v2.6.x Blue Cat PatchWork
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The virtual patch bay for audio plug-ins
Blue Cat’s PatchWork is an audio plug-ins chainer with the ability to share them across DAWs.
Blue Cat’s PatchWork is a universal plug-ins patchbay and multi FX that can host up to 64 VST, VST3, Audio Unit or built-in plug-ins into any Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) in a single instance, with both serial and parallel routing options.
Typical applications: Plug-ins host, custom channel strip, parallel processing, effects chainer, virtual bussing, virtual instrument, share bus and plug-ins configurations between DAWs, VST or Audio Unit to AAX, Audio Unit, effect chains A/B comparison, standalone audio processing application, multi effects processor.
It is possible to chain effects in series or create up to 8 parallel chains that can be activated independently. This lets you create your favorite effects or instruments configurations within the plug-in, without the need for multiple busses. These configurations can be saved as presets and recalled instantly, or shared with multiple DAWs, using any plug-in format (full list below). Use the built-in audio effects to add color to your own plug-in chains.
Despite the name, you can forget about wires or cables: configuring plug-ins routing is as simple as adding or removing a row or a column in the rack’s matrix. All plug-ins can also communicate with each other or with the host application using the virtual MIDI ports offered by the plug-in.
For each plug-in slot, latency compensation, presets management, undo/redo integration, audio i/o selection and individual plug-in bypass are included for optimal operation. The plug-in also stores the position of the window for each plug-in so that the layout is restored with your session or saved with presets.
Also, sub plug-ins can be automated or controlled with external control surfaces using Blue Cat’s PatchWork parameters mapping capabilities.
This product is available as an audio plug-in (effect or a virtual instrument) and standalone application, so that it can used alone or inserted on any type of track in your favorite DAW, with up to 16 audio channels.
Input and output level meters are also available to monitor the signal that is dispatched to inserted plug-ins, including side chain and aux channels.
If you are looking for a multiband plug-ins host for multiband processing, check out the Blue Cat’s MB-7 Mixer plug-in. Also, any Blue Cat Audio plug-in is compatible and can be hosted by this software.
Looking for more advanced audio routing within PatchWork? Check out Blue Cat’s Connector!
Patchwork Main Features:
- Configurable VST, VST3 or Audio Unit plug-ins rack: host up to 64 third party plug-ins or instruments in series or parallel.
- 30 built-in effects: Reverb, EQ, filters, pitch & frequency shifter, delays, modulation effects, compressor, gate, bit crusher, wave shaper and more.
- Available as an effect, virtual instrument or standalone application.
- Build your own effects chains: up to 8 “pre” and “post” plug-ins slots to chain plug-ins in series.
- Parallel processing made easy: up to 8 parallel plug-ins chains, with phase flip, solo and gain controls.
- Multicore processing support for parallel chains.
- Host up to 8 virtual instruments in parallel and mix them within the plug-in.
- Global Dry/Wet control (“Mix”).
- Macro controls & parameters mapping: map sub plug-ins parameters to automate them or use a control surface.
- Flexible MIDI routing: connect sub plug-ins together or with the host application.
- Flexible Audio routing: connect sub plug-ins i/o to any audio channel.
- External side chain and multiple outputs support.
- Link pre and post gains for automatic gain compensation.
- Drag and drop or cut, copy and paste plug-ins with their settings between slots.
- Recall complex processing setups and plug-ins layouts with one click and share them between your DAWs.
- Input and output levels monitoring, built-in CPU meter.
- Plug-ins Latency compensation.
- Network audio/MIDI processing server for the Connector plug-in.
- Supports VST Shell plug-ins.
- Integrated undo/redo.
Blue Cat Audio Standards:
- Available as a standalone application and in most plug-in formats for Mac and Windows.
- Full MIDI control and automation support, MIDI Learn.
- No CPU load on idle: processing shuts down when fed with silence (optimal CPU usage).
- Customizable user interface with transparency & zoom.
- Smooth Bypass: noiseless plug-in activation / deactivation.
- Full featured integrated presets manager.
- Copy/paste the state of the plug-in between instances.
- Any sample rate supported.
- An SSE2-enabled processor (Pentium 4 or newer).
