Device Details

Device Overview

Name/Version: Spect
Author: neshama  
Description: A Simple FFT Spectral Gate

Spect is a Max for Live device that played a pivotal role in my journey with Max. I created it so I could have it, embodying the spirit of "Build stuff you'd actually want to use."

In essence, this device allows you to gate each frequency range separately.

Before diving into the details of Spect, let's briefly understand Fast Fourier Transform (FFT). FFT is a method for breaking down a signal into its individual frequency components. Think of it as dissecting the signal into "bins," which are essentially extracted frequency ranges. I must admit, the last sentence might be disputable.

In the context of Spect, I apply gating to each of these frequency bins separately.


The resolution and number of bins depend on the FFT size. A larger FFT size offers higher resolution but comes at the cost of more latency. Additionally, the overlap size impacts how closely successive frequency separations can be achieved (In expanse of CPU).

You can think of it as akin to a vocoder, where you split the frequency range into different bands using bandpass filters. This method allows for successful control of frequency ranges and might seem superior to FFT on paper. However, it often introduces phase distortion and can yield less musical-sounding results unless meticulously tuned.

Unlike the bandpass filter method, FFT has its advantages. It doesn't exert the same influence on the phase but does come at the expense of the time domain. For an example, an FFT Size of 2048 introduces 2048 samples of latency. Additionally, it does introduce some phase jittering effects, which I am still working to refine, but it might well be an integral part of the unique sound shaping it offers.


In practice, Spect has been an invaluable tool for me in creative sound design. I've used it when I needed to separate the tonal and non-tonal (noise) elements of a sound.

It has also proven to be a great tool in mixing, allowing sounds to cut through dense mixes without the burden of non-characteristic frequencies cluttering the mix.

In summary, Spect is a versatile device that can be a game-changer in your sound design and mixing adventures. Explore it, experiment with FFT, and unlock its potential to shape your sonic creations.

Spect is provided under a Creative Commons license. You are free to use it for personal and creative projects. However, please note that it is not for resale or republishing.

Made by Daniel Neshama Itach, 2023


Device Details

Tags effect
Live Version Used: 11.3.13
Max Version Used: 8.5.5
Date Added: Nov 02 2023 19:43:02
Date Last Updated: Nov 03 2023 09:35:50
Device Type: audio_device
Download URL (report link)
License (more info): Attribution


Sounds cool! Unfortunately I'm not getting any sound, and the first time I opened the patch I saw some error messages in the Max Console.

I'm on Win 10, Ableton 11.

The errors haven't popped up again, but they said something about cords, and mentioned something being out of range

Dead silent here too, no sound is coming out of this.

sounds great by the description! sadly i can confirm something is wrong, here is a screenshot of the error messages, i hope this can help:

same here...
maybe you need to freeze the device?!

think you may have forgotten to freeze? Something seems off. Maybe check noise vs tonal to see if it's doing what you intended? Looks great, just don't think it's doing what you think it's doing...


I can confirm it works wonderfully! Its sounds super smooth and deliciously liquid metally! What a cool sound design tool, thanks alot for sharing and the fix :)

Does it work with Live 10?

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