Dope Matrix Puts A Modular Synthesizer Into Ableton Live


Sonic Faction has released Dope Matrix – a virtual modular synthesizer for Ableton Live 9 and Max For Live.

Here’s a video introduction to Dope Matrix:

The video below is a Dope Matrix tutorial:


  • Virtual Modular Synthesizer for Live 9.
  • 4 ‘famous analog oscillators’: A-110, Plan B, Cwejman & Piston Honda.
  • 12 custom Effects Modules – vast new dimensions of sound.
  • Design evolving textures for experimental sonic science.
  • 100+ Presets included, optimized for Live’s browser.
  • Includes Max for Live Step Sequencer that features a realtime control Matrix for hands on control of your patch.


  • Ableton Live 9.1 Only (Mac & Windows)
  • Max for Live 6.1.5 (for step sequencer use only)

Dope Matrix is available now for US $40.

If you’ve used Dope Matrix, let us know what you think of it!

36 thoughts on “Dope Matrix Puts A Modular Synthesizer Into Ableton Live

  1. $40 is good – but I’ve got to upgrade from Live 8 to Live 9. Thats $300 AUD extra, or $848 AUD with Push. Still cheaper than a hardware modular – but not as much fun I’d argue. I want real knobs, not virtual ones.

  2. Damn, now we’re in the big leagues. This addition feels like something Logic would offer and that’s a big compliment from a 6-years-&-counting user. Once the dust of argument settles, two things always stick out for me. 1) Hardware generally “rules” because of its greater longevity and the unique air it moves. I’ve sampled my hardware and some sounds just plain work better in-house. They do! 2) When you can have your work in a singular space like a decent DAW and just compose, it puts a lot of weight on you unless you remain properly jazzed by the options. I’m all for it, as it rescued me from MIDI Spaghetti.

    Yeah, upgrading to v.9 is a PITA and yes, a soft-modular ISN’T the same as a hardware model, but people who holler for innovation should peruse this thing carefully. You have to create your own innovation and here’s a solid way to get there. Don’t *even” dismiss the means to store each modular patch in a library. Craig Huxley laboriously sampled every interesting thing he came across with his modulars. If you used this and even “just” a Doepfer Dark Energy, you’re getting the best of both modular approaches. Dope Matrix nailed it.

  3. anyone else with an apc40 buy this? i actually got it to use the step seq function cause when i upgraded to live 9 my step sequencer patches for apc didnt work anymore. this isnt working either.. it may be poor functionality, user error or bad documentation but i cant access matrix view at all. anyone encounter this?

    1. It works for me on APC40 – i had to manually select APC40 from the drop down menu on the device to get it to kick in. If you click the “?” there’s a help doc.

      1. thanks man
        i got it working ok after i realized that in my live preferences (control surface) i still had an old patch running mark egloff’s apc40 sequencer
        everything good now

  4. Modular? I don’t think so!
    The wires that they’ve draw in on the screenshot wouldn’t even correlate on a real modular! Do these dudes even know what they’re doing?
    Unfortunately, a lot of people will be fooled by the silly marketing video and will part with $40 for a standard MAX synth that anyone can program in a few hours.
    Also, I wonder if they’ve got permission from the companies who make the real modules to use their name in this questionable product. I very much doubt it. I’d steer well clear of this phony piece of crap.

    1. I do agree that the “modular” catchphrase they use is nothing more than that, and this has nothing to do with modular synths. However, let’s not trivialize the effort put into this product. It’s certainly not a “few hours” like you said.

      1. Okay, okay, the diagram had me fooled at first; its not a true modular. Saw the later demo, got it, but I still like the sound quality. I stand by what I said: match this with a real analog synth and you can cover a lot more ground. It may be technically sub-modular, but its still modular, if you’re gonna split hairs. I wonder how many of you REALLY sit for hours and do the patchcord dance anyway. I’d bet even money that more than a few who use a couple of smaller modulars will welcome this thing as a useful adjunct because its based on a family of them to begin with. IMO, it addresses a practical musical need. I’m not a production snob, I just like anything that adds some colors to the palette.

    2. I bought Dope Matrix and it sounds f**cking amazing. True, its not a real “modular system” (you can’t reroute audio in Ableton via Max for Live), but i would say that it’s a very clever adaptation that allows you to effectively create your own “virtual patches”, tweak out endlessly on Push via the matrix and bring the modular experience with you on a plane, train, boat, etc. Sampled instruments will never take the place of the real thing, but for those who don’t have $10K to spend on a Buchla, Dope Matrix is a worthy substitute.

  5. weird marketing for not showing the actual functionality of the ‘modular’ synth in action. I’m not sure what I’m seeing here. Is this a real modular setup with full patching ability or possibly one big giant cock-tease? Either way the advertising leaves much to be desired. I never understand these types of software/gear ads that don’t show the actual product in action.

  6. They’re not showing the synth in action because there’s probably not a lot to actually show. It seems they decided to do an off the wall video filled with buzzwords and hyperbole in an attempt to cover up the fact it’s just a standard synth made in Max. Shocking really. It’s similar to marketing a $10 children’s keyboard from a catalogue like it was a Moog Modular.

  7. My understanding is it’s an instrument based on samples of the oscillators with some FX like they found in their real rack they sampled. Neat idea from a sample library company, but not really a virtual modular synth. No patching, which isn’t so bad since you ultimately have all of Ableton’s automation for control signals and don’t need “analog” style ones. I was pretty confused by this product at first… The image with the fake cables is silly. BEAP for Max is a virtual modular system (mostly intended as a learning/educational tool), as mentioned above.

  8. Idiotic ad-video. Great sounds in the new video. Finally an Ableton instrument that where they show something else then beats. Still, its a lie. Its not a modular but an ordenary rack made in M4L, as stated several times here. But this is the great thing with Ableton and M4L. You can yourself make the most amazing instruments.

  9. Just putting some clarifications out there:

    The Harvestman’s Piston Honda is digital.

    The Harvestman is not involved in any way in the development, authoring, distribution, or support of this software. We did not license the Piston Honda to Sonic Faction for Dope Matrix or any other purpose, nor were we asked to do so, or consulted in any way. No conclusions about the operability, functionality, quality, or other aspects of the Piston Honda should be derived from Dope Matrix.

    1. Yeah, I mentioned this earlier and got 8 dislikes. I’m glad you chimed in. How is that they feel it’s ok to use the name and actually list it as part of the specs? And then to not even realize it’s digital. Just ignorant. No shortage of charlatans in the sound world. Also, I would consider this bad free advertising, it’s weak ass instrument and a weak ass video.

  10. I find it funny that its claiming to be a new construct for any kind of modular synthesis..
    Ableton is already modular by design and you can already build your own synthesis from the ground up to the craziest modular construction you can imagine.
    When it comes to sound creation, ableton leaves very little else to be wanted for.
    Its already an all you can eat buffet when it comes to music and sound.

  11. if you want a modular synth, pay for it. anyone knows about the price of one of this machines and
    $40 maybe its a good price for this device. i recomend it!

  12. I use Ableton to control (via Push or vice versa) “proper” modular and sundry analogue synths and lots of VST’s. I think for the relatively small price this is a bargain and can be a lot of fun. The VCS3/Synthi A for Ableton costs a lot more than this (nice kit btw). You get quite a lot of potential creativity for a few quid. Don’t knock it.

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