(max) a most basic audio patcher

To get started with audio processing, I’m first posting a most basic audio patcher: BasicAudio.maxpat

(I know that I started with the Theremin patcher, but let’s start with the most simple patcher.)

Basic Audio Patcher

The patcher is a simple sawtooth oscillator (saw~) with changeable frequency via a float object. The amplitude is controlled by a *~ object (audio multiply).

The BasicAudio.maxpat shows all the essential elements of audio synthesis/processing in Max. Audio signals travel on “bumble bee” patch cords. You need a dac~ or ezdac~ object to not only hear audio, but to turn on/off audio processing. Changing values to the frequency input of the oscillator (saw~) and the amplitude both are sent via a line~ object. And meter~ and levelmeter~ objects are used to display signal levels.


One key debugging feature for audio patchers is the probing feature. In the debug menu, turn probing on. With probing on, you can hover your mouse over an audio patch cord and see the current signal level displayed as a popup meter. Since the probe is reading amplitude values at the beginning of every signal vector, it will fluctuate some. Still, it is a very useful tool for seeing if signal is present without having to add meter~ objects everywhere.