5 Innovative Max For Live Devices

Max For Live
In addition to all the native instruments and FX, purchasers of Ableton’s Live 9 Suite also get access to Max For Live. While some might be tempted to take the addition for granted, Max For Live is a powerful tool that gives you access to a community of users and developers making incredible programs that integrate seamlessly with Live. Today we’ve brought you a list of 5 really innovative Max For Live plugins that you can start using in your projects and live sets right away!

Schwarzonator II

The Schwarzonator was designed with all the non-musicians in mind. It adapts incoming MIDI notes to the selected musical scale automatically, just in case you hit a bad note. It was designed by Berlin Electronic/Jazz legend Henrik Schwarz (who is coming to Together 2016!) to help him stay in key when improvising since he isn’t a trained pianist. A simple but powerful tool, it can help even the least coordinated be more expressive with their playing.

The Schwarzonator II automatically fits notes to a selected musical scale by transposing any MIDI notes that you play, making it easier to play and improvise with other musicians. The latest update now allows users to easily create their own scales and chord progressions, and even upload them to the web.

The Schwarzonator II also comes with a companion device, called ‘Little Brother,’ which applies chord changes from the Schwarzonator II onto other tracks. Download them here.



Described as a “a modular euclidean rhythm builder”, Polyrhythmus is a little intimidating, but with fascinating results. The developer, Bennniii, made a long demonstration video to demonstrate what you can do with it, which you can watch below. Download Polyrhythmus here.


This device is designed to help with transitioning between BPMs, whether in a performance or in the arrangement of a track. It transitions from one tempo to another over a set time interval, either up to 20 seconds or 8 bars. Its creator, Yehezkel Raz, made a video explaining it:

Tempo is available for free download, just put “0” in the price field.


This device was made to emulate the bass drum synthesis of the classic TR-808, but with a few new additions like FM, Distortion, and the ability to adjust the tuning envelopes for a snappier attack. With the key-follow mode enabled, it can be used as a percussive FM synthesizer. You can watch Subtle Sonic’s demonstration video below, and download AnalogKick here.


Though it’s the only one on the list that will cost you money, MouthBreather is a one-stop-shop for adding warmth and grit. “Warm” Mode enables a lowpass filter, “Air” a highpass, while the “crunch” knob distorts the sound to hell. Mix in the result via the dry/wet knob to add more texture to your sounds. Check the video below for a demonstration, and purchase it here.

If you want to get the most out of Ableton Live, read about our music production program! Contact us to schedule a tour of the studio.

PLX-1000: Pioneer’s First Step into the Realm of Turntables

Next month, Pioneer is slated to release their first DJ turntable, the PLX-1000. It’s modeled closely after the Technics SL-1200, the industry standard direct-drive turntable. However, Pioneer has modernized the design and technology, allowing for the tempo fader to change from +- 8% to 16% or even 50%. The inputs are fully removable, and they’ve added in premium features like a tempo reset button.pioneer-new-turntable

Take a glimpse at the video below to see the turntable in action:

We teach on turntables! If you haven’t had any experience DJing with turntables and the Pioneer has piqued your interest, head over to our Courses to find a class to get you in the know!