How to get started with Max for Live with Live 9

  • Live Versions: 9
  • Operating System: ALL

Max for Live is a visual programming environment that allows users to build instruments and effects for use within Ableton Live, and it comes bundled with Live 9 Suite.

Before getting started with Max for Live, make sure to install Max 7 and the Max for Live content.

Note: If you have already installed Max 7, but were previously using Max 6 in Live, you may need to change the setting in Live's preferences → File Folder → Max Application. 

Note: if you purchased Max for Live as an add-on for Live 9 Standard, you will need to re-authorize Live's license to include your new add-on.  You can do this in Live's preferences → Licenses/Maintenance tab.  

Explore the Max for Live content

Access the Live Browser in order to explore the Max for Live instruments and the Max for Live audio and MIDI effects.


Additional content is available in the Your Packs section of the Ableton website. Once this content has been installed, it can be accessed from Places>Packs in the Live browser.

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Discover more Max for Live devices

Download the Max for Live devices created by Robert Henke.

Browse through devices created by Max for Live users.

For more Max objects and devices, explore the Max object database.

Find more third party Max for Live devices browsing this Cycling '74 resource.

Programming with Max for Live

Access the Max for Live built-in lessons by clicking on the Help menu-->Help View.

Additionally, you can learn more on programming with Max for Live watching this set of video tutorials by Cycling '74.

Episode #1: Max for Live decoding

Episode #2:  Degrade

Episode #3: Simple Delay

Episode #4: SVF

The complete playlist for the Max for Live programming lessons can be found on the Cycling '74 Youtube channel.

More Max for Live tutorials

Check out all the featured videos about Max for Live at

Learn how to implement Side Chain with any Ableton Device with the help of Max for Live, powered by Dubspot.

Another video tutorial from Dubspot describes an interesting device created by David Linnebank: Spectral Shaper.

Find out how to extend the automation possibilities with Max for Live, powered by

Learn the basics of Max for Live watching this tutorial on how to build a MIDI arpeggiator.


Share your knowledge and discuss ideas on the dedicated Max for Live forum.