- Microsoft Windows Vista, Windows 7, 8 or 10.
- For the plug-in, any VST / AAX compatible host software (32 or 64 bit).
- For the standalone application, an ASIO, MME or WASAPI compatible audio interface (ASIO recommended).
Mac OS X
- An Intel or Apple Silicon processor.
- Mac OS 10.9 or newer.
- For the plug-in, any VST / Audio Unit / AAX compatible application (64-bit) .
- For the standalone application, a Core Audio compatible audio interface.
- Plug-ins oversampling: it is now possible to oversample processing for every plug-in (up to 16x).
- Custom Colors: Each individual plug-in instance can now be assigned a custom color.
- Updated 120 factory presets and all built-in plug-ins with custom colors.
- PatchWork can now use its own parameters in macros, mixed together with loaded plug-ins parameters.
- Graphical user interface refresh performance improvements, especially on Mac.
- Improved resampling when the application starts streaming audio as a network server with Blue Cat’s Connector.
- Fixed custom tone maps presets not properly saved for some built-in plug-ins (Reverb, Chorus, Flanger, Phaser, Sweep Filter, Wave Shaper, Freq Shifter, Wah, EQ).
- Fixed stuck notes with some VST3 instruments.
- Fixed some VST3 instruments not producing any sound (like Toontrack instruments).
- Ableton Live 11: Fixed PatchWork VST3 MIDI input not detected and PatchWork Synth VST3 not loading.
- New transport toolbar in PatchWork app, including pause, rewind and tempo selection (with tap tempo).
- Added Apple Silicon support for AAX plug-in format.
- Added Ambisonic (1st order) and alternate surround formats (up to 8ch) support for Pro Tools.
- Fixed an issue with some VST3 plug-ins requiring to click twice on the bypass button to get bypassed.
- New macro controls editor to edit plug-in parameters mapping.
- Assign multiple parameters from multiple plug-ins to a single macro control, and adjust the range for each parameter.
- Assign a name to each macro control, that is now displayed in automation lanes in most host applications (may require a session reload in some cases).
- Parameters names for existing sessions will be automatically updated upon load.
- Select macro knobs appearance among 19 predefined styles.
- New learn modes to quickly assign plug-in parameters.
- MIDI output is now enabled in standalone application.
- Select individual MIDI I/O in standalone application.
- Added an option in global & preset input settings to send MIDI events when MIDI-enabled parameters are modified in the plug-in (to update control surfaces accordingly).
- In most plug-in formats, internal audio I/O configuration can now be selected regardless of the configuration defined by the host (you can for example reduce the number of channels to save CPU and process only selected channels).
- PatchWork App now uses Apple’s Hardened Runtime and the installer has been notarized to avoid security warnings on Mac.
- Improved performance to load the user interface.
- Improved VST parameter value display in some host applications.
- Fixed bypass that did not let MIDI messages go thru for some MIDI plug-ins.
- Fixed some GUI resizing issues with some VST3 plug-ins.
- Fixed signal overflow issues with the Reverb built-in plug-in for some surround configurations.
Warning: presets and sessions saved with this new version will not reload properly with older versions of PatchWork (params maps will be lost).
- Native Apple Silicon (M1) version can now load 64-bit Audio Units that are not compatible with Apple Silicon (via the MacOS bridge).
- New “network slave” mode to run as an audio/MIDI processing server for the Connector plug-in.
- Presets can now be loaded via MIDI even when the user interface is closed.
- Improved MIDI events timing precision in the application.
- Windows: ASIO Control panel can now be launched from the audio settings window in the application.
- Audio engine can now be restarted from the audio settings window in the application.
- Fixed MPC Beat plug-in not loading.
- Fixed VST3 version not always loading properly in Ableton Live 11.
- Fixed latency compensation changes not always picked up by host applications.
- VST3: Fixed parameters update issues in Studio One when bouncing tracks.
- Tail spillover: activate tail spillover from the toolbar to play effects tail when bypassed (available for the plug-in itself, sub-sections or built-in delays and reverbs).
- Arrow keys can now be used to navigate presets, in the main view or in the presets browser.
