Why all these amazing modules for VCV and not Max For Live?

Reaktor, MAX/MSP, VST/AU, etc. A place for all things soft....

Moderators: Joe., lisa, luketeaford, Kent

StrangeAttraction
Common Wiggler
Posts: 231
Joined: Sun Nov 16, 2014 1:51 pm
Location: London

Why all these amazing modules for VCV and not Max For Live?

Post by StrangeAttraction » Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:08 am

Hi,
The speed of development within the VCV rack environment is astounding!
So many fantastic modules and ports of all these famous MI modules and what not.
On the other hand, there's so little on the Max For Live front in terms of porting various modules. Why?
I like VCV but I find it a supreme pain (and CPU hoarder) to run it alongside Ableton, and I would die for say, MI Marbles to be a m4l plugin in Ableton.
Why isn't it? Is the coding so different/difficult for M4L compared to VCV environment? Why all this seeming stagnation in the M4L community?

IMHUL
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2014 9:47 am
Location: Philadelphia, PA USA

Post by IMHUL » Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:34 am

I have a few thoughts on this:

One of them is cost, even with payware modules it seems you get a lot more options in VCV Rack compared to what you have to spend to obtain Live and Max-for-Live.

Second is expansion into hardware. VCV Rack is a great way for those who might be interested in hardware modulars (but again, apprehensive about cost as well as workflow) to try out some of their software counterparts and see if hardware is something they're willing to invest in.

Third, and this is more of a personal reason, is flexibility. Now that VCV Rack can behave as a VST, it's usable in your DAW of choice. Not everyone gels with Live, me included. And the environment adheres to the hardware paradigm, whereas MfL can take some getting used to.

Those are just my opinions, however.

User avatar
Navs
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 4141
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2009 3:49 am
Location: Berlin, Germany

Post by Navs » Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:47 am

If you're specifically interested in MI Marbles, could you patch something similar in M4L?

zeit

Post by zeit » Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:58 am

Take my advice with a grain of salt and I can't really add much to what's already been said but...I'd say one reason porting to Max would be a PITA. There is so much abstracted away behind Max objects it's tough to learn for those starting out, even with lots of DSP knowledge I bet it's tough for some...again, grain of salt

For example, I recently picked up Bitwig 3.0 on Linux and it's a dream come true to work with The Grid for building things you need and I love the logic modules, very powerful even for beginners...and it's all laid out for you...I know people build great and powerful Max apps but I couldn't ever get to the level to be good enough to do shit with it. :lol:

gruebleengourd
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 621
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:49 am

Post by gruebleengourd » Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:35 am

IMHUL wrote:I have a few thoughts on this:

One of them is cost, even with payware modules it seems you get a lot more options in VCV Rack compared to what you have to spend to obtain Live and Max-for-Live.
Developer preference. If you are already programming DSP, you probably know C++. If you know C++ and are interested in learning DSP, VCV is an attractive framework to work and learn in.

The VCV ecosystem also seems to be easy for entry and monetization.

To make M4L objects you need to already have an ableton/max license and program in an awkward (for someone who codes) visual language which isn't at suited to low level programming and has already made most of the decisions on implementation for you (and given them weird names). I've had a copy of max or max/msp for over 20 years and I have never been interested in diving into their programming system -- during the same time I've taught myself supercollider, rtcmix, C++, and common lisp all for musical uses.

I've always felt it was software I should have in order to explore other peoples work, and perhaps to solve simple midi /audio routing problems etc, but it was never attractive for development or even for use as an audio source.

Max/MSP seems approachable for someone with little or no programming experience to be able to tinker and solve particular probems, but it is really not attractive as a platform for developing.


M4L devices are limited to people with ableton licenses. Anybody can use the free version of VCV and then buy your device.

kesserich
Common Wiggler
Posts: 137
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 7:35 pm

Post by kesserich » Fri Sep 13, 2019 2:54 pm

gruebleengourd wrote:
The VCV ecosystem also seems to be easy for entry and monetization.

