Max4Live Jitter-MIDI demo from Greg Lorincz on Vimeo.

Ableton’s Max for Live places not only the audio and MIDI capabilities of Max/MSP in Live, but video and 3D as well, in the form of Jitter. There is one significant caveat, in that you can’t live-patch in Jitter when running inside Live – you can’t get live video output while the patch is open for editing – if you don’t own a full Max/MSP/Jitter license, too. You have to lock the patch in order to get video output while running inside Live. (As near as I can tell, this is to prevent Max for Live from cannibalizing Jitter sales.) But what this does mean is that the power of Jitter can live inside Live – big news for Jitter users.

Greg Lorincz has the first video demo I’ve seen from users with this feature in action. Here’s his status report:

This is a simple application I built in the last few days (thanks to Max’s abundant and generous documentation). It is based on n.26 Jitter Tutorial (‘MIDI Control of Video’). The patch plays a Quicktime video file and triggers different frames according to the incoming MIDI notes. The rate (speed and direction) of video playback is controlled via a MIDI controller. The patch features a graph that draws the waveform on the screen.
The video footage was recorded at s studio of London College of Music and Media (Thames Valley University). The synth in the video is an EMS “Putney”, Brian Eno’s and the Chemical Bothers’ fav semi-modular.

It’s a damned nice application, and – specific tools aside – I have a feeling we’re going to see a lot more of this kind of work.

Greg reports that the solution isn’t entirely stable yet, but is encouraged by the results. (For their part, Ableton has committed to improving the reliability of its products, even if the cost is slowing progress on new features temporarily, and have already delivered a significant bundle of bug fixes.)

Twenty ten could be a very audiovisual year. The year sound and visuals make contact?

If you’re working on similar projects, whether in Max for Live or another tool (like routing MIDI or OSC between applications), do let us know!

  • cooptrol

    This device is from the website and is AMAZING. just the kind of thing i always wanted to do with jitter and never could.

    please check it out and play around with the parameters and you'll see it has endless possibilities. More congrats to the maker…

  • Gavin

    I have been investigating the potential of Max for Live as a visual tool.

    I'm no max/jitter expert but have made this video version of the buffer shuffler:

    Interesting features I have discovered (and used in this device) are

    a)I created a gl window with a device in the first track and the devices in all the other tracks feed it.

    b)It is easy to control the position and size of visual elements with clip envelopes.

    I've got a fair bit of stuff not ready for public consumption yet (not even sure if the above device was!). Live Api – as of 8.1 – now reports the playing position of a clip so it is possible to have video in session view respond to anything you should want to do to an audio clip. Not sure how accurate or cpu hungry these repeated calls to the api are yet though – at least 25 calls a second to the api for each layer – not sure how this will affect frame rates if you have say 4 layers and a bunch of other stuff going on.

    I think everything in Jitter happens in a low priority thread so presumably this means timing is never going to be as accurate as with a dedicated app. Kind of nice having everything in one place but maybe for full on av stuff it is better to use osc/udpsend and a slave app.

    However for the moment I'm quite happy playing about with Jitter inside MaxforLive. Its easy to use shaders (check the tutorials) which means a bunch of OpenGl effects which you can easily control/modulate/link to audio effects. The potential is there for sure – all we need now is the context and the content!

  • Mudo

    It is one of my focus Peter.

    Until now I success make people use Ms. Pinky maxipatch AO beta (which sends Midi/OSC from vinyl) to scratch video in OSC supported hosts (VDMX, Resolume…) and yes 2010 is the year for Tooltablism AV instrumentalism.

    About Jitter and music wait a bit please… things are coming…


  • marcus fischer

    it's great to see more people using jitter action in max for live.
    i made a max for live using the same jitter tutorial earlier this month. here is a video of it being controlled by monome via Stretta's polygome

  • Zeal

    it's exciting to see all these new video patches popping up. i'm looking forward to some sophisticated and polished devices emerging from all of this.

    I've been playing around with building my own patches for midi sync video.

    but i think with what's starting to pop up i'll start to merge and customize patches.

  • David Henderson
  • EATYone

    Thanks to point me on this mid vidi patch… With a little mod, i can now record the video :) ))))

  • Pingback: Ableton Live + Max/Msp + Jitter + MIDI « logan caldwell

  • EATYone

    With just 23 photos, a little try of render with the mod:



  • Pingback: Ableton Live + Max for Ableton + Jitter = Audio-Video MIDI Control - logan caldwell

  • Fabrizio Poce


    I am working on a modular environment in Max for Live for Live-like control of Jitter. This is currently in version 0.2, requires at least Live 8.2.1 and Max 5.1.7.

    You can download it on: