Objects of desire
There are a huge number of objects in Max For Live from which to construct the instruments, effects and MIDI processors of your dreams, and it goes without saying that you need to be au fait with them if you plan to make the most of the software. Phelan elaborates: “It’s important to get to know the objects available. On the far left, we see the Object button in the toolbar, and we’ve got a massive list of objects that are available within the Max landscape. There are different search criteria here: you could maybe focus on just ‘Max Objects’ or ‘Max For Live’, or maybe ‘MSP’. These are the different categories of objects inside Max. Max objects are generally used to edit data, and are really useful for building MIDI effects, arpeggiators, sequencers… These don’t process audio; they process MIDI information, typically.
“Another interesting category is Jitter, which lets you do video processing; and also MSP, which is our other really important folder: Max Signal Processing. These are the objects that process audio, and they’ve all got a little wiggly symbol at the end: ‘~’. This is called the tilde, and it’s available on your computer keyboard. It identifies a Max Signal Processing (MSP) object from a Max object. So building a softsynth or making an audio effect mostly uses the MSP or ‘tilde’ objects. Explore this folder. There’s a load of stuff in there: filters, FFT pitch processors, sine waves, envelope generators.
“Probably one of the most important categories of object in the Max For Live world is the Max For Live family. A ‘live.’ object is a specific Max For Live object, and it’s recommended to use the Max For Live live. objects whenever you can. They can tap into Live’s automation automatically, they’re designed to work with the Max For Live landscape, and they’re very much easier to manage in terms of a GUI or user interface.”
Getting to know Max’s many objects and what they do is highly recommended