Annoying problem with "delay"

Feb 12, 2012 at 5:30pm

Annoying problem with "delay"

Hi everyone,

I have a Windows 7 64-bit desktop runniung Max 6.0.3. I just started using Max a few months ago and I am having an annoying problem with the Max “delay” external. It appears grey, even in the help file for delay, and does not work. If I tell Max to “open” the “delay.mxe” file in externals it doesn’t seem to open anything, but it fixes the problem: after I do that, delay works, and works in the delay help file as well. It works fine until I exit Max completely, and then if I do not re-open “delay.mxe” after starting, it will come up grey again.

Anybody know what might be causing this?


Feb 12, 2012 at 5:32pm

I’m fairly certain you’ve saved a patch somewhere named “delay” and that confuses max.
Rename that file and you should be good again.

Feb 12, 2012 at 5:36pm

maybe you can´t have an external called delay since there already is an internal object [delay]?

Feb 12, 2012 at 5:43pm

I have no file named “delay” in the Documents folder where the patch in question is located. I also have no file named delay in the cycling 74 folder other than the ones put there by by Max (the .mxe, the .maxhelp, and the .png with the picture).

Where is Max looking for this file? It certainly cannot be searching my computer’s entire hard disk for any file called delay and that confusing it, that would not make sense and would take up too much time.

Feb 12, 2012 at 5:44pm

xidance – I *don’t* have an external called delay except the one Max put there itself. If I go into the max-externals folder I see .mxe files for all of the internal objects inside Max. Are you saying I should delete everything in there?

Feb 12, 2012 at 6:02pm

haha no, don´t delete the internals ;)

sorry i have no idea then.

Feb 12, 2012 at 6:36pm

I have just tried uninstalling Max, deleting the Cycling 74 preferences folder from my AppData path and reinstalling. Same issue….

Feb 12, 2012 at 6:39pm

Check your “File Preferences…” under the “Options” menu for any other search paths that Max is using. You’re right, Max doesn’t search your entire hard drive, but it does have a couple of folders that it looks through. The problem you are describing is usually caused by having a file with the same name as one of the Max objects located in one of your search paths. Once you have identified the search paths that Max is using, do a search in each of them for a file called “delay” that isn’t the .mxe or helpfile. Good luck.

Feb 12, 2012 at 6:49pm

OK, I have found and fixed my problem. It appears to be a bug in Max.

One of the VST Plugins I have installed is reaper’s ReaPlugs. One of the VST plugins included is called “Delay” and that is confusing Max. I don’t think the delay plugin itself is, but it stores its settings in a file simply called “delay” with no extension in a folder called Delay within the c:Program Files(x86)Common FilesVSTPluginsReaPlugs path. If I delete the Delay folder from the reaplugs folder from inside the VSTPlugins path, the delay external now works just fine in Max.

This means that if any VSTPlugin has the same name as a Max external, the Max external with that name will not work. Why is Max searching the VSTPlugins path for externals though?

Feb 12, 2012 at 6:52pm

bkshepard – thanks, just saw your post now, already discovered that, that’s how I found the problem..

Feb 12, 2012 at 7:04pm

yes it seems a little bit obscure that whatever you have in any search path is not allowed to double. but its no big deal.

Feb 12, 2012 at 7:10pm

It is if I want to use the ReaPlug delay VSTplugin, which now will not work because its preferences file is missing..

Feb 12, 2012 at 8:23pm

ok, maybe there is a tiny little chance try renaming all delay stuff the same kind (like rdel). i had this with other vst though their prefs were not in a folder to be renamed as well.

Jan 19, 2013 at 11:16pm

Hi Ducharme,

Did you solve this issue? I seem to have the same problem and don’t want to cripple my Reaper vst delay effect.



Jan 20, 2013 at 2:20am

This is a tough rule to live by, but it’s the law of the land. Things in any search path cannot be named the same as a Max/MSP object.

Hopefully there will be scoping rules for the Max paths eventually, but this has been hoped for for a long time.

Jan 20, 2013 at 5:04am

people which let their plug-in or app write pref files called “delay” should be banned from this planet anyway.
and yes, this includes digidesign who did so for TDM on classic mac.

Jan 21, 2013 at 10:01pm

We’ve been getting this for 20 years: people keep on putting abstractions and VSTs and animated GIFS and everything else named ‘delay’ (and every other factory Max object) into their search path, then come running to the list because something doesn’t work. And the universal initial response is (almost) always “what, another file with the name in the search path? no, not me! can’t happen here!!” and then they come back a day later and, of course, it *was* something else in the search path. It always is something else in the search path.

As annoying as that is, people will continue to do that until Max robustifies the object search algorithm. Adding hyper-explicit error messages to the Max window might alleviate this a little bit, but not much. How many people actually read Max window warnings? Lemme rephrase that: how many people who put stuff they shouldn’t into the search path read Max window warnings?

Modal alert boxes would be more effective, because you can’t ignore them. I know DDZ developed an allergy to modal alerts (and modal dialogs in general) quite a few years back. In general I agree that Modals can be a PITA and had become overused under Classic Mac OS (and early Windows). But there is a time for every purpose under heaven, yea, even unto modal alerts. This might be a reasonable situation to pop up an alert and force the user to bloodywell clean up the search path before doing anything else in Max.

What does the Max documentation guy say? (he means you, Chris:-)


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