Max for Live Roundup: Five Automation and Modulation Devices w/ Josh Spoon

In this Max for Live roundup, Dubspot contributor and Ableton Certified Trainer Josh Spoon introduces five Max for Live devices that will help you quickly make creative automation and modulation changes.


Nothing brings a song to life like modulation, especially in electronic music. Let’s take a look at five great Max for Live devices that will help you quickly make creative automation and modulation changes.


AutomationRecorder by Krypt1k is a modification of the Max for Live Essentials LFO device. It records its built-in LFO output as automation into an envelope of any parameter in Session or Arrangement View. Many of the same parameters are there from the LFO with the addition of parameters to step sequence the waveform and adjust the rate and number of steps. Here’s a tip to get less abrupt modulation between waveforms, use the Smooth control to adjust the glide from step to step. Whether you are looking to record smooth waveform modulation or wild steps to your favorite parameter, you now know where to look. Download AutomationRecorder for FREE here.

XY Pad Snap-Mod

XY Pad Snap-Mod is another modified device (XY Pad is included in the Max for Live Essentials Pack) by Krypt1k. This device added the simple functionality of snap to ’0′ when you let go of your mouse while automating. If you are familiar with Touchable, Conductr, or Sugar Bytes Turnado’s XY Pad, you know how useful this is. This handy tool is great when you need an effect to turn off quickly, especially when performing live. Download the XY Pad Snap-Mod for FREE here and snap away.

Quantized Parameter Automator

Quantized Parameter Automator by Tom Cosm is a pretty clever Max for Live device that will stabilize a parameters amount for a fixed amount of time, determined by you grid size. “It is similar to when using the arrow [pen] tool to drag a segment of automation up or down while snapping to the grid. However, this allows you to record it real time.”  If you are looking to use an encoder but want more of a step like automation, then this device is for you. Download the Quantized Parameter Automator FREE here.

Push TouchWheel

Push TouchWheel by Tête De Son is a Max for Live device favored by many Push users. This simple device allows you to switch Push’s Touch Strip from a standard pitch wheel to mod wheel. Push TouchWheel sends out CC1 messages for VSTs and controlling hardware. In addition, it works “right out of the box” with Live’s instruments.

The device can also be loaded on as many MIDI channels as you want and have different setting for each instance of the Push TouchWheel. They will not overlap like many other Max for Live devices. Check out this simple but well thought out device here for around $2 and get modding on you Push.



KEYPITCHER by bennniii a simple Max for Live device. Its primary job is to allow you to play the pitch of your sounds in a drum rack with a keyboard. It is similar to the transpose control to tune 808 kicks or any instrument that has a transpose parameter. KEYPITCHER lives on a separate track of its own. Here you can set the root note and map a parameter to automate. As you press each key on your keyboard, it will pitch up or down accordingly, and even record the notes as steps to automate the process. The days of trying to turn an encoder fast enough to pitch at 16th note resolutions or messing with the transpose automation lane are gone, thanks to KEYPITCHER. This device can be useful for various applications. For example, try it with an arpeggiator, you will see how fun and useful this tool can be. Download KEYPITCHER FREE here.

Ableton Live Producer Certificate Program

The flagship of our music training, with every Ableton Live course offered at the school. After completing this program, you will leave with a portfolio of original tracks, a remix entered in an active contest, a scored commercial to widen your scope, and the Dubspot Producer’s Certificate in Ableton Live.

What’s Included:

  • Ableton Live Level 1: Beats, Sketches, and Ideas
  • Ableton Live Level 2: Analyze, Deconstruct, Recompose, and Assemble
  • Ableton Live Level 3: Synthesis and Original Sound Creation
  • Ableton Live Level 4: Advanced Sound Creation
  • Ableton Live Level 5: Advanced Effect Processing
  • Ableton Live Level 6: Going Global with your Music

This program is about learning Ableton Live by going through the entire process of being an artist, by developing your own sound through a series of sketches and experimentation. You will also learn the ins and outs of this powerful software through a series of exercises designed to help you master the steps involved in producing your own music. After a level of getting familiar with the tools that Ableton has to offer, you will then develop your sonic ideas into full-length tracks. You will be exposed to a variety of approaches to arrangement and composition, storytelling techniques, ways of creating tension and drama in your music. At the end of the day, it is the sum total of your choices as an artist that define your sound, and levels 2 – 6 will give you the experience of actually completing tracks to add to your portfolio.

If you have questions, please call 877.DUBSPOT or send us a message.