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

Hi friends. I’m trying to essentially recreate the wave table envelope generation of the double andore with max and crow. Wondering if there’s a better LFO designer than this one, or if this is the ticket: https://www.ableton.com/en/packs/modulators/

Oooooooor if anyone knows of a wavetable lfo type thing in max.

I’m trying all this out for the first time today, and have the same question. Is there a way (say, if one was using Live’s arpeggiator) to have jf cycles through it’s outputs? Right now outputs 2-6 are only engaged when actual polyphony is occurring.

A quick workaround is to assign a random waveform LFO to the “voices” selector on jf_vox, but it would be super cool if this worked “in the box”, so to speak.

Or maybe I’m using is incorrectly :grinning:

no no, y’all are right — it definitely used to do that and was changed based on feedback from v1.x

@mattlowery + @nmihalevich, here’s the older version: ^^jf_synth.amxd (82.2 KB) . the limitation is that it only works in transient mode because the notes are allocated by JF itself. the new version allocates the notes in Max proper, so it’s easier to manage the note offs.

as far as the github repo goes, we can either roll this in as a third JF device or someone could build a meta JF device that holds all these modes – the latter would be an awesome and approachable project for anyone interested in crow Max programming. basically can Frankenstein the existing devices and use [gswitch]es to route messages. a nice opportunity to practice working in the frameworks established + add to the repo :slight_smile:


Ahh cool cool cool. Makes total sense. I dig having both on hand, as I can see how each approach would be useful.

I’m kind of in love with with max LFO voice selection thing though, after an hour of playing with it. There’s a nice little accentuation each time “all” is selected. Happy accidents!


@dan_derks - Thanks for the older version download link! I could see how both could be sweet.

Another question concerning jf_synth. In the new mode where all notes of the arp coming out a single JF output (holding down a triad chord which comes out identity for me), is it possible to utilized the other five outputs (2-6)?

  • Would be super sweet to mult the same sequence to the rest of the outputs, or have the outputs create different combinations of the arp playing out output 1?

  • It would also be sweet to assign each output to a different midi channel so you could have 6 independent output sequences being sent out Live, then the 6 arps could react to one another when turning knobs on the JFs in some way?

*Or if the main sequence originated in output 1 but when you turned certain knobs on JFs the notes would start to disperse through more and more outputs, like a fanning out process of the notes to the outputs.

Could Crow facilitate 6 midi channels at once to JFs? I suppose each output would need it’s own command center?

Just spit balling here. I’m totally naive to coding, so this is probably really annoy to people who actually now more about the back end. haha.

these are great ideas to explore! this collection of devices isn’t meant to box in, but to provide a framework for folks to build their own unique use cases :slight_smile:

i’d say just rip into this! you’ll want to go through the druid studies to get a handle of the syntax and go through the [crow] object’s help patcher in Max to see how to apply that syntax inside of Max’s visual coding environment. I cannot recommend Matt Wright’s Kadenze course highly enough. you will walk away with a full understanding of how to program in Max, for free :sparkles:

you can ping here for help if you run into any specific questions or hurdles, and you can share any helpful snippets you land on here: ^^ recipes: max / m4l snippets for crow

yes, though depending on how much traffic you’re sending you may find that you can only do 3-4 channels.

1 command center per crow. you can load as many of those m4l devices to speak to one crow as you’d like (or until things get unstable, depending on how much stuff you’re slamming into the stream), which all route through a single command center.


…this is pretty much already possible using other MIDI-generating/affecting M4L devices ahead of 6 jf_vox devices each set to speak to a different JF channel! it’s totally valid to build a group of jf_vox’s and set them to receive from the same MIDI track and throw a few of Live’s MIDI Effects ahead of the incoming MIDI on each channel:

this sorta stuff extends the crow devices so much – i always have a Random ahead of my jf_vox’s :slight_smile:

hope this helps! let us know where you get to!!



Validation! haha. Dude, this is brilliant input. Thanks for the feedback and the links. Looking forward to digging in to all this.

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I will second the Max class. Crow and arc have been my motivations to get up to speed with Max and that course have changed everything. Crow to the ER-301 and TXo have been immensely gratifying and I’ve not had much issue at all getting everything to go exactly where I want it!

