Learn Max for Live

Crafting your unique sonic tools to use in live performance or music production

Master the art of creating distinctive devices in Max For Live under the guidance of dual-certified expert, Phelan Kane.

Only 30 places available

This course will start once we have received 10 or more registrations.

Course overview

Learn Max For Live is a 6-week course of 12 live online classes, taught by Music Hackspace tutor, Ableton & Max Certified Trainer Phelan Kane.

The course provides the necessary latest skills, techniques and first-hand industry insight into the methodology, workflow and tips and tricks to create unique devices and patches in Max For Live. With these tools you can create novel devices / plug-ins that no one else has access to which will empower you to create unique electronic music and create a novel artistic voice.

The online course will consist of:

  • 12 x 2hr live online classes
  • All classes recorded for student use (during the course only)
  • Interactive group challenges & exercises
  • Music Hackspace Graduate Certificate of Excellence
  • 50% discount on your first year subscription to Music Hackspace

What Will I Get From This Course?

  • To provide a solid understanding of the basic concepts of using Max For Live for electronic music production
  • To exercise musical creativity via self built software devices
  • Build unique devices within Max For Live, with an emphasis on musical creativity
  • Showcase a basic understanding of software device development with Max For Live

Who is this course for?

  • Musicians wanting to integrate custom interactive effects in Ableton Live
  • Interactive artists working with Max and Live
  • Max users looking to build and sell Max for Live devices

Course content

  • What Is Possible In M4L?
  • M4L Landscape Case Study
  • Beginning To Build A M4L Device
  • Exercise: Make a basic M4L device
  • Patching
  • The Inspector
  • Object Properties
  • Exercise: Working in Max for Live
  • Logic Control
  • Presentation Mode
  • Encapsulation
  • Exercise: Managing Patches in Max for Live
  • MIDI in Max for Live
  • Max MIDI Effects
  • Example Devices
  • Exercise: Building a MIDI FX in M4L
  • Oscillators
  • Envelope Generators
  • Basic Filters
  • Exercise: Building Max Synthesis Instruments
  • Subtractive Poly Synth Build Methodology
  • Additive Osc Bank Build Methodology
  • Classic Wavetable Build Methodology
  • Exercise: Building Max Synthesis Instruments 2
  • Samplers in Max
  • Triggering Wave Samplers
  • Triggering Groove Samplers
  • Exercise: Building Max Sampling Instruments
  • Audio FX in M4L
  • Dub Delay Build Methodology
  • Chorus Build Methodology
  • Exercise: Building Max Audio Effects
  • BPatchers
  • Styles
  • Help and Info View
  • Exercise: Deliverables
  • Native Live Device Styles
  • Arranging Objects
  • Using Tabs
  • Exercise: Interface Design
  • Intro to The Live Object Model
  • Live Object Properties
  • Live Object Functions
  • Exercise: Using the LOM
  • Finalising devices
  • Distributing devices
  • Exercise: Student work presentation
  • Exercise: Peer feedback on student work


  • Ableton Live Suite, trial or full license. Max For Live is included in Suite
  • Free Zoom account

Course schedule

This course will start once we have received 10 or more registrations. Group discounts are available. Contact us at info@musichackspace.org for more information.

Meet your instructor

Phelan Kane is a Berlin & London based music producer, engineer, artist, developer and educator. He is currently running the electronic music record label Meta Junction Recordings and the audio software development company Meta Function. He has released the Max for Live device synth Wave Junction in partnership with Sonicstate. http://metafunction.co.uk/ http://phelankane.com/bio/


About Music Hackspace

Music Hackspace is an online education platform teaching music and creative technologies. Started in 2011, Music Hackspace's course portfolio includes over 800 hours of on-demand lessons teaching state of the art techniques to beginners and experienced artists. Music Hackspace has created courses, workshops and meetups in collaboration with leading companies such as Ableton, Arturia, Roland, Android or TouchDesigner, and co-founded the MIDI Innovation Awards with NAMM and The MIDI Association.

About Creat-Ed

Creat-Ed is a creative education consultancy for institutions, businesses and brands. Together we have over 90 years experience, at a senior management level, in Further and Higher Education and the Creative Industries across international markets including China, South East Asia, Europe and the UK. Clients and previous work include Tileyard Education, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Nottingham Trent University, Confetti Institute of Creative Technology, BIMM Group, SAE College, SSR / Spirit Studios, Krems University Danube, Kennesaw State University, Gigrealm, New Media Law.


Rebecca W.

Phelan is awesome at teaching Max. I followed the course Getting Started with Max and I'm now building my own Max for Live devices.

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