octane step sequencer


This max4live device is built in Max/MSP v5.1.9 and have only be tested in Ableton Live 8, so there are maybe some compatibility issues if you are using Max/MSP v6 and Ableton Live 9.

hps-octane is now on v0.93. I’ve resolved many bugs, inconsistencies, patching mess and performance optimization. I’ve also reduced some functionalities to stay focus on the step sequencer idea with a “good” playability, but reworked the GUI.

hps-octane v0_93.zip (2013 downloads)

This ZIP archive contains:
– a full Ableton Live session (the one shown in one of the online video, with samples from my former Xpander and Microwave XT) – the MaxForLive device is inside the presets folder of this session (Please don’t use this sound material in your own production because it’s part of one of my tune. Thanks!).
– a Lemur layout (Octane v0_94.jzml);
– Lemur modules library for the lite editor (Octane Lite v0_94 A.jzlib … Octane Lite v0_94 H.jzlib,controlling instance A to H) that you can drag-and-drop on your own Lemur layout;
– an Excel file (hps-octane parameters v0_93.xls) when you can find the OSC protocol implementation.

In this included Live session, track 1 and 3 are using hps-octane. On each of these tracks, hps-octane is triggered by MIDI clips (one note for reset, one note to trig each step), it receives MIDI program change 1 to 24 and pass the other one out (MIDI controllers are always going through this device).
Start first SCENE named “INIT” for recalling the hps-octane presets. Then start the next SCENE or each clip of this SCENE individually. The start other clips on track 1 to switch presets on the fly (MIDI clips are set to TRIGGER, LEGATO and QUANTIZE 1/32) but still in sync. The lower clips have to be played at 60 BPM (hence the 60 BPM SCENE …). Still on track 1, modulate the Filter Cutoff macro knob (in red) to make the sound more alive. What I REALLY like is the preset switching in the fly, and the fact that driven by MIDI clips, you keep working with the same Ableton Live session paradigm.

PS : I’m not a big fan of the full Lemur editing possibilities, because it eats some computer resource … I personally use a version of hps-octane with only a reduced OSC editing functions. Your opinion here is very welcome.

The OSC communication protocol had many troubles because of a king of “data feedback”. Now the default received port of hps-octane is 8050 (never, never use port 8001 or 8002 [reserved for Lemur editor], and port 8000 is the hard coded Lemur received one … hence the problem …).

The micro-step editor has been also removed because it was very tedious to edit and used a live.grid object for each step (they were more than 50 live.grid objects used at that time …).

For a more global overview of this project, read the topics on these forums:

Screenshots of the Lemur editor on iPad:

hps-octane v0.93 remote control panel on Lemur
hps-octane v0.93 remote control panel Lite on Lemur


Here is a more “musical” demo of the hps-octane step sequence for Ableton Live + MaxForLive.
You will first notice that the GUI has been reworked a lot – the top tabs have been removed and changed for a series of buttons that free up some screen space for a value strip read-out in each tab/buttons.
I had a lot of problems with the preset system and heavy data feedback on the OSC implementation so I remove most of the OSC functions at the moment. The code has been also cleaned.This track is an old tune that used to be sequenced on a P3 Sequentix hardware sequencer. Here, I’m using two instances of hps-octane (track 1 and 4).
On track 1, presets are switched on the fly with MIDI program change included in clips and I’m switching (on-off) steps with a Lemur layout on the iPad (off screen).
Track 4 is using mainly the Random Gate function on a simple sequence, creating unpredictable, but still musical, variations. Enjoy !


Here is a screencast of the hps-octane step sequencer MaxForLive device, running in Ableton Live. The sequencer here is triggered by MIDI clips, which can include the step duration (with groove possibility), a reset at step one trigger, an on the fly preset change (via MIDI program change).In the first part, hps-octane is remote controlled by a custom OSC Lemur template on an iPad. You can see presets and TABs parameters switching without the use of the mouse. For a proper interaction with the iPad, please check our previous video.
On the second part, we are using MIDI clips to switch presets.
Nota : nothing quite musical in this video.


hps-octane is a MaxForLive MIDI step sequencer designed with a modular point of view.
Each step is divided in 8 main parameters families:
GATE : the note event is played or not, with a probability parameter for each step;
REPEAT : the note event is repeated or not, with micro-step edit;
NOTE : set the value in semitone of the note, with note randomizing;
OCTAVE : set the octave value of the played note, with octave randomizing;
VELOCITY : set the velocity of the played note, with velocity randomizing;
DURATION : set the duration of the played note;
CONTROL 1 / CONTROL 2 : set the MIDI controller or remote Ableton Live parameter.Each of these parameters has a TAB. Each TAB is in fact an independent sequencer with its own start and end step (so each sequencer can have its own lenght) with different motions (up, down, up&down, random, random w/ no repeat) or can be linked to the GATE TAB.
There is a nearly full remote and tactile control of up-to 8 instances from a custom Liine Lemur layout through OSC protocol, with an automatic iPad Lemur detection. Most of the parameters are MIDI controllable and clips “automatable” too.
Each instance has preset memories, and can be synchronized to Ableton Live or clip triggered which is a much more flexible way to play (a modular step sequencer with the full benefit of clip launching.

This article has 2 comments

  1. Hello! The octane step sequencer works perfectly, however I am having trouble with the Lemur template. I can see the metronome bar going across the screen, however when I touch the ipad it does nothing, and when I change the octane step sequencer on my mac the changes do not appear on my ipad. There appears to be something wrong with the connection. Any Ideas?

    Ableton 9.6

  2. Not working on Live 10 u_u

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