^^ crow: max for live + max: updated 210630

crow: max for live + max v2.0

A bundle of Max for Live devices and Max objects that know crow-speak.

All devices from the earlier thread have been refactored with new UI and better patching mechanics. In addition to old favorites with new modes, there are a few new devices added.

^^ command_center routes messages between Live and crow. The devices will not connect to crow unless ^^command_center is properly initialized.

voice control:

^^dual: translate MIDI data from Live to v/8 and variable envelope voltages
^^ins: translate incoming v/8 and triggers through crow to MIDI notes
^^jf_synth + ^^jf_vox (new!): MIDI-to-i2c output to play a connected Just Friends module
^^w_synth (experimental!): MIDI-to-i2c output to play a connected w/ running w/2.0’s synth mode

modulation + events:

^^outs: a single MIDI-to-CV output device that collects multiple utilities
^^ins: translate incoming CV through crow to useful MIDI data for Live
^^trigs (new!): a four-channel MIDI trigger-to-pulse device, useful for rhythmic events

crow programming (all made by the fantastic @voidstar) :

^^bridges: translate multiple mappable knobs in Live into data for crow
^^derwydd: send Lua code to crow to execute + modify crow code in real-time
^^macros: store code snippets which can be sent to crow as macros on the fly

and more! see ^^ crow: max for live + max: updated 210630 - #110 by dan_derks



  • crow module with firmware 3.0.0+
  • Ableton Live Suite (9 or 10+) (Mac/Win) or Live Standard with Max for Live (Max version 7.3.6+)
  • Max 7.3.6+


Max for Live PDF guide: crowm4lmanual - 200713.pdf (956.8 KB)
The Max objects (all made by @voidstar) each have their own help files. Installation documentation located in readme.



Thanks for this Dan! The manual is super helpful.

The thought of running six independent sequences on JF is insane.

Also, super nice to see documentation on some of the modes already available that i wasn’t utilizing. Looking forward to learning some more of the lua code to use with macros.


i am amped on the new geode. here’s a m4l device to control it, ready for testing if anyone wants to explore!

  • basically, two ways to trigger rhythms on jf – you can choose a midi note or you can link triggers to Live’s clock, at 1-32 divisions (of the specified clk rate). i suggest doing a mix of both – it is super rewarding to have a steady clocked thing going and to press a key off-grid to squiggle it all up.
  • state allows you address individual channels or work in round robin.
  • the glbl menu exposes quantization division, as well as run mode and run voltage.
  • everything else is pretty much 1:1 to @Galapagoose’s excellent new documentation.
  • note: for convenience, geode will inherit Live’s tempo as its base time

i need to clean up some UI stuff, but it should all be working + stable! lmk if you run into any weirdness!

^^jf_geode.amxd (341.5 KB)


Dan this is so great. I’m so excited for these new pulsations. The sound demo is illustrative of the rhythms upon rhythms that are possible & this feels like a great interface to explore that space.


@dan_derks Just downloaded the M4L devices, but i’m having some trouble getting JF Vox to work. I upgraded crow to 2.0, connected JF Vox, and JF gave off the tone indicating it is connected, but when i play notes on my midi keyboard, nothing comes through. In sound/transient, and midi is set to in. When i try the old JF synth it works fine. Thoughts?

Did you also upgrade Just Friends to v4?

Awesome update - I now see clearly what geode mode is capable of.


That’s nuts! Can you explain a bit about what is going on there? Are you using the 301 as the sound source?

Also how are you physically getting the cable(s)? from the 16n into the rack? Are you leaving an open hp slot to fit the cables through?

Sorry if these are stupid questions!


1 Like

@mlogger Ooh, no I will try that.


Yes, I’m using the er301 as a sound source. I have 6 variable speed players each loaded with a drum kit full of 1 shots. Each slider is assigned to each drum kit so I can manually select which sample gets played.

I’m using Dans jf_geode.amxd file above. I didn’t understand fully the impact of the run jack and the way repeats worked until I saw visually that amxd file and what was happening with parameter changes. Once I started playing about with the numbers and hearing the flams, it was then I realised this was getting into Machinedrum type territory, but without the step sequencer. You can get some really interesting rhythms by modulating those clock dividers and repeats whilst adjusting the run jack voltage.

