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Snapshots allow you to save the state of your patcher, including the internal state of VST and Audio Units plug-ins and Max for Live (AMXD) devices. Snapshots use the Parameter system to determine what to save.

Displaying the Snapshots pane

  • To display the snapshots pane, click on the snapshots button located on the right patcher window toolbar.

Patcher Snapshots

Patcher Snapshots contain the state of all parameters in a patcher hierarchy. They are saved and recalled at the top-level of a patcher hierarchy, but will save subpatcher parameters. If you would like to create an entity that has it's own Snapshots, you will need to make an amxd~ and host it in a patcher.

View Patcher Snapshots

  • To view the Snapshots for a patcher, open the snapshots pane and click the the P inside the diamond.
  • Snapshot Management

    At the bottom of the pane are a few icons that allow you to manage your snapshots. In order:

  • The restore button loads a selected snapshot.
  • The take button writes the current state into a selected snapshot.
  • The add button creates a new snapshot from the current state. Snapshots start at an index of 0.
  • The rename button renames a snapshot (Note: You can also double-click on the name of a snapshot to rename it).
  • The delete button deletes the current snapshot.
  • Each individual snapshot has some additional icons. The triangle icon allows you to recall and select a snapshot.

    To select a snapshot without recalling it, click to the right of the snapshot name - the name of the snapshot will be highlighted, but the triangle icon is not lit. This technique is useful when deleting snapshots.

    The triangle icon next to the snapshot name will turn orange when the current snapshot has changed but not been saved.

    Embedding Snapshots

    The circle icon allows you to ‘embed’ the snapshot into the patcher. When you do this, your snapshot data is embedded within the patcher document itself - you don’t need to include any extra files.

    Snapshot files are always saved in the ~Documents/Max7/Snapshots folder, whether they are embedded or not. For this reason, it is a good practice to name your patcher file prior to creating snapshots.

    Snapshots placed anywhere in the Max search path will be locatable by Max.

    Snapshots Contextual Menu

  • Control-clicking (Macintosh) or right-clicking (Windows) on a snapshot displays a contextual menu of functions with the same functionality as the toolbar icons. In addition, the contextual menu lets you locate a snapshot file in the Finder using the Show in Finder option.

  • Effects Snapshots

    Effects snapshots store the parameter states of plug-ins or Max for Live devices hosted by the vst~ and amxd~ objects.

    When you select a vst~ or amxd~ object in your patcher window, the snapshots pane will display any snapshots associated with they selected device.

    vst~ or amxd~ snapshots are not embedded - they are available as presets whenever the particular plug-in or Max for Live device is instantiated. This allows you to create and share presets for your favorite reverb plug-ins or Max for Live devices and share them with others.

    Snapshot files are written to the ~Documents/Max7/Snapshots folder, and they can be read from anywhere in Max’s search path.

    Embedded device snapshots are useful if you want patcher-file portability. For example, you can create a performance patch that relies on changing among five device presets, and have that data stored as a part of your patcher file.

    The header/title bar for vst~ and amxd~ objects lets you create and recall new snapshots when the patcher window is locked. The camera icon creates snapshots, and the circular icon to the right will recall snapshots.

    You can still use patcher snapshots in a locked patcher using the snapshot pane.

    Pattr Integration

    Snapshots can be easily integrated into your pattr workflow. Using a pattrstorage object along with pattr objects or an autopattr object, the internal state of your VST, AU or AMXD can be recalled.

    See the pattr and autopattr help files for example usage (under the 'snapshots' tab).


    All snapshot-enabled objects (amxd~, vst~ and thispatcher) understand the messages:

  • snapshot [userpath (optional)] [index (optional)] [name (optional)]
  • restore [index (optional)]
  • addsnapshot [userpath (optional)] [index (optional)] [name (optional)]
  • deletesnapshot [index]
  • setsnapshotname [index] [name]
  • deletesnapshot [index]
  • setembedsnapshot [index] [embedstate]
  • movesnapshot [srcindex] [dstindex]
  • Javascript Snapshot API

    For advanced users and those creating standalone patchers, Snapshots can be accessed via the Snapshots API. See the Javascript Snapshot API guide for more information.