Max for Cats

Max for Live devices and more.

New: BENGAL – Semi-Modular FM Syntesizer System

BENGAL is a semi-modular FM synth: That means you can play it already without touching a single patchcord, or open the door to new galaxies of sound by patching multiple patchchords in the Patchpanel.

BENGALs Core Features are:
*4 Operators:* each Operator can synthesize waveformd by up to 20 partials or by wavetables: either numerous built-in waves or user wavetables via drag’n drop.
*6 Algorithms:* Each Algorithm reorders the internal sound structure of Carriers and Modulators.
*2 Multi-mode Filters:* Filter 1: 5 Filter modes plus an optional Comb Filter. Also you can mix the unfiltered with the filtered signal and add Filter Drive to overdrive the filter for soft saturation. Filter 2: filter morph. The filters can be routed in parallel or in series.
*2 LFO’s:* with tri-saw morph, retrigger, rate modulation and more
*6 Audio Effects:* sound design as part of the instrument
*Step Sequencer:* for note input, modulation data or both
*Modifier Effects:* Mix, Scale, Clip etc. your signals.
*Patchpanel:* over 50 out- and more than 60 input points

The Bengal walk-through:

The OSCiLLOT Modular System – a fully modular system for Ableton Live.

New: The OSCiLLOT Modular System – a fully modular system for Ableton Live.

Press reviews:

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  1. Amazing! I’d love to see a wavetable OSC added Piston Honda 2’esque and feedback added as well as a polyphonic Swarm (swarmatron) chording with sweeps.

  2. In the description at the Ableton eb site it mentions there are THREE devices included. Would like to understand what that means.

    • Hello,

      1. The OSCiLLOT Instrument version – sits on a MIDI track in Live. Here you patch your Synths, Soundgenerators etc. with up to 6-voices polyphony.
      2. The OSCiLLOT AFX version – is a monophonic effect version and sits on a Live audio track (or behind an instrument in a MIDI track..) – lets you create modular effects and even integrate VST/AU effects..
      3. The OSCiLLOT MIDI Receiver: the OSCiLLOT Instrument version creates audio but what if you want to use the OSCiLLOT sequencers to output MIDI instead?)
      Then you use the MIDI Receiver on a MIDI track and send data to the MIDI receiver from the “CV to MIDI Send” module. There’ll be tutorials in the next weeks covering all this in detail.

  3. Has Stretta been involved in this developpment? BEAP does the exact same thing (minus the polyphony) and is available for free.

    • It may not be obvious on first sight to some but the wonderful Berklee Electro Acoustic Pedagogy system (aka BEAP) from our friend Stretta is somewhat different. The most significant differences are that OSCiLLOT works in Live and can be patched there, while BEAP is integrated in Max 7 and can be patched in Max 7. You can not patch BEAP in Ableton, you have to go to Max. OSCiLLOT is polyphonic, BEAP is monophonic. Another thing thats different is the selection of modules. While some modules may be similar in functionality, due to their nature of forming a modular synth, most of them have different features and a different sound.
      I highly recommend BEAP if you work in Max – it’s a wonderful synthesis education system for Max.
      We developed OSCiLLOT simply because we want to patch in Ableton while working on music.
      I hope that outlines the differences to your satisfaction.
      p.s.: see also this interview for some more background info:

  4. Hi. First I must say that I´m love OSCiLLOT, amazing product.

    I´m specially intersted in sending and reciving CVs to a hardware modular. It seems to work very well, but, is there a way send-recive more than 2 signal from the same OSCiLLOT instance? there is only 2 ins and outs and I would like to have more signals. Thank you.

  5. I’m finding the UI gets a wee bit sluggish with just 5 or 6 modules running in a high spec 2011 MacBook Pro – particularly grabbing modules tends to be hit or miss – any comment on this? Great product by the way – not complaining :)

    • It very much depends on the modules – a Reverb is more expensive than a simple Ringmod etc. Also, if your audio buffer is very small, there’s more stress on the CPU. 256 or more samples are giving the CPU more air to breath. See also the OSCiLLOT lesson chapter 7 for more info.

