Patch creator program (now in the works!)

Anything modular synth related that is not format specific.

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matt.patey
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Patch creator program (now in the works!)

Post by matt.patey » Tue Sep 02, 2008 7:55 am

I'm thinking of creating a program similar to the modular synth system planners out there (http://matrixsynth.blogspot.com/2008/07 ... tware.html and http://mega.modularplanner.co.uk/) with the ability to create and save patches to share with others. I think it'd be a cool way to share/demonstrate/propose patch ideas. Thoughts?

Edit: I should add that I would like to write the app in such a way that it can easily incorporate all synth formats, so you could mix, say, Wiard 300 with Frac, and Serge, for example.

Update: The first bits of code have been uploaded! Anyone interested in monitoring progress is welcome to visit the project page here: https://sourceforge.net/projects/modularsynthpat/ (a blog will be started soon) and you can even check out the code via Subversion if so inclined (svn repository for the project is accessible via https://modularsynthpat.svn.sourceforge ... rsynthpat/).
Last edited by matt.patey on Sun Sep 21, 2008 3:17 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Muff Wiggler
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Post by Muff Wiggler » Tue Sep 02, 2008 9:10 am

hell yes!! i would be super interested, in particular if it did support all these different formats so I could describe a patch including Wiard 300, Blacet, Harvestman, etc. all in one graphic.

If there was something like a library of modules you could drag in what you were using in the patch.... wow this would be invaluable for documenting patches... i'd love something like this!!

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matt.patey
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Post by matt.patey » Tue Sep 02, 2008 9:17 am

That's what I wanted to hear :-) OK well no promises on a release date, but I definitely want to start thinking about the best way to implement this. I'm thinking Flash would be the most accessible format for this kind program, but I'll have to look into it some more. I should have some web space setup by the end of the week and I'll post a link here once I've uploaded some content (will mostly be ideas to begin with).

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Post by elemental » Tue Sep 02, 2008 9:30 am

matt.patey wrote:That's what I wanted to hear :-) OK well no promises on a release date, but I definitely want to start thinking about the best way to implement this. I'm thinking Flash would be the most accessible format for this kind program, but I'll have to look into it some more. I should have some web space setup by the end of the week and I'll post a link here once I've uploaded some content (will mostly be ideas to begin with).
Sounds good!
You could also do something like that in pure javascript with a library like MooTools or Prototype + Scriptaculous.
Actually Flash may still be a better option for drawing virtual patch cables.

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matt.patey
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Post by matt.patey » Tue Sep 02, 2008 10:13 am

Yeah I'd prefer to implement in a non-proprietary format, but, as you say, it may be difficult to make interactive patch cords in JS.

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Post by Kent » Tue Sep 02, 2008 10:55 am

It may be obvious, but I hope that you are planning to include the positioning of the knobs. This way, the sheets could be printed out for patch storage.

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Post by matt.patey » Tue Sep 02, 2008 10:58 am

Actually I hadn't thought about that just yet, so thanks for pointing that out. It will definitely be implemented :)

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Post by Muff Wiggler » Tue Sep 02, 2008 11:24 am

yep, I think to be as useful as possible it would need :

module
position of knobs
cabling
place to name patch
place to enter patch creator
place for latest revision date
place for 'notes'

I realize this will be a LOT of work! Not to add more, but one thing that would help a lot would be the ability to define a 'custom' module, so that if someone was documenting a patch that used a module that was not in the system, they could invoke a custom module, perhaps with a generic appearance, but the ability to specify and label the number of jacks and knobs, as well as name the custom module

perhaps it would help you as the designer if any time a user did this, their custom module was added into the system so that other users could use it, rather than having to re-define the same custom module... and when you felt like doing some maintanance, you could look at all the custom modules in the database, and make them into 'official' ones etc

perhaps an option to save your patch into the general system as well! then users could look up patches other people had made etc.

just some ideas. this would really be an awesome tool.

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Post by matt.patey » Tue Sep 02, 2008 11:42 am

Muff, those are some great ideas! Thanks for your input. My goal for the end of this week will be to get a basic system going that will be able to record ideas and recommendations from users and myself before I start writing any code. You're right, this will be a lot of work I think, but I've always wanted to combine my programming interests with my musical, specifically synth-related, interests, and I think this will not only be interesting but also, and most importantly, useful to more than just myself :) I'm thinking that the cheapest and easiest way of keeping track of the planning is to blog about it on a free blog service, but when I get to coding I'd like to keep things as open as possible (I'm a bit of an open source geek, by the way) so I'll likely get a trac or other similar system going. Anyways, I've got to focus on my real job for now, but I'll write again soon.

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Post by parasitk » Tue Sep 02, 2008 12:30 pm

Wow I was thinking about doing the same thing, in Flash.

PM me if you want to tech talk about it. :coffee:

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Post by matt.patey » Tue Sep 02, 2008 12:32 pm

OK everyone, I've put in a request to start a new SourceForge project. It takes a few days for proposals to be approved, so in the meantime I'll be taking notes on my machine for ideas on how this thing should work.

FYI here's the page with the request status https://sourceforge.net/projects/modularsynthpat/

This is exciting! Time for some :coffee: :coffee: :coffee:

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Post by felix » Tue Sep 02, 2008 1:30 pm

Excellent idea.

