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Using variables


To work with variables in cables you can use the ops SetVariable / SetVariableString and Variable.
Variables are handy if you need the same values in many locations in your patch and don’t neet to see the connections or if you want to set a variable from outside cables.



  • SetVariable – Set the value of the variable (for Number / Boolean)
  • SetVariableString – Set the value of the variable (for String)
  • Variable - Read the variable value (for Number / Boolean / String)

In a typical Situations you have one SetVariable / SetVariableString op and multiple Variable ops.

Settings variables from outside cables

When you embed a patch into your website (see Docs: Embedding) you can set cables-variables in your JavaScript-code:

short version:


long version (get the variable object)

const myVar = CABLES.patch.getVar("IsInteracting");

if(myVar) {
    // get the current value
    const currentValue = myVar.getValue();

    // change the value

Please Note: Variable names are case sensitive, so a variable with name My Variable is different to one with name my variable.

Listening to variable changes

You can add a listener to a variable which gets called every time the variable changes:

const myVar = CABLES.patch.getVar("IsInteracting");

if(myVar) {
    // will be called every time value changes
    myVar.on("change", (function(newValue) {

pre initializing variables for embeded patch

you can overwrite the initial value of a variable in the patch config:

    patch = new CABLES.Patch({
        ... // usual stuff


Test setting / getting variables without leaving cables

If you want to test certain aspects of your patch which involve getting / setting variables from outside cables you can do so from the terminal:

  • Open the browser terminal by hitting cmd + alt + i.
  • Switch the context to "editorframe" via the dropdown selector above the console. (cables editor runs in a iframe sandbox)
    then enter:
const myCablesVar = gui.corePatch().getVar('name of your variable');
console.log(myCablesVar.getValue()); // prints 123

Summarising: If you want to access a variable from outside cables use CABLES.patch.getVar…, if you want to test getting / setting variables without leaving cables, use gui.corePatch().getVar….

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