Softstep Max4Live Looping Sequencer: Testing Needed

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An Unknown Artist
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:10 pm

Softstep Max4Live Looping Sequencer: Testing Needed

Postby An Unknown Artist » Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:46 pm

after a couple months of tinkering and tweaking, I would love to get some input and suggestions on how to improve / stabilize my Ableton Max4Live device before releasing for wider testing. More information on the patch is below. This uses the Max API for the SoftStep to control the LEDs and display and also uses it for detecting inputs.

You can download the patch and a sample Live set for convenience:

Requirements: These are the things I needed for my setup which I could not find on the market
- Looping controller inside Ableton Live that allows me to record one or more instruments (cello, bass, drums, glockenspiel, guitar) on up to 10 tracks in sequence
- Ability to control which loops get played over time
- Re-record a loop currently being recorded (in case I'm not happy with the results)
- Pause the sequencer if I want to hold the play the current state before continuing to record (like when I move from one instrument to another)
- Provide some visual feedback of which track is being recorded on the controller
- Be able to keep track of which scene or track is being recorded
- Visual metronome to keep track of master tempo
- Avoid having to step on the controller each time I want to record another track (hence why I want sequencer functionality)

- LED display tells you which Scene and Track is currently being recorded (format is S0T0 where the number following the S is the current Scene and the number following the T is the current tracking)
- LEDs indicate which track is currently being recorded (the one blinking) and which ones are going to be recorded (solid red lights)
-Check boxes allow you to determine which tracks will be recorded or played over the 8 Scenes
-Pressing the Up (North) Nav pad will start recording
-Pressing the right (East) Nav pad will pause recording and just loop whatever tracks are selected until you press it again to continue
-Pressing the down (South) Nav pad will tell the sequencer to re-record the track that's currently being recorded (think a do over if you don't like the loop you're recording and want to try again)

-Make sure you have the latest firmware installed and at least VK2
-You must have ss_cooking.mxo and ss.mxo installed in your max-externals folder. Instructions on how to get the dev kit is on this forum. On my mac, this is in /Applications/Max5/Cycling '74/max-externals
-Make sure your Softstep is plugged into your computer before you start Live
-Create 10 Audio tracks and 1 MIDI track
-Drop the M4L patch into the MIDI track in Ableton Live 8 or above (Max4Live license required)
-Click on the "In" button under "Monitor" on your MIDI track. It's set to Auto by default.
-The sequencer is currently divided into 8 Scenes.
-Check the box (R column) in each scene for the tracks you want to record
-Check the box (P column) for each scene where you want the track to play
-Determine how many measures you want to record for each loop (the number box below the REDO button)
-The first time you start after loading the M4L device, tap the Up (north) Nav pad twice (bug) to start recording. After that it should start properly with one tap.

Known Bugs:
-Variable isn't initializing somewhere (I get an error message) but not sure where it's happening
-Have to tap the up (north) nav button twice to start recording the first time you start recording after you've loaded the device in Live the first time.
-Loop recording does not always start on beat 0. This is a realtime problem with Max4Live and I've not found a fix. If you have any ideas let me know.

Planned Features:
-Enable the left Nav pad to switch into "Effects" mode that will allow me to use the pads to control Live effects based on pressure or pad position
-Allow option to record multiple tracks simultaneously in addition to sequentially
-Others? Let me know

I would paste the patch in the forum but it exceed the max message size. Feel free to send comments and recommendations to

Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jul 19, 2013 1:26 am

Re: Softstep Max4Live Looping Sequencer: Testing Needed

Postby forge » Fri Jul 19, 2013 1:33 am


the links don't work for me, it wants me to set up icloud

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