  6. How taxing is OSCiLLOT on CPU?
    Wanting to throw all of my dollars at you guys but I’m not sure if my Mac will handle it.

    Interested in knowing how one or two fairly basic synths and maybe two or three audio effects would run. Please test and get back to me.
    I know that it’s all going to depend on how Ableton prefs are set up and your Mac’s hardware specs but I’m only looking for a general idea.

    Is it between 10% and 15%? etc etc

  7. From the replys oscillot seems to be on development, why are you selling an unfinished product?
    I mean, if it will be possible to send-recive more than 2 signal from the same OSCiLLOT instance, why didn´t you wait until this is possible? Seems to be a basic thing, like feedback between modules.
    The future upgrades are going to be free to the owners of this early version?
    Keep the good work, cheers

    • Someone recently said: “a finished modular system? That does not exist, a modular system is never finished”. That aside: The 2 signal fact is a Live limitation.
      We`ll try to find a solution.

  8. Hi Guys,

    Thanks for Oscillot, looks very promising. i have 2 questions for you

    1) you said that new modules is on the way. are we gonna need to pay for those or it will be free upgrades?

    2) do you plan to release some tutorials? for a modular newbie like me that’d be great! :D

    thank you!

    • I guess as a OSCiLLOT user you’ll see many free modules. There’s already a new Oscillator in the Oscillator section.
      (detailed instructions how to place and maintain these new modules are being worked on)
      We’ll start with tutorials next week.


  9. Hi there,
    I’m really enjoying OScillator – it’s fantastic but I’m struggling to find the included lessons/documentation. I can open the help windows to see what each module does but I think there’s some additional lesson material in there somewhere.
    How might I access it, please?
    Many thanks

    • Did you see 9-page Quickstart lesson of the pack? (find the OSCiLLOT pack in the Live browser and right/ctrl click on it to choose ‘show pack lesson’.

  10. I see in the OSCiLLOT forum that Max 7.0.1 is currently incompatible with the plugin, do you know what issue is causing this and have Cycling 74 said when 7.0.2 might be coming ?

    Probably a tricky question to answer, but how do you see the long term development of OSCiLLOT – can see this being a huge thing for Ableton’s future (like a: They’ll buy this off you for Ableton 10 kinda big). But just curious as to what features you’re planning to integrate in future builds ?

    • I don’t know when 7.0.2 is coming but it won’t take very long, i assume.
      At least Max for Cats has many ideas for future OSCiLLOT versions but i really can’t speak for Ableton…

    • Since you can drag many cables from out output but only use 1 cable per input: use the merge/mixer modules from the Mixer section.

  11. hi leute, eine tolle sache zum basteln, euer osci-tool. geht das ding auch für’s djing? kann ich die gebauten tools auch live einsetzen oder nur zur vorbereitung? geht das so wie mit live’s bordtools bzw. max-plugs? eure bastelkiste is’ supi denk ich weiß nur noch nich’ wie’s genau funktioniert. toll wär feedback an meine mail von euch. thanks!!!!
    dj mike

    • Hallo DJ Mike – Na, besonders die Audio Effekt Version ist sicherlich auch im DJ-Kontext gut zu gebrauchen – kommt halt darauf was du vor hast…

  12. Fairly amazingly, your device shares it’s name with a company manufacturing a fence system designed to prevent cats escaping the home – did a second take when it said I’d need power tools to install it..

    Anyway – great idea / device!

  13. I just picked up OSCiLLOT. I’m totally new to modular synthesis but I know its become very popular. I have a background in electrical and computer engineering and also compose music and I’m loving the unique sounds coming out this thing. Totally different from the typical plug-in and the versatility is astounding. I was hoping for something like this to come out for Ableton. While I’d love to have all that beautiful equipment with dangling cables my place and bank account just can’t afford it. I’m looking forward to having some of these new sounds in my songs. Thanks for putting in the effort for all of us who don’t have the time to create such intricate devices!

