Cycling 74 announced that the version 6 Max will come out this fall. I read about it from ‘Creat Digital music’ blog few days ago that Max6 upgrade will cost 199 usd. but here they seem to change their mind, and it is a free upgrade. That is a smart decision that most of heavy users will need to upgrade and they will be those who promote its use.
Here are the features;
For some of you reading this, getting into Max was no big deal. Maybe
you learned it while in school. Maybe it just clicked for you right
away. Maybe the purchase was a no-brainer. However, for a lot of people
who would love Max, obtaining and learning the software is too much of a
challenge, and we’re committed to changing that. Max 6 is the next step
in our ongoing effort to increase the accessibility of our software.
Let me review a few of the things we’ve already done in this area:
- We offer Max to students for $59 for nine months. Starting this fall, we are extending that to a full 12 months.
- We have an entire team focused entirely on user education and
support. I hope you’ve seen some of their recent efforts including tutorials, how-to videos, and the Vizzie modular video toolkit. You’ll see an expansion of user education efforts for Max 6 and beyond.
- Our web site is increasingly devoted to our users, with projects to inspire you and a toolbox of programming resources to help you realize your goals.
- Max for Live, our joint venture with Ableton, has introduced the power of Max to a new audience.
- Last but not least, our Expo ’74 conference,
taking place this October in Brooklyn, will be a great way to expand
your Max knowledge and be inspired by the work of artists from all over
the world. And now you know Max 6 will be a major focus!
But we’re not stopping there.
- Effective immediately, we’re lowering the retail price of Max/MSP/Jitter to $399.
We’re also lowering the price of some of our upgrade and academic
options. And starting today, if you purchase Max 5, you’ll get an
upgrade to Max 6 for free.
- We’re introducing a subscription plan for universities that will
make it possible for our academic customers to serve to more students at
a lower cost. For more details, click here.
- With Max 6, we’ll be supporting a user-driven, machine-assisted
cross-platform translation project for both the software and the
documentation, so we can better serve the majority of the world’s
population that doesn’t speak English fluently.
Now, I suspect you’re curious as to what will be new in the software.
Accessibility is a major theme here too. In Max 6, we’ve focused on
improving the experience for both new and accomplished users. When we
add a new feature, we think carefully about how you’ll learn about it,
even if no one tells you it’s there. You might have seen our series of Did you Know videos.
Even though I think these are great, I would love to get to the point
where no one needs to make another one, because Max holds no secrets.
The area of performance is where Max 6 will be truly exciting for a
lot of you. The big news is a completely new patching domain, which we
refer to as code generation. Code generation technology will be
available as an inexpensive add-on to Max 6. It focuses on areas where
traditional patching has not been able to deliver the combination of
performance and programmability that we wanted, namely DSP and GPU
programming. What do we mean by “code generation”? Essentially, we
translate the patch you make into text-based source code, and compile it
on the spot. With code generation, we can optimize the entire patch,
something that’s impossible with existing Max-like approaches.
In the DSP realm, our new gen~ object is a new domain of low-level
signal processing operators that let you build recursive filters,
delays, spectral processors, and sound generators, all using 64-bit
floating-point internal precision. Not only do these things sound great,
but the performance gains over equivalent Max patches are simply
stunning. Where you could actually implement the same algorithm with MSP
objects, a gen~ version will be up to 15 times faster. And in many
cases, there is simply no way to implement the same kinds of DSP
algorithms with MSP objects, you’d have to write C code. Not only is
gen~ cross-platform, unlike C code, but in our tests, gen~ operators are
nearly as fast as equivalent MSP objects written in C.
The code generation approach is equally suited to GPU programming for
Jitter. For several years, we’ve offered the ability to write your own
shader programs in Jitter for high-performance pixel processing, but
text-based shader languages are not easy to learn and never felt
completely integrated within the Max environment. Now you’ll be able to
create high-performance image processing algorithms graphically, and our
code generation technology will write the shader program for you. But
the power of code generation extends beyond processing images — you can
also use it to generate materials for shading interactive 3-D objects.
