In today’s Knowledge Drop, it is time to lean into custom toolmaking. Don’t worry: this video is not Coding 101. This episode, Baby Steps, The Simple Sequencer You Need, makes the case for building your own tools by giving you one of ours! The focus of today’s drop: automating any parameter in your Ableton Live session with Baby Steps, our free download.

Today’s Topic

Max For Live has opened up myriad possibilities for extending the Ableton Live environment. Created by Cycling ‘74, Max For Live permits the building of anything from a regular audio or MIDI device to something more extravagant or unusual.

The graphical interface of Baby Steps, a simple step sequencer device from Knob Theory.

The graphical interface of Baby Steps

Baby Steps takes advantage of these nonstandard capabilities that Max For Live has made accessible to us. As the video demonstrates, any parameter of a track, device, or third-party plug-in can be quickly automated with Baby Steps. This is great for production (giving your parameter’s a little motion over time) and ideal for performance (making automation gestures than can be changed in an instant).

Musical toolmaking is not some academic pursuit. For any modern musician who is looking to differentiate their sound, to customize their way of performing, or to expand their creative possibilities, toolmaking is a logical next-step. And a number of platforms — Max For Live being the foremost example — avoid the text-only approach to coding in favor of a graphical, audio folks-friendly interface.

The patching view of Baby Steps, a simple step sequencer device from Knob Theory.

The patching view of Baby Steps

Ah, patch cords! And they are connecting objects, just like modules! …But again, we are not “going there” today*. Start by downloading Baby Steps today and finding a use for her that only you have thought of. (She was made with Ableton Live 9.5 and Max For Live 7.1.)

Download: Baby Steps, The Simple Sequencer You Need

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Knowledge Drop is a free series of focused tutorial videos with accompanying content packages from Knob Theory. Each Knowledge Drop video demonstrates a particular technique through the lens of modern electronic music production.



  1. Heinrich Zwahlen

    I love this very simple but versatile modulation tool..great job guys as always!

  2. Very cool M4L patch. Kudos!

  3. Great Job! Thanks!