out to these dials. I can do that. That would be the easiest way, otherwise there are some other ways I could get that data in. But once I can get that data in, it's really easy to just connect that data to these dials and then save this. My delay amount is always going to delay by the weather in Alaska. Okay. This is what it looks like on the inside. Again, we're not going to deal with decoding this and writing our own versions of this yet in part two, we are going to get into this. Hold on for that. For part one, which is what we're in now, I really want to, just to get comfortable looking at this and using Mac mostly. We're going to look at it here like this, the way we interface with it. Okay, trust me on this, we'll get into the code and it won't be that scary by the time we get there, we're going to ease our way into it, all right? Okay, a few more things and then we're going to start looking at some really cool patches. 7. What Can You Do With Max and MaxForLive?: One thing that people talk about a lot with Max is this idea of physical computing. Meaning getting your hands on something other than a mouse and interacting with your computer, Building sensors, controllers, stuff like that. That is something that Max is really good at. There are some of the microcontrollers on the market that interface with Max really easily. There are some tool kits you can install in Max. If I go to my extras menu, you can see some things I've installed here like sin mat externals, beep, launch, mo, launch, jitter tools, some extra things that are in here that I've installed. There are some packs out there that'll let you get your hands on stuff. But assuming you have the hardware, we often say what can I do with Max? That's a question I get asked a lot, like people jokingly say like, well, can you launch a rocket ship with Max? My answer to that is always yes, quite easily actually. Given a rocket ship and some ignition device that was connected to a computer, yeah, I could do it really easily. When you think about how you're going to use Max, you really need to get into this limitless attitude because there is so much that you can do with it. I've seen people do stock market predictions in Max. Again, that's not a great use of Max, but it worked. I've seen people make AI generated fugues in. I've seen people make awesome audio and video effects in. I've seen people write programs that control robots that play the bagpipes in Max. Not making that up, you can really think about what do you want to do in your wildest dreams. That really is what Max is all about. Start thinking that way as we learn how to make things. 8. A Brief History of Max: Okay, let's talk about a brief history of Max, where it comes from, and the weird route it took to get here. Why is this relevant to us? Because it's interesting and I like talking about it. Here we go. There was this guy, his name is Miller Pocket. No, there's this composer. His name is Philippe Neri. No, that's not a good starting spot either. Let's start with, well, first of all, before I dive into this, let me just say that this is the story as I understand it. There may be an official story somewhere. There may be people with more direct experience. But this is everything I know. There is this place called Cam I R CAM. It still exists. It is in Paris. In the Pump of Center. It is a place where a lot of the technology related to music production was birthed. Is basically a computer think tank. It's a government funded institution. The acronym stands for something in French, I can't remember exactly, but basically Institute for Research in Composition and Electronic Music, something like that. The way it worked in the early days, and I think it still does, is that they would put together these teams of three people. There would be a composer and a programmer, an engineer. They would bring in a composer. And they would say to the composer, what do you want to do in your wildest dreams? What would you like to be able to make? The composer would say, I want flying toasters that shoot lasers, that triggers a glockenspiel, it plays a melody, whatever. Then the engineer and the programmer would sit around and say, okay, how can we do this? And then they would build the thing required to make that a reality. At some point, a composer, a French composer named Philippe Maneri, comes in and they say, what do you want to be able to do? Maneri says something like, I want the computer to be able to follow along with the musician, not just have the computer play back a file and have a musician play along to it like karaoke style, which is how everything was done at that point. That point, I probably should have said this is around probably 1985 or six that this is happening. Very early days of electronic music. Many said, I don't want the computer to just play some Bleeps and bloops and have a live musician play along to that as a duet. I want the computer to listen and respond, adjust its tempo. The programmer assigned to this task was a guy named Miller Puckett. The piece that Philip Neri ended up writing was a piece called Pluton, which I have a very crude score of here. What Miller Puckett came up with was a system where basically he would write a program where it would count it, would listen for notes and count them and trigger different things to happen at different points. But he went one step further. Let's expand in a max bat. Here we have Philip Manner, Miller pocket. Okay? Both at arc. Okay. Puckett says, well this is cool, but I'm getting sick of making something for every composer that comes in here. So I'm going to make something that's modular and I can adapt it to do other things later. That gives him the idea for a very crude version of Max what we have here. It's got all these little programs that we can connect together to do initially designed it for flip me. But It was designed to be modular so that it could be used for a lot of different ideas and a lot of different pieces of music. Because Puckett was working for Eric, it was owned by Eric. It was released to members of Eric. You could become a member and I think you still can become a member of Eric and get releases of some of the projects that they're working on in a thing called the Co Forum. It was released to members of the Eric Forum in 1989. It really only did Miti. It could count notes, it could send Midi messages, and therefore trigger samples and things like that in other devices. But it, it couldn't do effects, it couldn't do signal processing, anything like that. It was really just mitty stuff. Okay, then also around 1989, a new player enters the picture. A company called Opcode. Opcode, I believe a US company. They were a software maker. They made an early, which I think was called what was it? Studio Logic or something like that. They had, they eventually bought a license to Max so that they could sell it as a commercial product. They started selling it and working on it, updating it, making it look better, giving it more functionality. And one of the engineers who was hired to work on that was a guy named David Zicarelli. He was an employee of Opcode, tasked with developing this product a little bit more for to be a little more sellable in the later '90s. At this point, Max is selling, okay, It's not a huge money maker because it's very specific and very niche. So Opcode goes out of business, Apco goes out of business. Boop. I don't know why I'm connecting those, whatever. I'm connecting these just for fun, Opco out of business. But David Zikerelli, being an entrepreneurial dude, buys Max from the going out of business Opcode and he starts a company called Cycling 74. I don't know why it's called that, we could probably find out, but I don't know why. It's called 1999 Zicarelli starts cycling 74. Their sole thing is Max. That's all they do. Now an interesting thing that I skipped over that I want to jump back to is at some point Miller pocket said this Max thing that I wrote for Cam. It was cool, but I could do better. I could remake that whole program in a better way. He makes a new program called PD. Pd supposedly stands for pure data. Some say it stands for public domain because this is free. It's a free version of essentially max. It still exists, it's out there, you could get it. However, it doesn't work in live the same way that Max does. It's significantly harder to use. It's uglier, but if you want to experiment with something free, try it out, you can download it. Miller Puckett starts working on PD. Okay. Back to cycling 74. This was about 1996. I think Cycling 74 under Zicarelli starts expanding Max, saying the Max product was cool. But let's add some stuff, Let's add the ability to do signal processing. They come up with this thing called MSP to add to it. Now the product is called Max MSP, and it looks like this. Max Plus MSP is Max MSP Cool. Msp does signal processing, and that means audio stuff, okay. It can now do audio effects, it can listen to audio, it can generate audio synthesis, all kinds of stuff. Now, what does MSP stand for? Well, the person who developed MSP was actually our old friend, Miller Puckett. He's the one who made this right. Let's see if I can make this a little. How about that Miller Puckett made MSP for cycling 74 supposedly. No one knows exactly for sure what MSB stands for, but Puckett has said on different occasions, one of three different things. Number one and most likely is signal processing. The signal processing element number two, the initials of its creator, Miller S. Puckett. Possible number three and least likely, but I like it anyway, is the airport code for his hometown, Minneapolis St. Paul, which happens to also be where I am at the moment. Okay, that was cool. Then years go by. Eventually the need to develop a set of video tools for Max arises. We create cycling 74 creates something called jitter. Now, the name of the program is Max MSP, Jitter. Max MSP plus Jitter. I don't know who the authors of jitter are. One of them was a guy named Jeremy Bernstein. Doesn't matter, There's a lot of people probably now, prior to Jitter. Jitter was written, I think, a little bit in response to a third party. Somebody else made a set of video extensions for Mac. Those were called Nato. I'm not making this up. Oops, these are pluses. 