I'd just to add my preference for *not* using Flash. Being web based would be fantastic, but Flash just eats up *way* too much CPU.

Maybe it's just Flash on the Mac, but the modularplanner flash app takes up 70% of my 2Ghz CoreDuo MacBook Pro. I literally can only use it for a few minutes at a time before I come afraid that the laptop might overheat.
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Post by parasitk » Tue Sep 02, 2008 2:18 pm

Don't blame the medium, blame the developer! :razz:

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Post by elemental » Tue Sep 02, 2008 2:23 pm

I think it can be done in pure javascript. You wont be able to get smooth antialiased curved patch cables but I think they'd be aproximate enough to be ok. I'd be willing to lend a hand if it were to go that route... I'm a web developer by trade, but I dont do Flash.

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Post by parasitk » Tue Sep 02, 2008 2:34 pm

I was a web developer for years as well and I'd hate to do this particular task in a language that has to be interpreted by a browser. This is so specialized and has such a niche audience that doing it in Flash really wouldn't be a big deal, IMO.

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Post by matt.patey » Tue Sep 02, 2008 2:42 pm

True enough, Flash is I think the most tempting route, but, I have to admit that another reason why I'm doing this is to get back into doing GUI programming for the web. We'll see, I'm not going to be so stubborn as to not use a technology if those I plan to use will not let me get this done, but I'd much rather start using a more 'open' approach.

One thing I've just realized is that complex patches, as in the real world, will be difficult to follow. Does anyone have any ideas as to how software could make reading complex patches easier? I was thinking of including the possibility of including a sort of text-based patching matrix, which you could read line-by-line and create the patch that way instead of trying to find both ends of a patch cable.

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Post by wetterberg » Tue Sep 02, 2008 2:47 pm

a thought: Wouldn't it be sensible to make that patch design system an extension of, say, the Modular Planner? Maybe get in touch with the dev there?

I reckon you'll spend absolutely ages getting your ducks in a row otherwise...

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Post by parasitk » Tue Sep 02, 2008 2:54 pm

Modular Planner needs some de-bloating though! And it would need to extend beyond just EuroRack.

Seems like a good idea - to improve what's out there already (and known) instead of starting over. :party:

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Post by matt.patey » Tue Sep 02, 2008 3:07 pm

wetterberg wrote:a thought: Wouldn't it be sensible to make that patch design system an extension of, say, the Modular Planner? Maybe get in touch with the dev there?

I reckon you'll spend absolutely ages getting your ducks in a row otherwise...
I actually sent him a message via the Plan-B mailing list sometime in the last couple of weeks, but haven't heard back yet :-/

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Post by wetterberg » Tue Sep 02, 2008 3:26 pm

have you tried emailing him directly?

I think you'll have a direct line through
http://mega.modularplanner.co.uk/standard.html
and then clicking his name at the bottom right.

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Post by matt.patey » Tue Sep 02, 2008 3:32 pm

wetterberg wrote:have you tried emailing him directly?

I think you'll have a direct line through
http://mega.modularplanner.co.uk/standard.html
and then clicking his name at the bottom right.
Thanks for that, I've just e-mailed him that way.
felix wrote: I'd just to add my preference for *not* using Flash. Being web based would be fantastic, but Flash just eats up *way* too much CPU.

Maybe it's just Flash on the Mac, but the modularplanner flash app takes up 70% of my 2Ghz CoreDuo MacBook Pro. I literally can only use it for a few minutes at a time before I come afraid that the laptop might overheat.
I just experienced this as well. I can't imagine what's going on behind the scenes to get the CPU all worked up like that. Hopefully it'd be something I could address if he agreed to give me the source files and if I finally decide to use Flash.

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Post by sgnhh » Tue Sep 02, 2008 4:09 pm

Please, please, please do this. for real.

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matt.patey
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SourceForge project approved!

Post by matt.patey » Wed Sep 03, 2008 2:08 pm

I just got notification that the SourceForge application I submitted for this project was approved. In the next couple of days the site should be accessible via http://modularsynthpat.sourceforge.net/

:party:

In the meantime I'll be compiling a list of features and uploading some preliminary sketches of how I'm envisioning the GUI.

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Post by matt.patey » Sat Sep 20, 2008 3:37 pm

OK so after considering a number of frameworks I decided that the easiest route (for me at least) will be to write this in Java. I know Java doesn't go down well for a number of people, but I think there are several advantages to using it. 1) I know it well (meaning something will actually be done in a reasonable amount of time) 2) Processing is a great Java-based library that will help speed up the creation of the patching aspect of the app; 3) Java can do everything Flash does, but is better (IMHO) because a) it's easier to maintain b) is more modular and c) is faster and less CPU intensive; and 4) It's free (not as in speech, unfortunately). Anyways, all I really wanted to say is that I've been working on a prototype and so far so good. I should be uploading some code soon, but it will definitely be buggy and unstable.

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Post by scozbor » Sat Sep 20, 2008 3:58 pm

:hail: :hail: :sb: :sb:

excellent!!!!

I would offer to help but my code skills are pretty rudimentary! full power OOP 8) (love the processing demos i've seen!! :eek: )

I'd love to help out with some graphics if you need though!

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