My Max4Live patches

I am transcendent with joy to announce that I have spent all afternoon coming up with some Max4Live patches. You can download them if you have Max4Live or just anyway. Read my review at the bottom!


This plug in sends a MIDI sequence according to your distance to Florian Schneider. When Florian is asleep it plays only black notes. Requires GPSnatch.


This object provides secret handshake access to government contracts over OSC.


Plays the Benny Hill theme music at a tempo = velocity/128 * 500BPM. (requires sax sample).


Captures video from a QT compatible camera several weeks ahead of now. (NB. I already have reports that the Windows version is capturing an alternate universe where people are screaming burning skulls. Just mute the audio for now).


Man shall not know of this.


Every Monolake album with one finger, or Duolake albums with two fingers. Three fingers is too many.


This Max4Live patch was adapted from a Reaktor patch that was previously a Synthedit patch that has two oscillators through a low pass filter. As used by Bjork on tour.


High pitched squeal like a pig through multiple speakers. Worse when binaural.


Constant nauseating Doppler effect.


Instant post graduate sound performance. Will fool most academics/get PhD. Takes seconds to set up. NB you must still come up with your own pack of lies/paper.


One more thing through a distortion.

I once peeked at Max4Live and ran away. A year or so later it’s on my hard drive. But I would be lying if I said I’d done anything worthwhile with it.

Most of the people making Max4Live patches are the same that made Reaktor patches. It takes a special mind to carve your own nails to hang a painting. Each time a new construction tool pops up they decamp en masse to build a better granular mousetrap. How on earth do they ever get around to music? If I call them Gnomes I mean it in a kindly Tolkien sense – the technologically advanced underground.

wheel barrel gnome

Making this image was an excellent way to avoid Jitter for at least 5 minutes.

Apart from Gnomes I don’t know why there’s a market for software construction sets. Over 11,000 people are registered for Max4Live of which .5% actually build anything. Like me the other 99.5% sluggards go dumpster diving. I can knock together a Jitter patch to solve a particular problem and I’m pretty good at Live these days but I am buggered if I see the point to building my own LFOs.

(The other branch of this crazy are game engines. There’s about one squillion game engines each with a tribe of people who are dragging and dropping a godsquiddlion lame platformers with stolen Mario sprites. Each time you open GameSalad it announces all the games that everyone has managed to start and never finish. I guess that’s the Internet, clouding all the dilettantes into a worldwide lack-of-movement.)

Something doesn’t add up and I guess that’s why Ableton have been giving M4L away for the whole of April.

I took advantage of the severe discount and added it to my Live rig where it sits confusingly muddled with ClyphX. The potential to feed all of North Korea with Sugar Frosties might be hidden in there but in the meanwhile there’s Pluggo. You remember Pluggo? Back when Cycling 74 allowed you to make VST effects from Max. The sales pitch for Pluggo was that you got a lot of them, kind of like those old 101 GAMES IN ONE cartridges that were all Mario in different colours. You get UGLY GRANULAR 1, UGLY GRANULAR 2 etc.


Given that it started in 2009 the M4L library has not burst asunder with activity. Some Gnomes have been busy: Zeal and Fabriziopoce have video plugins that look useful and perhaps can be encompassed by the mind of man. Generally the audio tools are less interesting and in most cases just things that Live should do anyway. Like LFOs. It’s not too different to FL Studio which includes Synthmaker; very few people have got anywhere with the damn thing.

I’ve decided to try move from FL Studio to Live because it will change the way that I go about writing music. FLS is too close to how I have always worked by plugging lots of cheap boxes together and twiddling – observe:

Top L to R: ElectroHarmonix DR32 Drum Machine, CR-78 Drum Machine, EH Memory Man, EH Deluxe Electric Mistress, EH Clockworx, CSQ-100, SH-1, EH Crash Pads.

My studio in 1981-2 is a set of dark boxes with cabling running about. It even had Gol on top of the tape recorder. I feel comfortable with this system – too comfortable, and stuck in 1990’s music making. Live is 2000’s style music making. I wonder what is 2010’s music making?

