I've been struggling for awhile with designing THE performance patch. It seems every time I play Max live I have a new system built, a new configuration of my devices (bpatchers) that somehow I feel is better than last time. The trouble is I never grow into a patch. I feel like when I find "the" patch, it will be like true love: it will just make sense to me and beautiful sound will effortlessly bloom.
Some approaches I've taken: having small patches that are sound vignettes, each having its spot in the limelight during a performance; classic monster patch with loopers/slicers/drum machines all routed into a huge matrixctrl to a dozen effects that are all rerouted back into the matrixctrl (waaay too much); separate devices, each with its own individual effects chain, for different musical components.
That last approach is my current approach and it's working out pretty well. Keeping it small: three highly adaptable loopers and a very versatile drum machine, along with separate effects/effect sequencers for each. Beautiful music isn't perpetually blooming quite yet (off and on kind of thing currently), but perhaps that'll take a little bit of time.
What's your approach?