50, 53d Nato, as we commonly say. It was a set of video extensions. The people behind this were probably the first cyber terrorists or if not cyber bullies for sure, that we all learned about. It was a very weird time and very strange. I won't go into full details here, but Google this and you'll find like some really fascinating stuff, jitter. Put them out of business. Let's just leave that floating by itself over there. Okay, That leads us up to about 20:15 when we suddenly get Ableton entering the picture. Ableton Company is a company that makes Live push a couple other products, Ableton Partners, to create Max for Live, a version of Live that runs within Max max MSP plus Ableton equals max for Live. Basically, let's give us a little bit more space because we're almost done then. That is so successful and works so well that eventually the Ableton company acquires cycling 74. I think that was 2015. Now A owns cycling 74. Let's take all of this and this and put it down here, is now the owner of Cycling 74. Cycling 74 still operates as its own company as far as I can tell, but it is owned by Ableton as of now. The two main products as I've already talked about are Max for Live and Max MSP Jitter, which is more commonly at this point abbreviated to just Max, that's the standalone version and the Max for live version. There are other things, there are a bunch of other things that cycling 74 makes at this point. Most of them are add ons or related to Max, but they have a couple special things that are not. You should check those out. They're all really interesting, but we're going to focus on Max. That is the long and strange history of how Max and Max for live came to be. 9. Max Files, Text Files, M4L Files, and Apps: Okay. So let's talk about the different types of files that we're going to deal with in Max. There are a lot of them but for starters, I want to deal with four first. Your typical max patch, right? Like that means a file that we've made is going to be MAX PAT file. Okay. Here's the thing I just made. I called it history of max max pat. Okay. So that means it's a max patch, that means standalone Max. Those I don't think will open automatically in Max for Live. If you want to make a Max for Live file, you're going to make an AMxDfile. It is slightly different now because the environments are the same. If I wanted to turn this into an AMX D file this, I could just select all copy open Ableton, make a max patch, paste it in, and save it as an AMX ded file. It would work just fine. In this case, aMxD is max, for live, Max, pat is max. Now there's also a weird thing with text files in Max. I think this comes from the community of Max users sharing things online. If you search around for max text file, you can find things like this. It always starts with Begin, Max patcher. And max patch might be a version, here's just a random one I found. This one looks really short, but I'm going to try it anyway. What you do is select all of this copy, then I'm going to go back to max, and then I can go file new from clipboard. Okay? This is going to basically generate a max patch from that weird bit of text. Okay, here's what that looks like. This is what that made neat, right? You could save text and open it. You can open right here, open text or you would point it to a text file. Those are just text file. Now, you don't want to do that, that's not an ideal way to do things unless you're like sharing it online or something like that. If you have a big max file, those text things can get really long. One digit in it gets screwed up, the whole patch doesn't work. It's really ideal for just sharing little things, but you can't open just text files with Max. Okay, now lastly, I want to talk about apps really quick. Let's go back to our history of Max. If I wanted to, I could go to file then here, save, save as project, I believe is just going to make a folder, um, for this and then save the file also. But here I can build collective or application. Now I get this window that comes up. There's a little bit more that has to go into this for us to complete it and make it work as an application. Actually, in this case, this probably will run just fine. I can hit Build. Now here where it says file types, I go to Application History of Max. App is what this is going to be called. I'm going to put it on my desktop, then it's going to take a second. But there it is. It worked. I can change the icon and send this around and it's going to open just fine. We'll talk more about how to make apps. I just wanted to introduce it because I think it's on a lot of people's minds. The main thing I want you to take away from this is Pat files are standalone, AMD, Ableton Live, I think that stands for Ableton Max device. That's how I think about it. 10. Opening Max Patches: Okay, let's talk about opening Max patches. Getting into them and how they work in Max. I go to file open again. I can open as text like I showed you before or I can do that new from clipboard thing. If I'm working with a text file, if I'm not working with a text file with a max pat file or an AMXD, I'm going to go just go to open. Then here are my two files. Now I just want to open a max patch. I click on it and open it, just like anything else. Now, I said earlier that the AMxD is a Max for live device. I can actually open that in Max. Let's open it. It looks a little different. This is a whole thing. This is a patch by someone that I downloaded. This is formatted for live. It's not going to work perfectly because it needs live. In order to work, it's going to ask for things like the tempo and the transport and things like that that it's not going to find. In fact, if we go over here to our Max Counsel, this tells us errors and things here. It's saying I can't find this buffer. There's something going on with this number which is probably something like the tempo or something like that. It doesn't have all the information it needs. But I could edit it and start working with it if I wanted to see what's inside of it. But I'm not really going to be able to completely test it unless I open it in Ableton. Okay, so let's stick with standalone Max for a minute and then in the next section we'll go over some of this in Max for live. Okay, open. You can also just drag a max patch onto the max application here and it'll open it all your standard stuff. Now, open text. There's one other thing I want to point out, The text file thing that I just explained, where you've got this unique code that is different then reading a max file as text. Let me explain. If I copy all of this command, a command C, I'm going to copy this patch. Then I'm just going to open text, edit and make it nice and big. I'm going to paste it in. Okay, this shows me the format of the max file. This is essentially like a Json file or something like that or some XML file. That doesn't matter. But this is not the text file language. It's different, okay? If you see this, this is not useful to you. This is just the raw language. You don't want that, we're going to delete that. The text type of file is very specific. It looks like one long number, but honestly, you won't work with those all that much. Don't worry about them too much. Most of the time we're working with file pat files or MX T files. There are a bunch of other ones. If I go to save As, then I go down here, you can see there's help files, Jason files, that's what we were just looking at. Query files, prototype files, defaults, defines preferences files, swatches files, and preset files. There's tons of stuff. We'll talk about those later. But for now, just remember Max Pat opens in Max. 11. Interacting With Max: The next thing to get comfortable with is just what you can interact with within Max. When you're looking at a max patch, what can you click on? What are the dials and things you can do? This can actually sometimes be quite hard to find. There's a lot of stuff that in a patch that you're not intended to interact with. It's math going on or whatever, but there are also a lot of things that you are supposed to interact with. I've thrown a few of them on the screen here. Just to give us a little idea, let's start with this. This is just a file from the tutorials that come with Max. But basically these are sliders we can click and drag to slide them. Here's another one that's vertical, here's one that's a dial. It can go up and down as these are little number boxes. I can click and drag on those. This one's doing some math for me. Same thing with this. I can use a number to control these other things. That's a little bit more in the programmer end, but for now just know that when you see sliders like this, you can play with them. Right? Also to our file here, I've added a couple of things. Here's a drop down menu that you might see. Then we have some real audio specific stuff, right? Like an ADSR envelope here. Here's another slider, another dial, I should say. A Midi keyboard we can click on. This may or may not generate Midi notes. It depends on what it's connected to. But you may see these types of things. There's a whole bunch more. Just know that when you're looking at a max patch, there are a certain amount of things that we want to interact with. These are called UI objects, user interface objects. We'll talk a lot about these once we get into programming Max. But for now just know that there are things you're supposed to play with, right? There are the dials, the buttons, all that stuff, but keep track of that term UI objects, because we're going to be talking about it a lot as we move forward. 