  14. wow looks great I really wonder how you got this to work (patching max in live)…
    and I noticed,looking at the SDK,that you break ableton’s ‘parameters have to be automated and stored gnagnagna’ -dogma…

  15. Hi Guys.

    I bought Oscillot yesterday and directly build my own Synth. Though it was kind of tough without tutorials to make connections without being a pro, but i managed it and i was very happy to make it and get some Sound, i expected (for example triggering a Stepsequencer with a lfo). As long as there is no tutorial online, i give some advice from my pov: Just load in another Track an Instrument-Preset and look inside the connections maxforcats made. I had problems with a step sequencer so i thought i could find a solution in some already existing patch. I did. From there on i could work on my own patch on the other channel.

    Are you planning to make kind of database for user, to up- and download selfmade Modularsynths?

    Thanks for this piece of work. Great.

    (cpu is the only limitation right now for me)

    • Thanks!
      there’ll be a series of tutorials – the first one is done and will be online very soon.
      Database: Would be great indeed!

  16. Just downloaded this and am quite impressed. I have worked in the modular synth business many years ago and just attended the Serge Modular reunion in SF and watched some great performances. I’m just finding my way around these, but so far, it looks like you’ve got a nice array of modules –almost everything I’m looking for. One thing that I couldn’t find is a voltage controlled clock divider. Any plans? I suspect I could hook one up with multiple OSCILLOT modules. Getting aleatoric complex rhythms was one of my favorite patches on the Serge system. I like the on-line help. I’ll look at the videos, but would appreciate some advice on where to go for more info. I couldn’t find a list of modules when I ordered, but I was pleasantly surprised that you’ve got a great line up of oscillators, filters, effects, sequencers, mixers, etc. Great job!

  17. Thanks, crk. Yeah I found the ClockDivider and it’s exactly what I would like to use. I’d like the division to be voltage controlled–always quantized to 1/4, 1/8, etc. to keep in sync with other beats, but I’d like to use a random voltage, an LFO, or other control voltage to change the division.

  18. Also thanks for the Nord Modular manual link. I helped write the manual for the Serge Modular system and wrote one on the Buchla system where I taught. So I don’t really need info on how to patch modules. You do have some interesting ones in OSCILLOT and I’ll be experimenting with them. If there is an ADSR or LFO where I could subdivide pulses, that might work for me.

  19. SiFi: No demo is needed. Oscillot is revolutionary. It is a spark for creativity plain and simple. I really think they can turn Oscillot into a self contained software that could rival Ableton, Logic, etc. if they wanted to. For example, I don’t see why it would be much harder to have Oscillot work as a DAW as well (maybe a checkerboard where each square is an instance of Oscillot with maybe a square dedicated to mixdown and mastering.) But I could be mistaken since this is not my expertise. Max for Cats, you really have something special here! I dream of having Catstretch, Digital, Ensemble and all of your effects as modules in Oscillot.

    One question. Can I assign individual pads on the Push to each of the five drums in the HIT sequencer if I wanted?

    • Hmm, i took a look at it looks like the best thing would be that i’ll make a module for this (and other purposes). Give it (me) a bit time!

    • Thanks for the encouraging words. The next update will have a module which easily lets you play Hit drumsounds or any other Trigger actions with individual MIDI notes.

  20. Hi Christian,
    for me as an “old” modular freak (built hardware modular synths over 25 years ago) OSCiLLOT is quite thrilling; one question:
    I’m doing a lot MAX programming (also contributing to BEAP since a few weeks); can I create own OSCiLLOT modules via the SDK? Any limitations?
    Viele Grüße aus dem Süden, Rob

    • Hello Rob,

      Yes, OSCiLLOT happily takes ‘custom’ modules – see the SDK here:
      One important thing: currently a new OSCiLLOT version will override custom modules which you placed on your own in the modules folder. So, please work with copies of your modules. We’re working on a more convenient solution.


  21. With regard to your comments about BEAP and Ableton. I don’t think it is still correct to say you can’t use BEAP inside Ableton. It now has a M4LIn and M4LOut objects. It also has a Poly4 object which I assume (lack of documentation) means it is now Polyphonic?

    • I never said you can’t use BEAP in Ableton but you can’t patch BEAP in Ableton. The poly4 object doesn’t make instant polyphony.
      Again: BEAP is great but quite different to OSCiLLOT.
      The main differences: OSCiLLOT allows patching in Live, Preset management in Live and instant Polyphony (plus a few more things).

