Non-linear strategies for composing with Live & M4L – On demand

Level: Intermediate – Advanced

The creative path is not a straight line. In this workshop, you will develop a workflow focused on experimental approaches utilizing randomization, stochastic methods, polymeters, polyrhythms and more using Live and M4L. Experimental audio processing and non-linear mixing activities will be included in the compositional process to create unique sound qualities as well as overcoming creative blocks.

Session Learning Outcomes

By the end of this session a successful student will be able to:

  • Examine various forms of (non)linear compositional strategies

  • Identify approaches that provide musical contingency

  • Select Ableton’s techniques & M4L devices to use in the writing process

  • Design generative methods for complex compositional systems based on the Ableton and M4L environments

Session Study Topics

  • Randomization & Stochastic methods

  • Polymeters & polyrhythms

  • Racks, Audio & MIDI FXs chains

  • Max4Live LFO, Shaper, Buffer shuffler, Multimap pro


  • A computer and internet connection

  • A web cam and mic

  • A Zoom account

  • Access to a copy of Ableton Live 10 Suite, or Ableton Live 10 with a Max For Live license

About the workshop leader

Simone Tanda is a musician, producer, multi-media artist, tech consultant, and educator.

Based across London & Berlin he is currently creating music for his own project, as well as multidisciplinary artists, film, and commercials.

Building Graphical User Interfaces in M4L and Max – On demand

Level: Intermediate

MaxforLive allows users to develop their own devices for use in composition, performance and beyond. Creating a graphical user interface that complements the device is one of the crucial development stages that can give a device its personality. In this workshop you will learn how to create a custom user interface for a M4L device, including a native Ableton Live style to a completely personalised theme.

Session Learning Outcomes

By the end of this session a successful student will be able to:

  • Identify different styles of user interface

  • Explore and configure Live/Max UI objects

  • Create custom dials and sliders

  • Construct UI systems that synchronise with Ableton Live

  • Create pop-up UI windows

Session Study Topics

  • UI objects and their properties

  • User designed GUI objects

  • Translating Ableton Live’s theme system

  • Window properties and embedded visual patches


  • A computer and internet connection

  • A web cam and mic

  • A Zoom account

  • Access to a copy of Live 10/11 & Max 8 (i.e. trial or full license)

About the workshop leader 

Mark Towers is an Ableton Certified Trainer and a lecturer in music technology at Leicester College. He specialises in Max for Live, as well as working with Isotonik Studios to create unique and creative devices for music production and performance such as the Arcade Series.

Getting Started with Max For Live – On demand

Difficulty level: Beginner

In this series of workshops you will explore the Max For Live (M4L) ecosystem, empowering you to utilise them in your own music.

Following these workshops you’ll be able build your own devices in the Max For Live environment!

Ableton Live Suite is a powerful and creative DAW.

Max For Live extends the vast range of creative opportunities that Live offers, allowing you to add third party devices or to create your own unique devices.

Session 1 Learning Outcomes

By the end of this session you will be able to:

  • Become familiar with the M4L landscape

  • Explore pre-built M4L devices that come with Live Suite

  • Locate and utilise M4L tutorials that come with Live Suite

  • Identify third party M4L content

Session 2 Learning Outcomes

By the end of this session you will be able to:

  • Create objects and route patch cables

  • Construct user interfaces in M4L

  • Build MIDI step sequencers in M4L

  • Explore further possibilities within Max For Live


  • A computer and internet connection

  • A good working knowledge of computer systems

  • A basic awareness of Ableton Live

  • Access to a copy of Ableton Live Suite (i.e. with Max For Live) (i.e. trial or full license)

About the workshop leader

Phelan Kane is a Berlin & London based music producer, engineer, artist, developer and educator.

For over twenty years he has been active in both the music industry and the contemporary music education sector, with a focus on electronic music and alternative bands. His specialism is sound design and production techniques such as synthesis and sampling, alongside audio processing and plug-in development.

His credits include collaborations with Placebo, Radiohead, Fad Gadget, Depeche Mode, Moby, Snow Patrol, Mute, Sony BMG, Universal, EMI and Warner Bros.

He holds an MA in Audio Technology from the London College of Music, University of West London, an MSc in Sound & Music Computing at the Center for Digital Music at Queen Mary, University of London and in 2008 became one of the world’s first wave of Ableton Certified Trainers.

He is a member of the UK’s Music Producers Guild, holds a PG Cert in Learning & Teaching, is an Affiliate of the Institute for Learning, a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and until recently was Chairman of the London Committee for the British Section of the Audio Engineering Society.

He is currently running the electronic music record label Meta Junction Recordings and the audio software development company Meta Function, which specialize in Max for Live devices releasing the M4L synth Wave Junction in partnership with Sonicstate.