Patch Base 3: a Status Update

It's been quiet on the Coffeeshopped website and email list for a few months now, but that's not due to a lack of activity: I've been working full-time on the next (big!) update of Patch Base: Version 3.

I didn't plan for the next release to be such a huge project; I released the Yamaha FS1R editor in the last update, and planned to do another synth editor next. But, for awhile something has bugged me: Patch Base works well as a patch editor, and a way to store a library of patches on your iPad. But beyond those functions, it's been lacking, particularly in the areas of patch bank management as well as support for performances/multi-timbral setups on the synthesizers that support them.

I felt this particularly with the FS1R. I've been using mine for music-making, and while the editor does a good job of creating new patches, it's a pain to manage a 4-part performance with it. That, and the effects section, I still have to program on the synth itself. So, I started some work on adding those features to Patch Base, and it quickly became clear that the structure of the app didn't work well for adding them. I didn't know exactly where to "put" the performance editor in the navigation, and it was causing all kinds of headaches in the code.

Also, if you're going to edit performances, then you really need to have bank management as well. The editor needs to know what the patches on your synth are in order to let you pick and choose performances out of them.

I'd felt these same pains before when I made the editors for the Roland JV-1080 and family. These synths support 16 different parts at the same time! I want to be able to edit all of those parts in the app... to switch between the parts for a tweak on this patch here, then that patch over there. The app allowed you to change which part you were editing, but it didn't allow you go back and forth quickly, with all patches stored in memory at the same time.

So, I decided the time had come, and the longer I put it off, the harder it would be: I needed to fundamentally restructure the code (and to some extent, the interface) of the app from the ground up. And considering the app code dates back to late 2014 (when I first made CZ Touch), there's a lot of code (tens of thousands of lines) involved in this undertaking. 

So, Where Are We Now?

I've come a long way. I've created a new foundation upon which all of the editors can stand, giving them all unlimited undo support, and a more intuitive file editing/saving process. And for many of them, I've already added patch bank management support, and performance support. Here's a summary of what to expect, and where I am in the process:

Unlimited Undo Support

Patch Base Undo Button

The Undo button. (Followed by Fetch, Init, Randomize, Send, and Redo)

Every editor in Patch Base 3 will support unlimited undo and redo. So, whether it's a knob tweak that you want to undo, or if you randomized the whole patch and want to go back to the way it was before, you can do that with a tap or two. This will be available in the release of version 3 for all synths.

Patch Bank Management! (for some synths, so far)

Patch Base Bank Management

The patch bank manager.

Patch Base 3 has a new side-panel that allows you to switch between a synth's patch editor and its other parts, like a bank manager, global settings, and performances. Patch Base can now become your one stop for all the data on your synth; not just patches. This also means you can download the entire patch bank from your synth to your iPad, load a new bank, and rearrange patches inside your banks. You can also pull a single patch out of a bank, edit it, then stick it back in. There's an easy drag-and-drop interface for moving patches around in banks, and to/from your iPad and synth.

Also, when editing a patch, you can still save it to a file on your iPad, but you can also save the patch straight to your synth's memory bank! Up to you.

The initial release of Patch Base 3 will support these features for the Waldorf Blofeld, and the Roland JV-1080, JV-2080, JV-1010,  XP-80, XP-60, XP-50, and XP-30. Possibly more. Those are just the ones that are finished! I'm working on the rest ASAP. 

Pick Up Where You Left Off, and Save When You Want

The file management and saving process has been updated in Patch Base 3. Now, every time you open an editor, it's already loaded with the patch that you were last working on. No more starting with a blank screen. And when you load a patch and make some edits, your original patch is untouched. You choose when you want to save your Patch, and decide if you want to save it as a new patch, or overwrite an old one.

Randomize/Initialize In-Place

The old Patch Base creates a new file every time you create a random or init patch. That can lead to a lot of unused random patch files that weren't interesting. Now, when you hit Random, it randomizes the current patch you're working on. Same with Init. And because you choose when you save, and you have unlimited undo, you can always go back to where you started.

A Few More Pictures

Patch Base Sidebar

The new side panel for switching between editors and bank managers.

File manager

The new file manager, including tabs to load patches from saved patch banks, and to save/load directly from the synth.

Blofeld Multi

The Multi-instrument (Performance) editor for the Waldorf Blofeld.

