I was looking at the history of the Ableton Live composition software and ran into a few other items. Here’s a dump of Flock’s shelf.

Ableton Live was “originally sketched in Max/MSP“. Max was developed in the 80’s but turned into a commercial project in the 90’s. It is used by names such artists such as Autechre to build software based synths. Pictured right is a patch of theirs in Max/MSP. (Max/MSP patch db.) Abelton Live is not used for creating synths (though the Operator adds this ability). It has two basic sets of instruments: Impulse for drums or strictly rhythmed sounds and Simpler for wav based imports.

While looking at Max/MSP I learned that its author later produced a similar tool with an open source license called Pure Data. The difference between the two is that PD does not offload processing to an analog synth as Max/MSP can. Instead all sounds are generated locally (PD resources: 1.) Additionally another open source tool similar to these is jMax, pictured left. Perhaps some day in the future I will have time to evaluate them all. Doubt it.