- The opacity of the tone map window can now be adjusted for built-in effects.
- Smoother presets switching.
- Improved smooth plug-in bypass (faster and smoother transition).
- Fixed: the state of some VST2 plug-ins (which do not save their state as chunks) were not be restored properly if their number of parameters had been changed (e.g. FabFilter Pro-Q’s latest update).
- Mac: fixed GUI performance issues on native P3 displays and improved performance on other displays (details here: bluecataudio.com/…/slow-mac-how-to-fix-mac-gui-performance-issues).
- Mac: fixed mouse wheel that required large movements to change parameter values.
- Mac: fixed mouse cursor flickering issues.
- Mac: fixed Esc key not closing fine edit parameter dialog.
- Mac: fixed keyboard not responding in registration panel in some host applications (LUNA, Garage Band…).
- Mac Audio Unit: fixed plug-in listing in some host applications (Plogue Bidule, …).
- Reduced disk footprint.
- Fixed: several issues with hosted plug-ins bypass (graphical glitches, untriggered bypass, …).
- Mac: fixed demo version that could hang Logic when reloading projects using the plug-in.
New Features & Improvements:
- Navigate presets and create new tones easily with “Tone Maps” for 9 built-in effects: Chorus, Flanger, Phaser, Wah, Sweep Filter, EQ, Freq Shifter, Reverb and Waveshaper.
- Mac application now fully supports dark mode on Mac OS Mojave and newer.
- New presets for the built-in wah plug-in.
- Built-in EQ: improved impulse response convolution performance (long reverb tails are now supported, with low CPU usage).
- Mac: faster GUI rendering on recent Mac OS systems (up to 5x faster for level meters).
- Mac: fixed user interface not properly shown on retina displays in some applications built with the 10.14 Mac OS SDK (Cubase 10.5 for example).
- Mac: fixed settings panel rendering issues in dark mode on Mac OS Mojave and newer.
- Fixed issue with some VST3 plug-ins that failed to initialize when loaded (Roland Cloud VST3)
- Fixed built-in Wah plug-in that could exceed the selected range in reverse mode.
What’s new in V2.31 (2018/12/06)
- Spectrum analysis is now performed in the background and does not affect audio performance (built-in EQ).
- Improved convolution performance for the impulse response loader on multicore processors (built-in EQ).
- Fixed modulation plug-ins that did not always properly set rate when used in host sync mode (sweep filter, flanger, tremolo).
What’s new in V2.3 (2018/10/22)
- Drag and drop support (see our video):
- drag and drop plug-ins between slots.
- hold the alt key on Mac and Ctrl key on windows to copy (duplicate) a plug-in instead of moving it.
- drop the plug-in before another to insert it in the chain.
- drag and drop plug-ins between several instances of PatchWork or accross plug-ins (compatible with the latest preview of Late Replies, MB-7 Mixer and Axiom).
- drag and drop .dll, .vst, .vst3, or .component files directly from the Finder or Explorer onto plug-in slots.
- drag and drop .plgnfo files (previously saved from the software) directly from the Finder or Explorer onto plug-in slots.
- Built-in EQ plug-in can now load and manipulate impulse responses (IR).
- Fixed: effect tail not processed anymore when just inserted on a track (avoids using CPU when not necessary).
- Fixed: built-in multitap delay plug-in could get out of sync in some host applications.
- Improved performance of the built-in EQ plug-in.
- Improved performance when saving preset/session with many built-in plug-ins.
What’s New in V2.2:
- Added 4 new built-in plug-ins (reverb, harmonizer, wah, mute).
- New factory presets.
- Major presets loading improvements: hosted plug-ins are now reloaded only when changed, and updated otherwise. Improves performance and audio rendering when loading presets using the same plug-ins.
- Faster GUI loading / instantaneous GUI display after it has been opened once.
- Performance and memory usage improvements.
- Fixed: changing bypass in the Audio Unit version did not update host application’s bypass state.
- Fixed: bypass buttons are now in sync with the hosted plug-ins’ state.
- Win: fixed copy/paste that sometimes stopped working until next app restart.
- Mac: fixed crash in Ableton Live when hitting space bar while a sub plug-in window is opened.