And of course, any editors you've already purchased will include these updates as soon as they're available. Patch Base 3 will be a free update.

If you have any thoughts or feedback on these updates, leave a comment! And if you have tried it yet, check out Patch Base in the App Store.



Jony's picture

I just wanted to say how excited I am! Multi-Timbral editing is HUGE!!!! I found that’s what I really missed/wanted for my esq-1 and Blofeld. So can I load multi timbral patches right from the iPad? The esq-1 for example only has 40 slots for sounds onboard and 10 (multi timbral patches). That would be even more HUGE and bring these awesome old synths back to life.

I can really see patchbase being a must have for pretty much everyone once you keep adding new synths... Alesis Andromeda cough cough :) Thank you for all your hard work! I can’t wait!

Ps. I tell everyone I know about this app.

Ken's picture

The update is very exciting indeed.

Patch Base is the reason I own a JV-1080, which has become one of my favorite synths of all time.

I hope that the Andromeda or any knobby synth is on the bottom of the list honestly. How about those 90s Roland expansion 1u synths with Sysex only editing? Heck yeah.

Andrew Hutnick's picture

Please do consider making an editor for the Kurzweil Forte as it would be great to have an editor for it on an IPad that really work. I also would like one for the Yamaha Montage but at least in that case there is a pretty good 3rd party editor for it that works on my IMac just nothing for the IPad. Thanks!

DW's picture

Nice updates. Makes me more likely to buy it for my Blofeld. Does it / will it handle custom user wavetables? Sorry, I know users are always asking for one more thing, it would just be the best app for Blofeld if it did :)

Jony's picture

Andromeda is notoriously hard to program and not an instant nobby wonder as you suggest...

Spence's picture

Wow, dude… This is great news! I stopped using my JV 1080 when MOTU’s Unisyn stopped working, but I’ve resisted selling it in the hopes there would be a software editor for it someday. Version 2 was great, but as you have learned, of limited use without all the functions that you have reportedly added. What an accomplishment!

Would gladly pay for a Mac OS version!

AM's picture

Amazing work, Chadwick! This is so awesome! Thanks for all your hard work. Patch Base is my favorite iPad app, and this update confirms it even more. Can't wait to use patch management and multis with Blofeld and JV2080 as a result. SQ80 and TX802 too down the line. :) Got to collect them all as they say.

Will there be a way to manage favorites or I guess custom banks would serve this?

Anonymous's picture

Super cool man! This is going to get even better and it is already astounding! I have a suggestion for a new editor (like you need that at this point) LOL! Studiologic Sledge Black would be super cool to have on deck for the iPad!!

Chadwick Wood's picture

There won't be a wavetable editor in this update. Could happen down the road.

As for favorites, there isn't that feature exactly. But you can create custom banks, as well as your own folders, so you can always make a "Favorites" folder. :) Something like tagging would be good eventually. We'll see!

Fred Thomas's picture

What about patchbase support for Fantom XR?

Jon-SWE's picture

Great update.
Great bank editors can be really useful for some of those 90s and 00 synths with limited storage and sometimes expensive options for additional storage.

If I could wish freely, I would love to see this app ported to desktop friendly plug-in formats as well. The iPad editor is more hands-on but in-daw integration is also missing for a lot of the synths. I would easily pay for this app twice if I had the machines to run it on.

Jon-SWE's picture

Yes Sledge 2 support would be nice (black and yellow versions I think are identical in terms of midi specs), especially the hidden features that can be activated by sending the midi-messages that are only specified in the Blofeld manual (dual filter operation, additional filter modes, and some other stuff) as apparently the synth not only responds to additional midi commands it can also store those settings, even though there is no way to access them on the synth itself.
But that would require for someone to actually list the additional parameters available, and I'm not sure anyone has yet (at least I haven't seen all in a single location, but it has been some months since I last checked).

Jon-SWE's picture

I might have missed it, but I can't find it easily, so I think it could use a link or a clearer link;
The current chart of votes.

Drumunkey's picture

Please make sure multi-timbral aspect of Nord Lead/Rack 2 works. If you could include Nord Drum (2, 3P) that would be cool too!

Jason H's picture

This is great and I can’t wait to try it on my Super JV. I don’t know if anyone else is interested in this but I would kill for a midi learn feature! Thanks.