12. "Bangs" and Buttons: Okay, one of the most important and mysterious little elements of Max is something called a bang. Okay? A bang is also sometimes called a button, but they are the same thing, they look like this. Okay? This is just a little floating circle and basically I can click on it. That's all it does. That's all it does. But um, you can think of these as a Go button. Okay, we used to say Do It button, but I think Go is better. I'm going to click on it and it means go like send a thing. Often you'll have big elaborate patches that do all kinds of stuff, but they don't do anything until you click that button. These are also used all over the place to convert one thing to another thing. We'll talk about that again later when we're in the programming side of things. What you need to know for now is just that when you see one of these, it might be that you're supposed to click on it, it might be that it is being controlled by something else. I want to now look at a couple examples of Max patches. Just dig through the big elements of them. We'll find the Bangs, we'll find UI elements. Just show you how to interact with a good Max patch. 13. UI Examples: Okay, let's look at another example of that. This is a patch by Tom Sm called Drone Liquefier. This is a patch that he posted and I downloaded. I think I might have even bought it because it's really cool. It just turns anything into like drone stuff. Anyway, I want to use it to show you UI elements. There's a lot of them here now. This is the same thing we looked at a minute ago. This is a max for live patch. I'm not really going to be able to do much with it right now, but I can still interact with it. I have dials that control things. I have numbers that I can click and drag on. I have buttons here that I can click on. More dials, more numbers, Buttons, dials, the liquefy dial. Here's a volume control, right? I can set the volume, I can control it this way. Here's a button, it says reset. I just click at once. It's a momentary button. There are more buttons, but these are not momentary, they're going to stay on. Let's give you just another idea of some of the user interface options that we have. 14. Example 1: Simple Synth Patch: Okay, I have here a simple synthesizer patch. This is just something that I made really quick. As an example for another class, I want to just look at the things that we can click on here. Here we see the text is saying oscillator section and frequency. That means we can click and drag on this, these types of boxes. We can click and drag. Or we can actually click and type in if we want. And then hit Return. If it turns yellow, that means it's like active. You can type or whatever. Clicking and dragging or typing after you hit it, I don't want to actually hear that frequency. Let's go do whatever. These things they look like level meters because they are, there are a bunch of different level meters in Max. This is just one of them. This is the one that's designed to look like live. That's why it has a live game there. But we can adjust things. Now, this particular patch is set up to run a sine wave, which is what this is doing into this ADSR envelope. In order to trigger it, we need to hit this little button again. Here is one of our bangs, right? I'm going to click on it. And that's going to trigger the sound. So I can click on it over and over. And that's neat. I think it's also set up so that I can play notes on a Midi keyboard, but I don't have one set up. I can adjust more things here. This is actually the note. You can see this is updating that this is going to let me play in a Midi note. Here we have a little break point editor. This is familiar if you've ever used an ADSR envelope. This one's a little bit different because I've added a couple extra spots to it. But this is the types of things you can do with Max. If you're saying I want an ADSR envelope that has like a weirder shape to it. You can add points all over the place if you want and make your ADSR envelope do that. Sure. It's going to sound like that. Let's kill it there. I have a little EQ here. This is a UI object. I can move it around, I can change the modes to do different things. If I want, I can click and drag on this. This is another UI object that you'll see in audio devices sometimes if they want it, these boxes are again the objects, the little programs running things. A cool, very simple synthesizer to play with. So I give you this patch. Do you want this patch? Sure, I guess I'll give you this patch. Why not? 15. Example 2: MIDI Madness Patch: Okay, here's another little patch now. Again in these all I really want to do is get used to looking at patches. Okay, we're going to dive into more in a minute, but the idea here is getting comfortable with what we can click on and just looking around and dealing with Max a little bit. This is another one I made for something a while ago. This just shows you a whole bunch of Midi information happening on your system here. If you want to see everything, what this is going to do is listen for all the Midi information that's happening on your computer. Then it says print. What print does is it sends it to the max console, which is over here, which is this weird window that's sitting here not doing anything at the moment. If I start playing notes on a Midi keyboard, which I've now set up, you're going to see all kinds of stuff happening over here. Here's me playing some notes. It just is like numbers flying by, right? Like way too much information to process. But maybe that's useful to you, maybe not here. I've separated it out. If I say, show me only notes, okay? So I'm going to look at the pitch, the velocity, and the Midi channel. If we look here, I'm playing note number 55. Here's the velocity. I'm playing it. I'm playing it over and over right now. And then it's on Midi channel five control messages. Those are like faders and sliders and ***** and things. I have some on this keyboard, but I don't think they're coming in as control messages because I'm on a strange keyboard, but this will show me any control information coming in. I've also put some output stuff here. This is a Midi keyboard. I think we saw this once already, but I can click on it. This is set up to a little Midi synthesizer just to play a default general slide around and do crazy stuff. I can output control messages. I don't have anything I can output them to right now. But I would slide this around and this would generate some control messages. One thing that I want to point out about this patch is that there are some objects, the little programs that you can click on specifically double click on. Sometimes you'll see something, you can double click on that. It's going to give you some options. These options are telling us where do you want me to send that mi. I can double click on that and I'll say, what am I listening to? And in this case, it's going to listen to my seaboard rise. Number two, in what am I listening to control? In what am I listening to control? Where am I sending this? Just double clicking on these devices. Now, that's not always true. Like this make object, if I double click on it, it doesn't do anything. There are some objects that have some extra settings, you'll double click on those to get access to those settings. This is mostly true for anything that is connecting to things outside of your computer, like Midi devices. Audio devices sometimes work this way too, where there's double clicking on them. We'll say, listen to channel one on my interface or output two, channel three on my interface or whatever you want. When in doubt, don't be scared to double click on an object just to see if there are any settings there. I suppose now I'm in the habit of giving you these little patches. I'll give you this one too. Maybe this is interesting, maybe not. I don't know, but I'll put it in the next little bit. 16. Opening M4L Patches in Ableton Live: Okay, let's shift gears and talk about Max for Live for a minute. Now, everything we've talked about so far still holds true. All those clickable things, all those UI things that we've looked at, those are true in Max for Live. Also, there are a couple other things in Max for Live. Some of the UI objects can look a little different sometimes. Let's just walk through how this all works. In Max for Live, I'm in Ableton Live right now. I've got a new set open. Nothing strange. In order to get to my Max for live stuff, I'm going to make my way over to the browser here on the left. And I click on Max for Live. Now if you have Suite, you will if you have a different version of live, you might not have this. You might have to install Max manually through the preferences inside Max. For live, we have a handful of different things. We have Max Audio effect, Max Instrument, and Max Midi effect. Now these three categories are really interesting because they have to do with what can go into the patch and what can come out of the patch. The actual code in the middle is exactly the same as what we've looked