I mounted a 1/8" socket into a 2hp multiple. Behind that socket are the 3 wires connected to the er301 and i2c bus… So the 16n connects to the socket on the 2hp panel using a standard TRS cable.


as @mlogger said, upgrading JF should get things going – just tested with my setup and all functioning as expected. although, it should be noted that the channels no longer pulse when connect is toggled. i’ll be sure to change this in the docs with the next update!

@mlogger, really fantastically cool demo – i’m so glad the device helped contextualize the awesome stuff inside geode :hugs:


@dan_derks @mlogger That worked. Thanks!


@dan_derks Playing around for just a little while here, I can get JF vox to work shortly, but then it drops out on me. Doesn’t appear to be a problem with my i2c setup, as JF synth is working fine for me. thoughts?

hmm – could you give a bit more detail as to what dropping out entails? like, the notes aren’t happening anymore? or does the hardware freeze up? some steps to repro would be :100: – multiple instances, which channel, hand-played or sequenced from a clip, etc.

i ask because i just tested this with no trouble:

  • crow is only addressing one instance of ^^jf_vox
  • Live’s Arpeggiator device is running 1/8th notes into ^^jf_vox, sending to channel I
  • ran the arpeggiation for 15-20 minutes, occasionally changing note values
  • added another ^^jf_vox on a separate MIDI track (by making a new track and double clicking the device from Live’s Browser), being fed by another Live Arpeggiator, running 1/12th notes to channel 2, ran for another 15 minutes
  • added a third ^^jf_vox on a separate MIDI track (by making a new track and double clicking the device from Live’s Browser), being fed by another Live Arpeggiator, running 1/3 notes to channel 3, ran for another 15 minutes
  • added a fourth ^^jf_vox on a separate MIDI track (by making a new track and double clicking the device from Live’s Browser), being fed by another Live Arpeggiator, running 1/32 notes to channel 4, ran for another 15 minutes

i have a powered board off teletype as the main i2c bus – crow, w/, and jf are all connected.

happy to help with more info! :revolving_hearts:

@dan_derks Yeah! I loaded up control center and then JF vox on a separate channel, and then after ~2 minutes of working, it stopped playing notes.

I just tried again it stopped after ~3 minutes and infinitely sustained the note that was last played and then wouldn’t respond to anything else.

My main i2c bus is TXb. Playing around on JF by itself now and everything appears to be working correctly with the new firmware.

All the other scripts appear to be working just fine though!

awesome, got it squashed. in short, ^^jf_vox was re-sending the last note played apparently 0ms before the new note – this was likely 0.001ms, but it’s still super tiny and i think it was causing too much simultaneous traffic to crow and the i2c queue.

the gh repo’s been updated, as well as the gh release page. lmk if you run into any more trouble and thank you for the report! super helpful :revolving_hearts:


Hey! Just loaded ^^dual after updating crow to 2.0 and it doesn’t seem to send any pitch data, only the envelope. if you move the pitch input or the base frequency it kind of adds a bit of top end sparkle to a steady oscillator tone, but doesn’t actually change its pitch. Am I doing something wrong or this is a bug? Could someone try this please?

crow.clear() and crow.reset() from druid fixed this pitch lock!

1 Like

Hi Dan, thanks for your awesome work on all this!

I’ve got a question that I suspect others may have as well.

Do you recommend any specific order for implementing the various updates that are coming in the last week or so?

I have Crow, JF, w/ and I use M4L… I would like to update them in sequence which may not all happen on the same day, so just wondering if any dependencies might cause problems if updated before other things…

Thanks and have a great weekend!


thanks for the positive energy, ed! :revolving_hearts:

there won’t be any major problems doing it in any order, but certain things just won’t work until you can get everything updated – crow should definitely be first on the list, then it just depends on what you want to use next. the m4l devices should be a drag+drop replace.

fwiw, updating everything should only take 10 minutes tops. the JF and w/ firmware update files are ~2 minutes long and i have never had trouble playing them straight from pressing spacebar while the file’s selected in Finder. if you’ve never updated crow, it’ll take a few minutes to grab the homebrew + dfu-util tools, but the actual firmware flash is only 60 seconds :slight_smile:

please lmk how it goes!