Max for Live

Building Max Devices

by Ableton

Max is a visual programming language for music, audio and multimedia. With Max for Live you can take your creative freedom to a new level by building your own devices in Live. This Pack gives you a head start working with Max, with free devices, in-depth lessons and a large set of examples to spark inspiration.

Included with Live 11 Suite.

New in Live 11

Building Max Devices takes you through the steps you need to build your own Max tools, with helpful lesson texts spread out across multiple Live Sets.

A tour of Max for Live: this Set contains a number of simple but playful devices designed to highlight the kinds of things Max is capable of. Filler is a MIDI effect that generates drum patterns, Snipper replays and pitches snippets of recorded audio, the Bell Tower instrument is a simple poly synth that uses FM to produce convincing bell sounds, and the Macro Knob device lets you control multiple parameters with one dial. 

An introduction to building Max devices: This Set gives you the chance to get hands-on experience tweaking devices like the ones featured in the tour. Before starting, you have the option of getting familiar with the basics of Max with a video.

In-depth lessons

Things get real with the in-depth lesson Sets. Each lesson shows you how to build a specific type of device from scratch – covering MIDI and audio effects, instruments, controlling Live and routing and modulating – with step-by-step instructions covering the most important things you need to know and more context in the form of additional tips and explanations. The sixth lesson is dedicated to the art of debugging, and the final Set presents an alternative way to perform a track with just four dials to play with, based on the devices you learned to build in the preceding lessons.


If you want to work with any programming environment, it’s crucial to learn from examples. Building Max Devices concludes with a curated selection of examples, each with a Live Set and a lesson page. With a wide variety of patches from the beginner level (like a MIDI echo and panning device) to advanced (like a high-quality plate reverb), and helpful annotations, these examples make it easy to draw inspiration for your own creations.

Video walkthroughs

If you’d rather learn more before downloading the Pack, take a look at the videos on our YouTube channel.

Happy patching!

New in Live 11

Included with Live 11 Suite.