In this article
If you have Max standalone and Ableton Live installed on your computer, you may wonder whether this means you can connect the two to achieve the same goals as Max for Live -- or you may be curious what Max for Live could add to the pair.
The key is in how you want to engage with Max for Live devices, which are Max patchers that are specially packed to integrate nicely in Live as plugins. They are not VSTs or AUs, but are a special filetype called .amxd which can be freely opened and edited using Max or Max for Live.
Some terms we'll use in this article...
- "Max standalone": the Max application which you can download directly from Cycling '74.
- "Max for Live": the special build of Max that operates inside of Ableton Live, bundled with Live Suite or separately purchased as an add-on for Live Standard from Ableton.
- ".amxd": a Max for Live device that can be opened in both Max standalone and within Ableton Live through Max for Live.
What do I need to know?
- If you have Ableton Live Suite, you do have Max for Live.
- Max for Live and Max standalone are two different products.
- If you have Max standalone + Ableton Live Standard installed, you do not have Max for Live unless you purchased the Max for Live add-on. Live Lite and Live Intro are unable to utilize the Max for Live add-on.
- You can open a Max for Live device (.amxd file) inside of Max standalone, without having to own any version of Live.
- If you wish to use a Max for Live device (.amxd file) in Ableton Live, you must either own Live Suite or purchase the Max for Live add-on for Live Standard.
For a full breakdown of the differences between Max for Live and Max standalone, please see our product page, as well as this article about the Max Discount for Ableton Customers.