at. We'll deal with that what can go in and out later when we get into programming. Now think of these exactly as they are labeled. Here's some media effects or some max audio effects. Here are some max instruments, in other words, synthesizers and things. Here are some media effects. Okay, now it's telling you you can get more max for live packs at Of course there are also other places to find some max for live patches and I'll show you those in a minute. Now, I also have a little folder of max for live patches that I've saved down here to my places. These are just things that I'm keeping track of, some of them that I've made, some of that I've found online and just wanted to keep track of. Those are my own little things, but most of the stuff is up here. Okay, let's talk about how we use these things in live. 17. Using M4L Patches in Live: Okay, let's use one of these things. Let's go to instrument. Most of these are the things that come with live. I don't think I've installed a whole lot. Maybe some of these ones. Key here is that the one that's just called Max Instrument is going to be blank. This is just a blank Max patch. It's not going to do anything. The same is true with max audio effect. Max Midi effect. If we load these. Let's go back to instrument. If I load this on a track, this is all it is. It just says, this is our input and this is our output. It doesn't do anything. Don't load that one unless you plan on building something. But let's load something and take a look at it. Let's load this base. I'm going to drag it onto a Midi track in this case. Cool. Look at that. See it looks just like a Ableton effect. Really, You can really customize the look and feel of a max patch to make it very able. I've got all kinds of UI stuff here. I've got an amount of sine wave, it looks like an amount of saw tooth, an amount of square. It's a cool way to do that. A bunch of number boxes that we're familiar with. Some more settings filters, you know, everything is really just what you would expect here. Modulation amounts, ADSR. This is actually kin, a cool little synth. I like this little base. You're thinking to yourself, what makes this Max for live? Why isn't this just a normal synth? Watch this. The thing that makes this difference than any other synthesizer or plug in built into live is this little button right here. That little button says, hey, let's look under the hood. Let's open this up and look at the code. See how it's built. I'm going to click on it. Here we are now it's open in Max. A version of Max running within live, but it's essentially the same. I'm going to open this up. Freeze it. Open it up. Here's all the code. Yeah, if I wanted to make it work differently, I could do it the way this has these wave forms and lets me turn them up. I think that's cool. But this is really lacking. I don't know, some specific wave form that I want to use, let's say a sample. Let me upload my own wave form in the form of a sample. We could add that in. It wouldn't be that had actually we would just have to understand the code and where to put it, then we could do it. That's the advantage of all of this. We can really customize it the way we want. One thing I want you to notice is that when I have this open, the patch turns all white in actual Ableton. Even if I bring Ableton back to the front, this is all whited out. The reason is that's Live's way of telling me that that patch is open. When you see something that looks like this, it's not really going to function the way you would expect, if at all. So in order to really use it, we need to close it and then things go back to how we expect. Then we can use it again. Some things you can use while it's open, but to be sure you're using the right thing, make sure it's closed to use it, okay. There's a couple more UI things and then let's look at a couple of these patches and just walk through them. 18. The Ableton UI Objects: One of the other things about the UI stuff in Max for live, is that it's limitless, whereas in normal Max it is also limitless. But there's not a big incentive to try to make Max look like Ableton because you're really making your own little programs. But in live, the people who make really elaborate Max for live devices tend to make really elaborate interfaces because you can custom code stuff, you'll find a lot of really out there. Interfaces, UI objects, especially nonstandard stuff. They're really cool. I thought maybe I'd just show you a few like, here's one fun thing. This is called vector M. This is some kind grid. But when I play a Midi note, it puts it on this access. And if I play more notes, seems to be velocity based, just starts doing crazy stuff. Play a whole bunch of notes, they just start moving. It's neat, this is not any kind of standard UI object that I'm familiar with, but it's pretty cool. Another one is this ocelot patch. This, you're not going to believe that this is Max for life, but if I go to Open Editor, it opens this whole other window that is a whole modular synthesizer like I can add a mix VCA sequencer. This is crazy. Um, but this is so cool because again, if I really wanted to get into the code, I could open this up and play with it, add a big comb filter stuff, and there's probably some mechanism to patch things in and out. Yeah, here we go. You can patch things together, it's wild but this is all Max, the language is the same, The interfaces look a little different. Okay, so let's look at a few more simple patches and Max for live and look at some of the stuff we can do. 19. Example Patch: M4L Tricks: Okay. I thought I would give you here another patch of mine That's just silly, that shows a handful of things you can do. I put this together quick just to show a couple simple things that we can do. Maybe just to get your head thinking about the possibilities. This is a single patch in which I'm doing a whole bunch of different things. Within a Max for live device, I can launch a clip, right? So I can say which there to track one, clip two. It's important to remember here that when we think about Max, most of the time numbers start with zero. If I want, this first track is going to be track zero. Track one, track two, track three. As you may have seen, what I just did was I typed in track zero, clip two, and since it's under record, it made a new track. Anyway, when you see numbers, think they probably start at zero. I can make clips. I can launch clips. That's cool. I can ask it which track is selected. Here I put in this thing, this is another one of those cases where you can double click on something. This is called an abstraction and that means there's a whole nother max patch in there. I can double click. This is what opened. This is just a tutorial that tells you how to get this information. Get selected index, tell me which track is selected. In this case it's track zero, which is this one. I can toggle the transport from within max, which is cool, right? Because that means I can trigger things to start or stop the transport by clicking this little toggle button, I can start and stop the transport. But I can also build a system in which the transport turns on or off based on like a Midi note I play, or a pitch I sing, or something that happens in a track, whatever, getting a little weird, I built an LFO that controls the panning of this track. If I turn this on, it's linked to the panning of this track. Here. I can set it to be 164th note. I'll just go nuts. Which it can't really go that fast to keep up. Now it's looking like it's going fast enough. That's, here's a stupid little max for live trick that you can do. When I click this, it might look like nothing's happening. But if you look up here, I'm changing the name of the track to hey, look over and over because why not? What's funny is that if you use this little trick, I didn't actually write in here a way for it stop. It's just go, we're just going to leave it neat. Dumb pattern, something I've actually used before. But basically what this is in the old days, there was this effect called the pattern gate that I used to really like. What it basically did was mute a track in a rhythm and it would generate a pattern. This is a really dumb one where I just built in a mute to the track on an LFO. Basically I can turn it on and it starts muting the track. And I can change it to be like a 16th note, A 16th, now it's muting the track in a 16th note. Maybe I should point out here that both in this one and back in the panning one, when we were doing that, turn that back on. This looks really inconsistent. This is a lot of flashing stuff, okay? This looks inconsistent, but it's not. The actual panning is going fast enough, it's actually doing it and it'll sound right, but the UI stuff on the screen is what's having a hard time keeping up. It doesn't look like it's perfectly fluidly going back and forth like you would expect it to be, but it is the UI is always going to be slower than the actual process. The audio will sound correct here, but the graphics don't really keep up because we are audio people and we care about audio more than graphics. They take a backseat to the audio. In this case, just a couple dumb little things you can do. This is not a very pretty patch, but maybe you can have some fun with it. I don't know. Amaze your friends, I'll give you this too if you want to have some fun with it. 20. Signal Flow in Ableton: Okay, let's talk about signal flow. Signal flow in Max for live works the same as it does in any live effect. In other words, signal goes in on the left side and out on the right side. In a case like this where we have an audio effect, we need