This New Markup Language Solves The Modular Synth Patch Problem

Now here's something useful that could be a game-changer for the modular synthesizer world and change the way we use virtual services and tools to interact with hardware synths.  

You may know of Spektro Audio's CV Toolkit and Fragments. The former being a clever way to control, modulate and sequence hardware synthesizers via control voltage (CV) using different virtual modules via a standalone app on your mac or PC. 

Well, it seems that Spektro Audio aren't finished trying to make the synth world a better, easier place to exist in. Iccaro Ferre, Spekro Audio founder, has been working on a new markup language called PatchBook. The idea being this open-source language would make it easier to write down modular synth patches so that they can be easily recalled and shared. The more we think about this the more we realise it is a genius concept that could well create a much needed standard for the modular synth community.

Here's what Iccaro says about PatchBook on his site:

"To put it simply, Patchbook is an open-source markup language / standard designed to be easily readable and writeable by humans that can be used to write down modular synth patches. My goal for Patchbook is to create a standard that can help users write down patches in a way that could also be potentially used by different websites, educational tools, applications and services. 

"Here's an example of a patch written using the Patchbook markup language:

- Metropolis (Pitch) p> Braids (1v/oct)
- Metropolis (Gate) g> Function (Trigger)
- Braids (Out) -> Optomix (Ch1 Signal)
- Function (+ Out) >> Optomix (Ch1 CV)
- Function (- Out) >> Braids (Timbre CV)

* Metropolis:
| BPM = 124
| Swing = 0
| Root = F
| Scale = Minor
| Mode = F. Forward
| Stages = 16

* Braids:
| Mode = Fold
| Timbre = 30%
| Timbre CV = -20%
| Color = 0%

* Function: Rise = 50% | Fall = 50% | Curve = 30%
* Optomix: Damp = 0% | Control = 100%

"The official parser (a simple python program) can process .txt files written in the PatchBook format and output a JSON file that could be used by other applications to display and process the patch's data (a diagram of the data structure is available on the GitHub page).

"Programmers should have no problem using the JSON files generated by the parser to create all kinds of different patch visualizations, processing, etc."

This new markup language could well be game-changing for modular synthesists. 







Rounik is the Executive Editor for Ask.Audio & macProVideo. He's built a crack team of professional musicians and writers to create one of the most visited online resources for news, review, tutorials and interviews for modern musician and producer. As an Apple Certified Trainer for Logic Pro Rounik has taught teachers, professional... Read More


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