Is Max/MSP required to convert patched to M4L?

  • I seem to find conflicting reports of whether or not you would need the full version of Max/MSP in order to convert an existing patch to M4L.

    I'm considering getting M4L (I currently do not have Max/MSP, just using the runtime), but it will be largely useless to me if I cannot convert existing Max patches to M4L without also purchasing the full version of Max.

    Any help is greatly appreciated...


  • If you own M4L you can create M4L patches. You can take code from existing "Full" Max patches and move them into M4L patches without a problem usually.

    There are some limitations using Max4Live though. See the link.


    Here are some docs for creating Max4Live patches:

  • > You can take code from existing "Full" Max patches and move them into M4L patches without a problem usually.

    But you would need the full version of Max in order to do this, correct? So there's no way to "import" the contents of a max patch into M4L, right?

    Thanks again...

  • I have only M4L and I am able to open and copy from Max patches. I open Ableton, place a default M4L device on a track (MIDI or audio device), and open/edit that default device. Once open, I use file/open from the max menu to open other max patches. From there, I can select, copy and then paste into a M4L device window opened for editing. As starkaudio points out, there are some limitations using M4L. And you'll need to work a bit on the MIDI/audio i/o moving from max to M4L.

  • @bongo:

    Thanks for the info. I'll do a bit more research before taking the plunge.

    My first attempt would probably be to port the tehn micro looper to run as a M4L device. Maybe that's a bit too ambitious. I'm sure it's obvious that I don't know anything about patching at this point...

  • just dive into it man, banging your head against things is a great way to learn ;]

    as far as i can tell, m4l includes the whole of max/msp, constained by how ableton handles midi and audio routing.

    It doesn't include jitter though, fyi.

  • I may be wrong but I thought that once you opened Max through ableton you are basically working in a full max environment, with some externals that work only in live.

    I have loaded black m4l device before and then open a new patcher once max is open and can only it save as .maxpat (which you can open in runtime), and you can open .maxpat files. I used this to make an osc router that I need to sit outside of live.

    Edit: Maybe I am right, thanks lokey

  • Yes, once you authorize Max through Max4Live (by opening a max 4 live patch) you have access to all of max within the context of live. You can then open other, non-ableton max patches and look around, copy things out, etc.

    It's one of the core things, for example, almost all the tutorials for max are max patches. It wouldn't make sense if you couldn't open them. :)

  • you can also edit existing max patches and save them as .maxpat. for example, i've added a dac~ to some patches and saved them then used max runtime to run them so that i can choose different outputs on my firepod.