Forums > MaxMSP

Hello there ! Help with some timing issues

Nov 02 2011 | 2:15 am

greetings honorable Maxers. First post here, also a scorching, total newbie.

if you are the type that doesnt like loosing time with trivial tasks, please look away :))

anyway, Im starting off with Max, just had it 2 days now and loving every moment of it. Have no previous experience with such low level logic coding. Done the tutorials et al, and wanted to test my "learnings" with some random assignments. I said ill try to make a simple stopwatch.

The type that counts down from a certain number that you can enter, and stops when comes to 00. Output format should look like mm:ss

At first I thought, gah piece of cake (which was the reason why i chose the task in the first place, seemed easy, and had some practical value to it), a few metros here and there, a counter and voila.

Like with all steps into the unknown, of course, I have also crashed into a wall after the first corner.

the two biggest problems I have with the attached patcher is, that whenever I stop the clock, and play it again, both counters drop 1, as they receive the output from toggle, which is no good.

The other problem I cant get my head around is, how to stop metro, after the counters both get down to 00:00 from whatever is the maximum specified entry

oh and another, more cosmetic question, at the moment I am using number object as counters. Are there any better solutions that present time units in a hh:mm:ss format ?

thank you kind sirs, and madams, if you actually came thus far !!


  1. swatch.maxpat
Nov 02 2011 | 2:51 am

-- Pasted Max Patch, click to expand. --

Nov 03 2011 | 12:20 am

wow !!! much obliged mr Muir. Just watching your tricks made me learn valuable stuff about the metro start/stop and the sprintf object !! very very nice

I will try to make the reset counter (in my case to max value since i am counting down) on my own and report back in a few days !!

best regards

Nov 04 2011 | 1:16 am

hello again !

here is my updated counter.

Is there a more elegant solution to decrementing minutes than my bruteforce one, where I lower minutes by 1 everytime the seconds counter hits 59 ?? I tried using with 1 counter only, by setting the minimum flag and counting from 5 down, but somehow it didnt work. The carry cout apparetnly only works upwards. Sorry if this is obvious, again, new guy here.

Another question would be, if also there is a more elegant way than mine, where I connect the number boxes for reseting, loadbanging and manually setting the counter. Is there a way for a number box to keep value, all of them seem to reset to 0, when closing and reopening the patch.

thanks a bunch for any answer !!


  1. cntrnew.maxpat
Nov 04 2011 | 2:42 am

-- Pasted Max Patch, click to expand. --

Nov 04 2011 | 8:24 pm

thanks a bunch, again, Chris.

great software and even greater community. I think I found my new home

Nov 07 2011 | 11:32 pm

hello again.

Chris, was playing a bit with the sprintf thing you made in the first contribution.

in this attached specific mini counter, is it possible to make the 0 limited, so pressing the – button doesnt turn the counter around ? I can do it with a number box, but not like this, with a msg

EDIT : another thing crossed my mind that I forgot to ask when i first posted…is it possible to build patches without the need of a runtime max environment ??

  1. sprf.maxpat
Nov 08 2011 | 2:01 am

When you say "is it possible to build patches without the need of a runtime max environment ??" do you mean patches to distribute? Max can save applications, which don’t require a separate runtime.

-- Pasted Max Patch, click to expand. --

Nov 08 2011 | 12:31 pm

cheers chris, thanks again. Great, the gate object. Lovely tutorials :))

"Max can save applications, which don’t require a separate runtime."

yes I mean this. Like an executable, for others to use. I tried the build option, and get the exe, but cant start it without the runtime environ.

unless im missing something here ??

thanks !!!

Nov 08 2011 | 3:59 pm

EDIT : scratch that, already found the building collectives/applications tutorial in MAX !! thanks anyway

Nov 28 2011 | 3:28 pm

hi there, bumping :))

turns out my fiddlings in Max may actually have some pragmatic value…a friend of mine has asked if I know of anyone who can program a counter for a competition he is doing. I was like…hmmmmmm :D

anyway, the whole thing is preety much in order alredy (much thanks to you, Chris Muir) but I would like to add one last function, that the counter automatically stops at 00:00:00

one other thing I noticed, which I cannot replicate fully, sometimes if i set seconds to really low, like 2, 3, 4, minutes get lowered by 1 after the first tick of the clock. Like 05:03 –> 04:02

weird stuff and I cannot replicate it on demand, but as far as I set the time and reset it to the selected value, it doesnt seem to do it anymore. Im getting annoyed by it, even if I have a workaround.


  1. stesamo.maxpat
Nov 29 2011 | 11:30 pm

anyone :) ?

Nov 30 2011 | 7:08 am

I think that both things are fixed now. The stopping when things get to 0:0 is in a subpatcher called detect_0_0. The more obscure problem was solved by using the jam message to the counters instead of the reset inlet.

-- Pasted Max Patch, click to expand. --

Nov 30 2011 | 10:34 pm

hi again Chris.

once more I am in debted to you for taking your time. the detect subpatcher works like a charm.

I am afraid though, the "bug" I was refering to above still exists, but at least I have found a way to recreate it, here it is :

leave the counter running from 4:04 to 4:00 and stop it with space. Then click the reset button, and start again. You see that after the first tick of the second counter, it goes from 4:04 to 3:03.

if you stop and reset at any other number than xx:00 it goes on without issues. Almost like it countinues on after the pause ??

Dec 02 2011 | 11:28 pm

greetings !

I have found an acceptable workaround for the above mentioned bug. As long as seconds cannot be manually set, the bug cannot be replicated, so thats ok.

Like always of course, I found something else, the counter from your last version stops automatically at 00:59 for an unknown reason.

any idea why ??

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