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really enjoying crow with max and max for live, thanks for great work @dan_derks :wink:

I have a question regarding a second crow. I have found some information but not enough.
is it possible now, or in the future, to have a second crow connected via i2c to the first crow and control it via max/max4live? basically use a second crow without plugging it to another usb port. my main interest is using it with max/max4live. any insight would be much appreciated :slightly_smiling_face:

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Hi there!
Maybe a stupid question but:
Is it possible to play JF synth+W/ synth with the same Crow in M4L mode right?
Mines stop working if I try to play ‘em together or JF freeze on a single note. Sometimes I’m able to solve the issue refreshing Crow connection.
MacBook Pro+ Hig Sierra here, JF and Crow are updated to the last firmwares. Is it relevant that Ableton is the trial vr?
Current i2c bus (powered by Clank Modular power system):
Crow, JF, W/, Er-301

EDIT: Also JF alone stops working or freeze even if I don’t dedicate a track to W/ synth🤔

Thank you🙂

hey y’all!

not yet possible with crow regardless of environment, but configuring a crow as a follower to another is on the roadmap for 3.0 and has some groundwork covered. once it’s possible, it’ll trickle down to the max/m4l devices :slight_smile:

should be possible, but since the w/synth firmware isn’t out of beta it might cause unexpected issues.

does this happen reliably? any additional steps to reproduce this issue would be :pray:


Thanks for the reply!

By now JF stops working/freeze when I “overload” the polyphony: the issue starts when I play several chords or when I play a melody on a pre-recorded JF melody on another Ableton midi track.
So JF stops working or freeze himself on a droning note🤔
JF is a gold clouds version, updated to 4.0

So the problem could be JF and W/ (beta) on the same i2c bus??

that shouldn’t cause trouble, but it’d be worth testing if you have time.

also, if you can share the Ableton Live Set or a screenshot of the exact setup for the M4L device, then I can try to repro on my hardware :revolving_hearts:

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Thank you!
Ableton set up is the current (and super basic):

•midi track1: command center + Jf synth
•midi track2: command center + W/ synth

In my recent tests I can say that JF crush due to “polyphony overload”, when I play several chords or rich and fast melodies.
Removing the midi track 2 -and refreshing the connection several times- ,seems that Jf restarts working, but I need to test more.
Maybe the i2c bus (Crow, JF, W/, Er-301)?

EDIT: Unfortunately the issue persists also removing the command W/synth, seems that only JF is involved

Hello there,
Today I had the chance to make several test and here the results:

•changing i2c bus modules order or taking of other modules (Er-301, W/), JF keeps freezing/stops working after “polyphony overload”.
•JF perfectly works with Norns: all the scripts which support i2c connection via Crow work well.
•I tried to re-update JF to 4.0 but issues with M4L persists.

So I think that the issue depends on M4L BUT only when Keystep is connected to the Mackbook: when I load midi notes from the Mac keyboard, JF goes smooth also with “polyphony overload”.
I know that Keystep had velocity/midi issues also with Just play script, but I think they’re solved now. Keystep is updated to last firm.
Any suggestion? Anybody has the same problem?

EDIT: The problem appears in the low register of the Keystep keyboard (-1 octave):thinking:

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ah! these are such helpful repro steps! thank you :slight_smile:

just to confirm, this is what you’re experiencing:

  • you can play JF polyphonically without trouble when you’re using the Mac keyboard
  • you experience overload issues only when triggering notes from a Keystep
  • when the Keystep is in lower registers, that’s when it becomes problematic


i’ll take a peek at the just play script, as any changes made to that script to accommodate the Keystep would need to be made to the M4L devices as well – i don’t have one on hand, but i’ll give it a shot and report back here with any improvements.

please do keep me updated if you can further narrow the issue! thanks again for the communication, super appreciated.

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You could try removing ER301 from the i2c bus to see if that helps. Hung notes on JF suggests an unstable bus to me (though that doesnt explain why its affected by lower notes only etc).

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All that you have mentioned is correct! So it should be a cc/velocity issue as it was on Just play (always related to the Keystep).
Thank you for the commitment! I scheduled to buy a second Crow entirely dedicated to M4L, I’ve found it super useful!

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Morning guys,
Just completed some other tests this morning:

•Under suggestion of Andrea (Clank Modular, the builder of the i2c busboard) I connected directly Just Friends to Crow to exclude issues comes from the busboard as @Galapagoose assumed.
I had confirmation of the previous behavior:
JF goes well, despite pushing the polyphony to the edge, on the middle register of the Keystep but when you go -1 octave, it freeze himself on a note or stops working.

This was the set-up :
•1 Ableton midi track: Command center + JF synth
•Crow directly connected to JF via i2c

@dan_derks hope it helps🙂

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this definitely helps — thank you for additional testing!

sounds like the keystep might be outputting midi messages that mess with the voice release logic — i’ll be able to look at the Just Play code tomorrow and if that’s it, it should be a quick fix :slight_smile:

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