Cycling '74

Cycling '74
Cycling '74
Type Private
Genre Digital signal processing, Software development
Founded 1997
Founder(s) David Zicarelli
Headquarters San Francisco, United States of America
Area served Worldwide
Employees 22

Cycling '74 (also known as "C74") is a San Francisco-based software development company and music label, specializing in Interactive Media. The company is best known for their work with the digital signal processing software environment Max. Many



Cycling '74 (C74) was founded in 1997 by David Zicarelli to serve as the distributor for his various collections of software. The company's official website states that "the name Cycling '74 comes from a 1974 bicycle catalog from which some of the images that decorated our original site were inspired". The Wayback Machine provides an archive of the website (from December 1998) here.

C74 began producing the MSP extension to Opcode Systems's 1990 program "Max" in the mid 1990s, and in 1998 started distributing both products together[1]. There is no longer a version of Max without audio processing, so the two environments are now technically inseparable[2].



C74 is perhaps best known as the distributor and current developer of the Max/MSP digital signal processing environment. The company has published the program since 1999[3], and in 2008 released a major overhaul of the package (released as Max 5). A major Sound On Sound article (August 2008) focused mainly on the new GUI of the software[2]. The new interface was designed using the Juce package. Aside from re-designed graphics, the development of the new system concentrated on the original code base, and has provided integrated documentation and debugging. From the release of Max 5, MSP and Jitter were included in the one package. Many people use Max.


MSP is a DSP plug-in for Max, allowing real-time[disambiguation needed ] audio synthesis.


Jitter is a plug-in for Max that allows realtime manipulation of 3D graphics and video.


Pluggo was an extension to Max that provided capabilities for VST design. Pluggo was required to export Max "patches" for use in digital audio workstation (DAW) host environments, but has been discontinued[4] since Max 5.

Max for Live

Max integration into Ableton Live, developed by Ableton and Cycling ’74, to build unique synths and effects, create algorithmic composition tools, or fuse Live and controller hardware into new music machines. Unlike Pluggo, you can edit the device created with Max for Live directly from the Live by pressing the edit[5] button.

Record Label

Founded in 2000, c74 Music was created to release music produced using Cycling '74 technology. The same year, the label released its first record - a live compilation album by the Freight Elevator Quartet[6]. The current artist roster is:


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