CLEF is a Max-based modular environment for composition and performance of live electronics, developed at CIRMMT/McGill University.

CLEF follows structural design concepts and allows users to rapidly create digital signal processing topologies and control data taking advantage of the provided infrastructure and feature set. 

CLEF separates domain model from data access layer and user interface, relying on dedicated technologies: OpenSoundControl for data access, Max dictionaries for module description and pattr for storage management.

CLEF is implemented natively on top of Max and does not require external installers, libraries or compiled code. This makes CLEF portable, compatible, and straightforward to mix and merge with your favourite patches.

CLEF projects can be built into collectives or applications for easy distribution.

© 2009-2014 Marlon Schumacher. All Rights Reserved.


  • Completely user-tweakable/extensible and scriptable environment
  • Host-backend registers and connects 'Modules' in global mixing matrix
  • All parameters exposed to the pattr system (storage, interpolation, etc.)
  • Communication via OSC on shared message busses. Full pattern-matching support.
  • Graphical 'Inspectors' for run-time control and persistent data storage
  • Graphical 'Widgets' for setting of (temporal) control data
  • Control data organized into graphs/topologies of 'Events'
  • Events are containers for data and code
  • Meter bridges, Terminals and other global user interfaces
  • Installer-Free. No compiled code, external libraries etc.
  • VST/AU-Plugin support

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User Reviews

  • I've become very familiar with this great software, and have found it extremely useful in the context of composing interactive pieces for acoustic-instruments with live processing. The best thing about this program is that it is completely unrestrictive, and does not suggest any aesthetic approach to composing; users can create their own modules and algorithms, then import them into the framework. The user-extendable software can be used to create any imaginable type of electronic music, and makes performing with Max/MSP remarkably simplified. CLEF is perfect for those who want to be able to use the functionality of Max/MSP within a robust and reliable framework for performance, improvisation, and/or composition.

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Additional Project Details

Intended Audience

Science/Research, Education, Advanced End Users

Programming Language