to put something into it. We're going to send an audio signal in here and we're going to take an audio signal out over here. Okay. The ins and outs are what separate these three kinds of max for live devices. Essentially what they are is that an audio effect, you have an audio signal input and an audio signal output, right? Because it's audio effect, you need audio to go into it and audio to go out of it in the same way that your distortion pedal for your guitar. You're going to send a signal in your guitar and it's going to send a signal out the distorted signal, right? An audio effects audio input in and audio input out. A Midi effect needs a Midi signal in. You need to put it on a Midi track, is what that means. And a Midi signal out, meaning it's going to output a Midi signal. If you want to hear it, you need to put some synthesizer or something after that Midi effect. Then an instrument, a max instrument is going to be a combination of the two. It's going to take an Miti signal in, meaning it's going to be looking for a Midi signal to control it. And it's going to output an audio signal because it's generating sound like any kind of synthesizer. Okay. The most important thing to remember, just that our inputs and outputs go from left to right. Different kinds of Max devices need different things. Let's take a quick look at this buffer shuffler, max audio effect, because it's one of the coolest ones that we have. 21. Example Patch: Buffer Shuffler 2: This buffer shuffler patch, which is weirdly hard to say, you should be able to find it in your max audio effects buffer Shuffler 2.0 I think this just comes with Max for live. You should be able to find it. If not, you can go to Max for Live and get it as a pack. So I'm going to put it on an audio track, which is what I've done here. And then I'm going to put this little drum loop on this track. My buffer shuffler is muted here, okay. This is all. Okay, so I've got this simple little loop, okay? Now I'm going to turn buffer shuffler on what it's going to do. Essentially give me a live sampler of what's going on, right? This is my first eighth. Note that it sees second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, right? So I've got eight steps. What's fun about this is that I've got these options down here at the bottom. I can click on dice, which is just going to randomly shuffle them. I can select how they get shuffled. Random neighbor per mute, invert, reverse, et cetera. I'm going to keep it on random or I can select this. Auto auto means that it's going to play through. And when it gets to the end it's going to randomize them and then play again. And then randomize them and play again. It's going to constantly be shuffling them constantly. Here it is, with the auto on, it's basically like instantly cool. If you're thinking that's just super random, how would you use that? I'll show you how I like to use this effect. Watch this, I'm going to duplicate this track, okay? And then in this track, I'm going to get rid of buffer shuffler. This one is going to play normal. This one has the buffer shuffler on it. I'm going to turn this one down just a little bit, okay? And then I'm just going to get some harmonic, something happening here. Let me just go to random samples and give me, I don't know, some pad harmony. Sure. We'll use this random minor thing. Okay. Now I'm going to crank my tempo up super high, make sure this is set to loop. I think it is. I'm gonna launch all three. Not bad, right? For taking like literally 30 seconds to make that U. Again, what's happening here is this one has the buffer shuffler on it. This one doesn't. It's giving us like a ground. This means basically beat. My snare is going to be on 2.4 and my kick is going to be on 1.3 more or less, but it's also going to be all over the place. Because of this. Then this just gives me something to hang onto. Some nice melodic thing happening that buffer shuffler is super cool, Go download it right away. 22. The Max User Community: Okay, in this section of the class, I want to talk about some tools for finding Max patches. And also I'm going to go over three famous Max patches. The best place to find Max patches and just to learn more about Max is the Max user community. Now, when I started using Max for a long time thereafter, Max was a real secretive thing, like people didn't talk about using Max because it was their secret weapon. You would you would build a tool in that it was your tool and you were the only one who had access to it. That was true for a long time and it was actually, I think, a big problem for cycling 74 because it was like reverse word of mouth, right? Like people were keeping it secret. But two things happened that really opened the door on that. One is that a PC version of Mac came out because prior to that, it had only been for Mac computers. Once the PC version came out, you really started to see start using it a lot more and talk about using it. You saw big user communities start to form. That was really great. The second thing is Max for Live came along. And that really opened the door to where people are sharing patches, creating forums, doing all kinds of stuff. The user community is really quite big and there's a lot of people and they're often happy to share things. You can go on the Cycling 74 website if you just go to the forums here, there's tons of information, there's tons of patches here. Look at something like here's somebody who's working on something. There's probably a patch hidden in here. Here's a screenshot of them working on a patch. Let's try this one. Here it is. This person posted a patch. You can copy it here. You can download it and sometimes they post it as just those text things that you can just copy and then open. Sometimes if there's a bunch of extra stuff, they just post the link and then you download it. Cycling 70, slash forums, a great place to find all kinds of stuff. A really warm community of people willing to help. If you are working on something and you're having a problem with it, post it here and say, I don't know why this doesn't work. People will chime in and they'll be really helpful. It's really great, actually. That's a good one. But there's another one. There's another one that's the cream of the crop, especially when it comes to Max for live patches. Let's talk about that in a new video. 23. Okay. This little unassuming site here is called is Max for This site is, it has tons of stuff on here, an insane amount of patches, some of them are for sale, some of them are free. I'd probably say most of them are free probably. But let's look for something. Let's say we want to do, let's look for an audio device. Here's just tons and tons of audio devices, right? Taped. Here's a tape. Head simulates running something through an old cassette. This is what the creator of it said. I wish I could carry my tape recorder around everywhere I made this device to help This details here's more description and the download right here so we can go get it. Once we go there, we may or may not have to pay for it. If we do have to pay for it, it's probably a couple bucks and it'll go right to this maker. I don't think Max for live takes any money or anything, but there are just an insane amount of things here. Late fixer, M two modulation. Next page, it goes on and on and on. Tools for everything you can imagine. If you just typed in, I want something that does pads, I don't know. Here's like 1 million things that come up, right. Like that. Crazy huge thing. It goes on and on and on. Check out that's like a number one resource for you to find all kinds of stuff. 24. "Famous" Max Patches: Okay, Next I want to talk about a few famous Max patches and I put famous in quotes here because we're talking about a small community. But this goes back to that thing I was just talking about about people using Max in secrecy for a long time, not so much anymore. I think people that use it now, especially in pop music, are pretty proud that they use it because it shows a level of nerdiness that many bands can't get to. But people were really secretive about patches and that's especially true, like we're going to look at the at Tech patch in a minute, which is impossible to use, but it's available is that It's available because somebody stole it off somebody else's hard drive or something like that. It's really strange. The first one we'll look at is actually included within Max. It's just something that a lot of people have used and it has become very famous. The second one, the radio head patch, we don't actually even have the patch. We know what it sounds like. We have some images of it from stage shots. Some people have made some mock ups, and I'll show you one of those when we get there. But anyway, these are famous patches that people talk about all the time and I just thought I'd show you how to track them down and make some sound with them to the extent that we can. Because when people make patches for themselves, they don't really document them. They don't say click here to start the patch because they just know when you get your hands on one of these patches, sometimes you just have to figure it out and it can be hard. Let's do it. Let's start with Convolution Workshop. 