Cycling ’74 Releases Max 7 Visual Programming Language For Media

cycling-max7Cycling ’74 has released Max 7, the latest version of their visual programming system for audio and video.

Cycling ’74 calls Max 7 a ‘visual programming language for media.’ It works on Mac (OS 10.7+) and Windows (7+), and supports a wide variety of hardware.

Here are the details:


Max 7 Features:

  • Full support for MIDI devices and modern audio hardware
  • Limitless audio options including basic DSP building blocks, VST, Audio Units, and Max for Live devices
  • Flexible support for multi-channel audio
  • Realtime input from webcams, digitizers, and built-in hardware
  • Serial and HID support for a wide variety of electronic prototyping boards and controllers
  • Interactive OpenGL graphics and GLSL shaders, including realtime shadows
  • Support for multiple displays and tools for live projection
  • Efficient realtime HD playback and hardware-accelerated image processing
  • Transcoding and interaction between audio, video, graphics, and control data

Max 7 is available now for US $399 USD. Upgrade pricing and crossgrade pricing for Live/Max For Live users is also available. See the Cycling ’74 site for details.

11 thoughts on “Cycling ’74 Releases Max 7 Visual Programming Language For Media

  1. a saw this new BEAP feature on the website, which apparently a new type of full scale audio connection, not just between the dedicated modules, but also works as CV signals with DC-coupled outputs. forgive me if i’m mistaken, but this means we can finally build our on modular modules within ableton live!! probably time to invest in some of those expert sleepers modules…

  2. Yes now max can output CV formatted signal 🙂
    This is great. You can go back and forth between modular hardware & modular software.
    Generative sequencing from max to feed a hardware modular system for instance… dope.

    1. i have been using max to output “CV formatted signal” for years – without max7

      Spektro CV Toolkit or VCVI or expert sleeper Max/MSP external and many more

  3. Just did some research on the Subscription option… be warned that it might not be the best choice for M4L users.
    How much does Max 4 Live cost? –
    If you purchased a subscription or a temporary 12-month Max 7, you are not eligible for the Crossgrade of Max for Live from Ableton. You need to purchase a full license of Max 7 first. Remember: You can apply $39 of your temporary 12-month purchase to a new, full purchase of Max 7. E-mail [email protected] for details.

  4. Is the UI as bad as these screen shots suggest?

    This looks pretty dated, especially when you compare it to applications like Audulus.

  5. But really, what were they thinking with the new look ? Especially the objects look like version 4 or earlier..
    Everything else seems really cool,, customizable, etc but the objects…..

  6. I have lost faith in Max.
    The included library is terrible and the excuse that you should build it yourself is insulting.
    Any of the useful libraries like Beap and the convolution library are not made by cycling 74 and often coded in Java and not Max. Educators hood wink students into thinking max has any use at all outside of class. To develop anything of value takes so long to learn it is impossible to argue the time would not have been better spent learning a more useful language like Java.
    Nobody including the developers ever use the products made with Max outside of a quick demo and trying to score internet points.
    I’m completely jaded with the layers of legacy laden nonsense that is included in max.

    If you really want to learn programming by starting with a visual programming language then get PD vanilla which has a beautifully limited number of objects, is portable, is free, and ask the extremely knowledgeable and helpful forum members how to use the objects to tailor them to your needs. You learn a huge amount more as you build it from the ground up and realize that it’s all actually quite simple and obvious. The included library with PD while less structured that Max often has far more interesting tools.

    Max is like Lego Star Wars – full of one off custom bits, really expensive, and once you build it you don’t really play with it ever again and you’re weary of taking it apart.

    PD Vanilla is like normal Lego blocks where you can build whatever you want and let your imagination run wild. Obviously you cannot build a Lego Atat with PD vanilla but really if that’s all you can build are you any use at all to anybody.

    Max needs to develop a tool set for sound designers so that it can be used after people have learned to program in Max.

    Max needs to dump all the legacy crap and stop saying things like well we have to ensure backwards compatibility – to me that is a poor excuse.

    Max needs to become actually useful beyond very limited instances of public performance and hood winking media students into thinking they are learning useful tools.

    Sometimes it is good to express your frustrations and sometimes it is is good to stay quiet. I am not sure what I should have done but I will not be upgrading.

    The subscription model is good… Hood winking students is bad, PD vanilla is free and portable.

    My 0.02c

    Max Normal

    1. Hm I think you would have been more happy with reaktor (large user lib), or maybe audiomulch or something similar that doesn’t want you to build your own instruments necessarily. However, both pd and max are extensively used by people. From developers who prototype with them to musicians like Leafcutter John for example. Basically what you’re saying is, you don’t really want to build anything from scratch but you want ready tools that you can tweak. The price issue of course is a different matter. PD indeed is free, though has its own annoyance as well, but it runs on android! And there are nice externals libraries as well as the rjdj one e.g.

      1. Pd also runs on IOS through MobMuPlat and it can be installed on Linux and all that entails. I have absolutely no hesitation in building my own devices and have extensive knowledge of both Max and PD.

        I like programming in Max and PD more than Reaktor but I think that given the cost there should be a compliment of high quality ready to use tools for sound designers. Yes I like to build things, yes I like to have a library of high quality tools, yes i would like it to portable.

        My point was that I have lost faith in Max as it is simply not meeting these requirements. The logical conclusion then is to build in PD which is free and portable and a good learning environment and then use any of the abundant 3rd party tools for proper sound design. Is there are really use for Max outside of making media students feel they are smarter than the average cat?

        I did say there may be a few exceptions but generally speaking the time spent learning max would be better spent learning a more general purpose programming language or not learning to program at all and instead focus on 3rd party sound design tools.

        So the question is PD, JAVA, 3rd party sound design tools… Possibly for video it may be different but even there I know there are problems with HD video playback. I am unsure if they have been fixed in this iteration but I am skeptical.

        1. I think it’s a matter of use model that works for some people and not others. I’ve been a max/msp user since version 4 and I can tell you, I’ve used my Max/MSP/Jitter application at least twice a month for five years as a VJ and I really love it. I started coding it in Objective-C, and realized, I just didn’t like the limitation of rapid prototyping I get in Max that I was not going to get in Objective-C. I really loathed the Quicktime API, and it’s certainly a much bigger pain to deal with the audio graph and the endless classes / data structs plus limited support I find on the development lists. This coming from someone who has coded in Direct- X and LADSPA on Linux. I am no stranger to coding.

          It’s not to say that effort isn’t worth it for some, especially if making an end user product, but for me, it’s definitely not worth the hassle.

          In addition, now that Max is integrated into Live, I have the ability to rapidly generate ideas from simple to “way out there” that trying to do with a language like C++, Objective-C is a lot more overhead. Further, I leverage Java and Javascript in Max when I need some more linear approaches.

          Is it perfect? Not by a long shot. But I can tell you, my free plugin “Xeno – chord explorer” for Max4Live was a blast to write and certainly utilizes both Max and Javascript. I use it ALL the time in the studio, and the integration with Live makes it a no brainer.

          I think PD is perfect for some people as well, but I find it even more limiting than Max since I also do video work, not just audio. That’s a big difference. Everyone has different needs.

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