      • Thank you for your reply. I meant no offence. I am already a Oscillot owner and love it. Thank you for clearing that up.

  22. Greetings from Australia ^_^
    I’ve just discovered Max4Cafs and Oscillott.

    1. How can I join the forum?
    2. How does Oscillot compare with the Nord Modular series and is there any compatability with patch importing?


    • Hello,

      1. Sadly currently it is not subscribtion-based. I’ll hope to find a better one.
      2. Not really. Although there are similarities, the only way would be a visual (human) translation of the signal path.

  23. I have purchased Oscellot and used it a couple days before I upgraded to Yosemite. Before I could load modules and everything was fine, and now when I open up the editor, the buttons do not do anything. Nothing drops down like it’s supposed too. Also I cannot drag and drop modules to load them into editor, or open presets. Any idea what would be causing this? All advice appreciated.

  24. I am a long time Ableton and Max user and I pretty much know advanced stuff in audio programming languages. When I first heard max for cats I was curious about workflow and programming styles of it. Since there is no demo version that I can inspect, I ask here: What I would like to know about max for cats is that, is it possible to edit objects other than SDK so that I can reverse-engineer and learn other programming methods in various objects of M4Cats? If yes, is there a clean layout of objects and open-source style user friendly documentation inside objects?


    • Hello,
      Modules are ‘just’ max patches and you can easily reverse engineer, modify, customize them etc. Complexity varies of course depending on the module. As an example, download e.g. this Formant Generator and take a look at it in Max. Together with the SDK, you should have a good starting point.

  25. Hi. First I must say that I´m love OSCiLLOT.
    I´m specially intersted in sending and reciving CVs to a hardware synth, but i haven’t focused it at the moment. Can somebody help me?
    Thank you.

  26. Hey I’m a fan of Oscillot already…just picked it up, but I’ve been a Nord Modular user for years so I’m sorta familiar off the get go. I was primarily interested in this for the sampler modules…I think it would be even more awesome though if there was was a way to modulate the start/end points and add a (controllable) reverse parameter as well to the Juke Box module. Also, can we get longer envelopes for really long attacks and really slow LFOs? Maybe I’m missing something and you’ve already got that implemented, but that’s what I’ve noticed that I’m missing off the bat…

    Can’t wait to see it developed further.

    • Hello!

      JukeBox is just meant to be a fileplayer – a ‘proper’ sampling module is in the making (sort of). As for LFO times: please note that you can type in values, e.g. ‘0.01’ hz which gives you a really slooowww cycle. As for a long attack times, i’ll take a look…


      • Yeah I mean jukebox is perfect for what I have in mind I just wish I had cv control of the various parameters.

        As far as slow LFOs I was thinking something like a button to multiply and divide the rate so that the knob was just there to tune it in like how the Nord LFOs are setup. Thank you

  27. Hi. I read that Oscillot hosts VSTS. Does this mean say that you can have Oscillot on a midi track, and have say a drum synth as one of the modules within Oscillot?
    Basically I know hardly anything about modular synthesis but from what I have read Oscillot looks like a great way to manipulate and get inside your sounds…which is what I want to do-particularly with regards to my beats.



    • Hello,

      Yes, this is possible. OSCiLLOT can be quite some fun when it comes to beat-mangling.


  28. Hi,

    I built a .adv based upon the event FM Drumsequence.
    It took some days, and was working fine. Now it will not fully load. It gets to about 99% then stops. It will not load it a new project either.

    As I will never be a blue to re-create it I would really like to know what I can do to make it work again. Also it’s making me worried about investing so much time trying to build any new modules.

    I could send you the .adv if you need.

    Ware spec:—
    Live Suite 9.1.10. MacBook Pro Retina, 15-inch. 2.6 GHz Intel Core i7. 16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3.


    • Hello,
      We have seen this a few times and we’re investigating. Please send us the .adv, usually we can fix it.
      Please let me know if this happens again with another patch.


  29. Hi,

    Thanks for the quick response.
    Can you let me know an email to send you the attached .adv?