Stewart: I wanted to say re the new post that i think we’re actually in transition phase – away from doing it all on a computer, back to having a bunch of interconnected devices. Once they sort out midi comms between iOS apps and others .. OSC support replaces cv/gate cables? Something like that. I was at the pub earlier trying to explain to a guy why I’m starting to get interested in electronic music making again and I think that’s the essence of it anyway..

Sent from my iPad=

10 thoughts on “My Max4Live patches

  1. (I can’t be arsed editing the post again so I’ll just comment.)
    Yeah but wiring up an iPad to another iPad makes no sense. Because it’s a universal surface, no particular functionality assumed (apart from robot/wizard sliding). It only makes sense to wire up boxes when each is limited by design. So do we emasculate our equipment? That’s maybe what KORG are doing with the MonoTribe and WaveDrum.

  2. You rank with Richard H Kirk as one of the very few godfathers of electronic music. Always an inspiration. Good luck for the shows with Gary Numan. He and OMITD were the first gig I ever went to 🙂

  3. Zeal and Fabriziopoce have developed some excellent max4Live video tools , most gratifying now one can do more than just cut/chop, playback video in LIVE along with music.In particular the gl stuff .Don’t stare at those little pretty patterns for too long.

  4. I have to comment on something you said in 3D world which is interesting, though may not have a place in this particular blog posting, but here it is.

    I like the way you describe how when you first started out it was about scarcity of music genres. Although much pop and other music from that era is worshipped as retro, there is little doubt that like today it was difficult to get certain types of music heard. I believe even Kraftwerk had issues.

    So you now say that there is an overabundance of music and its products. Take for example the individual artist’s products on their site. There are remixes, DVD’s, t shirts etc. Now these things have always existed, but to the extent where these are now such in abundance it makes wanting to be a completist an impossibility, barring living in a Double Bay mansion. Even Gene Simmons is quoted as saying the does not have every single item of Kiss memorabila and records despite his LA mansion have tons of it.

    What has me thinking is yes there is overabundance in music products. Does this mean the temptation to download is greater? I believe so, without paying the artist, and that is the problem. In the 80’s one would run to Rocking Horse Brisbane or Phantom Sydney or Gaslight Melbourne to get rare UK copies of live recordings and 12 inch mixes. Today, not so much your recordings (at the moment) people do remixes galore and live recordings are placed on YouTube.

    So my point is, overabundance is a reason to leave behind one’s band or music making. I think I now see your point about retiring. Trouble is, can you be strong to say no like Abba do to money to do retrospectives? What about ending the band with a 20th Anniversery Big Day Out appearance next year in the Boiler Room because that is your domain and historically will always be? Is it the end or does the internet make an archive of work that, if the artist is alive and sometimes even that is no barrier, make a demand to see one in the flesh.

    I don’t know if we can leave behind our pasts even if we are gone.

    Finally, I must say thanks for putting Choose Evil in the set. One thing that has always turned me to Severed Heads has been the way you use music and samples to convey a message, even if that was not the intention. The best ones that do that are obviously Dead Eyes Open, but more telling Anti Intellectual, Dollerex and Choose Evil. Dollerex captured in the 90’s the beauty obession much better than Kasey Chamber’s Am I Not Pretty Enough.

    Sorry for the incoherant nature of the post, but again I stress, overabundance is true of today’s society. It is 2011, but I cannot see as ‘young’ people discover what music has been, any band or artist disappearing. God enough already, I’ll post in the future when I have something coherant to say.

  5. Andrew Lagowski and Tom Ellard in one post? C’mon Ralf, we are waiting you 😉

  6. I miss Stewart! I was sincerely hoping I’d catch you both at the Melbourne show. I used to be hungover on his floor and he’d play YMO for me!

  7. Hey I found out about this on CDM, some of the download links are broken though, can you fix them? Plus, when I try and use the monolake one, it gives me an error about “your audio equipment and cabling is very poor quality and I refuse to allow my sounds to heard in this way”. I’ve got a gig tonight so I need this sorted ASAP.

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