25. The Convolution Workshop Patch: Okay, this first one, convolution workshop, this is one that introduces a lot of people to Max, how Max works, and also what convolution is. If you don't know what convolution is, it's basically a math process in which we take attributes of two things and make a new third thing. It's like we can multiply two numbers together. You can also convolve two numbers together. In the sound world. What that usually means is we can to Sounds convolve them together and generate a new third Sound. Usually that sound will have some elements of both. For example, it might use the rhythm of one sound and the tamber or pitch elements of the other. Sound. Okay, now doing this in real time is a relatively new thing. For a long time we could do convolution with programs like Sound Hack and there's a few others, but it would do it in non real time. You had to like set it up and then hit Convolve. And then it would think for a couple hours. Then you'd come back and hear what you got. This convolution workshop patch taught us that you can do it in real time in Max, which is, Well, let me show you this patch. First of all, how do we find it? If you have a full version of Max, you probably already have it. This is built into Max. Now in order to find it, I'm going to go to File and then show file browser that's going to open this thing, then type in convolution to the search window, then you'll find it. I have two versions of it. I have an old one and a new one. This is the new one that's opened now, but you can also just search your hard drive, but this is faster for me. There we go. Convolution Workshop, max patch. Okay, here it is. How does this thing work? Let's look at the UI elements. These little gray boxes will come to be a little familiar to you. This is like a media player. Box source is the sound file. We can change that with the dropdowns here. File stick. Just try this first using the default files, let's leave it as rainstick or we can drag a sound file here. That's cool. Okay, we can start that playing. There's volume right here, okay? So this is cool. We're hearing your rainstick. Now we go over here. Here's the drum loop, okay? Now there's a drum lop playing. We don't hear it yet. Okay, let's not worry about the code stuff here. Don't worry about any of that. But here there's a little comment. It says, experiment with adjusting the balance between the two sounds. This is a slider I can click on here. It says Noise I can go over here. The drum loop, okay? Noise Drum, okay. Now, if I set this thing right in the middle, it's going to be the two sounds convolved together. Now it's the rhythm, there we go. It's using the rhythm of the drum loop and the sounds of the rainstick. Turn it up a little bit. This is our output volume. I'm going to stop this for a second. This little thing down here is an important thing that when you see it in a patch, it basically, it's not going to have the sill start audio comment on it. You might just see the sill speaker icon. And what that means is that you're not going to hear any sound until you click on it. Now, sound is off for this whole patch, sometimes your whole max version. We got to turn that on to start audio when you see that. Okay, this is convolution workshop, it's really neat. You can put some sounds in there and convolve them together. Let's do something crazy and just switch this to be my Mike. Do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do. It's working pretty well. It's the problem is that you're hearing it through everything. Maybe it's recording better Anyway enough of that. Let's go on to a next one. 26. The Radiohead Patch: Okay. Up next, the Radiohead patch, or more accurately the Radiohead patch, is Johnny Greenwood, the guitarist of Radiohead. And some would argue one of the masterminds behind Radiohead is a big fan of Max, particularly for running his guitar through it and getting glitch effects. That was the most notable thing that he would do with it live. Anyway, this article, has this cool article about it. Basically, you can hear it really well on the songs. Go to sleep, Airbag two plus two equals five, Farrell and some others. Sometimes he samples the whole band. We don't actually have the patch, but for these glitch effects, we can reconstruct it. Here is an early picture of one of the patches from Johnny Greenwood's rig. Here's another one from onstage. Obviously we can't rebuild that just from that. Here's another one. This looks like that same one from the same as the first one. We can see record. This is a matrix module, lets you set inputs and outputs and make a little matrix of events. These look like sine waves, a bunch of different dials. It looks like a relatively simple drum machine patch. Something a little different lot, full band looper patch. Now he's sampling a whole band in real time. It's tricky. Yeah. We don't have access to any of these patches. No one's leaked them yet, as far as I know. However, I on the cycling 74 Forum, someone saying, well, the gliter patch is like this. Let's check that. I just copied it from the text. I'm going to go to max file new from clipboard. And this is what was made. It looks like nothing but it's all over here. I just need to make the window bigger. Okay. What have we got here? This person says, audio on and gain up equals okay. Audio is going to be here. First, we need to lock this patch because it is open. That means if I click on something, I'm going to move it around. I don't want to do that. When that happens, hit this little lock icon down here. Now I'm actually using the patch audio on. Okay, cool. And then it says Gain up, that's going to be down here. He says gain, turn it up, blah, blah, blah. This is my guitar solo. Okay, that's maddening. Let's turn that down. Basically what he's got here, it looks like he's got an EQ that's just randomly moving around. Something that's chopping up the sound that's coming in in real time. Then I've got a volume. He's also transposing it up quite a bit. It looks like three octaves by this envelope speed, that doesn't sound like three octaves. We're playing around with the pitch quite a bit and glitching it out in some stuttery way. That's annoying. It's cool, but it's annoying. You can find this patch, if you go to 70, for Johnny Greenwood, you'll find it about halfway down the page, right there. Okay. Let's look at my favorite of these most famous patches. 27. The Autechre Patch: Okay The Patch. Now first of all, what's is a band? A group of two producers? Influential? I don't want to say avant garde but it's a little out there. A lot of the stuff. Stuff, not so much but it borders on the IDM. Maybe earlier stuff had a little bit more of a technovafin, more abstract than average pop producer. They've been using Max for a really long time and supposedly they put out this patch that is almost a complete album. I heard, although I can't find something that verifies this, that what this patch does is basically generate music and they recorded a ton of it and then chopped it up, and that was an album. I don't know if that's true, but they definitely used a lot of it. The story goes, patches were stolen on a USB drive. I heard that it was a computer. Like they hired a computer tech to come to their studio and fix some computer stuff. When he was in there, he was like, oh, and grabbed this patch, whatever it was, it's out in the open now. It's been for a long time. This is not a new patch. This is quite old. Even this post 2008, I don't know. It's really old. But let's check it out. We're going to click on here to copy it, then we're going to go to Max from Clipboard. There we are. All right. This thing is big and ugly. It's even bigger. Okay, cool. This is hard because this tells us nothing. There's no information in here about how to use this thing. We hear this phase thump going. Something's modulating it somewhere because it comes and goes a little bit. We see two volume controls down here. Okay, that's that. And then this is probably the other one. Yeah. Okay, cool. We've got all kinds of buttons all over the place, so we could try clicking those, but we also have, this is a UI element that's basically a bunch of different sliders, so we could turn different things up. Okay, cool. This is a preset module, this means there's like saved states of this patch built into here, so let's click on some of those. It doesn't appear to be anything here. Okay, More sliders we can play around with. Master volume. Okay. A lot happening now. It just goes on and on. And there's no way to, well, there is a way to know what things are doing. But you'd have to unwind all this stuff. It would take forever. It would take years to really figure out everything that's happening here. What I like about this patch is just clicking and exploring. Now, I'm going to mute this patch for a minute here. This patch does bring us up to an interesting thing that we haven't talked about yet. In the first patch we looked at the convolution workshop patch. I had to lock it in order to use it. That was this button way down here, this one. If I lock it, nearly everything goes away. What that means is that there's something called presentation mode, which means we can hide stuff. When it's locked, all the code is just hidden. And this is the only stuff you really need to do, things is what they're telling you. But I want us to see all the other things in here. I need to leave it unlocked if you want to interact with the patch. While it's unlocked, you just hold down the command key on a Mac or the similar key on a PC and then you can move things around. This is unlocked, so if I click on this, I'm just going to move this thing around. That's not what I want to do. I want to interact with it. I hold down command and then when I click on it, I'm actually interacting with it. Cool. Okay, this really goes crazy. Okay, so this is our tempo, cool skin weird. Anyway, I can do this all day, literally all day. What I want you to do, if you want this patch, you can go to cycling 70, slash forum patch or just search Google for match. You'll find it. Sure. You spell correctly, it's a weird word. Also check out the music of ate. It's awesome. 