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Patch notes - Format?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Modular Synth General Discussion  
Author Patch notes - Format?
TheMentat
Hi All,

I've decided to start maintaining a patch notebook. When experimentation leads to a cool voice, I often want to replicate it - hence the need to keep records! Further to this, I think that the format could be used in a live setting as a "score" of sorts.

With this in mind, I got to thinking about an efficient way to document patches.

Has anybody here put any thought into that?
Any good ideas?
Am I being too nerdy about this?
Reality Checkpoint
Definitely not nerdy. I use a series of notebooks, and occasional photos on my phone.

Plenty of threads about this.

Here's a good one:

https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=38666&highlight=
cptnal
I once heard Paul McCartney say in an interview that in the early days he and Lennon would never write their songs down. If they could still remember them the next day they must be the good ones. Us lesser mortals should keep notes though. oops

Having said that, I'm lazy/disorganized as hell, and the one time I did take notes I still couldn't replicate the patch. Sod it, I say. Mr. Green
dumbledog
I've been thinking about repurposing VCV rack for this. Code up some blank mockups of real-world Eurorack panels with no audio function (just the LEDs would work), and add some written note panels for things like what mode a module is in, etc.

I can't code C++ for shit tho and I couldn't compile VCV when I tried, so eh.
AW198
cptnal wrote:
I once heard Paul McCartney say in an interview that in the early days he and Lennon would never write their songs down. If they could still remember them the next day they must be the good ones.


I had this idea for years.

Then I realised that what I could remember and what I forgot had no relation to how good the music was and if I didn't quickly make a note of (what ended up being) a great melody or whatever then I would forget it!
TheMentat
Reality Checkpoint wrote:
Definitely not nerdy. I use a series of notebooks, and occasional photos on my phone.

Plenty of threads about this.

Here's a good one:

https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=38666&highlight=


Thanks for pointing out that thread! For some reason my search terms were coming up empty...
hamildad
https://www.facebook.com/LearningModular/posts/2028720110700646

Open source language and graphics for patch documentation. as part of Patch & Tweak book
oberdada
Something along the lines of the PatchBook markup language can be useful.
https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=187657

I'm currently working on a project where I have to set up the same patch once every week. Despite my efforts to document it it's a real challenge to figure out what I meant when I wrote it. But it can be done in a relatively easy to read fashion.
Dcramer
I either use Modulargrid for detail, or symbol/diagram creation apps as seen in my videos. thumbs up
whyfarer
So far I just take notes by hand. I write down the name of the module, relevant param settings, names of in/out jacks used and draw lines between relevant jack names. It takes a bit of thought and planning and they still end up messy but at least I could figure out what I was doing on a recording if i ever wanted to get back a similarly generated sound.

I've thought I've printing out images from my modular grid rack and annotating wires and params on the printouts, but I haven't tried it out
synkrotron
TheMentat wrote:

With this in mind, I got to thinking about an efficient way to document patches.


I was just thinking the same thing and was about to pose the question here, but I searched first and found this near the top, so all good smile

I have used the Modular Grid patch saving tool but find that once you get a load of cables crisscrossing all over the place it's hard to work out what is happening.

I came up with the idea that I could create a text file, store it in the associated DAW project folder (this is how I record my stuff) and then make notes for every module that is in use, what the knob positions are and the to/from of the connected cables. But it takes, quite literally, hours to do it this way... Much longer than it did to create the patch.

So I will check out some of the links posted here, and do some more research, see what peeps are doing.


