simple patcher question

Oct 5, 2008 at 7:06pm

simple patcher question

Hi all – I’m a violinist new to MAX, gradually working towards making some performance tools.

I have a question re encapsulating objects. I have no problem wrapping up a group of objects as an encapsulation, and after doing that I can lock the parent patch, open up the encapsulation as a sub-patch, and de-encapsulate too. However if I rename the encapsulation to anything except it’s default ‘p’ symbol I can no longer open it nor de-encapsulate – this is puzzling me. The behaviour’s the same if take the above steps with the Tutorial 14 example.

Can’t find anything in the forum about this, so I’m missing something – could anyone point me in the right direction?

Much appreciated


Oct 5, 2008 at 7:46pm

On Oct 5, 2008, at 12:06 PM, simon lyn wrote:

> Can’t find anything in the forum about this, so I’m missing
> something – could anyone point me in the right direction?

You can rename it [p myName], but for a simple encapsulation, you need
the p because that tells Max what kind of thing it is.

If you save the encapsulation on disk as an abstraction, all you need
to use is the name. Other advantages of saving an abstraction on disk
include the ability to pass arguments to the abstraction, and only
having to change the abstraction once to change all the instances in
your patch.


Chris Muir

Oct 5, 2008 at 7:48pm


To do a sub-patch without the “p” symbol you must save your sub patch as a new patch. then put your saved patch (the encapsulated) in the cycling folder to MAX detect them. I think you must restart your max and then type the name of your saved patch like a new object, and the earlier sub-patch appear as a common max object. the only thing worst is that you cannot modify that patch, unless you open it like a regular patch, modify it and save again to update the changes to you main patch.

hope that helps

Luis Marques

Oct 5, 2008 at 9:28pm

yes, if you get rid of the “p” your subpatch will be gone. This was occasionally a big problem in max 4 without a good Undo, you had to be careful.

The advice in these posts is good… get your head wrapped around the difference between subpatches and external patches as soon as possible. There are pros and cons to each. I like subpatches for most things because they’re saved with the main patch and you can edit right there. But external patches are best if you want a bunch of instances of a particular patch, and may be tweaking them: change the main patch and they all update, plus you can send them arguments (like channel 1 does this, channel 2 does that, etc.)

Oct 6, 2008 at 4:39am

Chris, Luis, Seejay

Thank you all so much for taking the time to reply – I’m a little embarrassed for asking such a basic question. I was missing the hint of always having a ‘p’ as the first character of the patcher name argument – everything good now.

Actually this hiccup was useful cause I started thinking more about encapsulation. I’ve used patcher encapsulation really to ‘tidy up’ messy areas of my patch. Abstraction appears much more powerful – I have several functional areas of my patch that I *know* I’m going to be repurposing in the future (convolver, just intonator, delay shifter…) So I’ve carved these off into separate files in the MAX search path and hey presto I can instantiate any of these quite easily – I love the fact that I can evolve an abstraction independently and always have the latest version binding to the consuming patch.

Thanks again guys, wish I’d got into MAX earlier…!

(Chris – BTW had a look round your site, your Buchla is a thing of beauty!)

Oct 6, 2008 at 8:30am

simon lyn schrieb:
> Can’t find anything in the forum about this, so I’m missing something
> – could anyone point me in the right direction?

You first have to save it as a separate file to disc! Or you loose
all… ;-)

The according tutorial is called abstractions, its one after the
encapsulation tutorial…

Stuff which is covered in the tutorials is (hopefully) hard to find in
the forum… Anybody has to do them anyway…

Luis Marques schrieb:
> I think you must restart your max

No restart necessary, if that would be the case, I could not ever have
made my St.ools collection of abhaXions… ;-)


Stefan Tiedje————x——-
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– _|_)—-|—–()————–

Oct 6, 2008 at 7:06pm

Thank you Stefan for the pointer, really appreciate it.


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