Patchwork 0.2: some updates

I did some updates on Patchwork, the modular sound synthesizer in Flash that I released a few weeks ago. You can check the new version here or read on to learn about what is new.

First of all, a little insight into what has happened since the initial release, because Patchwork has gotten quite some attention since then. After I put that very first version online, I started off by posting it in the programming section of Reddit (best site ever btw) as a ‘hey look what i made!’ thing, which I usually do when I’ve made something new. If Reddit likes it (and they did), you can expect (depending on the section) thousands of visitors so that’s always a nice kick-off.

After that, I sent an email to Andre Michelle, notorious guru on the subject of sound in Flash, and within 15 minutes he twittered about it, an act that already made my day. With him having a lot of interested followers on this specific subject, things really started rolling from there. People retweeted it, shared the link on Facebook and blogs all over the world wrote about Patchwork. Sweet! The best thing was Richard Devine twittering about it, and for those who don’t know him: he’s a guy who really knows how to patch some modules together.

Since then about 7500 visitors have visited my site, a number I consider quite a success, and a lot of people were having fun with Patchwork. Which made me wonder where this could and should go (apart from expanding the application itself). One thing that bothered me was reading about people creating patches without being able to see and hear what they made. So, it was quickly decided that there should be a website: user profiles, lots of patches, categories, ratings, sharing, embedding, etc. I convinced some nice people from work to help me out with that, and you can expect something in a few months. Thoughts and ideas on that, and on the current version Patchwork itself as well, are always welcome.

Then, finally… about those updates:

  • There’s a sample player in the generators section now. You can load either a local or an external wav-file and play it with a trigger signal. Remember though that samples loaded from your computer will not be saved with the patch (external ones will). For external files to be loaded, the server has to give permission for that through a crossdomain.xml file, which unfortunately isn’t always present. Although stereo samples are supported, the module has only one output at the moment. Will fix that soon.
  • The sequencer modules have a trigger output that will fire whenever they jump from the end of the sequence back to the beginning. You can use this in combination with the new reset input to synchronize multiple sequencers. Just connect the Sequence End Trigger output with the Reset Trigger input of another sequencer, and they should run synchronized.
  • The trigger sequencer now also has a continuous output which will send out its current state (either 1 or 0) continuously. This behavior is different from the trigger output, which generates only a single value of 1 (and after that 0′s again) when a selected sequencer item is encountered and can be used as a trigger signal. (Note: both outputs can in theory be used as a trigger-signal (which in Patchwork is a value of 1 and a previous value of 0), but the difference lies in this: if you’d have 2 sequential sequencer items selected, the trigger output would generate 2 triggers and the continuous output only one, since the latter would go from 0 to 1 on the first item, and stay 1 all the way through the second item.)
  • I fixed quite a huge bug in saving a patch. I messed up some ids which could corrupt a patch forever.
  • The textfield underneath a knob can be used to manually enter a value by clicking on it.
  • When turning a knob, you can hold shift to enter precision-mode. During this, the values will be rounded as well.
  • Saving a file now includes the viewport location so you will have the correct view after loading a patch.
  • I made a unified messaging system that allows me to give the user feedback on whatever is happening.
  • Patchwork now starts and loads an example automatically. This is more inviting than entering the page and staring at an empty screen.
  • The LFO (still just a simple sine, sorry) has a reset trigger input.
  • There are two types of comment modules, allowing you to include information in your patch. One is just text, the other one allows to to point something out.

I know there aren’t that much new audio modules (sawtooth oscillator, more LFOs, envelopes, effects, filters, etc) but that will come (if you’d like to help with that, let me know). Last but not least: if you make any interesting patches, I’d be happy to include them in the examples.

2 thoughts on “Patchwork 0.2: some updates

  1. Jesus Contreras


    Love Patchwork! I teach music technology at a northern california university, and I have been looking for an online program that would allow me to have students be able to do some synth patches without having to download software. Thank you.


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