To make M4L objects you need to already have an ableton/max license and program in an awkward (for someone who codes) visual language which isn't at suited to low level programming and has already made most of the decisions on implementation for you (and given them weird names). I've had a copy of max or max/msp for over 20 years and I have never been interested in diving into their programming system -- during the same time I've taught myself supercollider, rtcmix, C++, and common lisp all for musical uses.

I've always felt it was software I should have in order to explore other peoples work, and perhaps to solve simple midi /audio routing problems etc, but it was never attractive for development or even for use as an audio source.

Max/MSP seems approachable for someone with little or no programming experience to be able to tinker and solve particular probems, but it is really not attractive as a platform for developing.


M4L devices are limited to people with ableton licenses. Anybody can use the free version of VCV and then buy your device.

I pay the rent as a software engineer so I feel your frustration about wanting to drop to code pretty frequently. That said, I do almost everything in Max these days because of gen~. Code blocks basically let you write a very simple C-style language and have it execute with extremely tight timing - once per sample vector. HIGHLY RECOMMEND

kesserich
Common Wiggler
Posts: 137
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 7:35 pm

Re: Why all these amazing modules for VCV and not Max For Li

Post by kesserich » Fri Sep 13, 2019 3:02 pm

StrangeAttraction wrote:Hi,
The speed of development within the VCV rack environment is astounding!
So many fantastic modules and ports of all these famous MI modules and what not.
On the other hand, there's so little on the Max For Live front in terms of porting various modules. Why?
I like VCV but I find it a supreme pain (and CPU hoarder) to run it alongside Ableton, and I would die for say, MI Marbles to be a m4l plugin in Ableton.
Why isn't it? Is the coding so different/difficult for M4L compared to VCV environment? Why all this seeming stagnation in the M4L community?
It's not just M4L vs VCV. You also have Reaktor blocks, BEAP and Softube and Kyma in the mix. People have been clamoring for years for a successor to the Nord Mod and it looks like a clear winning standard may be emerging.

I'm happy to see that dedicated hardware solutions seem to be losing out but I'm also not a huge fan of the micropayment model so many of these communities seem to be adopting. It'll be interesting to see all of this play out....

User avatar
UltraViolet
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 551
Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2018 7:10 pm
Location: Edinburg, Ohio
Contact:

Post by UltraViolet » Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:55 pm

All the Mutable Instruments modules are done in C++. Emilie's code is well written and that makes it not too hard to port to work in VCV Rack. Converting all that code into another format would be a substantial project with little hope of recovering the development cost.

Benj
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2017 11:29 am
Location: Africa

Post by Benj » Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:01 pm

BolitasMutantes is a m4l port of marbles by xnamahx ..there is also plaits and rings you can download free at github.com/xnamahx

User avatar
ignatius
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 15466
Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 4:03 pm
Location: oregon
Contact:

Post by ignatius » Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:35 pm

yeah.. there's like no max for live devices for free on the internet anywhere

:mrgreen:

there's a few modular environments for max for live.. outside of what you can do on your own.

http://maxforcats.com/category/oscillot/

https://isotonikstudios.com/product/modulat/

and there's like a billion audio and modulation etc devices on maxforlive.com

i don't see any limitations really.

also, if you want one to one module creations just use VCV rack :despair:

User avatar
Monotremata
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 453
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2014 6:21 pm
Location: Ontario, CA

Post by Monotremata » Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:31 am

Well, VCV isn't restricted to living inside Ableton Live, VCV uses a language most programmers already know like the back of their hand, and not everyone uses Ableton Live, let alone with a seperate Max license just to code, plain and simple.

StrangeAttraction
Common Wiggler
Posts: 231
Joined: Sun Nov 16, 2014 1:51 pm
Location: London

Post by StrangeAttraction » Sat Sep 14, 2019 3:26 am

Thanks for the comments.
Lots of great points made. It's definitely an interesting model of having the platform being free and modules being sort of paid upgrades. A bit like with games. Seems to work in this customer environment.
Great points regarding the differences in coding language/developer's preferences and knowledge and paid licenses for Ableton and Max.

