Dubspot guest blogger Josh Spoon rounds up three useful Max for Live devices that bring dynamic visuals to your Ableton Live performance.
Max for Live is a programming environment that allows developers to create instruments, effects, and all sorts of utilities for Ableton Live. Originally introduced as an add-on for Live 8, Max for Live is now included with Live 9 Suite. Since I’ve been performing a lot lately, I’ve been downloading various Max for Live devices to enhance my shows with visuals. Here’s are a few that I’ve found recently. They’re great, easy to use, and free!
Ganz Graf Mod X
Ganz Graf Mod X, developed by Synnack, is a simple reactive video generator that works within Live. It reacts to audio and can be put on any track, though the Master track is best. With just a few parameters, you can set and manipulate shapes, alter their color and position, and determine how much they move in space. I would not say it replaces a VJ, but if you don’t have one, it’s a quick and easy way to enhance your live performance. Invest three minutes playing with Ganz Graf Mod X, and you’ll wow people at your next local show.
VIZZable 2 is a modular VJ suite containing over 20 devices for real-time manipulation of live or prerecorded video. Multiple layers of video can be mixed and processed with effects to create rich collages. I particularly enjoy the dirtyfeedr and fisheye modules. VIZZable 2 has been rebuilt from the ground up so the devices run on your computer’s GPU (which is optimized for graphics) instead of the CPU, resulting in much faster performance.
Zeal did a great job on this suite. Don’t underestimate it–it’s probably powerful enough to create an entire music video. It must have taken an enormous amount of work to complete VIZZable 2, so if you enjoy it, make a donation!
MotionMod 1.0, also developed by Zeal, is a motion detector device. It’s driven by your webcam and can be mapped to any parameter in your Live Set. This can be used in many situations. For example, let’s say you hop around a lot during your set. With MotionMod, your hops and head bobs can make changes to an effect. It has an adjustable threshold and a few other parameters that allow you to determine if the changes are subtle or extreme.
Dubspot guest blogger Josh Spoon is an Ableton Live veteran, blogger, drummer, music producer and live performer. Josh has a residency with the eclectic Los Angeles electronic music collective Space Circus, performing every first Wednesday of the month, and just released his first concept EP of grooving low-end originals entitled Man on Mars.
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