Published on 04-Mar-2016.
Max MSP has come a long way over the years and has become the go to application for geeks like me, who have ideas that need visualising. Using Max you can build applications and devices very quickly. This is done using the Max visual programming language.
If you are an Ableton Live Suite user, you also get the benefit of Max for Live. This gives you access to most of the features Max offers and integrates with Live's API, meaning you have the best of both worlds that a DAW and Max can provide.
Since Max 7 there are have been lots of great changes, not only to the look and feel of how Max works. There have also been a plethora of new features added, such as BEAP (similar to Reaktor blocks) and many other features, of which there are to many to mention.
7.2 has just launched and again Cycling 74 have raised the bar even higher by adding MPE and Polyphonic MIDI, Updated Beginner Tutorials and more.
Getting Started with Max
To get started with Max MSP, go to the Cycling 74 website, download the 30 day trial
Check out this great series of Max MSP video tutorials that Youtube user dearjohnreed has kindly made available for free. It's a great series that has help me a lot and no matter what level you are, I'm sure everyone can take something away from this series.
Check out BEAP
Make sure you also check out BEAP, it basically offers a load of pre baked elements (similar to analogue Euro Rack modules or Reaktor Blocks). Using BEAP is great to do rapid prototyping. BEAP was created by Cycling 74 developer Matthew Davidson, you can find out more about BEAP by reading this article on the Ableton website.
To get started with BEAP check out the video below, there are a few in the series that you should be sure to watch
There are plenty of amazing books out there that teach Max, a series of books I have been drawn to are the Electronic Music and Sound Design Volumes by Alessandro Cipriano