There are of course tons of devices in M4L, I was more specifically thinking about somewhat limited number of ports of eurorack modules to the platform (Grids, Metropolis, Rene and Zularis being the ones I use in terms of sequencing). I mean...it's not THAT bad, just lacking compared to VCV, but reading your comments perhaps unsurprising. Cheers.

StrangeAttraction
Common Wiggler
Posts: 231
Joined: Sun Nov 16, 2014 1:51 pm
Location: London

Post by StrangeAttraction » Sat Sep 14, 2019 3:57 am

Benj wrote:BolitasMutantes is a m4l port of marbles by xnamahx ..there is also plaits and rings you can download free at github.com/xnamahx
Interesting project. Thanks for the tip!
Doesn't seem to work on a Mac with the latest Ableton/M4L though.

Benj
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2017 11:29 am
Location: Africa

Post by Benj » Sat Sep 14, 2019 6:16 am

yes sorry its win 10 only

gruebleengourd
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 621
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 11:49 am

Post by gruebleengourd » Sat Sep 14, 2019 10:40 am

StrangeAttraction wrote: I was more specifically thinking about somewhat limited number of ports of eurorack modules to the platform (Grids, Metropolis, Rene and Zularis being the ones I use in terms of sequencing).
Speaking to that precise question... the mutable stuff is open source, written in C++ and can pretty much be ported without too much effort. Just have to write the appropriate wrappers. Even with gen in Max/MSP you can't just drop c++ code into a max object.

StrangeAttraction
Common Wiggler
Posts: 231
Joined: Sun Nov 16, 2014 1:51 pm
Location: London

Post by StrangeAttraction » Sat Sep 14, 2019 1:45 pm

Benj wrote:yes sorry its win 10 only
I'd love if it worked on mac...doesn't seem like much tweaking would be needed. Might give it a go myself.

User avatar
Monotremata
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 453
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2014 6:21 pm
Location: Ontario, CA

Post by Monotremata » Sun Sep 15, 2019 12:18 am

StrangeAttraction wrote:Thanks for the comments.
Lots of great points made. It's definitely an interesting model of having the platform being free and modules being sort of paid upgrades. A bit like with games. Seems to work in this customer environment.
Unless things have changed, its not going to be free after this version.. VCV 2.0 will be a paid release, but adds things like an actual Audio Unit and VST plugin so it'll be worth it..

User avatar
oisin
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 638
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2009 4:27 am
Location: Berlin

Post by oisin » Mon Sep 16, 2019 2:52 am

just to defend M4L; there are alot of great patches out there but most are more connected to a DAW / compositional environment rather than a noodle-y synth-y world. ie. multichannel / midi weirdness / effects etc

User avatar
Gribs
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1352
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2010 12:19 am
Location: San Ramon, CA

Post by Gribs » Thu Sep 19, 2019 12:43 am

It looks like several people are getting into developing modules for Cherry Audio Voltage Modular as well. There is a small added cost for the module builder (I think around $50) and it appears to be Java oriented.
----------------------------------------

pottering
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed May 13, 2015 1:12 pm

Post by pottering » Thu Sep 19, 2019 2:02 am

The whole premise of this thread is flawed.

VCV Rack modules development is not particular faster than M4L devices.

The speed that Mutable Instruments modules appear in VCV Rack is simply because MI has a direct collaboration with VCV Rack:


In a collaboration between VCV and Mutable Instruments, we allow you to test these new modules before their source code is publicly available
There are almost 200 entries on VCV's plugin page:

https://vcvrack.com/plugins.html

There are almost 4000 entries on maxforlive.com:

https://www.maxforlive.com/library/index.php


There is a twitter bot that warns of new entries on maxforlive.com (https://twitter.com/max4live), and I check VCV Rack's plugin page a couple times per week.

I see a few new M4L devices on maxforlive every day, while on VCV plugins page it is a few per week.

Also, surprisingly, Max For Live devices are not actually restricted to just Ableton Live, Max standalone can actually load Max For Live devices.

In fact, weirdly Max For Live can't load Max For Live devices inside the editor (only as devices in Live itself), that's one of M4L limitations compared with full Max.