28. For Mixing: Envelope Follower: Okay. In this section I thought I would just go over some of my go to max patches, some of my favorite max patches. These are things that I have that I've found to be particularly useful. Some of them are really simple. Just simple little things that are just little utilities that I like. Some of them are more complicated. Let's start with the envelope follower. This is one that I like for mixing. Especially what I've got here is I just set up a quick little situation where I um, so I've got this drum beat, weird drum beat and then this baseline at the same time. Right? No big deal. But what this envelope follower does is it's a lot like side chaining. Without side chaining, if you don't want to, it's a quick and easy side chain where you can side chain anything to anything. What we're going to do is I'm going to go envelope follower. Here it is. I think this is a built in one in the latest version of Ableton. Let's put it here on the drum beat and let's solo the drum beat. Okay, now we see the volume envelope of the drumbeat. Okay, now let's say I wanted to map that to the volume of that baseline. I just click there. And now you can see that baseline isn't going to happen outside of that drumbeat. It forces it into the envelope of something else. This actually has all kind of cool uses for creating rhythmic stuff within a track. Another great one is to get a pad to sound like it's in the same rhythm as drums. Let me show you just real quick, if I just pull up a pad sample. I'll just do this with an audio sample really fast. Perfect. Let's take that. Okay, and I think I just mapped it so I'm going to hit map again. And then this volume. Now if I launched this, mute it, boost the gain of this. All right, like that's cool. We're clipping pretty bad here. We should pull this away. But it's cool effect for all of these things. You can see it's a lot like side chaining if you're familiar with side chaining, but without the extra steps you have to do to side chain something, I find it to be really handy. 29. For Glitchy Effects: Buffer Shuffler: Okay. Next, the one I've already showed you, and that is buffer shuffler. Whenever you're trying to do any glitchy effects, this is just an easy go to. It's even got some presets. Let's go to Madness. And put it on this little drum loop. Solo it and get rid of the envelope follower. Here's madness. Cool Sister twister. Let's try that preset. I like that one trans gate. There's just so much you can do with this. This is probably one of my two favorite patches right now. Buffer shuffler comes with Max for live. The other one that is my favorite patch right now does not come standard in Max for live, but is the one I'm going to talk about next. Let's go to that now. It is called Drone liquefier. 30. For Ambient Music: Drone Liquifier: Okay, I'm going to go back to Sister Twister on this. Cool, then let's leave that there. Okay, now let's go to Drone Liquefier. Where don't I put it here? This is one that I think I got off Max and I think I paid for it. I'm going to put it on my master channel here just to demonstrate it. We looked at this already, but we looked at it behind the scenes. I don't think I really showed you what this actually does. This basically takes anything and turns it into like drony stuff. Okay. So I'm just going to hit Go and yeah, just like right out of the box that be increase the randomness, more random duration panning around and, and I'm just turning random things on. But here you go, really simple. Let's switch to just this pad. That volume is all the way down. Here we go. This is random, so it can go on forever. Like you could just leave this playing forever. Let's, I'll show you something. This is a incomplete track, is kind of a sketch, but it is going to give you an idea. The whole thing sounds like this. So let's go here. Master track. Turn off drone liquefier for a second. This sounds like this. Don't want this warping on. Let's turn working now. Okay, this is cool. Let's turn on during liq a fire. I just immediately sounds like a literal do. That's the most evil thing I've ever heard. And it's awesome. Drone Liquefier, check it out. You can probably find it on if not just Google Drone Liquefier, Max Patch, and you will find it. 31. For Synthesis: Mono Sequencer: Okay, next for synthesis, I love this mono sequencer. I'm going to throw that on a Midi track. I already have it on a Midi track. I'm going to put it on this one anyway. What this does is it's going to take the place of the piano roll editor For us, basically, it's a lot like buffer shuffler in the way it looks, the way it works. We still need an instrument on it. This isn't actually doing any synthesis, It's just giving us some cool ideas for stuff we can draw in some notes this way. Okay, here we go. Then we've got access to pitch velocity, octave duration, and repeat. That's interesting. Basically we can set a scale, and this can be different than our tune. Let's say do then just randomize. Now we're going to create little melodies in Dorian. We can turn notes off, and I hit this conform to scale and it smoohes it down into the scale. You can create little patterns and use randomization to help you come up with some new and different ideas, which I find to be really valuable and helpful sometimes. Okay, next let's talk about pure chaos. 32. For Pure Chaos: Bouncey Notes: Okay, for pure chaos, I have this midi effect called Bounty notes. Here I have two notes, let's put them up here. All this does is play two notes. There's a little bit of echo on it, which I think is what this is bouncy notes is doing. You can basically see it's doing exactly what it says it's doing. But you can create different situations for it. So if we look at one of the presets on here, we can get to some really wacky stuff. Let's do this. See, I think this is really gorgeous, just the way it's just randomly generating notes. We can conform it to scale if we want. Let's do major, major. We can draw more boxes that force things to change around. It's really fun, it's like a little game. Let's try this, see here, now you have real randomness. Anyway, it creates some really cool effects, more along the lines of helping you generate ideas, But it's really cool and fun ways to generate ideas. 33. Max Applications: Museik and Others: I mentioned early on that you could make full apps in Max, you might not even know that you're using an app that was written in Max. I thought I would 0.1 out for you. This company called Ion Concert Media, I helped start in this company. Basically, they do show control for large scale video performances, like when your local orchestra wants to perform the music of some film live, like a lot of orchestras are doing now the way it used to be done, the conductor would wear a click track and they would conduct the whole orchestra. And that's how they would stay in sync with the movie. What this company does, I created a way to not have to wear any click tracks and let the orchestra slow down and speed up and do what they normally do when they perform music and have the video act like any member of the orchestra and follow the conductor. That was the goal. They have this product, they have a whole library of content, all kinds of stuff. But the actual app is called music. The actual app looks like this. It has a companion app that runs on an ipad and the ipad controls this. This looks like a fairly complicated program and it actually is. It's doing a lot of heavy lifting stuff under the hood. It's got a settings window, key commands, audio drivers, more audio settings. It supports up to eight channels. It's got a built in little mixer. It has a proprietary file type that these movies have to be in. It's a on file. All of that is done in Max. This is one big max patch. It's got a lot of custom code in it too, but it's all put together in Max. Just to show you what you can do with Max at its extremes is what's happening with this app. If you look up in the window, it doesn't say Max. It says music. There's about music and special window things here. There's nothing that would tell you it's made in Max. Max is totally hidden in this. You cannot presently build Max apps that run on an ipad that I'm aware of. I don't think you can. Our ipad app is built in. I think we use touch designer for that. It's a different platform but it works for ipad apps and then that talks over a network to Max. It's a whole complicated thing, we don't need to get into that. But I just wanted to show you what it looks like when you have Max patches that are whole apps by themselves. 