As an example, this is how my current patch is looking (22 modules in use with over thirty cables):-

A-110-1 VCO (2)
Range = +1
Tuned to C2
Saw output to A-106-6 XP VCF Audio In

Disting Mk3
Algorithm 4-d VCO with waveshaping
Tuned to C2
A audio to A-124 Wasp Audio In
B audio to A-115 Audio Divider In

A-115 Audio Divider
Orig = 0
F/2 = 10
F/4 = 0
F/8 = 0
F/16 = 0
Out to A-101-1 Vactrol VCF LP In

Elements
See photograph
V/Oct from Metropolis Pitch out
Gate from A-180-1 Multi upper
Out L to Attenuator Box input 1
Out R to Attenuator Box input 2
Bow Timbre CV from A-145 LFO Ramp Down
Flow CV from A-143-1 CEG/LFO Env 3
Bow Timbre CV from A-183-2 Offset/Attenuator out
Mallet CV from Flow CV from A-143-1 CEG/LFO Env 4
Strike Timbre CV from A-143-1 CEG/LFO Env 2
Damping CV from A-145 LFO Ramp up
Position CV from A-143-1 CEG/LFO Mix Out

A-101-1 Vactrol VCF
Frequ = 3 (mod live)
CVF2 = 5 (mod live)
CVF3 = 0 (mod live)
Emph = 5 (mod live)
LP = 10
BP = 0
HP = 0
CVF In 2 from A-145 LFO Triangle output
CVF In 3 from A-140 A-140 ADSR Output
LP In from A115 Audio Divider Out
Out1 to Attenuator Box input 4
gonkulator
If I ever felt compelled to recreate a patch, my first thought would be to take a video of it, recording the sound, and making verbal patch notes. But it had better be a "never heard before or since unless I take these notes or it would be a tragic loss to humanity" type of sound, which I haven't made yet.
Pelsea
I use one of two fomats, written by hand in a notebook or graph paper tablet.

If I’m just writing down the idea (or making notes for a class) I’ll draw a flowchart, using a format from 70s textbooks. Circles for sources, triangles for amps & mixers, and labeled rectangles for other stuff. Audio signals are simple lines (mostly left to right), controls are lines with arrowheads (usually bottom up), and trig/gates are dotted lines with arrowheads (also mostly up). I label connections if there is a choice, and note key settings.

If I will need to rebuild a patch, I put sticky labels right on the patchcords— a label on each plug to match the name of its jack. Of course this works best on 1/4” plugs and requires an unlimited supply of patchcords, which worked for me in a university setting, but now that I’m doing eurorack on my own dime, I’m putting matching numbers on each end of my cords. You can get wire labels at any electrical supply store— the pages or cards have either consecutive numbers (two each) or you can get a booklet with 0s on one page, 1s on the next and so forth. To record the patch, I write a table of how each cord is connected like this:

Cord Out In
1 VCO1s VCF2i1
6 VCF2bp VCA1i1
4 ADSRc VCA1cv

You get the idea. Numbered cords also make it easy to trace a dense patch.
TheMentat
Pelsea wrote:
I use one of two fomats, written by hand in a notebook or graph paper tablet.

If I’m just writing down the idea (or making notes for a class) I’ll draw a flowchart, using a format from 70s textbooks. Circles for sources, triangles for amps & mixers, and labeled rectangles for other stuff. Audio signals are simple lines (mostly left to right), controls are lines with arrowheads (usually bottom up), and trig/gates are dotted lines with arrowheads (also mostly up). I label connections if there is a choice, and note key settings.

If I will need to rebuild a patch, I put sticky labels right on the patchcords— a label on each plug to match the name of its jack. Of course this works best on 1/4” plugs and requires an unlimited supply of patchcords, which worked for me in a university setting, but now that I’m doing eurorack on my own dime, I’m putting matching numbers on each end of my cords. You can get wire labels at any electrical supply store— the pages or cards have either consecutive numbers (two each) or you can get a booklet with 0s on one page, 1s on the next and so forth. To record the patch, I write a table of how each cord is connected like this:

Cord Out In
1 VCO1s VCF2i1
6 VCF2bp VCA1i1
4 ADSRc VCA1cv

You get the idea. Numbered cords also make it easy to trace a dense patch.


I like it... particularly your first method!
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