— W. Crouse


This series will review Max for live devices I really enjoy, here’s the first roundup:


Imperial Grains (need to add screenshots)

Sometimes you just need a simple granulating tool, this one lets you scan the waveform by a slider which you can then map to a knob or modulate, also using the integrated LFO’s and envelopes in M4L core will help make interesting modulations possible. It works really well with sweepy kind of waveforms. The ‘Glue’ knob is quite handy.

FMbox 1.03

A simple FM synth with an integrated steq sequencer that you can target 2 different parameters with, one can make some ridiculously good techno patterns with this device

PUSH SkinnerBox 1.0

The synth modules that were included in the Skinnerbox instrument/sequencer combo that came out around the time max for live was introduced, these are tremendously fun to sequence with push and use the new parameter step sequencing features.

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These racks we’re essential when I first started understanding the rack system that came out. Tarkerith’s racks are great ways to get some ideas on how to create some great effects by stacking everything up. Now updated for Live 9.

Tarekith DJ EFX Racks version 9.

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I’ve been messing about with various linux distros since about 2001, really for no other reason than because I’m a damn nerd.  What mainly turns me on about using free and open source software is freedom,  which has a lot of different meanings to different people, for me it boils down to ownership I can modify/edit/break my system with linux and other oss to my hearts content. Of course you can do that with Windows as well. This post isn’t supposed to be about any of this philososphical wankery. It’s about my recent experience in getting a fully capable 3D workstation running with Ubuntu Studio.

Ubuntu Studio

This flavor of debian/ubuntu came to my awareness a year and a half ago and mainly I was interested in exploring the JACK audio system and LADSPA plugins. I tried the 8.04 version and after some audio driver wrestling I was reasonably satisfied with it, Xruns with ALSA became problematic because of my sound card (a Native Instruments Audio Kontrol 1) so I played around with some stuff and dual booted, ignoring it for quite a bit.

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I made this for a friend, and thought I’d share it.  The reason I developed this Rack is to illustrate the concept of rack chain selection.. which is what the “Selecta” knob does.

(click image to download zip)

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This friday I leave for L.A. for a short vacation, mainly to go to Universal Studios with my girlfriend.

While I’m there I might take sometime to do indepth tutorials on my personal (well accumulated) routing tricks in ableton live.

Ableton Live has so many varying routing techniques that they can boggle the mind, most are not readily apparent until you have been using the application for awhile. A quick one that I think I can explain without the benefit of screen shots is an impulse routing scheme that I use so that I can input midi data from my Triggerfinger controller at the same time I’m running other midi loops.

 Here’s how it works.

Make a Midi track add your Impulse, we’ll call this Impulse.

Make another Midi track add nothing, we’ll call this Sequence.

Go to the channel settings for the Impulse track, set monitor to IN, under Midi channel select the input that you normally use for your impulse. In the Channel Settings for the Sequence track, go to the Midi Out and route the Midi Out to the Midi In for your Impulse track.

 Make your Hi Hat pattern or whatever you needed to have automated in the sequencer track and then bang away with your fingers. Yay automation.

 I also use this trick for Battery, or anytime I find myself needing to have both control and sequencing abilities.

yay, my first tip of this blog.

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