Max For Live has a wealth of options for controlling hardware synths. Even if you don’t want to create controllers for yourself, there’s a huge variety of devices online – many free – which let you integrate and control MIDI-equipped hardware with Live projects. The likes of Korg’s Volca range, many of Roland’s Boutiques, the TR-8/S and more popular hardware all benefit from decent (unofficial) Max-powered control devices. The website maxforlive.com provides an unofficial, user-created library of devices, great for hardware controllers and other general Max tools. Isotonik Studios’ Control Pack is a good addition too, with customisable devices for external CC control and randomisation. Hardware control is where a little experimentation with the underlying language of Max can help though, giving a platform to fix many of those ‘little problems’ with your setup that existing devices fail to solve. Many pro artists, like James Holden, use Max to drive full, complex live rigs!
Plenty of popular hardware synths benefit from unofficial Max controllers