Patch & Tweak is a celebrated book exploring modular synthesis by Kim Bjorn and Chris Mayer. Compulsory reading for anyone with an interest in modular synths and a coffee table to put it on. Since the launch of the book they’ve been working on a patch editor based on the system of symbols they use in the book to describe patches. It’s now in beta version and available for us all to have a try online.
Patch & Tweak Editor
Keeping track of your patches in an environment where you can’t save anything is difficult at best. You could say that’s one of the reasons we love modular – you make a patch, you enjoy it and then it’s gone. It’s a huge breath of fresh air in comparison to the thousands of presets we often glumly click through with software synthesizers. But there are times when you might want to save how a particular patch is constructed so that you can revisit it another time. Numerous ways have emerged to help us do this, most commonly is taking a picture on your phone but Chris and Kim believe they’ve found a more elegant way of doing this.
They use a range of symbols contained in shapes to represent the various component parts of your patch. Oscillator waveforms are contained in circles, audio processes like effects in triangles, sources of CV in squares and utilities in diamonds. These are then wired together with virtual and colour coded patch cables. Blue for CV, yellow for audio, red for trigger and so on. There are dozens of pre-made components to help you record your patch and you can add all sorts of notes to help you explain what on earth is going on. One thing is that there doesn’t appear to be any way to record knob or slider values other than describing them in the notes.
If you are prepared to put in the time and effort to record patches like this the Patch & Tweak Editor could become a hugely useful resource. And not just for saving your own but also sharing them with other modular tweakers. It also strikes me as a very useful educational tool for helping you understand your patches to a much deeper degree.
The Patch & Tweak Editor is currently in beta version and they say that they are working on a login system. When that comes online all patches stored in the current system will, sadly, be erased – you have been warned.
- Patch & Tweak Editor page.