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Factorsynth is a Max For Live device that opens new avenues in sound design. Based on a machine learning algorithm called matrix factorization, it decomposes any audio clip into a set of temporal and spectral elements. By rearranging and modifying these components you can do powerful transformations to your clips, such as removing notes or motifs, creating new ones, randomizing melodies or timbres, changing rhythmic patterns, remixing loops in real time, applying effects selectively only to certain elements of the sound, creating complex sound textures...

After 2 years of the initial release comes Factorsynth 2, the first major update. Following many user suggestions and requests, version 2 is an even more versatile yet easier to use device, with a simplified workflow and numerous new features. It is now possible to individually pan the components, allowing to do things such as upmixing a mono clip to stereo. Another powerful new feature is the quantized shifting of the components, which allows changing the rhythmic structure of riffs and drum loops. A second, alternative decomposition algorithm is available, as well as a more detailed control of the playback region.

Quite magical.
- The Pro Audio Files

Get truly new types of sounds with this amazing device!
- Seed to Stage

A powerful instrument for breaking down audio loops in to timbral and spectral elements that can be remixed and exported in astoundingly cool ways.
- Ask.Audio

From intelligent remixing to sound textures and spectral composition, it will appeal to many composers, musicians and sound designers.
- KR Home Studio


There are two editions of Factorsynth: the full edition and a free demo version. Both are based on the same decomposition engine, but the full version has a wider range of synthesis operations and no length limitation. This table compares both versions' main features:

DEMO Version FULL Version
Maximum input clip length 8s unlimited
Maximum components 8 30
   Factorsynth decomposition engine
Randomized operations
Sync playback with Live set
Component mixing
Component export
Component editing by drawing
Component panning
Time shifting
   Switchboards assignable to external controller
Detailed analysis parameters
Price (excl. VAT) FREE 49 €


  • Mac OS (Intel/Apple M1) or Windows
  • Ableton Live 9 (64-bit), 10 or 11
  • Max For Live 7.3 or newer

          v2.3, 9/12/2021
DEMO Version


FULL Version

49 € + V.A.T.

Terms and conditions


Factorsynth is a partner product of the IRCAM Forum. Premium members of the forum can get special discounts. For further details, please consult Factorsynth's IRCAM forum page.




For any usage or support related questions, please contact software@jjburred.com.

You can also sign up to the mailing list:

Here's a recent article I wrote about Factorsynth's place in the Machine Learning landscape.

If you're interested in learning some more details about the technology behind Factorsynth, you can check these research papers:


How does Factorsynth work?
Factorsynth is based on a modified version of an algorithm called Non-Negative Matrix Factorization (NMF). Simply put, NMF can automatically extract interesting patterns from data. It has been used in fields such as computer vision and movie recommendations. I had to heavily adapt and tweak it in order to meet the real-time needs of music production.

Can Factorsynth remove a full voice/instrument from a mix?
That's unlikely, unless your voice or instrument plays only a few sustained notes, with no effects and no vibrato. Factorsynth can extract interesting sound events, such as individual notes, attack noises, impulses or rhythmical structures (watch the demo video to get an idea), but it's not aimed at separating full instruments. That's the job of source separation, which is a harder thing to do! On the other hand, you can often nicely separate drum sets and individual drum instruments (kick drums, hi-hats, snares...). For more details about this, check out this blog post.

Can Factorsynth's parameters be controlled by Live's automation envelopes or MIDI mappings?
Most of them can (factorization buttons, matrix operation buttons, solo buttons, number of components, all levels and pan sliders, shifting buttons, transport controls and quantization). Also, the first 8x8 buttons on the switchboards are MIDI-assignable. The ones that cannot be controlled by Live are: analysis parameters, clear panel, export panel, “snap" and “all" buttons on the output waveform display, reset and threshold buttons and individual buttons on the switchboards corresponding to component numbers higher than 8.

Can Factorsynth be used with standalone Max?
Yes, starting from version 1.5 it is possible to use them with the standalone Max application, without Ableton Live. There is a bit of patching needed to set it up. For details, you can take a look at the "Usage from Max" section in the manuals.