Opcode Systems Max (1990)
Now in its seventh generation, this comprehensive graphical programming language for music and multimedia was originally written in the mid-1980s by Miller Puckette at IRCAM. Opcode licensed it and released a commercial of Max version in 1990. They, in turn, eventually passed it on to Cycling ’74, while Puckette himself released the similar (and free) Pure Data in 1996. Cycling ‘74 developed Max for two decades before they themselves were bought by Ableton, whose Max for Live is tightly integrated within their popular DAW. A thriving community of Max and Max for Live developers continues to create and share all manner of clever tools designed with the program. It’s not the easiest application to get your head around, but those that can grok it have access to an infinite creative playground.