StrangeAttraction
Common Wiggler
Posts: 231
Joined: Sun Nov 16, 2014 1:51 pm
Location: London

Post by StrangeAttraction » Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:33 am

pottering wrote: There is a twitter bot that warns of new entries on maxforlive.com (https://twitter.com/max4live), and I check VCV Rack's plugin page a couple times per week.
Thanks for this tip! :)

This picture I think is a bit more complex...as most things are when you start digging in. First, Max and M4L have been around for much longer than VCV, right? Therefore more development and more devices.
It seems like there was a burst of development in VCV rack space though these past 2 years that resulted in quality devices, most often copies of existing euro modules or inspirations.
I guess a lot of M4L devices are just not that useful to a lot of people, and that's fine, because a lot of folks (myself included) use M4L to personalize Ableton or create weird little patches and ideas. Often, this results in a lot of garbage or half-baked ideas. That's OK.

What I would like to see more is some good ports of some cool sequencers like Marbles, and more utility sequncers (even a good basic 4-step sequencer that is easily mappable - can't find one in M4L) and modules for generating chaotic CV and random of various types (though you can get a lot of it one with a few LFOs cross-modulating each other).

Obviously, these are very different environemnts M4L/Ableton and VCV, one is modular and super-patchable, the other is mildly mappable. So, it is like apples/oranges.
Ableton has done some great work, like including the Rotating Rhythm Generator though, which is absolutely dog's bollocks.

Sorry for the rant. :bang:

User avatar
shreeswifty
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1034
Joined: Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:15 pm
Location: columbia, MD
Contact:

Post by shreeswifty » Fri Sep 20, 2019 4:09 pm

i did one quick google and found the M4L versions of the Mutable Patches, is this a joke that i am missing?

StrangeAttraction
Common Wiggler
Posts: 231
Joined: Sun Nov 16, 2014 1:51 pm
Location: London

Re: Why all these amazing modules for VCV and not Max For Live?

Post by StrangeAttraction » Tue Mar 10, 2020 5:12 pm

Most of them don't work. Clouds and Braids are only ones I know off that do. What about Rings, Elements, Marbles, Plaits, etc?

Monofunk
Common Wiggler
Posts: 87
Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:03 pm
Location: United States

Re: Why all these amazing modules for VCV and not Max For Live?

Post by Monofunk » Wed Mar 11, 2020 9:23 am

Max is deep and M4L is a small part of that. Max 8 has brought a lot of significant changes. It's not stagnating at all.

User avatar
Vortico
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 336
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:29 am
Location: Tennessee, USA
Contact:

Re:

Post by Vortico » Thu Mar 12, 2020 3:20 pm

I think people underestimate the effect that API openness, software freedom, and a strong community have on VCV Rack's success.

Additionally, beginning in 2020 it is my personal goal to bring as many Eurorack (and other format) hardware modules to VCV Rack as licensed clones identical in appearance, function, and sound quality. Malekko and Grayscale are next, and then other manufacturers I cannot announce yet.
pottering wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 2:02 am
There are almost 200 entries on VCV's plugin page:

https://vcvrack.com/plugins.html

There are almost 4000 entries on maxforlive.com:

https://www.maxforlive.com/library/index.php
You should be comparing modules, not plugins. A VCV Rack plugin can contain multiple modules. There are currently 1,895 modules for VCV Rack. https://library.vcvrack.com/


Monotremata wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 12:18 am
Unless things have changed, its not going to be free after this version.. VCV 2.0 will be a paid release, but adds things like an actual Audio Unit and VST plugin so it'll be worth it..
This is misinformation. VCV Rack v2 and all future versions will be free/open-source software, licensed under GPLv3. A new product called VCV Rack for DAWs will be released shortly after VCV Rack v2, which is a fork of Rack for VST2. Other plugin formats such as VST3/AU/AAX are not yet confirmed. See https://vcvrack.com/manual/FAQ#is-vcv-r ... n-for-daws for more information.
VCV Rack open-source virtual modular synthesizer

Post Reply

Return to “Music Software”