  30. Really enjoying this new tool! May I make a couple suggestions:

    Having each module category (filter, modulator etc) load as a single macro that can be switched between different types within that category (diode, ladder filter etc) so that modules in the typical arrangement can be replaced without re-patching them.

    Any way to keep the toolbar floating at the top so that you do not have to scroll to the top of the page to use it?

    Superb sounds!

    • Hello,

      Yes, the Nord Modular does this and it is indeed a convenient way to switch modules. We’ll see..
      Toolbar floating at the top – we’ll also look into this.
      Thanks for the suggestions!


      • Thanks for your reply! Just one more question: I have 3 voices active and yet the ADSR seems to retrigger on every new note and cut off the previous note’s release phase as if there is only one envelope active. I know I’m doing something wrong – any ideas?

        • (That is, unless the previous note is a chord. But monophonic notes do not get assigned to new envelopes in poly mode, it seems)

          • Ah so I found your explanation on the forum.

            “Currently, there’s is no ’round-robin’ voice allocation but you trigger always the first voice and only when holding down a chord, the other voices are triggered.
            I agree that the current behaviour is not optimal but it was the only realistic solution to have OSCiLLOT polyphonic. When time given, i’ll look at this behaviour again – maybe we can get to a more ‘traditional’ voice allocation.”

            With immense respect for the work you put into this superb instrument, I must say this behavior is a bit disappointing, not to mention somewhat misleading as the product is advertised as a polyphonic instrument and there is no demo version. Is there any workaround you can think of?

            Thanks Christian.


  31. @Lane. For v.1.x we had the choice: monophonic or the poly implementation we have. We chose the latter. This doesn’t mean it might stay with the current implementation forever…


  32. Is there any “external” modules available ? I mean modules published (free or not) by other devs than Max for Cats. I can’t find any. Thank you.

  33. Im getting an issue with the trial version where its telling me I need max 6.9 or later but I have max 7. Whats going on here? Thanks.

  34. i think, oscillot does not work as a stand-alone in ‘max for live’ without opening ‘ableton live’ + so it only works as a package in ‘ableton live’?

  35. Hello.

    Why is patch chord direct line?

    (can’t leave pics here)

    It looks kinda circular in your all ads.

    MBP OS 10.11.6 Live 9.6.2

    Just suggestion.
    Do you have any plan to put the patch chords in the back?
    I mean behind letters and holes.


    • A direct line? Can you mail a screenshot? (info at maxforcats dot com)
      We could think about hiding the cords on demand (as we do in OSCiLLOT)


  36. Hi. I bought Bengal today. Where can I find a manual. I want to detained .32. I can’t seem to fine tune it in the global tune, aside from semitones, though I see it has 2 decimal places.

  37. Hallo,
    Ich hätte ein paar “Sonderwünsche” bzgl. Bengal:

    1. Die Loop-Funktion bei den ADSRs bräuchte eine Tempo-Sync-Funktion.
    2. Pitch-Enveloping bitte ausbauen!
    3. Math-Funktion-Werte sind nur wenig skalierbar.
    4. Manchmal geht die Hüllkurve nicht bis Null, bzw. gibt es einige Knackser bei Attack.

    Danke, lG aus Wien!

    • Moin!

      1. Kann man doch über tempo-gesyncte LFO’s retriggern
      2. Ja!
      3. Ja!
      4. Hier wäre ein Bespiel Preset gut. Die Hüllkurven können ja SEHR schnell sein (0.5ms).

  38. Tach!
    Habe soeben Bengal erworben. Der Sound gefällt, nur leider kann ich auf meinem 4K Monitor das Plugin nur schwer “lesen”, da die GUI sehr klein ausgefallen ist. Gibt es die Möglichkeit, die GUI zu skalieren? Grüße aus Bremen,

    • Hallo!

      Ja, das ist bekannt und wir hoffen in naher Zukunft eine Lösung zu finden….Leider kann das Interface derzeit nicht skaliert werden.


  39. thanks for the update. just downloaded it and installed it. so how do i fine tune in global. i tried shift, option, and command.

    roman stange

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