In this application, the code generation technology is automatic — you
just specify the parameters of the materials and we generate the shader
There’s much more to say about code generation, but at this point all I want to say is this: stay tuned — we’ll be showing you much more in the coming weeks.
Code generation hasn’t been our only performance focus. Another major
runtime engine for significant performance gains. We’ve also exposed an
existing HTML5 Canvas code to Max. We now run the audio of every
top-level patcher in its own thread for effortless multicore processing.
Performance improvements have taken place in many other areas as well.
Another focus of Max 6 has been quality. We think of quality in two
ways: first, the quality of the output and second, the quality of the
experience you have while using the software. In the former category, we
put a major focus on audio quality in Max 6. The cycle~ object now uses
a 16K wavetable for far better signal-to-noise performance. You’ll be
able to use any sampling rate you wish, thanks to high-quality
resampling filters. And, to eliminate errors with large numbers, long
envelopes, and recursive algorithms, MSP processes all audio with 64-bit
precision. Older 32-bit third-party objects are still compatible
And those resampling filters I mentioned? We used MSP to develop
them, using a suite of new filter design and audio analysis tools.
Beyond looking at audio quality, we wanted to help make your time
with Max more enjoyable. To do this means paying attention to every
detail. I think you’ll generally see more clarity and refinement in the
interface. For example, we’ve introduced curved patch cords, which make
an unexpectedly dramatic improvement in understanding how a patch works.
One feature I’m particularly fond of improves the experience of
editing an audio patch with the audio turned on. Whenever you make a
change to your patch, we intelligently crossfade between the old and new
versions, so you never hear a gap in the output. And if you have other
top-level patchers playing audio, they’re completely unaffected by your
edits. This is just one of the benefits of our new audio mixing engine.
Another is that every audio patcher has controls in the toolbar for
muting or adjusting gain without the need to add any objects.
In the Jitter domain, quality means the ability to achieve visual
complexity more easily. One way you can do that is with the new
materials system — an advanced toolset for high quality rendering of 3-D
objects. Other ways we hope to enrich your Jitter work is though better
support for 3-D model and animation files, better support for cameras
and lighting, a new physics engine, and hierarchical animation and
As part of the Max 6 development process, we’ve observed and
interviewed users, from those who’ve never seen the software before to
those who’ve been using it for decades. On the basis of these studies,
we identified areas for improving patching workflow and usability, and
you’ll see the results vividly in Max 6. Just to focus on one area: The
act of making a new object has been dramatically enhanced, with access
to documentation at every step of the process. It begins with the object
box, which now offers you a way to make objects even if you can’t
remember their names. Then there’s the message box, which tells you
about the messages understood by nearby objects as you begin typing.
Arguments and attributes of objects and messages are also displayed as
A new object called attrui integrates attribute monitoring and
editing, eliminating the need for a lot of patching. Attrui knows the
best way to edit any object attribute. For example, if you want to
change a color, attrui lets you edit it as a color, not four numbers.
We’ve also reorganized Max 6 to show the most common information
first. Every help file now has a simplified initial presentation of the
five or so most basic things you need to know. Advanced features are
shown in a tabbed interface grouped by functional area. We’ve done the
same with our redesigned inspector and object palette.
A common request from educators and more experienced users was the
ability to manage patches that encompassed many files. Max 6 has a new
Project feature, where you can see all the patchers, code, and media
files you’re using. Projects enable you to maintain multiple versions of
files as well as archive and share your work more easily.
The Path to Max 6
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be telling you more about Max 6. I
promise, I’ve only scratched the surface of what we’re up to. If you’d
like to be notified when we release new information about the software,
keep your eye on our website, Facebook, and Twitter.
One of the things that really inspires me is when I get a new piece
of software that is both cheaper than what I’ve been using and better in
every conceivable way. My co-workers and I are driven to do that with
Max. You’ll ultimately be the judge of whether we’ve succeeded with this
new version, but now you know what we’re trying to achieve. Our friends
in the Max community creating extraordinary work deserve nothing less.