34. Opening up the Guts: Okay, in this last section, I want to look at cracking open a Max patch and looking at the inside a little bit more. Now, I know we've talked a teeny bit about this, but the majority of this class has been about using Max patches and not about opening them up. The next class I'm going to make, which I'm going to start like later today is going to be all about getting into the guts and making your own stuff. I wanted to make this class just to get us all comfortable with Max without just like diving into the deep end of the pool. We're in the shallow end of the pool right now, but we're going to start heading over into the deep end with this section of stuff. Some of this you've already seen me do, but I just want to go into a little bit more detail about how some of these things work. I'll use this simple synthesizer thing as an example. I think you already have this file. If you want to use that follow along you can. But this will work with any max patch and this will also work with any max for live patch. Max and max for live are going to be exactly the same in this way. The first thing is opening it up. We've talked a little bit about this, but basically when you look at a max patch, most of the time it's going to be locked. That's this little thing down here. You can click it there and then you can see more of the guts. When you lock something, it'll look exactly the same as when it's unlocked. Sometimes it'll look super different. It all depends on how it's been set up. In this case, I've got these patch cables. We call these, these things that connect other things. Those are all hidden but nothing else is really hidden. You can hide whatever you want. You can set anything on the screen to show when it's locked or not. Just remember that if you want to interact with the patch, if you want to click and drag on stuff, it's got to be locked. But if you want to change it, rewrite it, mess around with the guts of it, it needs to be unlocked. And you can do that with this little pad lock down here. Or super quick way to do it if you want. Hold down command and click basically anywhere. That's how we toggle quickly. Now there's actually a number of different ways of seeing a max patch. There's locked and then there's presentation and then there's locked. Presentation weird, right? So let's go a little bit deeper and talk about presentation mode just for a few minutes. 35. Presentation Mode: Okay, now it might be that you're toggling locked and unlocked and you still don't feel like you're seeing everything that might be true. This presentation mode, if I click on it, you can see here everything moved and got even simpler, right? Who I swear a bird just flew directly into my window and like in its head and then flew away crazy. Anyway, presentation mode is what it sounds like, it's for performance or presenting. The patch, we're going to hide everything we don't need. I can lock or unlock presentation mode. Here's unlocked presentation mode, and I can move stuff around and do whatever I want, whatever. Then I can lock it again. And when I turn off presentation mode, everything goes back to this state, right? The purpose of presentation mode really is just to hide anything you don't need and make things look as pretty as possible. Let's go over it one more time. There are I think, four different states of any max patch. There's locked, there's unlocked, there's presentation mode, and there's presentation mode unlocked that I miss anything. I think that's it. You get to those here and here. I don't know, a quick key command to toggle between presentation mode and not presentation mode. Locked and unlock is command click anywhere. Those are the four states of a max patch. Now if you're looking at max for live, you're probably in presentation mode. Max for live is really set up so that patches really look best in presentation mode. And most of them are set to automatically go into presentation mode when you launch them. 36. The Help Files: Now if you want to go a little bit deeper, let's go back to looking at this patch. And we're unlocked. Let's say, I don't know. Let's pick something cycle. Okay, here's an object called cycle. I'm going to put it all right there so we can see it. Okay, let's say you want to know what that is and what that does. You want to teach yourself a little bit about Max, I applaud you. Here's the best way to do it. Click on that control click or right click, whatever you want to do. Open Cycle. Every object, basically every object, has a help file, and the help files are actually max patches, right? This is a full functioning max patch. It tells you what cycle does. Cycle is a sinusodal oscillator. It's a sine wave. Basically use cycle object to generate a periodic waveform. Default waveform is one cycle of a cosine wave. You can also use the wave object which offers more flexibility, blah, blah, blah. Okay, it's like cool. Change the frequency, there's how to use it cycle. Turn it on, turn it up a little bit, Change the pitch. Neat, we have a sine wave, right? That's awesome. You can go over here and you can see, well, what messages can it get? Attributes, things it needs to know. Then there's the C also. This means like if you're interested in this object, you might like these other objects. Here we have a cosine phaser rectangle wave, saw tooth wave, trapezoidal wave, triangle wave, all kinds of different other wave form objects. Those help files are great. You can unlock them, you can mess around with them, interact with them, to teach yourself a little bit about what each object does. Now the super secret to Max is that you're never going to learn every object. You're not, there's too many. You're not going to memorize what they all are. Don't worry, you don't have to because all the time you'll see professional people, people who have been doing Max for 30 years, pop open these help files. I swear you'll see it all the time and it's totally okay. So open those up and read them to check them out as your way to just get started learning some Macs. 37. The Max Console: Okay, another great tool you can start looking at in order to help you learn Max is the Max console window. I've had it open for most of this class but it's closed right now, so I'm just going to go up to window and go to Max Counsel. Okay. Here it is. Now, if there's something not working in your patch, this might tell you what. Here it says, cycle cannot set frequency number is not finite. Okay. I think that was from the previous video when I took that cycle object and I just ramped it around. I think I got to a negative number somewhere in there. And that's what triggered this. This is red, so it's an error. It says something's going wrong. I can clear it by going there. I can search it. If I have thousands of errors, I can deliberately send things there, as we saw earlier when I was sending messages there just to see what was going on With our Midi values, it's really handy to have up. You'll see things show up here in yellow if there are warnings, meaning that the patch is still working, but something is weird, and they'll show up here in red if something is basically broken. If it says this isn't going to work, let's see if I can trigger something really fast. Let's try going out of this volume meter back into the cycle. Cool. Well, that triggered a lot of things, right? Here's why it says MSP, that means the audio audio object not satisfied. Likely to infinite recursion. Okay. Yeah, these are all saying infinite recursion. Right? That's what I was trying to do. What that means is it's a feedback loop. I took the output of the cycle down into some stuff, eventually into this volume ****, and then back into the input of the cycle that made a feedback loop. And now it's saying I have shut audio off because you've made a feedback loop, that's no good. What I need to do is delete that, then restart my audio. Then it should be working again. I can clear this out. Then we should be back to where we were. Sometimes when you make those, you have to restart the whole patch. Okay. Keep an eye on the max console. When you do something strange, it'll tell you that you've done something strange and it's a great learning tool. 38. Learning How to Learn Max: Okay, as we wrap this up, there's one thing I want to leave you with. And I may have said this already, but it's the most important thing when it comes to learning Max. Like I just said, you can't memorize every object and Max and how every single thing works. It is not humanly possible, at least not from anyone I've ever met. The only way to learn Max is to learn how to learn. What we're going to do in the next class is we're going to dive in deep into programming Max. But I'm not going to ask you to memorize every object. We're going to learn how to find the objects we need, how to learn what they do and how to use them. And we're going to build a bunch of fun stuff at the same time. Learning Max is all about learning how to learn Max, keep that in mind. In this class, what I really wanted us to do is just start swimming in Mac. Start to get a feel for it and use Max. If this is as far as you go with Max, that's fine. You don't have to learn to program Max. There is a lot you can get out of Max just by using it, right? Go to Max for Go to the cycling 74 forums, find people sharing patches, download a bunch of patches and use things. People are making some really wild and amazing stuff and people are sharing those things and it's awesome. You don't need to program max in order to fully take advantage of everything that it can do. But if you've got some ideas or you think you might get some ideas and you do want to learn how to program Max and do some stuff that is totally unique to you. Or you want to make some stuff that you can sell. Then you're going to want to take the next class on making max patches. I'm really excited to dive into that class. I think I'm going to do it like basically right now. I've got a few more quick things for you, so don't go away, keep watching. 39. Bonus Lecture: Hey everyone, want to learn more about what I'm up to? You can sign up for my email list here. If you do that, I'll let you know about when new courses are released and when I make additions or changes to courses you're already enrolled in. Also check out on this site. I post a lot of stuff there and I check into it every day. Please come hang out with me in one of those two places or both, and we'll see you there.